Finn Balor is set to take on Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship on Sunday at the Royal Rumble. And while he won't be leaving Chase Field with the title, he should be the one closing out the show pointing up at the WrestleMania 35 sign.
Full disclosure, I'm not the first one to pitch this idea (first saw it from James McKenna on Twitter). But it's so good I want to give it a deeper dive.
So here's how it goes — the show starts with the Women's Royal Rumble this time around, followed by a one of the midcard matches. Then we get Lesnar vs. Balor and, much to the dismay of many of his fans, Balor shows up in his usual leather jacket look. He gets tossed around, has some good comeback spots, gets close to pulling off the upset but winds up getting flattened with Lesnar's second F-5 of the night (because having people lose after just one made guys like Braun and Samoa Joe look bad) and pinned.
The rest of the show plays out, the Men's Rumble takes place in the main event and we get down to the final entrance. With the ring full of wrestlers and the final countdown hitting zero, the lights in Chase Field go out and a heartbeat can be heard over the loudspeakers.
Out from the smoke at the top of the entrance ramp crawls out Balor as "The Demon", looking full rejuvenated after the Lesnar match. He hits the ring, gets the final eliminations and wins the Royal Rumble much to the delight of fans in attendance.
Balor announces on the following show that he plans on challenging Lesnar once again, only this time he knows in order to take down "The Beast" he needs to use his alter ego. WWE can spend the rest of the buildup time going back and forth between having Balor beat wrestlers he's struggled with in the past (Corbin and Strowman come to mind) and Paul Heyman cutting promos about how not even "The Demon" is enough to bring down Lesnar. Then we get the match at WrestleMania, WWE goes all-out on the production of Balor's entrance, and we get ourselves a more intense, violent match than the one from the Rumble with Balor pulling out a win.
Obviously this is fantasy booking at its finest, but it feels like an idea the WWE could legitimately run with. Fully utilizing Balor's Demon gimmick has been a trump card WWE has refused to play, but they finally seem to be warming back up to Balor similar to how hot he came in back in 2016 by pinning both Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins (at SummerSlam) in a matter of weeks. And as an added bonus this idea echoes the story the NXT writers used back in 2015. People tend to forget, but before Balor was able to beat Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship, Owens was able to goad Balor into not using "The Demon" during their first title match and wound up retaining.
Balor's demonic entrance, appearance and movement in the ring are captivating, and the closest thing to capturing a supernatural element since Undertaker and Kane were in their prime, and it's that element that would help make Balor overcoming Lesnar a little bit more believable. The WWE has been frantically searching for a guy to center Monday Night Raw around ever since Roman Reigns had to step away. If done the right way over the next several months, Balor could be the guy.