WWE Raw: Finn Balor earns world title shot with big win on debut
Irishman to face Seth Rollins for Universal Title at SummerSlam
By David Ruse
Last Updated: 01/08/16 2:36pm
Finn Balor enjoyed a dream Monday Night Raw debut by earning a shot at the newly-established WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam.
The Irishman, acquired by the red brand from NXT during last week's WWE Draft, defeated Roman Reigns in the main event to secure a bout with Seth Rollins in Brooklyn on Sunday, August 21.
Balor and Reigns battled each other after winning Fatal Four-Way matches earlier - Balor beating Cesaro, Kevin Owens and Rusev, and Reigns besting Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn and Sheamus.
The former NXT Champion knocked off Reigns when he evaded a spear and administered a Sling Blade, a running dropkick and Coup de Grace.
Balor's triumph, on his birthday no less, was watched intently backstage by Rollins, who had been placed in SummerSlam's title bout by Raw commissioner Stephanie McMahon earlier in the night.
Sasha Banks also landed a big win on the red brand - defeating Charlotte via submission to become the Women's Champion.
Elsewhere on the first episode of Raw since the WWE brand extension, powerhouses Nia Jax and Braun Strowman recorded comprehensive wins over local competitors.
Jax, drafted from NXT's women's ranks, blasted Britt Baker with two leg drops, while Braun Strowman, now separated from Wyatt Family colleague Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan, crushed James Ellsworth with a chokeslam.
Neville marked his return from injury with a victory over Curtis Axel - the Newcastle-born grappler downing his rival with a Red Arrow - while Enzo and Big Cass overcame The Shining Stars.
Plus, The New Day's celebration at becoming the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions of all time - Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E have now surpassed Paul London and Brian Kendrick's 331-day day stint with the straps - was curtailed when they were attacked by The Club.
The WWE action comes thick and fast on Sky Sports with WWE Smackdown. Watch all the action from 1am tonight on Sky Sports 5.