This week on Monday Night Raw, WWE made some major changes to their Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble.
At the start of the night, Braun Strowman was still booked to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal title at the Royal Rumble on January 27 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
However, by the end of the show, that had all changed, as Finn Balor was booked to face The Beast for the title instead after The Monster Among Men was removed by Vince McMahon from the match.
Storyline-wise, Strowman was removed from the match due to the damage he did to Vince McMahon's limo at the start of the show.
Many fans have speculated that the reason why he was removed from the Universal title match at the Rumble was that he's still recovering from elbow surgery he had back in December, but this isn't the complete story.
On PWInsider audio, via Wrestling News, Mike Johnson stated that Braun was pulled from the match because he's not physically cleared by WWE’s medical staff to do a big heavy duty match with Lesnar.
Johnson also noted that WWE doesn't want Braun to lose to Brock again, and they're not planning on putting the title on The Monster Among Men at the Rumble.
Booking Balor in the match instead of Strowman last night on Raw was a way for WWE to get themselves out of the situation.
If this is true, those that were hoping Balor would beat Lesnar and win the Universal title once more at the Rumble will likely be disappointed, as it looks like The Beast will be walking into WrestleMania again as Universal Champion.
This could also mean that WWE is looking to still book Strowman vs Lesnar at a later date, possibly at WrestleMania, despite the reports that have suggested The Beast will feud with Seth Rollins at the show.News Now - Sport News