10 Finn Balor Matches That WWE Fans Won't Soon Forget

Finn Balor is one of the most exciting wrestlers on the WWE roster today. After gaining notoriety for his wrestling accomplishments in Japan, Balor was a major signing for WWE in 2014, and has been a major success of the NXT developmental plan. His look, presentation and in-ring ability is among the most unique in WWE and beyond, and Balor is always able to elicit a big reaction from the crowd. Balor's athleticism and wrestling knowledge is among the highest level of all performers, and the now veteran member of the roster is a key contributor and worker. The Irish-born wrestler still has some of the most impressive aerial ability in all of all pro wrestling, making every match that he competes in unpredictable and thrilling. 

The multiple time champion has achieved the highest levels of success on the three WWE brands of "NXT," "Raw," and "SmackDown," but has also seen some creative lulls and major downtime due to lack of creative and injuries. These downs have stifled Balor only slightly, and when The Prince is being pushed as a major star, no one shines brighter.  A definite fan favorite and the leader of the Balor Club, Finn Balor is responsible for many jaw-dropping and highlight filled matches that fans will never forget. With Triple H now in control of WWE creative, Finn should be destined for even more greatness and unforgettable moments. Here are some of his most memorable.

Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano, NXT TakeOver: Portland

Two of the greatest NXT champions of all time clashed in this unforgettable TakeOver contest. Balor made his unexpected return to NXT in 2019, and immediately targeted Gargano, who had taken over as a mainstay of the brand Finn was so influential in building. Gargano was taken out of action for several months following Balor's surprising and brutal attack, setting up a match with plenty of bad blood. This tension helped to create a black and gold dream match, and one that lived up to the high level of hype. Two of the flag bearers of the brand were in rare form for this contest, working in beautiful wrestling harmony. Technical wrestling, hard-hitting strikes, signature moves — Finn vs. Gargano in Portland had it all. This match was full of incredible moments for both competitors, including Gargano spearing Balor off the apron, Balor drop-kicking Gargano off the announce table into the barricade, and the final Coup de Grace and 1916 that gave Balor the win. 

Both possessing an ability to connect with the audience, this match had a big fight feel even without a title on the line. Both athletes had classic matches at TakeOvers before and after, but this one still ranks as one of the best. Finn and Johnny Wrestling were able to capture something special, both as physical competitors and storytellers. Gargano and Balor are eternally synonymous with the black and gold brand, and this match will help to make sure that their names are etched in the NXT history books forever.

Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins, SummerSlam 2016

Finn Balor's greatest accomplishment of his main roster occurred at SummerSlam 2016, where he defeated Seth Rollins to become the inaugural Universal Championship. Just when it looked like Finn would ascend to a higher place in the wrestling hierarchy, disaster struck. During his championship win, Balor tragically tore his labrum. Finn was forced to vacate the title the day after winning it and recovered for the next nine months.

Despite what happened after the match, Finn's victory proved the trust that WWE had in him, and that just was solidified during the match. Finn and Seth had incredible moments of wrestling magic, as the agile and crafty athletes looked to be honored with the prestigious title of the first Universal Champion. The Demon Balor started the match quickly, but Rollins changed the tide by power-bombing Finn into the barricade. Seth had control through much of the contest, until Balor was able to turn the tide with his trusty and stiff Pele kick and 1916. After avoiding multiple Coup de Graces, Balor was able to connect with his finisher and secure the Universal Championship, gaining an important piece of WWE history. 

This match is also memorable because it is one of the rare occurrences when Balor brought out his Demon look and persona, a fan favorite that only comes out at the biggest stages. The black and red body paint gives Balor one of the coolest and most intimidating looks in wrestling, and is a clear signifier that Balor is about to do something special. This contest between former NXT champions and superb competitors was, indeed, something special. 

Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens, Beast In The East

For Beast in the East, competitors from all three brands traveled to Tokyo for a showcase of the best wrestlers WWE had to offer. One of the contests held at this special event was Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor, with Owens' NXT Championship on the line. This was an especially special event for Balor, as the match was his return to Japan, the country where Balor first gained fame as a wrestler. The homecoming would be a crowning for the Prince, kick-starting Balor's accolade-filled career. 

