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After Braun Strowman ripped the door off of Mr. McMahon’s limo during Raw, The Chairman stripped The Monster Among Men of his Universal Title bout against Brock Lesnar and made an impromptu Fatal 4-Way Match for later on Raw to determine The Anomaly’s new challenger. That thrilling free-for-all determined that The Beast will now face first-ever Universal Champion Finn Bálor in a highly-anticipated clash for the illustrious title.

 

The seismic change began in the opening moments of Monday Night Raw when Lesnar’s refusal to meet Strowman in the ring for the second week in a row sent The Monster Among Men storming into the backstage area in pursuit of his Royal Rumble opponent. When he approached what he thought was The Conqueror’s limo and ripped the door clean off the hinges, however, he found himself face-to-face with Mr. McMahon. The irate WWE Chairman wasted little time dispensing punishment, stripping Strowman of his Universal Title opportunity and fining him $100,000.

 

Before the WWE Universe could even catch its collective breath, Mr. McMahon announced that a Fatal 4-Way Match would be held in Raw’s main event to determine who would challenge Lesnar at the Rumble, as Bálor, 16-time World Champion John Cena, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin waged war in an unforgettable bout.

 

Prior to the matchup, however, former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal attempted to work his way into the mix, only to be bested by Bálor in a one-on-one showdown to determine which Superstar would compete in the Fatal 4-Way Match. Then, in his second matchup of the night, Bálor triumphed over Cena, McIntyre and Corbin to earn his opportunity to finally reclaim what was once his.

 

The newly established showdown between Lesnar and Bálor is a classic matchup pitting the unyielding strength of the titleholder against the quickness and agility of his determined challenger. Although The Beast Incarnate is the personification of sheer dominance, one only must look back to his clash against WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series to see the chink in the armor, as The Beard nearly overcame Lesnar with his quickness, technical prowess and resilience. Bálor possesses similar qualities; will it be enough to slay The Beast and claim the Universal Title?

 

Don’t miss the explosive Universal Championship Match at Royal Rumble, Sunday, Jan. 27, streaming live at 7 ET/4 PT on the award-winning WWE Network!

File under: Finn Bálor News Previews WWE.com
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Finn Balor comes out and he says he has to be honest. He is a little tired of being left out of these conversations. You three can make claims to a lot of things, but Finn is the only one who has ever been Universal Champion. Vince says maybe one day you will again, but there is a lot of beef in there. Vince says you’ve got it all, but against Brock Lesnar and all of this beef… you are a great competitor, but I don’t know.

 

Finn says you never believed in him, but the people do. Finn says that he knows that Vince is stubborn and nothing he says will change his mind. Why doesn’t he show him. Balor drops Corbin. Drew drops Cena. Balor turns around to a Claymore Kick from Drew, who is the last one standing. Cena gets up and Drew floors him with a Claymore. Vince is happy now, he says he likes all this. Vince says let’s find out who will face Lesnar with a Fatal 4 Way tonight. Fans pop. Vince says that’s what we will do. Vince’s music hits as Drew looks down at the others laid out in the ring. Vince also looks at them and nods at Drew in approval. Drew leaves first.

 

Finn Balor walks in the back and we see Lacey Evans talking to Mickie James and Dana Brooke.

 

Jinder Mahal vs. Finn Balor

 

We go to the ring and out comes Jinder Mahal by himself. The winner of this will make it to the Fatal 4 Way main event later tonight. We go to commercial as Jinder does his entrance.

 

We are back and Mahal attacks before the bell when Samir distracts Balor. Mahal Irish whips Balor into the ringside barrier. Mahal sends Balor into the apron and then back into the ring. The referee checks on Balor to see if he can go.

 

The match starts and Balor runs into a thrust kick and Mahal gets a near fall. Mahal with crossfaces to Balor. Mahal with a reverse chin lock. Mahal goes for a sunset flip but Balor rolls through and hits a drop kick. Balor blocks an attempt for a belly-to-back suplex on the apron and Balor kicks Mahal. Balor goes for a running kick but Mahal blocks it and sends Balor face first into the apron.

