Finn Balor Discusses Turning Heel, AEW Competition, NXT Return
Former WWE NXT Champion Finn Balor recently spoke with Sports Illustrated about a wide range of topics. Here are the highlights:
For the Balor character, the heel turn allows you to show off even more versatility. Why is returning to NXT, a landscape you already dominated, the right place for your character, especially as a heel?
“Everybody talks about ‘Finn going back to NXT’ when in reality I’ve gone back to who I was. I’d been caught up in the bubble of WWE and what they wanted me to be and how they expected me to perform as a character, and I took some time off to re-evaluate who I am and where I came from. I re-evaluated what I want to do and what I want to achieve, and I decided the best thing for me is to be true to who I am.
I don’t fit the mold to play corporate ball and please everyone. I need to please myself, so I’m going to shake the trees and see what falls out.”
WWE chose you to return to NXT, lending the show a form of star power and a commodity that exists nowhere else in pro wrestling. That is a major weapon in the ratings battle against AEW. As a competitor, what does it mean for you to be the featured part of a show competing against AEW?
“I don’t know if we’re competing with anyone. The only person I’m competing with is myself from yesterday. I’m trying to be better than who I was yesterday. On this Wednesday, I’m going to be better than I was last Wednesday. That’s the way I approach life and that’s how I evolve. I don’t worry about what other people are doing. I’m focused on the brand I’m currently working for.
People talk about going back to NXT. For me, NXT is the purest form of wrestling on this planet in every sense. To be able to step in that ring and do what I do best, with no restrictions whatsoever, is the greatest honor I can have. So I’m treating this like an opportunity to help evolve as a performer and help change the game again.”