As thrilling as Finn Bálor’s ascension to Intercontinental Champion was, it may have been, in hindsight, on borrowed time. Yes, he won the title off Bobby Lashley in a Triple Threat, but Lio Rush took the pinfall, and Bálor’s only title defense — which was very close — was against The Man of the Hour. All of which seemed to suggest Finn’s grip on his title was perhaps less secure than he seemed to think, and his time finally ran out on Raw when Lashley finally got his one-on-one rematch, bestowed upon him off the strength of his pinfall victory in last week’s Six-Man tussle.
Even what would seem like a competitive edge on paper — Bálor, after all, did not get rolled by The Shield last night — seemed to be paying little dividends, as Lashley’s power turned this bout one-sided in a hurry. The Irishman fought back to set up Lashley up for the Coup de Grâce in what could only be described as a miraculous rally, at which point Rush made his presence known by clanging on the ring bell, distracting the titleholder from his perch atop the turnbuckle. Finn disposed of the interfering hype man on the ring apron, but Lashley made good on his recovery time with a massive Spear that knocked Bálor to the ring mid-springboard and put him down for the victory. So Lashley gets his gold. The once-disgraced Rush gets his groove back. And while there might be an asterisk to this victory, The All Mighty and Rush don’t seem likely to care. One wanted his title back. The other wanted his good standing back. They both walked away happy, and Finn Bálor barely walked out at all.