 

We go to commercial.

 

We are back and Mahal with knee drops and he chokes Balor. Mahal with a hard Irish whip. Mahal with an elbow to the bridge of the nose and then he applies a rear chin lock. Mahal goes for a belly-to-back suplex but Balor counters with a lateral press and he gets a near fall. Mahal with a reverse chin lock. Balor with a jawbreaker and punches. Mahal with an elbow but Balor with a Pele Kick.

 

Balor with boots to Mahal followed by a running forearm. Balor with another running forearm and a double leg take down followed by a double stomp. Balor goes for Slingblade but Mahal blocks it. Balor kicks Samir off the apron and then back drops Mahal over the top rope. Balor with a plancha onto Mahal and Singh. Balor sets for Slingblade and hits it. Balor with a drop kick to send Mahal into the turnbuckles. Balor goes up top and hits Coup de Grace for the three count.

 

Winner: Finn Balor

 

(more…)

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Devlin comes out, Banks tries to attack Devlin with a suicide dive through the ropes, but Devlin retaliates and attacks Banks’ knee even more, stomping away at it on the steel steps. Johnny Saint comes out and explains how there is no way for Banks to compete, therefore, Saint has another opponent for Jordan Devlin to face. Finn Balor’s music plays!

 

Finn Balor vs. Jordan Devlin

 

Devlin and Balor meet face-to-face in the center of the ring and Devlin slaps Balor’s face. Balor retaliates with punches, a kick to Devlin’s abdomen, and a running dropkick. Balor with a sling blade and he climbs to the top rope but Devlin rolls out. Balor comes to the outside and tosses Devlin back inside the ring. Devlin rolls out once again, and Balor comes around the corner with a running forearm on Devlin’s head. Balor tosses Devlin back in, and as Balor climbs back inside, Devlin with a hard kick to the ropes that caused Balor to fall out of the ring.

 

Devlin goes on to the attack on the outside, hitting Balor with punches to the abdomen and ramming him against the ring apron. Devlin tosses Balor back inside the ring and hits a standing double stomp on Balor. Devlin taunts Balor with his own pose and then chokes Balor on the ropes. Balor comes off the ropes with a sunset flip, turned in to a dropkick to Devlin’s face. Devlin comes running after Balor in the corner but he’s hit with a kick to the head. Balor goes for the coupe de grace but Devlin dropkicks him off the top rope before h ever has the opportunity.

 

The ref gets to a 9 count but gets back inside the ring. Devlin stomps away and mounts Balor with punches. Devlin has Balor in the corner and hits him with abdomen punches and some loud chops. Balor swaps places with Devlin and hits even some super loud chops of his own. Devlin slaps Balor in the face, hits a urunage, and a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Devlin puts Balor in an abdominal stretch but Balor throws Devlin over with a hip toss to escape. Balor puts Devlin in to an abdominal stretch of his own but uses various shots to inflict damage on Devlin’s abdomen. Balor chops at Devlin and delivers a pele kick as they both fall to the mat.

 

Devlin charges Balor in the corner but he hits him with both boots, a clothesline, and a double stomp on Devlin’s chest. Balor uses his 1916 for a 2 count. Balor comes charging in from the corner but Devlin counters with a a back suplex that drops Balor on his head for the 2 count. Devlin goes on the offense with soccer punts to the abdomen of Balor. Devlin walks around the ring and poses, but as he goes in for another punt, Balor catches his foot and drops him. Balor with vicious stomps on a downed Devlin. Devlin escapes to the outside but Balor goes to the apron and delivers his signature running kick to Devlin’s face. Balor goes for the coupe de grace again, but Devlin pulls him down and uses the ropes for leverage as he pins him. Balor escapes at 2, Devlin performs a moonsault off the top rope but Balor gets his knees up on him.

