Jim Ross On Whether He Thinks Replacing Braun Strowman With Finn Balor Was A Good Idea


On the latest episode of “The Ross Report”, JR discusses the WWE’s decision to replace Braun Strowman with Finn Balor in the Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble. Ross believes that while Balor’s portrayal has been underwhelming at times, he believes that he could have a better match against Lesnar than Strowman would. Ross also went onto say that he wouldn’t be at all surprised if Balor left with the belt. Here are the highlights:

On Why He Thinks The Match Will Be Better With Balor In It:

I think the issue of taking Braun Strowman out of the dream match against Brock Lesnar was somewhat controversial. 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.

On Why The WWE Needs To Book Balor More Like They Did At NXT Takeover: Blackpool and Less Like They Do At 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. 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.

On Why He Thinks Balor Could Beat Lesnar At The Rumble:

I’m happy that [Bálor] is getting this opportunity and win or lose, that’s where we are. 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.

On Why Putting The Title On Balor Wouldn’t Be A Bad Idea:

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. 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.

On Not Buying Into The “Balor Is Too Small” Narrative:

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. It [has] got lots of holes in that one.

You can listen to the full episode of The Ross Report below:


Credit: The Ross Report. H/T WrestlingInc.

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