Finn Balor was personally hand-picked by Brock Lesnar for a title match at Royal Rumble

Finn Balor

The most recent edition of Monday Night Raw kicked off with Vince McMahon ushering in a new challenger for Brock Lesnar's Universal Championship.

It came after he 'fined' Braun Strowman and took him out of his scheduled challenge of Lesnar at the Royal Rumble after he flipped McMahon's limousine.

In reality, WWE officials still haven't cleared Strowman to work a heavy-duty match following his elbow surgery two months ago, and also decided they didn't want to have the Monster Among Men lose yet again to the Beast.

So a back-up plan needed to be made, and a hastily-arranged Fatal Four-Way main event was scheduled between Finn Balor, John Cena, Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre.

And it was the Demon King who picked up the pinfall on Cena, booking a ticket to Suplex City against the former UFC heavyweight champion.

Finn Balor pinned John Cena on Raw and the 16-time world champion endorsed the Irishman after the match.

But it may not have been all Vince's decision to give Balor the opportunity on the big stage.

According to this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, per WhatCulture, Dave Meltzer has stated that Balor was hand-picked by the champion Lesnar to face him at the Rumble.

It must be a case of Lesnar wanting to throw around the smaller guys, as he's clearly liked working with stars such as AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan in the past, such is the level he went to sell for them.

Furthermore, Meltzer also wrote that Balor's 'Demon' alter-ego is not set for an appearance at the Rumble.

Brock Lesnar reportedly hand-picked Balor as his next opponent.

The idea behind that is McMahon wants to protect it as a huge character and would rather he not take a loss when donning the paint.

Don't expect a shock title switch though - as Lesnar is still massively favourite to retain the title and head to WrestleMania at the Metlife Stadium with the red belt over his shoulder.

Lesnar's big appearances mean more money for WWE and Vince, and with a return to UFC on the horizon, Brock's cross-promotional appeal means that he's never going to lose the strap before the Grandest Stage of Them All.

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