After nearly a month away, Finn Balor returned to Monday Night Raw to renew a rivalry.
Finn Balor last appeared on Monday Night Raw on December 20 where he defeated Austin Theory. After the match, an enraged Theory attacked Balor backstage and delivered a brutal beatdown that wrote the former Universal Champion off television for nearly a month.
Vince McMahon has been serving as mentor to the former member of The Way in recent weeks, and before his match with the returning Balor, the young star had a meeting with the Chairman in his office. McMahon had been watching the footage of Balor’s win on December 20th. Theory tried to defend his defeat by pointing out his brutal attack on Finn Balor after the match, saying that it almost counted as half a win, but McMahon wasn’t impressed.
Mr. McMahon said that he’d be watching Austin Theory’s rematch with Balor closely, and if he were to lose again, the Chairman himself would take a selfie and send it to Theory’s mom.
The words seemed to motivate the young star, who, looking to impress Mr. McMahon, was able to achieve a clean pinfall victory over Finn Balor. He celebrated in his signature style, taking selfies with the fallen Balor and also of himself as he walked up the ramp in victory.
— WWE (@WWE) January 18, 2022
Austin Theory gained the on-screen attention of Mr. McMahon after he was revealed to be the culprit behind the Chairman’s missing Cleopatra’s Egg at Survivor Series. Theory admitted to stealing the egg so that he could take a selfie with it, and McMahon admired the young star’s gumption.
Mark Henry is also a fan of the young star. Speaking on Busted Open Radio, the WWE Hall of Famer was asked what star under the age of 25 could ascend to greatness, and singled out Austin Theory as a potential future face of the WWE.
“I was torn and I ended up with Austin Theory because he’s doing something that very few wrestlers get to do, i.e. play Robin to Batman, which is playing Robin to Vince McMahon. Austin (Stone Cold) did it, The Rock did it, Mankind did it, and you go down the list of guys that had serious interactions with Vince, those storylines with Vince: who did they become? The face of the company, ‘The Guy.’”
“Austin Theory is on that trajectory. He’s young, he can be groomed, he listens, he wants to be great, and he realizes the position is that he is in, and he’s doing what he’s told and he’ll be a star.”