The 2022 Royal Rumble came and went without Finn Balor participating in the event. The former Universal and NXT Champion is a member of the Monday Night Raw roster, but mysteriously took time off in January, meaning he was not booked for the Royal Rumble in the same month. Fans have speculated on why Finn Balor was taken off of WWE programming, but for the first time, the superstar has gone on the record to give an accurate count of what was taking place behind the scenes. Balor confirmed that he didn't want to take time off and wasn't injured, but instead had to deal with his visa expiring.
"I didn't want to take time off, I didn't want to miss any shows. I didnt' need any time off, I wasn't injured, I didn't need a rest," Balor told WWE on BT Sport in a video interview. "Legally, my visa needed to be renewed and I had to go back home to Ireland and go to the U.S. embassy to get a new visa. That's why I wasn't at the Royal Rumble and that's why I wasn't there for months."
Balor added how it became a legal issue that he had to take care of after continuously pushing it off because of COVID. A window of time opened up and he chose to get it taken care of in January. "The time off was taken reluctantly in January to take care of that paperwork," he continued. "Thank god it's all taken care of for the next 10 years."
Finn Balor defeated Damian Priest on the February 28th edition of Monday Night Raw to win the United States Championship. Balor reversed Priest's attempt at The Reckoning late in the bout, then hit the Shotgun Dropkick and a Coup de Gras for the win. Priest then grabbed a microphone and turned heel, saying the fans cheered Balor on to victory while never showing him that kind of respect during his reign. Priest then nailed Balor with a cheap shot and tossed him onto a commentary table with a Razor's Edge.
This was Balor's first solo title since rejoining the WWE main roster after his time in NXT. His previous attempts saw him come up short multiple times against Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship and lose in the finals of the 2021 King of the Ring tournament against Xavier Woods.