The last time Finn Bálor appeared on WWE Raw, it was in August, to surrender the Universal Championship the night after he won it at SummerSlam. He’s been rehabbing hard ever since, and despite rampant rumors of a surprise appearance at Royal Rumble, he wasn’t cleared in time. His return target has always been WrestleMania 33, but the biggest show of the year came and went on Sunday, with nary a peep from the accursed Irishman.
A WWE writer revealed a few weeks ago that if Seth Rollins had ended up being unable to compete against Triple H at WrestleMania due to his knee injury, the backup plan was to pit Triple H against Bálor. And the two men were on opposite sides of a series of six-man main event tags at Raw Live Events after Bálor made his return to a WWE ring a few weeks ago, so that story seems to check out.
Regardless, fans were getting anxious to see Bálor, and it appears they were saving him for a big return on the annual massive Raw After WrestleMania. On Monday, we finally got our wish, as Bálor made his triumphant return to WWE television.
Seth Rollins was scheduled to team with Chris Jericho in the main event against Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe, but the baddies beat down Jericho backstage and put him through a table. New Raw general manager Kurt Angle told Rollins that Jericho was in no condition to compete, but promised him he would find him a partner. And he did indeed: the Demon King himself; the leader of the Bálor Club, Finn Bálor.
Bálor and Rollins — who competed against each other for the right to be the first Universal Champion — emerged triumphant in their match.