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Oh my dear Demon King. How unkind the main roster has been to you. After entering the red brand with all the momentum in the world, Finn Balor has hit some unfortunate road bumps. He became the first ever WWE Universal Champion but had to relinquish the belt due to a shoulder injury the day after Summerslam. (A shoulder injury that would keep him shelved until LITERALLY ten days ago.) His return the day after WrestleMania was met with widespread acclaim and global excitement for the possible feuds that Balor could engage into were even larger due to the Superstar Shake-up.
Then this past week’s Raw occurred, and possibly, another setback. Jinder Mahal connected with a stiff elbow that knocked 35 year old Fergal out, and left him with a possible concussion. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been updating my news browser every hour in hopes that his condition will be better than anticipated. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, because we’ve already been given a tease for a showdown with Bray Wyatt once the latter closes the book on the Apex Predator. Here’s a list of five other feuds that may still happen, depending on Balor’s health.
5. SAMOA JOE
There is a reason that Joe and Balor deservingly headlined three Takeover specials against each other. The chemistry between the two inside the ring is just as strong as their friendship outside of it, and the betrayal storyline was strong enough to carry the feud from London, to Dallas, to Lowell, before it concluded at Full Sail. While each of those bouts won’t be remembered as significantly as other NXT showdowns, they will certainly be remembered for their brutality, specifically their fight in Texas. It’s easy to overlook that one because of the incredible debut by Shinsuke Nakamura, but before the referees continued stoppage ruined the match’s pace, it was on track to be MOTN. (If you don’t believe me, go back and watch the opening moments as the roar of the crowd reaches its peak.) Now that the “Samoan Submission Machine” has a new agenda of destruction for The Game, there could be plenty of reasons for Balor to reignite their feud for Monday nights: Soldier of the Authority verses the demon of the common man. (OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.) And speaking of the authority…
4. TRIPLE H
By this point, most of the WWE Universe (especially the I.W.C.) has seen the house show photo pitting the “King of Kings” against “The Black Prince.” (If you haven’t, WTF are you doing with your life?) In said photo, Balor reprises his signature taunt from the infamous faction “Bullet Club” by aiming a finger-gun at the father of NXT just went he was throwing up a “Too Sweet” sign. Never has the phrase “a picture says a 1,000 words” struck such purpose. Realistically, this conflict could stem into the same territory as the Seth Rollins-Triple H one did, but to keep it original it would strike a larger chord if it involved a stable war. That seemed to be the path with Aitch, Samoa Joe, and Kevin Owens on one side, and Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, and perhaps Sami Zayn on the other. (It was Y2J on the house shows.) However, with the shake-up ridding Raw of Zayn and Owens, the possibility of a singles feud is that much more likely. Until that happens, let’s just look at this picture and bask in its glory.
3. ROMAN REIGNS
Roman Reigns is now a made man. His triumph over the Undertaker clearly defines him as the top star for the company, and his Raw-after promo was nothing short of a MASTERPIECE. (It’s true… it’s damn true.) It also appears that the formula for a WWE crowd to really appreciate you these days is to score a clean victory over the Roman Empire, and that is something that Finn has already done. Considering how much heat Roman draws, it would only make sense for the Demon King to be the new face for the people, and challenge the Big Dawg for the pink slip to his yard. In this angle, Balor could even take his character to a darker place and label himself the tweener or heel of the matchup. It doesn’t matter, everyone would cheer for him anyway.
2. BRAUN STROWMAN/BROCK LESNAR
To become a star in the WWE, you must slay a giant. While on paper it would be hard to deem Finn as a “worthy” opponent for either of these behemoths he does possess enough star power and financial draw to at least give him the opportunity. Strowman has certainly improved his overall “Superstar” personae and become much more than just a BIG DUDE WITH A BUSHY BEARD, and Brock Lesnar… well, he’s the mayor of Suplex City. Either direction would mean big money for the company; either beast a suitable opponent. I personally think that Balor needs this mountain to climb so he doesn’t seem as unbeatable as his character has been. The man has only lost five matches that we know about.
1. SETH ROLLINS
It is still impressive to think that Finn Balor put on a better match with only one arm than some guys could at 100 percent. While the injury was entirely unintentional, the Architect did take credit for shortening Finn’s career by at least six months. This was during the time Seth was still experimenting with his cocky bad-guy personae, and wasn’t the white-meat babyface he is currently. During their recent tag-match as partners there was still a level of unresolved tension (real or not) between the two. Will the Demon just forget about the title reign he never got to have because of Rollins? To quote another man that Rollins hurt, “The only thing that’s for sure… is that nothing’s for sure.”
Agree or disagree? Who would you like to see Finn Balor butt heads with? Does a feud with Wyatt excited you? Fire away or ask me on twitter!
(Follow Joey Galizia at @RamJam89.)
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS LIST: TOP FIVE LIST: Top Five NXT Takeover Matches – Where does Bayley vs. Sasha compare to DIY vs. Revival and Sami vs. Neville