The rude and swaggering heel Owens was the perfect opposition for the fan-favorite Balor. Owens controlled the pace of the contest early, grinding Finn down with hard shots and painful holds. Balor was able to change the momentum with a spot-on Pele kick to Owens' temple, followed by his swan-like dive that would become a Balor trademark. A back and forth battle ensued, as the NXT legends displayed their innovative move set. The final sequence of the title bout was delectable, and after multiple attempts, Balor secured his first WWE title with a Coup de Grace. Balor's return to Japan was unforgettable success for those in attendance and NXT fans across the world. The Demon's huge win secured Balor's first NXT Championship, a title Finn held for then record-setting 292 days.

Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles, Extreme Rules 2017

Making a spectacular entrance adorned in his Demon war paint, Finn Balor knew that he was in for a serious battle against AJ Styles. The two matched wits and athletic ability in this match, a well-paced affair that delighted the crowd. Finn came into the match on a hot streak, as he was undefeated while inhabiting his Demon persona. The match started slowly but surely, as the two superstars bid their time looking for an opening. Balor hit the first big move with his signature dive over the top rope, following it up with a sling blade. The crafty Styles weathered the storm, and locked in a calf crusher submission. The stamina levels of both Balor and Styles are among both wrestlers greatest strengths, and were on display throughout. After some exciting counter wrestling and heavy-footed kicks, the Demon was able to avoid a Style 450 splash, and hit the Coup de Grace for a dream match win.

This match held special intrigue for dedicated and internationally focused professional wrestling fans, as both Balor and Styles held the leadership role of the Bullet Club during their New Japan Pro-Wrestling days. Even before the match began, chants of "too sweet" greeted Finn and AJ. Balor was an original member of the club, and was replaced by Styles in 2014. This series of events are among the most influential in recent wrestling history, and added a great deal to this expertly worked match.

Finn Balor vs Adam Cole, NXT Super Tuesday II

The holders of the two longest NXT Championship title reigns of all-time looked to prove their superiority in this awesome match. After each gaining two pin falls in a fatal four way 60-minute iron man match the week before, a match which also featured fellow NXT legends Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, Balor and Cole went to war for the vacant NXT Championship. While both men desired another title, the match was advertised as a chance for both men to prove who was the greatest NXT superstar of all-time.

The in-ring action and big fight feel certainly supported the claim that either Finn Balor or Cole could make towards being the GOAT of NXT. After some incredible back and forth wrestling, Cole achieved the rare feat of kicking out of the Coup de Grace. Cole smartly targeted Balor's knee through the match, and after a super-kick and Last Shot knee to the back of Balor's head, it looked like the match was over. Somehow Balor was able to kick out after the knee strike, meaning the both fighters were able to escape the others finishing move. Having to reach deep down into his bag of tricks, Balor was able to hit a ring-rattling 1916 DDT off the top rope. This big and dangerous move was finally enough to give Finn the win, and his historic second NXT Championship reign, joining Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe as the only stars to hold the title multiple times.

Finn Balor vs. Kyle O'Reilly, NXT TakeOver 31

This contest was one of the most acclaimed matches in recent wrestling history, as Balor and O'Reilly kicked the absolute stuffing out of one another. The champion Finn was aggressive and dominant through most of the match, focusing his devastating kicks to the midsection of Kyle to great effect. The two men are known for their striking ability, but each's technical skill was also expertly showcased in this bout. After tremendous punishment, KOR was eventually able to rebound, showing tremendous grit by escaping Finn's sharpshooter submission while bleeding from the mouth. O'Reilly answered a Balor Pele kick with a comebacker lariat, and the two took the match to another level despite growing levels of exhaustion by both gladiators. After all of the battering blows and sublime submission attempts, Balor turned to a familiar favorite in the Coup de Grace to retain his belt in an instant classic.

While Balor had achieved everything there was to do as a NXT star, O'Reilly had success as a tag team specialist and champion, but desired for more. The Undisputed Era member had dreams of becoming a singles superstar, a spot that was occupied by the group's leader Adam Cole. At the end of the match, Balor showed O'Reilly a great show of respect, offering his hand.

Finn Balor vs. Brock Lesnar, Royal Rumble 2019

Billed as David versus Goliath, this generational clash was a sight to behold. Two wrestlers of great intensity, and extremely different styles, gave it their all in a Universal Championship match. The first ever Universal champ in Balor versus the current champion in Brock Lesnar was a simple story and logical story to tell, and one that WWE and the competitors told well. These genetically superior freak athletes displayed the physical ability and coordination that makes them so special to watch.

