WWE has thrown another wrinkle into the Universal Championship match between Roman Reigns and Finn Balor at this Sunday's Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Shortly after Monday Night Raw, which saw Reigns pick up two victories by beating The New Day in a six-man tag match and Bobby Lashley & Big E in a main event triple threat, WWE's social media accounts confirmed his title defense against the Irish star would be an Extreme Rules match. Ironically, this gives the pay-per-view its only match with a stipulation.
The match was originally advertised as a simple rematch between Reigns and Balor following their first title bout on Sept. 3. But Balor then revived his "Demon" persona, which could theoretically pose a much bigger threat to "The Tribal Chief." However, many fans (and oddsmakers) have already assumed Reigns will retain as WWE has already started teasing Reigns vs. Lesnar at Crown Jewel and Reigns vs. McIntyre on the first night of the 2021 WWE Draft, both of which take place next month.
Balor seemingly retired the painted persona when he went back to NXT in late 2019 and he's gone back and forth in interviews over how he feels about the gimmick. He told Metro last year that its usage on the main roster felt more like a crutch, which is why he was hesitant over bringing it back during his second NXT run.
"I feel like when I made the transition to Raw and SmackDown, the working environment there – the way things happen so fast and the way TV is produced so fast – that character wasn't really designed for that environment," he told Metro. "I feel like we should have handled it better. I should have handled it better in the sense that I should have been the one to put my foot down and say, "Nah I don't think we should do this. I think the return to NXT has helped me protect not only Finn and The Prince, but my own integrity and also the Demon."
"I feel like the way we used it, we kinda used it as a bit of a crutch," he added. "As cool as the demon was, it was making Finn less cool in the sense that Finn would get his ass kicked and then the Demon would come and save the day."
Check out the updated lineup for Extreme Rules below. The show takes place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday.
- WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. "The Demon" Finn Balor (Extreme Rules Match)
- SmackDown Women's Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair
- United States Championship: Damian Priest vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Usos vs. The Street Profits
- Raw Women's Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss
- Liv Morgan vs. Carmella