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Monday Night RAW Results – June 19th, 2017
Finn Bálor’s Interview with News.com.eu
How to intimidate people according to WWE’s Finn Balor
Finn Bálor backstage at ICW Fear & Loathing IX

    

Veronica LeStrange talks to the former ICW Zero-G Champion at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow Scotland.

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» FINNishing TOUCH: Screen Captures > Online Videos > Finn Bálor backstage at ICW Fear & Loathing IX

Exclusive Q&A: Finn Bálor speaks on his epic Raw arriv...
Go behind the curtain on the most anticipated Raw debut in years

The question was never if Finn Bálor was going to arrive on Raw; it was always when. A five-tool player who held the NXT Championship for a record 292 days, the Irish-born Superstar has been seemingly simmering just under the radar for months now, waiting for his opportunity to shine on WWE’s biggest stage. After being drafted at No. 5 overall to Raw, Bálor finally got that opportunity. His debut this past Monday (his birthday, coincidentally) was about as perfect a night as he, or anyone, could have asked for: He defeated Cesaro, Rusev, Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns all in the same night to become one of the No. 1 contenders to the new WWE Universal Championship. He’ll battle Seth Rollins to see who will earn that brand-new title at SummerSlam, but as Finn’s road to the championship match begins, WWE.com caught up with Raw’s newest sensation to get his thoughts on his epic debut.

 

WWE.COM: First off, a belated Happy Birthday to you, and congratulations on the debut.

FINN BÁLOR: [Laughs] Yeah, unbelievable. I can’t even try and describe the feeling of what happened Monday. It’s quite surreal, to put it mildly.

 

WWE.COM: Your debut was the source of a lot of speculation and rumors. Now that it has finally happened, did it live up to your own expectations of how you wanted to arrive on Raw?

BÁLOR: I guess it’s always something I’ve imagined was going to happen eventually, and I think it far exceeded any expectations that I’d ever imagined. I always had this kind of vision that I’d be turning up as a surprise, maybe an interference or jump the barrier. But the way it all happened was exactly the way it was meant to be. I’m glad my debut wasn’t left up to my imagination, because it wouldn’t have been anywhere close to being as good as it was on Monday night.

 

WWE.COM: What did it feel like to get that reception from the crowd in Pittsburgh?

BÁLOR: Yeah, incredible. NXT has been in Pittsburgh a lot, and to stand on that stage at the beginning of Raw and get the “Finn” chants really helped put a lot of anxiety and nerves at ease. NXT is its own kind of animal, and you’re never quite sure how much of that transfers over into WWE and into Monday Night Raw. To get that response instantly was a big reassuring pat on the back from fans saying, “We got you, dude.” I was happy about that.

 

WWE.COM: And you’re going to be one of the first Superstars to challenge for a new title. That has to feel pretty good, too.

BÁLOR: Yeah, man! To say it’s a fairytale is an understatement, the way everything has panned out. I spent two years at NXT and a lot of times questioned, “When is this going to happen?” or “Is this actually going to happen? Am I going to make it to Raw?” For what felt like such a long wait, now everything seems to be happening so fast. It has made literally every minute of that two-year wait worth it. I’d wait two years again just for that opportunity to walk out on Raw and have the same kind of feeling I had last Monday.

 

WWE.COM: Pivoting to NXT for a second, you had said for a long time you wanted to be a leader in that locker room and help guide it for as long as you could. Now that you’re transitioning to Raw, looking back, how do you think you left NXT versus how you found it?

BÁLOR: You know, it’s a very bittersweet moment. Going to NXT, obviously, the goal is to make it to Raw or SmackDown Live, and now that the opportunity came up to be on Raw and challenging Seth Rollins for this new WWE Universal Title, I’m kind of looking back and going, “Man, what about NXT?” I still miss the boys and I still very much feel a part of it.

