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“The Demon” Finn Bálor vs. AJ Styles 2 … ...
TLC Results – October 22nd, 2017
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.”

Finn Bálor talks NXT TakeOver, the UK tour and NXT future w...

Earlier this week, NXT General Manager William Regal made the blockbuster announcement that next month’s NXT TakeOver event will be headlined by the brand’s first ever cage match, when NXT Champion Samoa Joe puts his title on the line against former champ and long-term adversary Finn Balor.

 

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The pair have been involved in grueling rivalry which has now spanned three separate TakeOver events, and the Irishman thinks the match is the natural end to a feud and yet another milestone in the NXT career of the man they call ‘The Demon’.

 

Speaking with Gorilla Position this week, Balor said: “I’ve had a lot of firsts in NXT, I had the brand’s first ladder match, against Kevin Owens at TakeOver: Brooklyn, and now this third match with Joe will be in the first in a cage.

 

“I believe William Regal said it’s to ensure the safety of the fans, but I think really it’s so that Joe doesn’t runaway this time.

 

“We’ve been going a long time with this one and now I think it’s best we finally settle it in a steel cage.”

 

WWE is, of course, no stranger to cage matches – you can go back to the days of Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy in the old blue steel cage at WrestleMania II to see that – but of all the classic caged contests there’s one that stands out more than most for the man who’s been a wrestling fan his entire life.

 

“The Hell in a Cell between Undertaker and Mankind at King of the Ring has to be my favourite,” added Balor.

 

“The image of Mankind coming off the top of the cage is one that has lived in everyone’s memory and one you’ll never get tired of watching and wincing at every time you see it.”

 

When you hear Finn talk about big WWE moments from the past, you can still see the wrestling fan inside him and it’s no surprise given it’s all he’s ever wanted to do since he was a young boy growing up in Bray, Ireland.

 

“I grew up watching the old World of Wrestling on ITV, you know, watching guys like Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy with my Granddad,” he told Gorilla Position.

 

“I remember being drawn in by these larger-than-life characters and it never left me. I wouldn’t say there was one defining moment when it hit me, but I just knew I wanted to be a wrestler. When I got to finishing secondary school and they ask what are you going to do, I didn’t want to study business or electronics at college – why waste your time on something you’re not passionate about?

 

“I wanted to study wrestling and be a wrestler, so at sixteen I packed by bags and headed to England, and now fifteen years later I’m here talking to you and ready to go into another NXT TakeOver event.”

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Finn Balor Interview: WWE NXT Dallas/WrestleMania 32 –...

    

We got to talk to the one, the only Finn Bálor today ahead of his huge matchup with Samoa Joe at NXT TakeOver Dallas!

Related Links, Photos & More:
»FINNishing TOUCH: Screen Captures > Online Videos > Finn Balor Interview: WWE NXT Dallas/WrestleMania 32 – WhatCultureMania

Hot Minute: WWE’s Finn Balor

    

WWE fans: Make sure you yell “hell yeah” in a fake-American accent (even if you are American) after watching this Hot Minute with Finn Balor. Please and thank you.

Related Links, Photos & More:
»FINNishing TOUCH: Screen Captures > Online Videos > Hot Minute: WWE’s Finn Balor