Finn Balor recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to promote tonight’s WWE NXT Super Tuesday special. Balor, Adam Cole, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano will do battle tonight in a Fatal 4 Way 60-Minute Iron Man match for the vacant NXT Title.
It was noted how Balor might be the best fit to win the NXT Title as the 39 year old is quietly crafting one of the best runs of his career right now. Balor gives NXT an edge when he appears in the head-to-head fight against AEW each week. Balor said his goal is to have the best match he possibly can each week. He said if the ratings are good, then that’s great, but that’s not his job.
“I’m incredibly competitive, and I’m competitive in every nature, but I take the greatest pride in having the best match I can possibly have with the person I’m in the ring with,” Balor said. “That’s my goal. I’m not into relying on a formula or doing the same stuff that I already know works. I want it to feel organic and be a little different. For lack of a better expression, I don’t want to rely on the same old s—. I want to push the boundaries of what we’re doing.
“If the ratings are good, then great, but that’s not my job. My job is to go out there and have a good match. In the past, my main fault was trying to keep too many people happy. Since I came back to NXT, I’ve focused on doing what I felt was right. If people like it, cool. If you don’t, I really don’t care. Some people say they do this for the fans, or for the ratings, or the money, but I do this because I feel alive when the bell rings.”
Balor is approaching the one-year mark of his current run in NXT. He believes that this run has pushed him further and tested him as a professional more than any other point in his lengthy career. He commented on how these are the first times he’s wrestled guys like Gargano, Ciampa, Matt Riddle, Timothy Thatcher and NXT North American Champion Damian Priest. The matches over the past 11 months have challenged Balor more than his entire five-year run with WWE.
“Very few people realize this about my current run, but this is the first time I’ve wrestled Johnny, Ciampa, Matt Riddle, Priest and Thatcher,” Balor said. “No indie matches, no house matches, just big TV and TakeOver matches. That feeling of rawness, the unknown element of how they move and the nuances of their mannerisms, that’s challenged me more over the past 11 months than I’ve been challenged in five years at WWE.
“That’s not to downplay what I’ve accomplished in WWE, but by the time you saw my matches on TV, whether it was my first run in NXT or Raw or SmackDown, I’d done those matches on the road and I knew those opponents. This run, it’s been one match, then onto the next. That’s pushed me more than I’ve ever been pushed in my career. I’ve grown more in the past 11 months than I ever have, just by sheer virtue of adapting with an opponent on live television. If you want to be the best in the world, you’ve got to be on top of your game and tailor your style to all these different opponents. You can’t hide, especially in NXT.”
Balor noted that if he doesn’t win the title tonight, then his post-match plans are already in place. For him the victory isn’t in the ratings or the gold, but getting in the ring and performing the best he can, then going home to spend time with his wife.
“After NXT, I’ll get in my car, still in my gear, and drive home,” Balor said. “Once I’m home, I’ll take my gear off, cut my tape, shower, then sit on the couch with a few doughnuts and a couple beers. I’ll watch a couple episodes of Money Heist, which is a Netflix series based in Spain about a bank robbery, then I’ll pass out. Wednesday morning, I’ll go back to business.
“People talk about winning the title or winning ratings wars. For me, the victory is getting in the ring and performing the best that I can, then going home and being able to spend time with my wife. Over the last couple years, I’ve celebrated life instead of solely celebrating wrestling. When I go to work, I take it very, very seriously. And when I go home, I take it very easy.”