 

Balor with a brainbuster DDT, a running dropkick that bounces Devlin off the turnbuckles, and he finally makes it off the top rope to deliver the coup de grace and get the 1-2-3!

 

Winner: Finn Balor

 

Balor poses inside the ring and celebrates with the crowd.

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Lio Rush comes out to the stage with Bobby Lashley. Rush says they have a situation. Seth Rollins has lost his mind. Rollins attacked Lashley with a chair last week and blindsided them this week. Rush says they’ll get a lawyer if something isn’t done about Rollins. Rush says the show is officially canceled. All of a sudden, Rollins attacks Lashley from behind. They brawl until Dean Ambrose runs out. Cena runs over to make the save, so McIntyre attacks him. Finn Balor’s music hits, and he runs down. Balor takes McIntyre out with a Sling Blade and clotheslines him out of the ring. Balor then wipes everyone out with a summersault senton.

 

John Cena, Seth Rollins, and Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Dean Ambrose

 

We join the match in progress. Cena leapfrogs Lashley and clotheslines him before tagging in Finn Balor. Balor comes off the top rope with a sledge to the arm. Lashley quickly takes him down and hits a scoop slam. Dean Ambrose tags in, but Balor quickly takes him down with a pair of arm drags. Ambrose has a whip reversed, but he tries for a sunset flip. Balor rolls through and dropkicks him in the face. Ambrose quickly powers him to the corner, and McIntyre tags in. McIntyre punches Balor down and applies a front facelock. McIntyre then hits an impressive vertical suplex for a two count. McIntyre talks a little trash, so Balor fights back. McIntyre quickly floors him and stomps away at him before taunting Cena. Lashley tags in and punches Balor in the ribs. Lashley applies a chin lock, but Balor fights up. Lashley quickly elbows him in the neck to take him down. Balor quickly fights out of a move, but Lashley stops him from making a tag. Lashley sends Balor to the corner, but Balor boots him back and fights off the heel side. Lashley quickly stops the tag and powers him to the corner for some shoulder thrusts. Ambrose tags in and wildly stomps away at Balor. Balor boots Ambrose back and hits an overhead kick.

 

Cena tags in and hits a pair of flying shoulder tackles and a back suplex powerbomb. Cena does the 5 Knuckle Shuffle and goes for an Attitude Adjustment on Ambrose. McIntyre blind tags in. Cena hits the AA on Ambrose and turns into a Glasgow Kiss from McIntyre. McIntyre picks up a two count.

 

We come back from the break to see Cena elbow Lashley and hit Ambrose with a dropkick. McIntyre tags in, and he punches away at Cena. Cena fights back and hits the ropes, but McIntyre counters with a spinebuster and a jackknife pin for a two count. Lashley tags in and takes Cena down for a near fall. Lashley starts posing before blindsiding Rollins. Cena then floors Lashley with an AA. Both men are down. Ambrose manages to tag in, and he applies a sleeper hold to Cena. Ambrose takes him down and cinches in the hold. Cena soon fights up, but Ambrose knees him in the midsection to take him down. Ambrose drops an elbow, and Cena rolls out of the ring to recover. Ambrose follows him outside and sends him into the ring steps.

 

We come back from the break to see Ambrose hit a snapmare on Cena and pick up a two count. Ambrose applies another sleeper hold, but Cena fights up. Ambrose is on his back, and Cena is walking to his corner. Ambrose quickly rakes the eyes and knocks Rollins off the apron. Ambrose and Cena then take one another out with a double clothesline.

 

Balor tags in, and he takes Ambrose down before knocking McIntyre off the apron. Balor takes Ambrose down and hits Lashley with a Sling Blade. Balor counters Dirty Deed with a leg sweep and a double stomp. Balor dropkicks Ambrose into the corner and hits the Coup de Grace. Balor then turns into a Claymore Kick from McIntyre! Balor is out, but he soon comes to.

