For 57:38 in the Men’s Royal Rumble Match, Finn Bálor fought in pursuit of a WrestleMania championship opportunity until John Cena eliminated him. Following that interaction, The Extraordinary Man and The Cenation Leader were paired in a win-and-you’re-in contest with an Elimination Chamber slot at stake. Bálor was as focused as ever, exuding enough confidence that he battled Cena without the backup of Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson.
For a long stretch, he appeared to have made the right call. Bálor frustrated Cena in the early goings of the first-time-ever match, even powering his way out of a test of strength. The Cenation Leader opted to Irish Whip Bálor into the ring posts with all the power he could muster, a brutish if effective strategy that nonetheless spurned Bálor to rally.
Bálor did achieve the extraordinary, kicking out of a thunderous Attitude Adjustment and breaking out of an STF, but Cena had just a little bit more in the tank, hoisting the first-ever Universal Champion to the second turnbuckle and executing an avalanche AA that sent him to Elimination Chamber. As for Bálor, after an hour-plus of all-time cumulative efforts over the course of two nights, it seems he’ll have to wait a little while longer.