WRESTLING star Finn Balor is on his way back to the top of World Wrestling Entertainment and he wants what was cruelly taken from him last September.
Balor became the first ever WWE Universal Champion in his first main brand pay-per-view main event at Summerslam 2016.
But it was all stripped away just hours later, after the wrestler received a devastating shoulder injury during his title match with Seth Rollins. Scans showed the injury was severe and he was immediately made to vacate the title on the following night’s Monday Night Raw program and spent the next six months recovering, only returning in April this year.
Now he’s back and firing, he wants his crown returned.
Former UFC champion Brock Lesnar currently wears the Universal Title around his waist, but that does not concern Balor.
“Perhaps considering the fact I never actually lost the Universal Title, maybe at some point I’ll be granted a rematch — maybe against Samoa Joe or Brock Lesnar,” Balor told news.com.au
Ahead of the WWE Live Singapore show on 28 June, WWE Superstar Finn Balor visited Singapore to meet fans and answer some questions from the media.
Known for his intimidating in-ring persona “The Demon King”, the 35-year-old wrestling star shared some tips on how to intimidate opponents, for educational purposes, of course.
“There are plenty of ways. I can stare right into their eyes without blinking (or) cut a sweet flex and show off your muscles, but I think the best way is by showing no fear to your opponent,” Balor told Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore in an exclusive interview.
“Once I show that I’m not intimidated by the opponent, then that in turn intimidates them because they will think, ‘He’s not scared at all. He clearly thinks he can beat me’. “, he added.
Balor shared that it was “knowing that opponent I’m facing is calm and he’s not scared” that intimidated him the most.
Outside of the squared circle, Balor makes sure people feel less intimidated by him by simply just “smiling and greeting them with a handshake”.
“I want to let people know that although on screen I may be the WWE superstar Finn Balor, ‘The Demon King’, I’m really just a regular dude like everyone else,” he said.
When asked about his plans in Singapore, he said he hopes to do some sight-seeing and wishes to try the famous chilli crab dish as well.
Speaking about his time wrestling in Japan, Balor said, “It definitely moulded me into the person I am, both inside and outside of the ring. The Japanese fighting spirit and ‘never give up’ attitude was something I adopted when I was there, and it still carries me forward long after I left Japan.”
On 28 June at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Balor will appear alongside other top WWE Superstars such as Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe for the WWE Live Singapore show.
Then the Universal Champion, Balor suffered a devastating shoulder injury at SummerSlam back in August in his match against Seth Rollins and was forced to relinquish the strap.
Speaking at the o2 in London last week to announce the new WWE United Kingdom belt, Balor said: “Myself and Neville have been friends since 2002 and had similar journeys so it has not just been injuries that have encouraged us to lean on each other.
“It’s been the adjusting to dojos in Japan or upping sticks and moving to America, the adjustment of working for WWE. So me and Neville have leaned on each other for everything over the last couple of years.
“It was unfortunate what happened to both of us but I try to look at the positive situations from everything and for me timing was bad but I have the chance to step back and assess where I am and maybe come back a little bit rejuvenated.
“This is the first bit of time off I have had in about 10 years so to have this unfortunate break – which I wish didn’t happen – you have to make a positive out of a negative and I have learnt a lot of the last couple of months.
“I think being able to not worry about everything around me has helped. If I cannot affect a situation I take myself out of it.
“I don’t pay much attention to the news or what’s happening in politics and I applied that to wrestling because it is not important to me right now. What is important to me is getting my shoulder 100 percent right. So I took myself out of the WWE performance centre and took myself down to Birmingham, Alabama where they are one of the leading specialists in shoulder rehabilitation and working seven hours a day down there to try to make it back for WrestleMania.
“It’s nice to have a little break, I have been doing this for 14 years. You learn a lot more about yourself and I’m excited about the new Finn Balor that is coming back and not worried about the one I left behind. The target was six months and to be back for WrestleMania.”
Recently on Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast, the inaugural WWE Universal Champion Finn Bálor discussed why he did not raise the championship when he defeated Seth Rollins at SummerSlam 2016 and whether reuniting with Luke Gallows and Carl Anderson is being considered for Bálor’s return to WWE.
According to Bálor, the reason he did not hoist his newly won WWE Universal Championship was because his shoulder was injured during the match, even though Sami Zayn thought ‘The Demon King’ did not hold up the title because the fans in attendance were extremely vocal in their displeasure over the red and gold strap.
“[Zayn] goes, ‘God, that guy’s a genius!‘ Yet in reality, when the crowd were saying, I think, ‘that belt sucks,’ I was working over Seth and thought they were saying ‘Bálor sucks,’ and I said, ‘God, they turned on me fast!’”
Bálor continued, “I couldn’t lift it up. And there’s one shot, I don’t know if it aired on TV, but right when I got back up on the stage, the cameraman’s right in my face and he’s saying, ‘raise the belt up, raise the belt up, I need a shot with the belt up,’ I was like, ‘oh, no… ‘ and I was like, ‘argh…’ and hear crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, and I got it up. And the doctor has no idea how I’d done that or how I finished the match.”
Additionally, Bálor stated that he is sure a Bullet Club reunion with Gallows and Anderson will happen eventually; however, it does not appear to be planned for his WWE return.
“Obviously, there is that link and that history. And I think that that’s always a possibility. But I’ve kind of got my own things to handle first when I get back. I’m sure someday that will happen, we’ll get a little B.C. revival going on, but right now, right now, I’m just worried about getting healthy, man. I haven’t thought about where I’m going to be. I just want to get back.“
While you might know him as Prince Devitt, “The Real Rock ‘n’ Rolla” or “The Real Shooter”, one thing’s for sure: Finn Bálor will offer the WWE Universe something they’ve never seen before. Born and raised in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland; Finn is not your average WWE superstar as he brings the wrestling experience of a man who competed in places like Mexico, the UK and Japan. He might not be the “Prince” anymore, but that won’t stop Finn Bálor from claiming his throne in the WWE as the resident Demon King on the NXT brand.
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