The battle lines have been drawn and the teams finalized in the Men’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match, and the biggest names and most prominent rising stars in sports-entertainment will join forces in the battle for brand supremacy on the one night a year where Raw and SmackDown LIVE clash in head-to-head competition.
Just when it seemed the contest couldn’t get any bigger, unforeseen circumstances have resulted in a bombshell announcement. Following Jason Jordan’s injury at the hands of Bray Wyatt during this week’s Raw, 14-time World Champion Triple H has been selected to replace the gold-blooded Superstar at the fall classic!
In the wake of SmackDown bringing Raw under siege, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon selected Kurt Angle as Raw Team Captain and made it clear that his position with Monday Night Raw will be in jeopardy if he doesn’t completely show up the blue brand. In response, The Olympic Hero recruited the dominant Braun Strowman, followed soon after by intense competitors Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe. And though Angle picked Jordan for the fifth and final spot, The Eater of Worlds nixed those plans with a vicious attack on The Olympic Hero’s son, leading to Jordan being replaced by The King of Kings, who took down the gold-blooded Superstar with a wicked Pedigree.
The addition of Triple H intensifies what was already sure to be an epic clash. On the other side of the ring will stand Shane McMahon, who named himself SmackDown Captain after his sister appointed Angle to the helm of Team Red. At his side will be none other than WWE’s resident free agent and 16-time World Champion John Cena, 14-time World Champion Randy Orton, The Artist Known as Shinsuke Nakamura and the absolutely glorious Bobby Roode.
The Men’s Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Teams stand as an incredible mix of legendary and up-and-coming Superstars, but who will win the day as the two brands speed toward a collision for brand supremacy? Find out at Survivor Series, this Sunday at a special start time of 7 ET/4 PT, streaming live on the award-winning WWE Network.
Finn Bálor may not have been able to get Bray Wyatt off his back once and for all at WWE TLC, but his Demon denied SmackDown LIVE’s AJ Styles in a one-off confrontation that came about when The Phenomenal One stepped in to bat cleanup. With The Phenomenal One surely back on Team Blue, Bálor faces his next step in his goal to reclaim the Universal Championship. What will the “Extraordinary Man” do?
WRESTLING star Finn Balor is on his way back to the top of World Wrestling Entertainment and he wants what was cruelly taken from him last September.
Balor became the first ever WWE Universal Champion in his first main brand pay-per-view main event at Summerslam 2016.
But it was all stripped away just hours later, after the wrestler received a devastating shoulder injury during his title match with Seth Rollins. Scans showed the injury was severe and he was immediately made to vacate the title on the following night’s Monday Night Raw program and spent the next six months recovering, only returning in April this year.
Now he’s back and firing, he wants his crown returned.
Former UFC champion Brock Lesnar currently wears the Universal Title around his waist, but that does not concern Balor.
“Perhaps considering the fact I never actually lost the Universal Title, maybe at some point I’ll be granted a rematch — maybe against Samoa Joe or Brock Lesnar,” Balor told news.com.au
Who will be the first Superstar to challenge The Beast? This is a question that will be answered in historically chaotic fashion.
At Extreme Rules, for the first time ever, in a battle that could change the course of the New Era, an Extreme Rules Fatal 5-Way Match between Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor, Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe to determine who will compete with Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship.
Raw General Manager Kurt Angle announced the historic showdown on the May 15 edition of Monday Night Raw, and speculation is already running rampant as to who will emerge victorious and get the chance to tangle with The Beast for Raw’s top prize.
Though Reigns’ unbreakable determination helped him overcome The Undertaker at WrestleMania and put Braun Strowman on the shelf for six months, it remains to be seen whether The Big Dog will be able to simultaneously conquer four of the best Superstars in the business under such extreme circumstances.
In addition to the absolute bedlam that such a showdown promises, Rollins and Samoa Joe will both need to get past the enormous animosity that they have for one another in order to concentrate on the entire field of battle in this epic free-for-all.
Lest we forget that the first Universal Champion, Bálor, was never beaten for his title, but was instead forced to surrender it due to injury and is now hungry for an opportunity to challenge The Beast Incarnate.
And one must never count out Wyatt, arguably one of the most cunning competitors in the contest, who continues to show time and time again why he is The New Face of Fear by thriving in the very mayhem that the Fatal 5-Way Match will unleash.
Who will triumph in the Fatal 5-Way Match and become the first Superstar to attempt to conquer The Conqueror? Find out on June 4 at 8 ET/5 PT, steaming live on WWE Network.
