Finn Balor Reveals Who NXT’s Locker Room Leader Is, Randy Orton Coming To NXT, More


During a recent interview with the Bleacher Report, Finn Balor commented on the possibility of Randy Orton coming to WWE NXT, who the locker-room leader in NXT is, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On coming back to NXT and getting the championship: “I don’t know if anyone else can do it the way I’ve done it throughout my career. It’s kind of like ping-pong between different styles, different platforms, different styles, and making the most of every situation. I don’t think it’s ever been done before for someone to be NXT champion, go to Raw, be Universal champion, be Intercontinental champion, return to NXT, [and] be NXT champion. Maybe I can push the boundaries a little further and go to Mexico and become champion down there, go to Japan and become champion down there. NXT UK, I wouldn’t mind a shot at that title. I’m open to all challenges.”

On a match with WALTER: “WALTER, for me, is an absolute enigma in this business. 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.”

On the locker room leader of NXT: “There’s a lot of guys, but I feel like the real leader is Matt Bloom. 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.”

On if he misses anything from being on Raw and Smackdown: “You can look back on parts of your career and miss elements of everything. I miss my friends in Japan. I miss my friends on Raw and SmackDown. I’ve got friends in every promotion in the United States right now. I miss them all, but the most important thing for me is when the bell rings to be in there performing to the highest of my ability. I feel NXT in its current form, because it’s evolved a lot since I was champion four-and-a-half years ago, is a place where everybody I step in the ring with is for the first time. They’re pushing me in a way people don’t really understand.”

On the level of competition in NXT: “[Johnny] Gargano, [Tommaso] Ciampa, [Matt] Riddle, Damian Priest, all these guys you’ve seen me lock up with at a TakeOver was the first time I’d ever locked up with them. There was no training, there were no live events, there were no television matches, they’re all big, big matches. That element of not knowing how someone feels, how they move, their nuances in the ring, their footwork, really gives you a sense of feeling that live in the ring. It’s really a sink or swim mentality, and I feel like it’s brought the best out of me as a performer in the last 11 months.”

On his WrestleMania 34 match when he came entered as himself with members of the New Orleans LBGTQ community: “I feel like that was such a huge moment in my career. That was my first WrestleMania, and a lot of people were expecting me to go to the route of The Demon, and maybe we could’ve done that and no one would’ve complained, but what we did that night was not only bigger than The Demon but bigger than me and bigger than wrestling. That was a statement about society and acceptance and inclusion and diversity … I think that’s influenced a lot of things in the time that’s passed and it’s a direction we need to continue to go. There’s a lot of movements out there that need our help. I feel sometimes as a society that if we don’t mention something that it’s OK, but we really need to stand up and show our support for these movements and the Black Lives Matter movement recently and the Speaking Out movement recently. These are things we need to actively show our support for, and I think the company has done an incredible job because society has had a lot of hard times recently,” he continued. “Not only medically, but also psychologically and mentally. I feel like we need to make our platform and use our platform to the best of our ability to spread a positive message, and if I can do that in any way then I feel like that’s my responsibility.”

On who he’d like to see arrive in NXT from Raw or Smackdown: “I’ll be honest, I haven’t [watched] Raw or SmackDown since I left. I couldn’t even tell you who’s even on there. I’m fully focused on myself and fully focused on NXT. There’s been so much I’ve needed to adapt to and study and learn in the sense of being completely encapsulated in the environment that I’m in at NXT that I haven’t really needed to focus on anything else. I feel like everyone can learn and should want to learn and want to adapt and should want to challenge themselves. They should want to put themselves in different scenarios and different environments against different people, and I think everyone can benefit from that.”

On the possibility of Randy Orton coming to NXT: “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. 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.”

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