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WNS Column: Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor: A Fantasy Booking Scenario

WNS Column: Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor: A Fantasy Booking Scenario

Finn Balor vs. Brock Lesnar. If you think about it, it really is a classic mythological tale. "The Demon King" vs. "The Beast Incarnate". The talented, mysterious, supernatural, dark warrior taking on the unstoppable killing machine. At first glance, it may not seem like Finn Balor would stand much of a chance against Brock Lesnar. After all, Brock Lesnar is the animal who conquered The Undertaker's WrestleMania Undefeated Streak. Brock Lesnar is the animal who has completely slaughtered John Cena, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, The Big Show, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman, and everybody else who has crossed his path. Brock Lesnar is a four-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, a one-time WWE Universal Champion, 2002 WWE King of the Ring, 2003 WWE Royal Rumble Winner, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, and a former NCAA Division 1 Heavyweight Champion. Brock Lesnar stands 6'3" and weighs 286 pounds. Finn Balor is 5'11" and 190 pounds. But as we've seen in NXT and on WWE's main roster, "The Demon King" inside of Finn Balor is a force of nature that may be mighty enough and ferocious enough to stand toe-to-toe with Paul Heyman's "Beast Incarnate."
 
To give a quick summary of Finn Balor's career, he competed all over the globe as Prince Devitt and made a name for himself as one of the most talented and charismatic wrestling stars that could be found anywhere in the world. He spent nearly a decade in New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he cemented his legacy as one of the greatest Junior Heavyweight competitors in NJPW history. He founded the now legendary and infamous Bullet Club faction, which continues to dominate the wrestling business in both Ring of Honor and NJPW. He signed with WWE in 2014 and made an immediate impact in the NXT developmental territory under his new name of Finn Balor. Finn comes from Finn MacCool, a legendary warrior from Old Irish mythology. And Balor, like MacCool, also comes from Old Irish mythology. Balor was the King of the Fomorians, who could be described as either demons or other monstrous creatures.
 
On July 4, 2015, Finn Balor defeated "The Prizefighter" Kevin Owens to capture the NXT Championship in Tokyo, Japan. Balor went on to become the greatest NXT Champion of all time, elevating both the NXT Championship and the NXT brand itself to a whole new level. Some would even argue that it was during the reign of Finn Balor that NXT went from being a developmental territory to somewhat of a full-fledged WWE brand alongside Raw and SmackDown. Whether or not this is actually the case is still debatable, but nobody can deny that NXT is by far the biggest developmental territory that WWE has ever had and it certainly blurs the line between a developmental territory and a full-fledged WWE main roster brand. The contributions of people like Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Samoa Joe, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Chad Gable, Jason Jordan, Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Shinsuke Nakamura, Hideo Itami, Bobby Roode, Drew McIntyre, Roderick Strong, Aleister Black, and all the other past and present NXT stars, are what have made NXT a very exciting element to WWE and the WWE Network.
 
Finn Balor unleashed "The Demon" inside of him on a handful of occasions during his time in NXT, usually for high-profile NXT Championship title matches. As dangerous as Finn Balor is, "The Demon King" is something far more deadly. "The Demon King" is Finn Balor at his absolute best; physically, mentally, and spiritually. Not unlike how Mick Foley was at his most dangerous when he transformed into the "Cactus Jack" persona, or how Kane is more dangerous when he wears his mask, when Finn Balor puts on his war paint and turns into "The Demon King," he becomes something primal and otherworldly.
 
In his own right, Brock Lesnar has been made to look like a supernatural, mythological being ever since he defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30. So what would happen if you were to put Brock Lesnar against Finn Balor? What happens if you put "The Beast Incarnate" against the King of the Fomorians? What happens if "The Demon King" enters Suplex City?
 
This is a match that needs to happen. Finn Balor received an incredible reaction from the WWE fans during his brief stint on the main roster in 2016 before he got injured at SummerSlam in his match against Seth Rollins. It was during this match that Finn Balor, battling through injury, captured the newly activated WWE Universal Championship. Although he wasn't able to defend the title, history will always show that Finn Balor was the first-ever WWE Universal Champion. Had he not gotten injured, it appeared as though Finn Balor was set to be one of the most popular champions that WWE had seen in years. And there's no reason to think that this can't still happen at some point down the road.
 
