On this week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, a huge change was made when Vince McMahon pulled Braun Strowman from the Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble.
Finn Balor later faced off against John Cena, Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre in the main event, and he earned the right to challenge The Beast at the Royal Rumble when he won the match.
Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that Braun Strowman wasn’t pulled due to injury, and Balor replacing Strowman has been the plan for a while.
He noted that when Corbin attacked Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel, the idea was to set up Brock vs. Braun at the Royal Rumble. Then Vince McMahon decided that they weren’t going to have Braun defeat Brock, and that Braun Strowman couldn’t afford to lose another match to Brock Lesnar, so he was pulled.
The decision was than made for Finn Balor to replace Strowman.
Lesnar reportedly wanted to work with Finn Balor a year ago, and he likes to work with guys like Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles because he has his best matches with smaller guys.
It was speculated that WWE promoted Braun vs. Brock for so long even though they knew the match wasn’t going to happen because they thought the match would sell tickets for the Royal Rumble.