WWE NXT Champion Finn Balor recently spoke with Joseph Staszewski of The New York Post to promote Sunday’s “Takeover: Vengeance Day” match against Pete Dunne. Balor revealed that he’s still suffering from the recent injury that he was on the shelf from, the double broken jaw suffered in October while facing Kyle O’Reilly.
“Yeah, a lot,” Balor said when asked if he has any lasting effects from the injury. “Grinding my teeth still a lot. Still in pain, still very reluctant to get any type of strike to the face, which was actually something that led to the arm injury in the match versus Kyle (O’Reilly) the second one. I was protecting the jaw so much I actually weakened my arm.
“One thing that still hasn’t come back is the feeling in my bottom lip. It’s still numb. It’s like I’ve been to the dentist and you get that shot. Pretty much my bottom lip down to my chin I’ve still got no feeling, but the doctors are a little hopeful that might come back in a couple of months. They say nerves take a little longer to heal. Sometimes you’ll see me out there now if I’m doing a promo licking my bottom lip more or I’ll be rubbing it a little bit. It still feels like there’s Novocain in there and it’s numb. It gets dry a lot. But apart from that, no, I feel 100 percent.”
He continued and noted that he believes he will be 100% on Sunday as he was asked what it was like working with the little reluctance to get hit in the face, “Obviously you wrestle for 20 years and you are worrying about your own performance and what you want to do and now all of sudden you’re worried about, oh I need to protect this extra injury. It’s not necessarily an injury, it’s more like a weakness. It’s not, oh he has a torn hamstring or something. You got plates in your jaw. You really don’t have any trust in how strong they are until they take an impact and then you go, hey, yeah that’s fine. So it’s getting over that first impact that’s kind of the block in your brain. Slowly getting over that. I’m sure I’ll be 100 percent on Sunday because I have no doubt Pete’s gonna hit me a couple times.”
Balor also talked about why it might not be such a great thing to defend the NXT Title at WrestleMania 37. He was asked what it would mean if he got a chance to defend the strap on WWE’s Grandest Stage of Them All.
“Ehh, it would be very cool but I feel NXT is something that is very close to my heart and NXT Takeover at WrestleMania weekend is a huge event and a huge kind of flag bearer for NXT,” he said. “And not having the NXT title match on Takeover, if that’s gonna in any way damage the NXT brand, it’s something I’d rather stay away from.
“Once we’re protecting the NXT brand without having it diluted by the big show at WrestleMania it’s something I’d be willing to do. If there’s the possibility of defending the title back to back nights, Takeover and WrestleMania, then I’m all for it.”
WWE fans haven’t seen The Demon King in action since Balor retained his WWE Intercontinental Title over Andrade at the WWE Super ShowDown event in 2019 from Saudi Arabia. He stated in a September 2020 interview that The Demon gimmick “spun out of control” on the main roster and became like a crutch, and that bringing The Demon out in NXT would be a step in the wrong direction for what he’s been doing for the brand, but it would happen some day when he wasn’t as focused on defending the NXT Title. In this new interview with the NY Post, Balor was asked about possibly facing Karrion Kross and if his character might spark the “what if?” conversation about The Demon in NXT.
“Definitely,” Finn responded. “Obviously, there are moments in time for everything. Right now it doesn’t feel like the time for The Demon, but I’m sure there will be a moment where I go OK now it’s time to rock.
“You know, Karrion might be that time, but we will have to see how events kind of develop. But his character is definitely something that is very intriguing to the audience. Whether The Demon can add another element to that kind of situation when it arises will be interesting.”