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The final time card for the show was not written until 4pm est on Sunday. There were many changes on the show but most of them were in the main event and the order of eliminations.
Finn Balor was orginally going to be the one to pin John Cena in the men's elimination match. As we saw on Survior Series, Finn hit the Coup de Grace and then much confusion took place when Kurt Angle ended up pinning him. As Dave Meltzer also touched on, Vince McMahon has had a change of heart on the Finn Balor push and potential Royal Rumble match against Brock Lesnar. Dave noted that Vince did not think Finn was getting over with the crowd enough but there is much more to this situation.
During the last few weeks Vince has had concerns about Finn's size. During the RAW/Smackdown invasion angles, Vince felt Finn's size was interfering in the legitimacy of the attacks. WWE did Finn no favors with the short program with Elias, a nothing Bray Wyatt feud and then getting absolutely buried by Kane on RAW. Vince loves Balor's Demon persona and the paint; however, Vince is still hung up on Finn Balor's stature. This is also the reason why Balor lost clean to Samoa Joe on RAW.
Brock Lesnar was apparently looking forward to the match with Finn Balor and Paul Heyman has been hinting at it for months now. Brock was already a huge supporter of AJ Styles and pushed to work with him for a long time. Brock knows working with better, smaller workers makes him look better and makes the match much better.
(Thomas Reacts: While I do not feel this is the end of a push for Finn, I feel it is a stop for now. While Vince could always have a change of heart and rush a rebuild, once Vince sours on something it is very tough. Brock could also interject his imput to Vince but that also depends on who is planned for him now. The next 3 months for Finn are the most important for him moving forward in WWE.)
Triple H and Kurt Angle were both banged up after Survior Series and Angle was going into it with his leg and thigh being all taped up. Both men are 48 years old and have lots of miles on those bodies and while Hunter seems to always be in great shape he is used to working once or twice a year and has worked multiple times over the last few weeks now. The plan as of Sunday was still for these two to face each other at Wrestlemania; however, there is talk that could see this being moved up to Royal Rumble to take some pressure off of them as well as set up other options at Mania.
With all the changes on the Raw brand, the main event situation until Wrestlemania will require a lot of decisions to be made. One would think the Kane/Braun Strowman program will be over before Royal Rumble which gives the option of going with Strowman as the winner in the Rumble match or having him face Brock Lesnar again which makes little sense as Braun does not need to lose to Brock again and it's obvious at this point Brock is not losing until he faces Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania.
The return of Paige and adding Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose was not made until late in the weekend. While WWE did leave Mandy off NXT TV and the plan was to bring her and Deville up, the decision to have the three of them forming a faction was not made until later. Originally, Ruby Riot was going to be with Paige but they wanted to showcase Ruby more hence her being on Smackdown as the leader of the new group (Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan and Ruby Riot) on there.
There is multiple reasons for all the female star call-ups. First of all, WWE was intent on signing many women from the Mae Young Classic but they simply didn't have enough room for them in NXT. This helps clear out some of the female roster and allows the company to hire more of those independant female stars.
This call-up was also done to give WWE the option of a Women's Royal Rumble. The Women's Rumble was talked about for a long time but there still has not yet been a decision made on if the Women's Rumble will happen. With this turn of events though, it now gives them the option to do the match.