SAN JOSE — Leading into WWE TLC, Baron Corbin used a simple threat to keep his enemies in check: Fall in line, lest you end up on the “wrong side of history” and have to answer to the likes of Drew McIntyre. But history can change in an instant, and The Scottish Psychopath’s planned obliteration of Finn Bálor ended up as yet another extraordinary notch in the former Universal Champion’s belt.

Of course, McIntyre didn’t necessarily need the promise of Corbin’s favor to come out swinging against Bálor; the Scotsman is big into statement beatings these days, and his punishing opening salvo against The Extraordinary Man had the feeling of someone who would have gladly done it for free. Just minutes in, Bálor’s chest was welted, and his legs were wobbly after being chopped and tossed by The Scottish Terminator with ruthless impunity.

Drew McIntyre sends Finn Bálor flying across the ring with belly-to-belly throw: WWE TLC 2018 (WWE Network Exclusive)

Finn Bálor looks to hold his own against the larger Drew McIntyre: Courtesy of WWE Network.

If there’s any way to describe Bálor’s rally against McIntyre — other than “miraculous” — it would be, “slowly, then all at once.” It was a kick here, a DDT there, and before anybody knew it, Finn was going a mile-a-minute, and we had ourselves a match. McIntyre was smart enough to bait Finn into his own power offense, and it seemed like the Scotsman’s might would be the deciding word on the evening. That is, at least, until Dolph Ziggler blasted him with a superkick after running in from the crowd.

Ziggler’s attempt to brutalize his former tag team partner with a steel chair was thwarted when the Scot booted it into the former World Heavyweight Champion, but the digression was more than enough to give Bálor the recovery time he needed. As the Scot busied himself with Ziggler, Finn sprinted with a running dropkick that drove the steel chair into McIntyre’s chest, following up with a Coup de Grâce to earn the victory. If there’s any way to describe McIntyre’s loss — other than “shocking” — it would simply be that he took his eye off the ball. The rest, as they say, is history.

SAN JOSE — Leading into WWE TLC, Baron Corbin used a simple threat to keep his enemies in check: Fall in line, lest you end up on the “wrong side of history” and have to answer to the likes of Drew McIntyre. But history can change in an instant, and The Scottish Psychopath’s planned obliteration of Finn Bálor ended up as yet another extraordinary notch in the former Universal Champion’s belt.

Of course, McIntyre didn’t necessarily need the promise of Corbin’s favor to come out swinging against Bálor; the Scotsman is big into statement beatings these days, and his punishing opening salvo against The Extraordinary Man had the feeling of someone who would have gladly done it for free. Just minutes in, Bálor’s chest was welted, and his legs were wobbly after being chopped and tossed by The Scottish Terminator with ruthless impunity.

Drew McIntyre sends Finn Bálor flying across the ring with belly-to-belly throw: WWE TLC 2018 (WWE Network Exclusive)

Finn Bálor looks to hold his own against the larger Drew McIntyre: Courtesy of WWE Network.

If there’s any way to describe Bálor’s rally against McIntyre — other than “miraculous” — it would be, “slowly, then all at once.” It was a kick here, a DDT there, and before anybody knew it, Finn was going a mile-a-minute, and we had ourselves a match. McIntyre was smart enough to bait Finn into his own power offense, and it seemed like the Scotsman’s might would be the deciding word on the evening. That is, at least, until Dolph Ziggler blasted him with a superkick after running in from the crowd.

Ziggler’s attempt to brutalize his former tag team partner with a steel chair was thwarted when the Scot booted it into the former World Heavyweight Champion, but the digression was more than enough to give Bálor the recovery time he needed. As the Scot busied himself with Ziggler, Finn sprinted with a running dropkick that drove the steel chair into McIntyre’s chest, following up with a Coup de Grâce to earn the victory. If there’s any way to describe McIntyre’s loss — other than “shocking” — it would simply be that he took his eye off the ball. The rest, as they say, is history.