The last time Finn Balor was seen on WWE programming, he was getting beaten by Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam. He then disappeared for two months only to then pop up in NXT in October.
Balor revealed what led to his move to NXT when he joined the State of Combat podcast.
“Everybody keeps talking about the return to NXT, but really it wasn’t a return to NXT but a return to being me and obviously there’s a lot of factors that played a part in this move. I took some time away, revaluated some of myself, revaluated my career, my goals, took a hard look at myself and realized that I wasn’t being true to who I was and realized that it was starting to be real,” admitted Balor. “It’s easy to get caught up in the WWE bubble of what they want you to be and what is expected of you, but I just got tired of playing ball and I just want to be me so the Prince is back.”
“Anyone who knows anything about the WWE realizes that nobody knows who is in control. Nobody knows who has got the answers. Nobody knows who is making the decisions. Nobody knows if you are being booked on Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown, or the live events, or the overseas loop. Nobody knows anything until it happens so there was no plan. There was no laid out a proposal that Finn Balor is going to go away and in two months he is going to come back with a new character. There was nothing. It was just that I needed some time off. Enough was enough. I wrestled 172 matches last year that equates to almost 300 days on the road and enough was enough. I have grinded my ass off for five years and I’m done. I have had enough right now. I am a human. I want to go back to being me. I have done everything you have asked me to do. I went out there with a smile on my face. I raised my arms when the cameras went on. I have done all of your interviews and media. I have traveled all over the world and now I just need a little time to myself and reevaluate exactly what I want because I am done with you guys. I just want to do what I want to do.”
“You can be yourself in anything you want to do, but to me, the fit was to be in NXT. I am this person, so it doesn’t matter if it is on Raw, SmackDown, NXT, the indies, it doesn’t matter where I do it. This is who I am so you can go on Raw and you can – I did pretend to be someone I wasn’t – but right now I am not pretending anymore. This is the real Finn; this is who I am and this is what people will get from now on.”
Along with Balor’s return to NXT is the debut of a new attitude and one that is heelish in nature. This is the first time he’s portrayed a heel in WWE but had done so earlier in his career at other places.
Balor also had a Prince Devitt character earlier in his career and he was asked if he will bring back elements of that gimmick.
“I’m going to draw the 19-year career in the ring that I have had. We are going to get elements of Fergal Devitt on the indies in the United Kingdom. We’re going to get elements of Prince Devitt the babyface from New Japan. We’re going to get elements of Prince Devitt the babyface in Mexico. We’re going to get elements of the leader of The Bullet Club from New Japan. We’re going to get elements of The Demon’s debut from NXT. We’re going to get elements of the guy who beat Roman Reigns his first night on Raw. We’re going to get a combination of everything that you have ever seen associated with Fergal Devitt/Prince Devitt/Finn Balor/Demon King/Demon on Wednesday nights,” said Balor.
While in New Japan Balor had a trademark light-up jacket that became very popular. There’s some debate as to if he or Chris Jericho started the light-up jacket trend and Balor responded to that.
“You know, there seems to be a lot of dispute as to who started the light-up jacket trend. The way I see it, and I don’t know the dates but my inspiration came from the movie Tron,” revealed Balor. “In my view, I’d never seen the Chris Jericho light-up jacket until I had done it. Now, I don’t know who had done it first. I don’t know who had done it better, but I’ll be better. I am not going to go back to what I had done six years ago. I am moving forward and I am going to create a new version of what you are going to see.
“This idea of going back to the light-up jacket was to go back six years to the past and that is not something that I want to do. Yeah, it was cool at the time. Yeah, people sent me gifts on Twitter on the time. People talk about the light-up jacket, but honestly, New Japan stole the light-up jacket. I don’t have it. People ask me if I have the light-up jacket but I’m going to go on the record to say that I have not had the light-up jacket since I left New Japan. I asked for it back when I went back to Japan for Beast in the East and they said they couldn’t find it. That is the 100 percent truth of the light-up jacket. I don’t want to create one. I do not care about the light-up jacket. I am going to create something different and something new, which is what I had done for the past 19 years. I am not going to go back. I am going to go forward.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit State of Combat with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.