During the latest episode of WWE After the Bell, the former NXT Champion Finn Balor spoke about his second run with NXT and what his thoughts are on NXT 2.0.
Being one of the longest-tenured NXT superstars ever during his two runs on the black and gold, Balor revealed why he loves the new look NXT and the new characters it’s introduced.
“I think it was needed,” Balor said, talking about the shift from NXT to NXT 2.0. “I don’t want to say [NXT] was getting stale, but having been there for about a year and a half in my second run, I feel like all the matches had taken place. It was kind of going in a cycle over and over again and something needed to change and I feel like as soon as I left the 2.0 came in and it was a completely new crop of superstars, young fresh people.
“Me as a fan, when I was younger I never took joy out of the same matches, same people every week. I was always hungry for hey, who’s this new guy, what’s his backstory, where did he come from, I wonder what moves he does. I was so curious about wanting to learn about these new guys and I feel like me as a fan, that’s what I want. Pretty much as soon as I moved back to SmackDown at the time, NXT 2.0 came out and it was so cool to see completely new people.
“I was only gone out the door for a month and there were people I hadn’t even met before. It was obviously hugely surprising and maybe a lot of people in the business were like ‘oh that’s stupid, who are these guys, they haven’t paid their dues…’ but for me as a fan, I was like wow, this is cool. These are guys I have no idea and never even heard their names before and now they’re on TV and succeeding. It’s something really fresh.
“Maybe I’m just so jaded and so exhausted from seeing so much over the years but that was something that was really really cool, just seeing new guys do new stuff. It’s unpredictable in the sense that you don’t know their spots or their routine or shtick. You’re getting to see and witness something new for the first time and that’s pretty rare. Hats off to NXT for kind of like risking it all and really committing to the 2.0.”
Finn Balor recently held the NXT Championship last year until he lost it to Karrion Kross during WrestleMania weekend at NXT TakeOver Stand and Deliver.
The new United States Champion has been on the main roster since July of 2021 and after being drafted to Monday Night RAW, he made his first appearance alongside Tommaso Ciampa. Finn spoke about his return to RAW and why he enjoyed sharing the ring with another NXT star.
“Tommaso is someone who I’ve known for a long time, maybe since 2011 before we were ever with this company,” Finn Balor said. “Someone who I’ve admired both in and out of the ring and to get to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him on RAW was really really cool.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE After the Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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