This past Monday, Braun Strowman and Kane wrestled each other in a match many weeks in the making. Ever since Kane choke slammed Strowman through the stage and then threw him into a dumpster, these two have been trying to destroy each other. Over the past few weeks, they have attempted to crush each others’ throats with a steel chair and Braun even slammed Kane through the ring. This match has been hyped up pretty well but right before Raw on Monday an interesting stipulation was added.
The winner of the Strowman vs Kane match would be named the challenger for Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble in January. This was a very strange addition due to the fact that Strowman had unsuccessfully challenged Lesnar for his championship in September at No Mercy. This match was a highly anticipated match that sadly fell short of many people’s expectations. Strowman seemed to be on quite the roll but Lesnar beat him in short order with only one F-5. Since this loss Strowman has seemed directionless and being in a feud with Kane is not helping. It seemed that big things were planned for him after he destroyed Triple H following their Survivor Series win for Team Raw. However, that has barely been followed up on.
The Strowman and Kane match was an intense affair but it ended with both men being counted out of the ring after going through the barricade. This meant that there was no winner and thus no number one contender. Despite the match ending so indecisively both men still brawled afterwards until Strowman slammed Kane through a table. Brock Lesnar was announced as appearing on Raw next week so it seems this issue may be sorted out soon.
Considering there was not a winner in the match the common route that WWE likes to take is to give both men a shot at the title in a triple threat match. This would allow it to not be a rematch of No Mercy but adding Kane to a major championship match is just baffling. Kane has been around for years as a major star but very rarely has been involved in main event championship programs. One reason that this triple threat match is likely to happen is that WWE loves first time ever matches. Over the course of their careers Brock Lesnar and Kane have never wrestled each other in a match. There may not be many fans clamoring for a Kane vs Braun Strowman vs Brock Lesnar match at Royal Rumble but recent actions make that seem likely.
There is one person who a few months ago seemed in line to challenge Lesnar at the Royal Rumble and that is Finn Bálor. Bálor was the first every WWE Universal Champion but due to an injury in the match where he won the title he had to vacate it. Since his return in April it seemed obvious that he should receive a match for the championship he never lost. There was even tease from Paul Heyman that a Universal Championship match with Lesnar may happen.
However, since that time Bálor has not been in a position that would warrant a championship match. Over the past few months he has endured a feud with Bray Wyatt and has been beaten up by Kane multiple times. There were rumors that Vince McMahon felt that he was not popular enough to have a match with Lesnar which caused him to be out of the title picture.
Since these rumors came out Bálor has had fun with it. A popular term for being popular in wrestling is “being over”. Recently every tweet that he has had has some form of the word “over” included and capitalized. He continued to have more fun with these rumors when WWE put up a poll asking who Lesnar’s next challenger should be.
— Finn Bálor Forever (@FinnBalor) November 25, 2017
It is clear the fans want Bálor to face Lesnar for the title at Royal Rumble but if you have watched WWE long enough you know the fans do not always get what they want.
While it seems a Strowman, Kane, and Lesnar triple threat match may happen the one thing for certain is that plans can always change. Jinder Mahal was supposed to face Lesnar at Survivor Series and that match changed a week and a half before the show. He went on to have an amazing match with AJ Styles who is similar in size to Bálor. This gives a small ray of hope for Bálor and his championship aspirations.
No matter who Brock Lesnar faces at the Royal Rumble the outcome is not in doubt. Lesnar has been on quite the run and there is no reason to end it at. This match will just be a stepping stone towards another Wrestlemania main event. Lesnar matches are have a certain aura to them but it seems that his match at Royal Rumble may be a step a down.