Finn Balor overcame the numbers and size disadvantage on Monday Night Raw this week to earn an Intercontinental Championship match at WrestleMania 35 against Bobby Lashley. The Irish wrestler was originally booked ot face Lashley and his manager Lio Rush, but Rush claimed before the match that he was not medically cleared after getting beaten down by Braun Strowman in recent weeks. Instead out came Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers, which meant Balor had to deal with three distractions on the outside of the ring while still in a handicap match. Balor managed to clear the field with a dive to the outside, then nailed Mahal with a Coup de Grace for the win.
Lashley took out his frustration on the loss after the match, slamming both of the Singh brothers and hitting Jinder Mahal with a vicious spear.
The feud between Lashley and Balor kicked off the night after the Royal Rumble when Lashley and Rush mocked Balor after he unsuccessfully challenged Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Balor wound up getting the last laugh at Elimination Chamber when he beat both men in a handicap match to win the Intercontinental Championship, though he never pinned Lashley during the match. After the pair teased a split for several weeks, Rush helped Lashley win the title back by causing a distraction during a title match between the two in early March, making Lashey a two-time Intercontinental Champion.
In a promo uploaded to Rush's Twitter account after the match, Lashley hinted at possibly facing "The Demon" version of Balor.
"I'm gonna beat the Demon out of him," Lashley said, leaving Rush at a loss for words.
While Balor hasn't used his painted persona since a squash match against Baron Corbin at SummerSlam, WWE has already started teasing its appearance with its ads for WrestleMania 35, which feature "The Demon" next to a handful of headlining stars.
As of Monday night, WrestleMania 35 has 12 booked matches. According to an announcement from the company on Monday morning, Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch will be show's main event.
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