Considering his in-ring talent and popularity with the fans, WWE would be foolish not to put him in a pay-per-view main event match against Brock Lesnar at some point in the future, specifically at a WrestleMania. The pure storytelling leading up to the match could be fantastic. Finn Balor is an easy character to create promos and vignettes for, as is Brock Lesnar. And Brock Lesnar's advocate Paul Heyman is one of the greatest talkers in wrestling history and would certainly know what to say to help create a big-fight atmosphere leading up to the match. Most importantly, the match itself could be one of the greatest bouts in WWE history if Lesnar and Balor can put their heads together and lay out a match that would bring out the best in both of them.
 
Brock Lesnar has been completely owning everybody on the roster for years now. That's fine. But somebody has to beat him at some point. Somebody has to eventually dethrone Lesnar and take over as the new indestructible force that reigns supreme over the WWE landscape, just as Lesnar essentially took that spot from The Undertaker. WWE has made the rest of the roster look inferior to Lesnar. There aren't many people left who could conceivably even stand a chance against Lesnar in a one-on-one situation. At this point, Roman Reigns is really the only one who's been made to look almost equal to Lesnar inside the ring. Braun Strowman? Brock Lesnar beat him with one F5 at No Mercy 2017. Samoa Joe? Brock Lesnar beat him with one F5 at Great Balls of Fire 2017. John Cena? Brock Lesnar slaughtered him at SummerSlam 2014. The one to beat Brock Lesnar would certainly not be somebody like Bray Wyatt, who might be the single most misused character in WWE history. Bray Wyatt has been made to look far too weak to physically match up against Brock Lesnar, so Wyatt wouldn't be a logical choice. But from a pure storytelling standpoint, "The Demon King" Finn Balor is the perfect choice.
 
They could even factor The Undertaker into the storyline between Finn Balor and Brock Lesnar. Although Roman Reigns seemingly ended The Undertaker's career at WrestleMania 33, they could still possibly do a segment where The Undertaker endorses Finn Balor and symbolically passes the torch to Balor as the supernatural figure who dominates the company. Again, it should be noted that the ship has already sailed for Bray Wyatt to be positioned into that role. But it would be poetic justice if Finn Balor, the new supernatural force with Undertaker's endorsement, defeats Brock Lesnar, who more or less destroyed the old supernatural force when he ended The Streak at WrestleMania 30. If WWE doesn't want to have Bray Wyatt fill The Undertaker's spot (which CLEARLY they don't), then Finn Balor's "Demon King" persona would be an excellent candidate to fill that spot.
 
Speaking of The Undertaker, if you really think about it, it would actually make sense for Undertaker to endorse Finn Balor on television because of a possible connection between the two characters. The Undertaker character has often been depicted as having druids who serve him and foretell his imminent arrival. Druids, as we think of them today, actually originated from the old British Isles and also play an important role in Old Irish mythology. And according to some fans online, when The Undertaker used to speak in tongues when he was "The Lord of Darkness" back in 1998 and 1999, he was actually speaking some variation of Old Irish or Old Gaelic and not Latin or some other language as many people believed.
 
It's never been stated outright on WWE programming that The Undertaker was of Irish decent or that Irish mythology had anything to do with the Undertaker character, but the fact that he has druids who serve him, combined with the fact that he allegedly was speaking some modified form of Old Irish or Gaelic when he used to speak in tongues, suggests that Old Irish supernatural mythology may have slightly influenced the Undertaker character over the years, particularly when he was the leader of the Ministry of Darkness in 1999.
 
An Undertaker/Old Irish theory may be a bit out there, but Finn Balor is still the perfect candidate to take over from The Undertaker as the new supernatural entity that watches over the WWE Universe. It could be a great segment if Undertaker were to give his endorsement to Finn Balor. Surely the reaction from the fans would be incredibly loud and very positive. And a perfect time to do a segment like that would be either just before or right after Finn Balor becomes the one to finally take down the unbeatable force that is Brock Lesnar.
 
