WWE NXT Champion Finn Balor recently spoke with Graham Matthews of Bleacher Report and revealed who he thinks the biggest NXT locker room leader is behind-the-scenes - WWE Performance Center Head Coach Matt Bloom.
"There's a lot of guys, but I feel like the real leader is Matt Bloom," Balor said. "Someone who's had an incredible career and someone who has done it and adapted to this role of head coach at the Performance Center and then kind of transformed into the leader that has the respect of all the talent.
"His knowledge is extremely valuable. He's wrestled all over the world, similar to myself, in Japan and in Mexico and having an incredible WWE run. I feel like [between] his people skills and his personality, he is the real, true leader of the locker room in NXT."
Balor recently became a two-time NXT Champion by defeating Adam Cole, and this title reign will open him up to several new contenders, who weren't around during his first run on the black & yellow brand. Balor was scheduled for a feud with NXT UK Champion WALTER earlier this year, but those plans were nixed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Balor clarified that the match with WALTER likely won't happen any time soon as current circumstances have made it difficult for him to travel to the UK, but he's anxious to eventually make the match happen. Balor praised the leader of Imperium and said he'd be in the same group as Brock Lesnar, noting that he really wanted to go for WALTER's title.
"WALTER, for me, is an absolute enigma in this business," Balor said. "I'd put him in the same group as [Brock] Lesnar. That was the match that I wanted, and obviously, the world kind of went against us in a sense.
"I definitely feel like that match hasn't gone away. With the travel restrictions between Europe and U.S. right now, we're not able to travel. I think in the future, we'll definitely get back to that match. But right now, whether it's WALTER or someone else, I'm ready to defend the title."
There have been a lot of rumors on Randy Orton possibly working with NXT Superstars this year. Balor named Orton as his top choice for main roster Superstars he'd like to see have a run in NXT, if only for the potential matches that could be made. Balor praised Orton and said he'd love to lock up with him in the NXT ring.
"I don't know if this is someone who would learn from it, but someone I'd love to have in NXT is Randy Orton, because I feel like he's probably the best performer of the last 10 years," Balor said. "He's someone I look up to a lot and I know a lot of the NXT locker room looks up to a lot. He's someone I feel would have a huge impact on NXT that would start a ripple effect for the next five or 10 years. I've been in the ring with Randy before, but if we could do that in an NXT environment, I would love that."
Balor has not wrestled as The Demon since being back in NXT, and the last time we saw his alter ego was in June 2019 at the WWE Super ShowDown event from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Balor retained the WWE Intercontinental Title over Andrade that night. He assured fans that they have not seen the last of the persona, but it could be a while before he wrestles as The Demon again. He also said he only hopes to wrestle as The Demon for high-profile matches in the future, against three of the biggest WWE Superstars today - Lesnar, Braun Strowman and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt. Balor remains focused on his work as The Prince for now, and said it could be 3-4 years before we see The Demon return.
"I feel like The Demon is something that's very personal to me," Balor said. "I'd definitely like to get back to The Demon vs. The Fiend. I definitely want The Demon vs. Brock Lesnar. I want The Demon vs. Braun Strowman. But right now, I feel with the position I'm in, it would be a step backward. I'm riding the momentum of the work I've done as The Prince for the last 11 months, and I want to continue to ride that momentum. I feel like there will be an opportunity to bring The Demon back in the future, but that could be three, four years from now."
He continued, "There's a lot of other things I want to invest my creative juices in, and creatively The Demon takes a lot out of you. It's something that can sometimes limit me as far as what I'm able to do, and right now I want to focus all my creative energy on when the bell rings what I'm doing in the ring. I don't want to jeopardize that right now.
"I'm really proud of the matches I've been involved over the last 11 months since I returned to NXT and the variety of styles I've been able to adapt to. I don't want to jeopardize that for any reason. Right now, I'm very much focused on Finn Balor the Prince."