Outside of those lucky enough to be at a couple of UK independent shows in recent weeks, we haven’t seen hide nor hair of Finn Balor since he was forced to vacate the WWE Universal Championship due to a massive shoulder injury he suffered while winning the title in the first place. Original timelines put Balor at having a chance to return in time for the annual Royal Rumble PPV, but later reports said that WrestleMania was a far more likely option. One has to imagine, though, that if Balor could make it back into the ring for the Rumble, he’d become an instant favorite to win the match and get that title shot at WrestleMania, likely challenging for the belt he never lost. This week on ESPN, Balor allowed a little light to shine at the end of the tunnel, when asked if there was a possibility if he could make it back in time.
“You know, that’s obviously a huge rumor, and I would never be one to fuel the rumor mills, but to be a surprise entrant in the Rumble would be a huge moment for me. I’m sure it would create quite a buzz, but right now with the condition my shoulder is in, I’m not willing to risk sustaining any more long-term injury, just for the sake of two or three weeks. Since I got hurt, it was six months [out]. The target was to be back for WrestleMania. Everything’s on plan, everything’s on schedule.”
“If the day of the Royal Rumble, Vince McMahon says, ‘You got your gear with you?’ Then I’m sure I’ll be around…It’s not something I want to risk unless I’m 100 percent confident that this is 100 percent.”
Well, he didn’t say “No”…