Devil’s Advocate (photo)
When Finn isn’t grappling as himself or The Demon King, he possesses a devilishly debonair style all his own. Hence this slick, slightly satanic alter ego that combines a sharp suit with Mephistophelean horns straight out of a Rolling Stones song. We can’t speak to the in-ring acumen of The Devil’s Advocate, but he looks like the kind of man who could manage to sell hot water in hell, only to welch on the deal for the fun of it.
WWE fans typically witness Finn Bálor at his most righteous, and this angelic avenger could represent the pure — but brutal — side of that spirit. If The Demon King has an archrival, it would be this guardian of heaven’s gate, a warrior of virtue who carries a hallowed blade capable of capturing your tormented soul — if he doesn’t save it first.
The Raven of Death (photo)
Both Finn Bálor and his Demon King persona have deep ties to Celtic mythology. Finn MacCool is a towering figure in Irish folklore who was said to have built the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland as a path to Scotland. And Balor is, quite literally, a demon king whose massive, destructive eye has been depicted on Finn’s body paint. If Bálor delves deeper into his dark side, he may come across a raven — a key figure of death in Irish myth. Should Finn unleash this black parade, your time is most certainly up.
If there is a vindictive part to Bálor’s psyche, it may reveal itself in the form of this European crime lord. Although The Underboss commands an untold legion of loyal thugs and assassins, he still prefers to do some of the dirty work himself. Of course, his prized Doberman Pinscher is always there to help finish the job. If you find yourself duct taped to a chair in a foundry in Bucharest, chances are you’ve crossed The Underboss, and your fate is all but sealed.
The Cyber Demon (photo)
The Internet Generation gave rise to the Finn Bálor phenomenon long before his first appearance in WWE NXT, and it’s what fuels this twisted entity who has become more meme than man. When the computers finally take over and mankind finds itself speaking in the ones and zeros of binary code, it’ll be The Cyber Demon who gives himself over to the dark web and ends human existence forever. CTRL ALT DELETE.
Since returning from the cataphoric injury that forced the first-ever Universal Champion to surrender his title just 24 hours after winning it, Finn Bálor has been seizing victories on every front. He teamed with one-time foe Seth Rollins to overcome Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe, he defeated Curt Hawkins and Jinder Mahal in singles action and most recently emerged on the winning side of a Six-Man Tag Team Match along with Seth Rollins and Big Cass.
On the flip side, since coming to Raw as part of the Superstar Shake-up, it’s safe to say that The Miz has not been having a very good time, whether it be experiencing the unhinged aggression of The Lunatic Fringe Dean Ambrose or suffering Sister Abigail from his surprise tag team partner Bray Wyatt in this week’s Raw main event.
However, if The Miz has taught us anything, it’s that he is at his most dangerous when he is feeling disrespected, and perhaps nowhere is this truer than on “The Most Must-See Talk Show in WWE History.” Then again, with Bálor on such a role as of late, does the A-Lister really want to cross him? If he pushes the Irish Superstar too far, Payback Kickoff may just witness a “Must-See” Coup de Grâce.
Don’t miss WWE Payback Kickoff this Sunday, streaming live on the award-winning WWE Network at 7 ET/4 PT. In addition, the Kickoff streams live on WWE.com, the WWE App, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+
Then the Universal Champion, Balor suffered a devastating shoulder injury at SummerSlam back in August in his match against Seth Rollins and was forced to relinquish the strap.
Speaking at the o2 in London last week to announce the new WWE United Kingdom belt, Balor said: “Myself and Neville have been friends since 2002 and had similar journeys so it has not just been injuries that have encouraged us to lean on each other.
“It’s been the adjusting to dojos in Japan or upping sticks and moving to America, the adjustment of working for WWE. So me and Neville have leaned on each other for everything over the last couple of years.
“It was unfortunate what happened to both of us but I try to look at the positive situations from everything and for me timing was bad but I have the chance to step back and assess where I am and maybe come back a little bit rejuvenated.
“This is the first bit of time off I have had in about 10 years so to have this unfortunate break – which I wish didn’t happen – you have to make a positive out of a negative and I have learnt a lot of the last couple of months.
“I think being able to not worry about everything around me has helped. If I cannot affect a situation I take myself out of it.
“I don’t pay much attention to the news or what’s happening in politics and I applied that to wrestling because it is not important to me right now. What is important to me is getting my shoulder 100 percent right. So I took myself out of the WWE performance centre and took myself down to Birmingham, Alabama where they are one of the leading specialists in shoulder rehabilitation and working seven hours a day down there to try to make it back for WrestleMania.
“It’s nice to have a little break, I have been doing this for 14 years. You learn a lot more about yourself and I’m excited about the new Finn Balor that is coming back and not worried about the one I left behind. The target was six months and to be back for WrestleMania.”