Finn Balor Explains Why His Demon Persona 'Became A Crutch' In WWE

Finn Balor's early days in WWE are well known and marked by his "Demon" persona. Though the persona existed for Balor before WWE, it became a much stronger piece of his character during his time on "WWE NXT" and more so on the WWE main roster. However, the appearance of the painted-covered alter-ego has become much more seldom. On the "After the Bell" podcast, Balor explained his view on the Demon persona as a "crutch."

"It became a crutch, and I'll hold my hand up and say like, 'I'm guilty of trying to please too many people and not pleasing myself," he said, "And the thing with that character, or even a lot of the stuff that I was doing in WWE in general, was a result of trying to please too many people. Be it the creative team, the writing team, the merchandise team, the promotions team, the tickets team, and not really pleasing myself."

Disappearance in NXT

When Balor returned to "NXT" in 2019, the Demon character disappeared from his presentation. At the time, Balor explained that he felt the "Finn" side had become too reliant on the "Demon" side, and that it had strayed away from the character he had initially created. On After the Bell, he explained that as originally conceived, the persona had no "rhyme or reason," but that all changed in WWE.

"When you bring it into the WWE universe, it has to become something, or it has to have a reason why this happens, why this transformation happens. And I feel like the more you're trying to explain something, the less sense it actually makes and the more ridiculous it becomes," Balor said, "For me, that was the crutch that I felt. It wasn't necessarily the process of the paint or the creative part of trying to execute a different unique design every time. It was to try to keep so many people happy and not really staying true to myself and why I was doing it in the first place."

Time Consuming Nature

The Demon persona involves Balor painting himself from head to mid-torso most times, and it's easy to imagine that the elaborate designs take Balor quite a while to paint. On the podcast, Balor tried to give an estimate on how long the paint takes to put on, and how difficult that became alongside the added pace within WWE.

"It really just depends. If you have three hours, you got to get it done in three. But I normally allow myself six if possible, 'cause you're kinda getting pulled in different directions [...] and the whole idea of the paint is to really change the mental mindset that I'm in. To take things to the next level. And I could do that sometimes," he said, "When you put this into the WWE Universe when it's live on pay-per-view, the match numbers are changing at 4:00 PM. You think you're going on sixth, but now you're going on first, or vice versa. There's just so many things that are changing on the fly, in the moment [...] and it's just something you have to learn to adapt to be successful in WWE."