Finn Balor: It’d Be ‘Incredible’ To Be The Champion Again, But I Don’t Need To Win; I Need To Fight
Photo Credit: WWE
Finn Balor will finally challenge Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship on this week’s episode of SmackDown.
John Cena stole Balor’s shot at the gold on the road to WWE SummerSlam, but now “The Prince” is getting the chance to face “The Head of the Table.” This bout won’t be the first time Balor and Reigns have clashed in a high-stakes match; they faced off in the Universal Championship Tournament back in 2016.
In an interview with Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN, Balor explained how he’s a totally different competitor now, compared to the wrestler he was when he previously faced Reigns. He stated that the first time around, he was “eager to please,” but now he’s much less focused on what everyone else thinks. He then described how the main differences comes in his mindset regarding his relationship with WWE itself; he explained that he doesn’t “need” WWE now, and he’s wrestling for himself.
“I think the real difference in the point where I’m at now my career is that in 2016, I needed WWE,” said Balor. “I needed the limelight, and I needed to prove myself on the biggest stage. I feel right now in 2021, no offense, but I don’t need WWE. They don’t need me, that’s for sure. But I don’t need them. I’m doing this for me now.
“I’m performing for myself. I don’t care if I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, which I may have had in 2016. That might have been too much pressure, too much stress, or too much for me to fully comprehend. Right now, there’s no pressure because I don’t need it. I want it. I’m doing this to not prove to anybody else but to prove to myself that this is where I belong.”
Balor’s first reign as the Universal Champion was over before it began because he suffered an injury when he won the title. Now, with the opportunity to win the gold again, Balor shared his stance that it would be “incredible” to be the champion again, but he’s more driven by the desire to fight and prove himself more than ever before. He emphasized that he doesn’t need to be the champion, but he does need to be in the ring, when the lights are on bright, doing what he loves.
“Honestly, I don’t need to win,” said Balor. “I don’t need to win, but I need to fight. I need to fight for everyone who’s believed in me in my career. I need to fight for everyone who hasn’t believed in me and my career. Whether it was teachers in school telling me I’ll never be a wrestler, football coaches telling me to give up that wrestling s—, people telling me I had a ridiculous dream, whether it was even with all the success I had outside of WWE and people telling me that I won’t ever make it in the big leagues because I’m not big enough, you don’t fit the mold, you can’t cut a promo, you don’t have the charisma. I need to do that.
“There’s a million reasons why I need to fight. I need to win. I don’t necessarily need to be champion. I’ve been champion before, even if it was only for a day. The idea of a kid from Bray County, Wicklow, a country where there’s no wrestling, being 5-11, sub-six feet tall, being the first Universal champion. That idea is too far-fetched for anyone to believe it, especially in this business. I don’t need to be champion. I don’t need to have a great title run. I need to perform because that’s what I love to do.”