Finn Balor has become one of the most popular stars in WWE today. From humble beginnings on the UK independent circuit, Balor made his name in New Japan. Most wrestling experts viewed him among the best wrestlers in the world. The decision to sign with WWE was shocking considering WWE didn’t look to hire talent from New Japan in quite a long time. Triple H saw something special in him and brought him to NXT. Balor would go on to change NXT forever. The popularity of Finn not only helped bring NXT to new levels, but it made him a star before he even joined the main roster.
We now see Balor on Raw every week with the occasional appearance of The Demon. The appeal of The Demon takes Finn to the next level as one of the most fascinating characters in WWE. Without the paint, he is still extremely popular. WWE is definitely trying to build around him being a major player on the Raw brand. Balor appeals to fans of all demographics and is one of the premiere merchandise sellers right now. We'll take a look at the life and career of this popular Superstar with fifteen tidbits even the diehard fans of Finn Balor don’t know.
13 Made Surprising New Friends In WWE
Every wrestler makes new friends when changing promotions. However, some of the friendships in WWE are a bit surprising when you realize the differences. Finn Balor’s friendship shows this as he has made some new pals when joining the main roster. Recent interviews have seen Balor reveal a few of his new friends.
Finn stated that Big Show is one of his favorite people in the locker room and he receives advice from the legendary giant. Goldust is another veteran that has helped Balor during his journey on Raw. The two working a two-week program leading to a match on Raw showed that they likely pitched to work together. Balor also named The Miz as someone he personally enjoys and considers Miz one of the best he’s ever faced.
12 Elaborate Entrance Was Not Originally Planned
Finn Balor has one of the best entrances in WWE today. The demon entrance would be considered the best, but his normal route to the ring is quite great as well. Balor sports his cool Balor Club jacket to the ring as he raises his arms in the air with the fans following suit. The visual of the entire crowd having their hands in the air with Balor is great to showcase his popularity.
This organically started in NXT. You can see the fans started doing it during his normal entrances after he did it as The Demon once. It was so fun and easy that everyone did it until it caught on. Triple H decided it should become a fixture in his entrance, regardless of if he was wearing the paint or not.
13. Triple H Requested He Stay In NXT Longer Than Expected
Another interesting tidbit about Finn Balor’s NXT career is about why he was in the promotion for so long. The best performers in NXT typically get called up when they're too good to not be used on the main roster in the biggest manner possible. Balor appeared ready for Raw or SmackDown long before his call-up in 2016.
Triple H reportedly felt he couldn’t risk losing Finn as the face of the NXT brand. During Balor’s reign as NXT Champion, the promotion grew to new heights as a touring brand able to sell out bigger venues for TakeOver. Triple H kept Finn as the NXT star for a bit longer than normally due to no one being able to replace him. Shinsuke Nakamura signing was finally the move that allowed Balor to move up to Raw without having to worry about NXT falling apart.
11 Was Excited To Meet Puff Daddy
Celebrities often visit WWE and play a role in the show. One major music name to have a business relationship is Puff Daddy. The rapper/producer/businessman performed for WWE at various events through the years. One of his more recent visits to WWE came in 2016 when Finn Balor was on the main roster. Balor admitted that he wanted to get a picture with Diddy like any other fan.
Wrestlers sometimes mark out over meeting famous people that they enjoy the work of. Puff Daddy was apparently one of those celebrities that Balor went out of his way to meet and get a picture for social media. Multiple other wrestlers met Puff Daddy and received pictures, but Balor seemed to be the happiest of the bunch.
10 Wrestling Name Dedicated To His Dad
WWE still refused to let wrestlers continue using their names from past promotions when Finn Balor signed with the company. The prior name of Prince Devitt used in New Japan was not allowed and he was forced to come up with someone completely different. Obviously, the name Finn Balor was chosen and has been a complete success.
This name came to be as Finn is inspired from his father. Balor’s dad is named Finnton and it seemed like the right way to honor a loved one. The name Balor comes from the name of a demon in Celtic mythology. Funny enough, the Celtic folk hero to battle Balor was named Finn leading to the name being formed. However, Balor’s dad being named Finnton is the main reason he felt comfortable going with Finn.
