WWE NXT Superstar Finn Balor recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to promote this week's NXT episode on the USA Network. Balor was asked why returning to NXT, a place he's already dominated, is the right place for his character, especially as a heel.
"Everybody talks about 'Finn going back to NXT' when in reality I've gone back to who I was," Balor said. "I'd been caught up in the bubble of WWE and what they wanted me to be and how they expected me to perform as a character, and I took some time off to re-evaluate who I am and where I came from. I re-evaluated what I want to do and what I want to achieve, and I decided the best thing for me is to be true to who I am. I don't fit the mold to play corporate ball and please everyone. I need to please myself, so I'm going to shake the trees and see what falls out."
Balor really got the IWC talking last Wednesday when he turned heel and attacked Johnny Gargano, which also allowed The Undisputed Era to take out Tommaso Ciampa. Balor was asked how the reaction from the crowd made him feel.
"That was emotion," Balor said. "It's very easy to walk out and get a reaction from a crowd, get a pop or a 'This is awesome!' or a 'Holy s---!' But to generate shock and create real emotion is something that is very rare. At the end of the TV show, they hit my music. When I went backstage, the producer told me that the only reason they hit my music was because there was zero audible noise in the venue. People were so in shock that there was no noise, and they were afraid that was going to translate poorly on TV, so they hit the music. The plan was to go out to boos, but that's not what we got. We got pure, emotional silence."
Balor talked about his new heel NXT character and said it's a new version of Finn - a "combination of the squeaky clean babyface in Japan, the Bullet Club heel in Japan, the squeaky clean babyface in NXT that carried the company for 292 days on his back, the guy who won the Universal title on his first pay per view, the guy who beat Roman Reigns on his first night, The Demon and every Demon entrance I've ever done, it's a combination of everything I've ever done for the last 20 years. To call it a return to Prince Devitt/Bullet Club is an understatement."
Barrasso pointed to how Balor's return to NXT brings the show a form of star power and a commodity that exists nowhere else in pro wrestling, and a major weapon in the ratings war against AEW. He was asked what it means for him to be the featured part of a show that's competing against AEW, as a competitor. Balor said he's only competing with himself from yesterday.
"I don't know if we're competing with anyone," he said. "The only person I'm competing with is myself from yesterday. I'm trying to be better than who I was yesterday. On this Wednesday, I'm going to be better than I was last Wednesday. That's the way I approach life and that's how I evolve. I don't worry about what other people are doing. I'm focused on the brand I'm currently working for.
"People talk about going back to NXT. For me, NXT is the purest form of wrestling on this planet in every sense. To be able to step in that ring and do what I do best, with no restrictions whatsoever, is the greatest honor I can have. So I'm treating this like an opportunity to help evolve as a performer and help change the game again."
Balor also said there are a few people he's had his eye on for possible additions to a Balor Club. He was asked if he has a plan to add to Balor Club. The former WWE Universal Champion revealed that he is very interested in The Authors of Pain, Akam and Rezar, who are currently on the RAW roster.
"There are a couple people I've been thinking about," Balor revealed. "I don't know if it's possible, but I'm very, very, very interested in AOP. Those two guys are two of the meanest guys in this business. If I have a chance to create a Balor Club in any brand, I'd want those guys backing me up."
There's been a lot of speculation on if Balor just turned heel last week, or if he also joined The Undisputed Era. Balor was asked if he joined the group and he said we will find out on this week's show.