The Undertaker wouldn't be a necessary component for the Balor-Lesnar feud though. It would be a great added bonus if they were to use Undertaker to help get Balor over even more, but Undertaker's involvement would not be crucial to a Finn Balor-Brock Lesnar feud. Balor vs. Lesnar itself would be an amazing story to tell. While normal Finn Balor probably wouldn't pose too much of a threat to Lesnar, just imagine what it would be like if Lesnar had to deal with the demon that lurks inside of Balor. A few German Suplexes and one F5 should be enough to keep regular Finn Balor down for the three count, but what about "The Demon King"? How many Suplexes and F5's could the demon possibly endure? How would Lesnar deal with the fast-paced, rapid-fire attacks that the demon would surely throw at him?
 
There were rumors that Brock Lesnar was set to defend the Universal Championship against Finn Balor at the upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view, but now the word is that Lesnar is scheduled to have an interpromotional non-title match against SmackDown Live's WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. While some fans were disappointed to hear this, it could actually work out nicely to save a Lesnar-Balor feud for later on. Perhaps we'll see Lesnar vs. Balor at Royal Rumble in January. Or perhaps WWE will change their rumored plans for WrestleMania and book a match between Lesnar and Balor at "The Grandest Stage of Them All."
 
Although Brock Lesnar's one-on-one matches have been rather lackluster over the past few years, he has shown that he is more than capable of having great matches. In 2015, Lesnar had two incredible matches against The Undertaker at SummerSlam and Hell in a Cell. A Lesnar-Balor match wouldn't necessarily have to last for 30 minutes, but they could have a fantastic match if it even lasts for 15 minutes after the ring entrances and introductions. Let them get their signature moves in, have both of them kick out of some near falls, and at the end of the match, let "The Demon King" show that he can not and will not be denied of his victory. Have Balor finally finish Lesnar off with the Coup de Grâce (more than just one, this is Brock Lesnar after all) and have "The Demon King" get a clean victory over "The Beast Incarnate."
 
If they were to have a series of matches, the most logical thing to do would be to have Lesnar easily destroy normal Finn Balor in a typical Brock Lesnar squash match in their first encounter. This wouldn't make Balor look bad, as Lesnar always squashes everybody. A loss to Lesnar would knock Balor down the ladder in terms of the contender rankings though, so maybe do an angle where Balor realizes that he has to transform into "The Demon King" in order to get another shot at Lesnar. Whether they do some kind of a tournament or maybe just a Triple Threat or Fatal 4-Way Match, have "The Demon King" defeat all other contenders to get another chance at the Universal Championship.
 
Although Lesnar probably wouldn't be worried about "The Demon King" persona, his advocate Paul Heyman could do an excellent job at selling the point that normal Finn Balor and "The Demon King" are two different entities. Lesnar wouldn't show fear or even concern after squashing normal Finn Balor, but Heyman could be the one who shows fear and concern about "The Demon King."
 
In their second match, they could do a scenario similar to Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg at Survivor Series 2016 where Lesnar went into the match overconfident and ended up getting squashed by Goldberg. Have Lesnar go into the match totally underestimating Finn Balor as "The Demon King" and have Balor get a relatively quick victory over Lesnar to win the Universal Championship, even if it's just with a simple move like a quick roll-up. After the match, have Lesnar attack Balor and hit him with an F5. Just when it looks as though Lesnar is about to destroy Balor, the lights go out for a few moments and then Balor is standing at the entrance ramp with his hand raised in victory, clutching the Universal Championship.
 
This means that Lesnar has one victory over normal Finn Balor, and a squash victory at that. But now Balor as "The Demon King" has managed to pick up a quick win over Lesnar for the Universal Championship, although neither one of them took much damage in the match. Their third and final match should be the one that is truly competitive and back-and-forth. More than one F5 and more than one Coup de Grâce should be used in this match. Lesnar just can't keep Balor down but Balor can't find a way to defeat the enraged "Beast Incarnate." After Lesnar hits the second or even third F5 on Balor, have Balor just barely kick out. Lesnar picks him up with a look of fury on his face but then Balor lets out a primal scream and fights back with a ferocious onslaught of offense. Have Balor give Lesnar the Coup de Grâce a few times in a row and finally put him down to retain the Universal Championship.
 
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