This match is a great example of how a wrestling match doesn't need to be long to be memorable. Finn was shot out of a cannon to begin this match, hitting the Beast with a series of drop kicks. Brock relied upon his signature arsenal of suplexes to respond, using power moves to ground Balor. Not to be kept down long, Finn dazzled the crowd with a trio of dives, rocking Lesnar, who was selling a midsection injury throughout the match. Finn was able to nail a Coup de Grace, but Lesnar smoothly and violently transitioned the stomp into a Kimura Lock, forcing Finn to tap out. Despite the loss, this match showed that Balor could hang with a monstrous champion like Brock Lesnar.

Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe vs. Bray Wyatt, Extreme Rules 2017

Five of the most popular and important wrestlers of their time went to war in this physical five way match. One the line was a chance to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at a future date. Balor's claim to the title match was stronger than most, considering that he never actually lost the same title when he defeated Seth Rollins to become the first ever Universal champion. In this match, Balor made his pay-per-view return to the ring, hoping to earn a shot at Brock and the belt.

The chemistry between the five world-class competitors was excellent in this match, and it showed in its well-flowing and hard-hitting nature. Balor's picture-perfect dive to the outside was an early highlight of this match, which was dominated in the starting stages by the unlikely pair of Samoa Joe and Bray Wyatt. Joe and Wyatt used a steel chair to brutalize Finn, sending him to the outside. Balor was able to get revenge on the monstrous pair with some chair shots of his own, but was locked into a Coquina Clutch by Joe, and both were speared through the barricade by Reigns. Rollins broke even more furniture by frog splashing a prone Wyatt through the Spanish announce table, leaving all five men down on the outside, and the crowd on their feet in wild applause. The former Shield brothers of Seth and Roman were the first to make it back to the ring, and the pair traded near fall after near fall. Finn came close to victory after a sling blade and Coup de Grace, but Joe captured Balor in the Coquina Clutch for the second time in the night. 

The opportunistic and wily Samoa Joe won by referee stoppage, turning out Balor's lights and earning the opportunity to fight Lesnar for the Universal Championship.

Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins Ladder Match, RAW

In a time when many "Raw" main events lacked uniqueness and stakes, this four way ladder match had both aplenty. Four former world champions looked to grab a chance to once again be clad in gold, sacrificing their bodies for the opportunity to do so. The match functioned as a Money In The Bank match would, but without an over sized metallic briefcase, and only four men. All four were veterans of all types of matches, including the dangerous ladder match, and the skill and ability displayed by the vets made for a truly memorable contest. 

One of the hardest parts of a ladder match in modern wrestling is devising spots that are unique and fresh, but this match did a good job of doing so. One such spot was Rey Mysterio riding the top of the ladder down onto Kevin Owens, which bounced off KO twice in a painful looking collision. Owens got his revenge on the masked luchador, power bombing Mysterio through a table, but KO was then sent through a ladder bridge by Rollins in one of the nastiest looking backdrops one would ever hope to see. One of Balor's best shots in the match came from his drop kick onto Seth, sending Rollins crashing into a ladder in the corner for a nasty landing. Finn took a nasty landing of his own, getting curb stomped by Rollins late in the contest. Seth eventually won this standout "Raw" main event, going onto face the champion at the time, Big E.

Finn Balor vs. Edge I Quit Match, Extreme Rules 2022

As a member of the sadistic group known as the Judgement Day — alongside Damian Priest, Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio — Finn tormented many WWE superstars. The group was founded by the legend Edge, but the leader became the prey once Balor joined and supplanted Edge as the new leader. As much destruction as Judgement Day caused, they always wanted to finish Edge, leading to this memorable I Quit match.

The Rated R Superstar is known for many things, including his fondness for weapons. This match had plenty of them, as Finn and Edge battered one another with everything imaginable all across the arena. This included Edge using a hockey stick to bruise Finn. Both men refused to utter the words that would end the match, leading to a unforgettable ending. While Finn and Edge were the main players in this dramatic match, outside involvement raised the stakes and added a lot to the story. The Judgement Day threatened Edge's wife Beth Phoenix, which was enough to make Edge say I quit, giving Finn the win. The brutal match and dismantling of two legends was a big victory for the Judgement Day, and a signature win in Finn Balor's impressive career.