Why WWE should keep Finn Balor in the mid-card
Analysis of Finn Bálor's current booking situation and how he should enter WrestleMania 34.
On the heels of the annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view and Monday Night Raw, Bálor's direction towards Wrestlemania 34 has yet to be clarified.
Despite an iron man performance in the Men's Royal Rumble for 57 minutes and 38 seconds, entering at number 2 and lasting up until the final four, Bálor was eliminated by John Cena to a chorus of boos from the Philadelphia crowd.
The following night, Bálor lost to Cena in a mediocre qualifying match for the Elimination Chamber event that will determine the number one contender for the Universal Championship at Wrestlemania.
The most intriguing spot of the match was where Cena taunted the crowd with the "Too Sweet"-sign while hoisting Bálor on his shoulders before delivering the Attitude Adjustment. However, as a way of "protecting" Bálor, Cena was only able to get the three count after delivering the more powerful 'super' AA from the second turnbuckle.
Although knowing Roman Reigns will probably emerge as the clear winner of the Elimination Chamber to go on to WrestleMania and face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, the loss to Cena gives Bálor an unpredictable journey to the Grandest Stage of Them All as we have no clue of what his contribution might be to the Elimination Chamber card.
Assuming there will be no heel turn leading up to WrestleMania 34, the best booking decision for Bálor, at least after Elimination Chamber to avoid prolonging a feud and keeping it fresh for WrestleMania, is to have a feud with the self-proclaimed "A-Lister", current Intercontinental Champion The Miz.
As the feud between Reigns and The Miz has seemingly culminated on the 29 January edition of Raw, The Miz can have a fresh never-before seen feud with Bálor for the prestigious title on WWE's biggest show of the year. Moreover, both The Club and The Miztourage can serve as fuel to the feud as it is well-known that stables can provide more freedom and possibilities.
Seeing how WWE is reluctant to give Bálor his long overdue Universal Title rematch after relinquishing it due to injury back in 2016, keeping him on the mid-card for now looks to be the best option to keep him relevant.
Letting Bálor win the Intercontinental Championship might also serve as a gateway and preparation for him to re-enter the world title picture after Lesnar (most likely) drops the Universal Championship to Reigns at WrestleMania.
Not forgetting how he achieved the seemingly impossible, pinning Reigns clean (!) on his main roster debut, a feud between Bálor and Reigns in 2018 for the Universal Championship could work wonders for the WWE.