Finn Balor: Losing The NXT Title To Samoa Joe At A Live Event Was Probably The Coolest Moment Of My Career
Finn Balor says the “coolest moment” of his career came long before he was a featured member of the WWE RAW roster.
In recent months, Balor has become one of the red brand’s top stars through his work with The Judgment Day. Previously, after his successful run on NXT, Balor moved to the main roster in 2016. Balor had an inconsistent stretch across RAW and SmackDown until he went back to NXT in 2019. He later won the NXT Championship for a second time, and after he had a lengthy reign, he returned to the main roster in 2021.
Speaking with BT Sport’s Rob Armstrong on What Went Down, Balor looked back on his NXT Championship match with Kevin Owens at WWE’s “The Beast In The East” event in Japan. The RAW star described how the contest was a full-circle moment, as it came almost a year to the day after his last match with NJPW.
“That was one of the most full-circle moments that I’ve had in my career because not only was it in Japan but it was in Ryogoku, which was Sumo Arena, where we would wrestle with New Japan quite a lot,” Balor said. “I actually had my final match for New Japan in that arena, in the paint also, against [Ryusuke] Taguchi. When I left that night, I figured I may never return here ever again.
“I think it was maybe almost a year to the day that I returned, and I was in the ring against Kevin Owens, who’s someone who I didn’t know very well going into NXT, apart from on the indie circuit. But we bonded over kind of the journey we were making, adapting to life in NXT, in WWE, in the USA. To get to share the ring with him that night was very cool.”
Balor then described how the night he lost the title to Samoa Joe at a house show in 2016 in Lowell, Massachusetts, was even more special. He called this match one of the favorite nights of his career, and he highlighted the way the fans were shocked that they saw a title change hands at a live event. Balor also noted that the bout was meaningful to him due to his relationship with Samoa Joe.
“An even more special moment for me is when I lost the title against Samoa Joe, and we [did] that on a house show, and that was something that was so rare,” Balor said. “I remember the sheer surprise and shock of the people in the front row that just couldn’t believe what they had witnessed on a house show. After I think it was 200 and something days of being champion, and Joe pins the champion on a house show in Lowell. That was a special night. That for me is probably the coolest moment of my career, I think.
“Just the sheer shock and then joy of the fans, having Joe as champ, someone who’d had such a long career and really paid his dues, and [he] had become such an integral part of NXT. Then for me, someone who I’d learned so much from, not only in NXT but before that, we obviously have a very close relationship as well. So that was one of my favorite nights of my career.”
Balor previously stated that he thinks Dominik Mysterio will be a big star. Check out his comments here.
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