 

Rollins and McIntyre are tagged in. Rollins hits a springboard clothesline and knocks Lashley off the apron. Rollins hits a step-up enzuigiri on McIntyre. McIntyre quickly drops him on the apron, so Rollins hits Lashley and Ambrose with an Asai Moonsault. Rollins goes for a springboard, but McIntyre moves. Rollins avoids a move from McIntyre and hits a falcon arrow for a near fall. The crowd is chanting, “Burn it down.” Rollins starts stomping the mat. Rollins kicks McIntyre in the midsection and hits the ropes, but McIntyre soon takes him out. McIntyre goes for an inverted Alabama Slam, but Cena comes in and hits him with an AA. Lashley then spears Cena out of nowhere. Rollins superkicks Lashley and goes outside to put McIntyre back in the ring. Rollins superkicks McIntyre and goes for a frog splash, but McIntyre moves. Ambrose tags in and goes for Dirty Deeds, but Rollins counters out and hits the Stomp for the win!

 

Winners by Pinfall: John Cena, Seth Rollins, and Finn Balor

 

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We are back with New Year’s Resolutions.

 

Finn says he is proud to have been called the first Universal Chamipon. He wants to be called the NEW Universal Champion.

 

Match Number Two: Fresh Start Number One Contender for the Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal featuring Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, Kalisto, Curt Hawkins, Titus O’Neil, Zack Ryder, Finn Balor, No Way Jose, Curtis Axel, Tyler Breeze and Bo Dallas

 

Crews tries to eliminate Corbin with help from Balor but Corbin holds on to the ropes. Corbin tries to eliminate Balor while Kalisto is on the ropes thanks to Titus but Metalik and Dorado help. Jose with an airplane spin on Viktor and Crews press slams Jose to the floor and then he does the same to Vitor. Axel and Dallas are sent to the apron. Crews kicks Konnor and flips over him and hits a few drop kicks.

 

We see Dean watching in the back. Dallas with a forearm to Balor and Axel kicks Balor too. Axel and Dallas try to eliminate Balor but Titus goes after Ryder. Lucha House Party try to eliminate Hawkins. Axel and Dallas kick Balor and Corbin gets in a few shots. Ryder goes after Konnor. Kalisto and Dorado have Hawkins hanging over the top rope. Titus punches Konnor. Mojo tries to eliminate Breeze while Dallas and Axel join in.

 

The Lucha House Party eliminate Titus.

 

We go to commercial.

 

We are back and Metalik goes to the ropes and Balor eliminates him. Kalisto is sent over the top rope and so is Dorado. Balor kicks Kalisto to the floor to eliminate him. Dorado is bieled over the top rope to the be eliminated. Corbin with clotheslines to Balor and he misses a third one and goes shoulder first into the ring post. Crews clotheslines Axel and then he tries to eliminate Dallas but Axel makes the save. Crews is sent to the apron and he back drops Axel and Dallas to the floor to eliminate both of them. Crews with a super kick to Konnor and he is eliminated. Crews eliminates Rawley.

 

Crews gets Breeze up but Breeze gets to his feet. Breeze misses an enzuigiri and Crews press slams him to teh floor. Corbin with a choke slam to Crews. Balor with slingblade and then he clotheslines Hawkins and drop kicks Corbin into the turnbuckles. Balor with an elevated elbow drop to Hawkins followed by a double stomp to Ryder. Corbin eliminates Balor.

 

We are down to Apollo Crews, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, and Baron Corbin. Ryder with a missile drop kick and forearm to Corbin in the corner. Ryder with the Broski Boot attempt but Corbin back drops Ryder to the floor. Corbin laughs at Hawkins still being in the match and Hawkins punches Corbin but Corbin sends Hawkins over the top rope to the floor. Hawkins tries to eliminate Corbin with a front face lock but Corbin holds on and eliminates Hawkins.

 

Corbin punches Crews and sends him to the apron. Crews with a punch and he goes up top and leaps over Corbin. Crews lands on his feet on a choke slam attempt. Corbin slides around the ring post and Crews with two enzuigiris to eliminate Corbin.

