Finn Balor Comments On His Current Run With NXT, Relinquishing Universal Championship

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During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Finn Balor commented on having to relinquish the Universal Championship due to an injury, his current run in NXT, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On being forced to give up the Universal Championship after his injury: “When I was in that moment, I felt like it was the worst thing in the world. I felt like I let all these people down, and there were all these expectations that couldn’t be fulfilled. Looking back, I now realize it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I had a 16-year climb to the top, which ended in beating Roman, Seth and raising the title. I spent so much time climbing up that mountain, but I never turned around and assessed the view. I needed to rebuild my shoulder, but I also needed to take stock of what I had already accomplished. I grew up a lot during that period. Those eight months took me away from wrestling and helped me reconnect with a lot of people and grow as a person. I’d pushed a lot of things aside in this tireless pursuit of my dream. When I came back to wrestling, I was a lot more rounded of a human being, and I knew exactly what I wanted in wrestling. For Karrion, it’s a s—– situation right now. In a few months, I hope he can look back and realize the experience made him a better person and performer.”

On competing in a four-way match to determine the new NXT Champion: “The situations are almost identical. Karrion is someone I’ve had very little interaction with, but I was devastated when I heard what happened. My heart broke for him, to be honest.”

On his current run in NXT: “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. 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.”


On his NXT run testing him like never before: “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. 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.”


On his plans after tonight’s show: “After NXT, I’ll get in my car, still in my gear, and drive home. 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.”

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