Finn Balor and Drew McIntyre may come from the same part of the world and had similar paths to WWE, but the two have never gone head-to-head before. Outside of a confrontation at Survivor Series, Balor and McIntyre have never faced off, however, that will change come TLC.
The Balor vs. McIntyre match on the TLC card is a unique one in that it's the only scheduled match that doesn't involve either a championship or tables, ladders or chairs. That will provide an opportunity for the two to show off their wrestling skills and Balor discussed what else he's looking forward to in that match.
"The idea is never to steal the show, it is to go out there and have a good time," Balor said to Sam Roberts on the Not Sam Wrestling podcast. "I am still trying to process the fact that I have a match against Drew McIntyre at TLC because I just found out through social media. It's crazy because we kind of come from the same general area on planet earth and we have had similar career paths, but we have never had a singles match on TV.
"We never really crossed paths in the indies. We were at the same place at the same time, but never worked together, so this is kind of a first time we are getting to step into the ring against each other. I am sure he has a lot of stuff he wants to prove to me and a lot of stuff I want to prove to him, and there's a lot of stuff that I want to prove to everybody that is going to be watching, so I am looking forward to it. It is good to be in the mix in that spot and I definitely won't be taking it for granted and will be pulling all of the stops."
McIntyre was wrestling for Insane Championship Wrestling in Scotland in 2016 when Balor passed through as a part of the promotion's partnership with NXT UK. At ICW Fear & Loathing IX, Balor interfered in an eight-man elimination match and caused McIntyre to be eliminated which paved his return to WWE.
McIntyre's journey back to WWE is something that Balor has respect for. Many people in McIntyre's position would have thrown in the towel after his 2014 release, but he did the exact opposite and worked his tail off in other promotions and that was noticed by WWE.
"Credit to Drew McIntyre to go through what he went through at an early age in WWE and then regroup, reset his goals, refocus and do it the way he has done it and to come back in so composed and a completely new Drew McIntyre, so credit to him for that," stated Balor.
"I have ultimate respect for how he has handled his career. I think he has definitely proved a lot of people wrong in doing that. Jinder Mahal is another example. They are great guides for when this type of thing that does happen for guys in WWE that do get let go, and the door isn't always closed and there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if guys can get refocused, dig in and work hard there is always a way back for those guys. I have ultimate respect for them."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Not Sam Wrestling 215 with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Not Sam Wrestling
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.