 

Wrestling has a funny way of regenerating itself, and I’m sure in the past a lot of people have asked questions about “Who’s going to replace Sami Zayn in the locker room?” or “Who’s going to replace Kevin Owens in the locker room?” People always step in. There’s a lot of hungry up-and-coming talent in NXT that I’m sure will be more than willing to step in and fill my boots. Shinsuke Nakamura, obviously. Oney Lorcan, who I think has enormous potential to be not only an in-ring talent, but he’s a natural leader of the locker room. In the next couple of months, I think he’s going to be a real breakout star for NXT. Rich Swann is there as well; he’s a real good up-and-comer.

 

[There are also] the names people won’t have heard of, guys like Riddick Moss; he’s someone who started the same day as me at the Performance Center, but he was a transfer from football with no wrestling background. He has made incredible leaps and bounds, and he’s really a team player and will be a real locker room leader in the future. So, Finn will move on, but NXT is in good hands, you can rest assured.

 

Video Interview: Finn Bálor on Aftermath – May 25th, ...

    

Finn Balor was a guest on the weekly Aftermath television show, which airs exclusively in Canada on Wednesday nights after SmackDown. Finn sits down with Jackie Redmond to discuss his outfit changes, advice from Triple H, comic books and more. Check out the interview full interview here exclusively at FinnBalor.com.

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»FINNishing TOUCH: Screen Captures > TV Shows > Aftermath – May 25th, 2016

Finn Bálor’s true demon: The quest to defeat Samoa Joe

As Finn Bálor stares down his Steel Cage Match against NXT Champion Samoa Joe, the challenger contemplates not just regaining NXT’s top prize, but also his role as locker room leader.

Finn Bálor was approaching an unprecedented 300-day reign as NXT Champion. Enter a fateful night in Lowell, Massachusetts, on April 21, and Bálor’s life took a dramatic turn. It was on that night that heated rival Samoa Joe defeated Bálor and captured the NXT Championship.

“It was definitely a feeling of surrealism,” Bálor revealed to WWE.com. “You tend to picture winning the championship. You always have the dreams and vision of how you are going to win, but you never imagine how you are going to lose. I remember feeling like an ant laying on the mat with Joe standing over me.

“I had the championship for 292 days, so that title became a part of me and who I was, and what I represented,” Bálor explained. “After all the hard work I put into NXT, and to suddenly wake up one day and realize that title, achievement and crown you’ve worked so hard for isn’t there, it forced me to start questioning my ability and whether or not I belonged.”

It seems only appropriate that Bálor will have a chance to rid himself of that doubt when he challenges Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship at NXT Takeover: The End… on June 8. Adding to those raised stakes is the fact that both men will compete for NXT’s most prized possession inside a steel cage.

“I realize the pressure is on and it’s gonna be a big match,” the challenger said. “This is my first time in the cage. I’m gonna be nervous going into it, but I work best under pressure. I thrive on nerves.”

History has shown that Bálor has indeed thrived in first-time scenarios. Last August, he successfully defended the NXT Championship in his first career Ladder Match against Kevin Owens.

“I’m going to have the same attitude I had in that Ladder Match,” Bálor insisted, “and I’m not going to leave anything behind.”.

To walk in Bálor’s shoes is to walk in the shoes of a man whose championship reign trailblazed a path on multiple levels, from winning the NXT Championship in Japan (where he solidified his international status as one of the top competitors in the world), to successfully defending it in London (where both family and friends were on hand to witness the stunning career growth of the Irish-born Superstar).

Yet perhaps most of all was the pride that Bálor had in leading the revolution that is NXT. “As NXT Champion, I was honored to lead the NXT expansion around the U.S. and internationally,” he said. “I loved being a role model – not just for our fans, but for everyone training at the WWE Performance Center, by leading NXT by example. It was a great opportunity that I took very seriously, and that’s what I consider one of the most important things about being a true champion.”

For now, however, the role of “true champion” is defined by the wrecking machine known as Samoa Joe. What kind of damage will Joe and Bálor inflict upon each other inside a steel cage? The answer most certainly involves brutality and aggression.

As for the former champion? His words toward the current titleholder are simple and direct: “The biggest thing Joe has to deal with is underestimating Finn Bálor.”