Finn Balor replacing Braun Strowman in title match against Brock Lesnar.
For weeks now, WWE has advertised a heavyweight showdown between "The Monster Among Men" Braun Strowman and Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble PPV on January 27.
Last night on Monday Night Raw, WWE pivoted from that bout. Strowman was pulled from the match as part of a storyline involving Vince McMahon and his beloved limousine.
Instead, Lesnar will be putting his Universal Championship on the line against Finn Balor, who earned a title shot by beating John Cena, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin in a Fatal 4-Way match on Monday Night Raw.
According to a report by Wrestling Observer, “Brock Lesnar vs Finn Bálor was always the main event of the show," and Strowman was only advertised as Lesnar’s opponent for so long because WWE wanted to sell tickets for the Royal Rumble PPV at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
Strowman is coming off an elbow surgery, which may be part of the reason he was pulled from his match against Lesnar. Additionally, WWE didn't want the Monster to suffer another loss to The Beast Incarnate. Therefore, they went with the traditional "David vs Goliath" matchup.
Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer reports the plan is to have Brock defeat Balor, and then go on to face Rumble-favorite Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 35.
The Royal Rumble PPV, taking place in Phoenix, Arizona, will air on Sunday, January 27.