 

Winner: Apollo Crews

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Triple Threat: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Finn Balor

 

We go to the ring for tonight’s Triple Threat as Drew McIntyre makes his way out first. Back to commercial.

 

Back from the break and we get a “returning soon” promo for the injured Kevin Owens. McIntyre waits in the ring as Charly Caruso enters for an interview. She asks if McIntyre is worried about his opponents teaming up on him tonight. McIntyre says they are going to gang up on him and they should but it won’t make a difference because they are limited while he is limitless. McIntyre says if by some Christmas miracle they are able to get the upperhand, their ego and pride will get in the way and he will be waiting to tear their heads off. McIntyre goes on and declares himself for the Royal Rumble match, saying he will go on to fulfill his destiny of main eventing WrestleMania. McIntyre calls on his opponents to be brought out. The music hits and out comes Dolph Ziggler. We see what happened last week when McIntyre left them laying. Out next comes Finn Balor.

 

The bell rings and Drew fights off both opponents as they charge at him, dropping them both. Drew ends up going down and gets sent to the floor. Ziggler and Balor go at it now. Ziggler gets the upperhand and dropkicks Balor for a 2 count. Ziggler with some trash talking against the ropes. Balor rolls through a pin attempt and hits the basement dropkick. Balor sends Ziggler over the top rope to the floor. Balor runs the ropes for a dive but Drew trips him and pulls him out of the ring, sending him into the barrier.

 

Ziggler runs around the ring and leaps at Drew but Drew catches him in mid-move. Drew slams Ziggler into the apron and he goes down. Drew stands tall on the outside over both opponents as we go back to commercial.

 

Back from the break and Drew has Balor in the ring. Drew kicks Ziggler away from the apron, back to the floor as he tries to re-enter. Drew keeps Balor grounded now. Drew sends Balor out of the ring and he lands hard. Drew with a long vertical suplex on Ziggler in the ring now. Drew with a 2 count. Drew mounts Ziggler with strikes. Ziggler works Ziggler around and talks some trash. Balor comes back and rolls Drew up for a 2 count. Drew comes right back and levels Balor with an elbow for a close 2 count.

 

Drew stomps on Balor now, kneeling down and talking trash. Balor fights up and out with kicks but Drew shoves him back into the turnbuckles. Ziggler comes back but Drew fights him off. Drew catches Ziggler with the Glasgow Kiss headbutt. Ziggler goes down and ends up on the floor. Drew fights Balor off as they trade offense. Balor with a dropkick to the back, sending Drew into the turnbuckles. Balor goes to the top and rolls through a Coup de Grace attempt. Ziggler catches Balor with a Zig Zag for a close 2 count. Ziggler waits for Balor to get up. Balor catches the superkick. Ziggler drops Balor with a Fame-asser.

 

Drew comes in and blocks Ziggler. Drew catapults Ziggler on top of Balor. Drew covers Balor for a close 2 count. Drew waits for Balor to get up now. Balor blocks a Claymore with a Slingblade. Balor goes on and drops Drew with a kick to the face. Balor goes to the top for a Coup de Grace but Ziggler cuts him off. Ziggler ends up headbutting Drew and then dropping him with a superkick for a 2 count as Balor breaks the pin up with a Coup de Grace. Balor gets hyped up now. Balor sends Drew out of the ring to the floor. Balor dropkicks Ziggler into the turnbuckles and then hits another Coup de Grace for the pin to win.

 

Winner: Finn Balor

 

After the match, Balor stands tall and celebrates as his music hits. We go to replays. Balor looks on from the stage as Drew stares him down. Drew re-enters the ring and approaches Ziggler, who is still down. Drew grabs Ziggler and talks trash in his face as the referee warns him. Drew pushes Ziggler away and stands up to try and intimidate the referee. Ziggler jumps up from behind and nails the Zig Zag, laying Drew out. Ziggler makes his exit up the ramp as his music plays.

 

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