Jim Ross On Finn Balor Replacing Braun Strowman Against Brock Lesnar At The Royal Rumble

Recently on The Jim Ross Report, WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross weighed in on WWE Monday Night RAW's Finn Bálor replacing WWE Superstar Braun Strowman in the Universal Championship match versus Brock Lesnar at WWE Royal Rumble this Sunday. Specifically, Ross noted that Bálor versus Lesnar has the potential to be a stronger match than the originally schedule match between Lesnar and Strowman. Ross suggested that RAW's presentation of Bálor has been "underwhelming" at times. Additionally, Ross suggested that Bálor beating Lesnar for the Universal Championship is not completely out of the realm of possibility.

According to Ross, he has no problem with Bálor replacing Strowman in the Royal Rumble match against Lesnar. 'J.R.' suggested that the bout could be an "infinitely better" with Bálor in the mix instead of Strowman.

"I think the issue of taking Braun Strowman out of the dream match against Brock Lesnar was somewhat controversial," Ross said. "From what I understand, that was the decision that was going to be made, that was made long ago, and it has little to do with, as I'm told, Strowman's medical condition. So it sounds like it was just like a creative change of plans. And if that's the case, that's the case. You want to make sure that you get a resource and an asset like Braun Strowman. You don't need many missteps in his ascension to the top of the card. So I think sometimes we get impatient unnecessarily. That may have been the case here. I don't know.

"I think the Finn Bálor addition and the way he earned the opportunity is a better story. I think that Bálor and Lesnar will have a better match. At the end of the day, it's easy to stand back and b---h about a booking change, which I understand if you're dead set on Lesnar versus Strowman, I could understand your apprehension, but at the end of the day, again, the match with Bálor versus Lesnar will be an infinitely better match, a different match, than two super heavyweights colliding, so I have no issues with it quite frankly."

In Ross's view, the NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool version of Bálor is preferable to the sometimes "underwhelming" incarnation of Bálor on RAW.  

"The Finn Bálor that I saw last weekend in England, in Blackpool, is the Finn Bálor that I want to see on a regular basis in WWE," Ross proclaimed. "I don't need a disingenuous smile for no reason. Smile when you've got something to smile about. But quite frankly, the presentation of Finn on Monday Night RAW has been underwhelming at times and I think that effects his work as well. Why wouldn't it? It certainly would [effect] mine."

Although Bálor will likely do the honors at Royal Rumble if rumors of WWE brass wanting Lesnar to main event WrestleMania with former Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins are true, 'The Voice Of The Attitude Era' suggested that Bálor could pick up the upset victory of 'The Beast Incarnate'.  

"I'm happy that [Bálor] is getting this opportunity and win or lose, that's where we are," Ross began. "I guess what you have to consider about this match is could Bálor upset Lesnar and be the Universal Champion heading into WrestleMania? He certainly could. He certainly could. It wouldn't shock me a bit. But you've got to think, who does WWE want in that title match at WrestleMania? I keep hearing they want Lesnar and Rollins. Okay, if you know that's what they want, then, Bálor will do the honors at the Royal Rumble, but he'll go down in a blaze of glory with an amazing story being told. So looking at it ahead, but maybe Bálor is their guy and they're going to have him match up with say, Seth Rollins at WrestleMania. Well, you know the match is going to be badass."

Ross divulged that he believes in Bálor and that there are worse things WWE could do much worse than having Bálor upset Lesnar and winning the Universal title.  

"The Finn Bálor I saw in the match against Jordan Devlin [at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool] is the Finn Bálor I want to see. I'll say this later on, but, again, I don't need a smiley face. You're already going in as an underdog against most guys, simply because of the weight, but I believe in Finn Bálor. I believe he has everything it takes to get over, and be over, and stay over. And with the Finn Bálor that we saw on WWE Network last weekend, is the guy I need to see more of because I think he's a moneymaker." Ross added, "now he's going to face Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble. I perceive it will be an outstanding matchup. And depending on what WWE wants to do [at] WrestleMania, who's going to leave there as their champions. There are worse ideas than Finn Bálor upsetting Lesnar and defeating 'The Beast', but we'll see. But he had a great week. He's getting recognized. He [has] got to stay in that killer mode, not unassuming babyface smiley mode. But he had a hell of a week and he's a big time talent and I'm proud for him. He's getting the opportunity to steal the show at the Royal Rumble."

Ross went on to say that he refuses to entertain claims that Bálor is too small.

"I'm not going to engage in any conversation over the fact that Bálor's too small to make a difference because I'm not going to waste my breath or what braincells I have left to try to make sense of that theory. It's not very accurate." Ross continued, "it [has] got lots of holes in that one."

Check out the podcast here or in the audio player below. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit The Jim Ross Report with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Source: The Jim Ross Report


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