9 Moved To Brooklyn After Joining Main Roster
The jump from NXT to the main roster is akin to leaving college to enter the professional world. Wrestlers make significantly more money and receive more opportunities for merchandising and other financial bonuses. Another big change is wrestlers have the freedom to live anywhere they want. Most NXT wrestlers have to live in Orlando and show up to the Performance Center every day.
Finn Balor made his decision to leave Florida shortly after getting called up from NXT. Following his injury, Balor used the time off to relocate from Orlando to Brooklyn, New York. The biggest win and heartbreak of Finn’s WWE career took place in Brooklyn at SummerSlam 2016 making it interesting that he chose this to be the location his new home. Balor has posted pictures taking the train as his form of transportation like most New Yorkers. Finn clearly enjoys his new home for the time being.
8 Might Not Have Used Body Paint in WWE If Not For Enzo Amore
As mentioned on the prior topic, the body paint to become The Demon is a huge game changer for Finn Balor. Fans absolutely love the idea and associate it with Balor even though he only brings it out for special events. The body paint became attached to his name during the end of his independent run when he experimented with different comic book characters.
Finn didn’t believe WWE had any interest in using the paint when he signed. During his first photo shoot, Enzo Amore actually talked him into painting himself and talked Kevin Owens into wearing a shirt and shorts. Both men showcased the characters we remembered from their independent careers. Triple H saw the picture and decided the paint would be needed for special shows. Enzo may be hated today for his antics, but the influence in Balor’s paint is one of his better moments.
7 Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Neville Cheered Him Up After Injury
The story of Finn Balor getting injured during the biggest win of his career is still a tough one for his fans to think about. Balor suffered a shoulder injury when taking a powerbomb from Seth Rollins into the guardrail. Despite winning the match, Balor knew right away that the injury was serious. WWE 24 cameras showed him inform Triple H right when he was getting showered with love for the big win.
Finn was forced to relinquish the title the next night on Raw. The WWE 24 special chronicling Balor’s recovery saw him state his friends helped him get through the emotional pain of the night. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Neville were specifically named as guys that helped him out in different ways. Despite all competing against each other, friends in wrestling will stick together through the tough times.
6 Moved In With Parents To Recover From Injury
Another fact about Finn Balor’s life after suffering the injury that put him on the shelf is that he moved back with his parents for a few months. Following the surgery, Balor decided it would be best to spend family time. It both helped him rest up while relying on others and it gave him the first time to spend quality time with his parents since he started traveling the world full time.
Kevin Owens has revealed that Balor was the first person he talked to after winning the Universal Championship and Balor’s parents were right there too. WWE 24 showed some clips of Finn enjoying his home life in Ireland as he tried to get over the heartbreak of his dream moment being taken away. Balor has a close relationship with both of his parents and they travel to the United States for his bigger shows.
6. Has Black Belt In Submission Wrestling
Wrestling is the passion of Finn Balor but he also experimented in other forms of athletics during his career. One interest he held in between wrestling was trying his hand at learning different forms of martial arts. At one point, Balor joined the International Budo Federation during his time in England. Finn would focus primarily on submissions and striking.
The most impressive thing about Balor’s time studying martial arts is that he earned a first degree black belt in submission wrestling when training with the IBF. Black belts aren’t just handed out. Finn clearly knows the art of submission which is funny since he doesn’t implement it as much into his wrestling move set. This is likely just an interest of his from the past that he did for his own rather than adding to his wrestling skills.
5 Demon Inspired From Spider-Man
The Demon paint turns Finn Balor from another very popular wrestler into an attraction. We've only seen it three times on the main roster and the crowd reacted extremely positive each time. This character concept was created by Balor during his time in New Japan and on the independent circuit. Finn portrayed various comic book character adaptations with Spider-Man and The Joker standing out as the most memorable.
Balor couldn’t use these copyrighted characters in WWE and decided to go with the one demon look that we see today. The explanation of the story behind the character is very similar to Spider-Man. An introvert and shy person becomes a hero beyond his wildest imagination when the paint hits him. Considering Balor did his paint as multiple Spider-Man concepts on the independent circuit, the story behind The Demon being similar to Peter Parker makes sense.
4 Best Friends With Kevin Owens
The friendship between Kevin Owens and Finn Balor started around the time of the aforementioned photo shoot. Both men had highly successful careers outside of WWE in different promotions before meeting for the first time in NXT. Their large number of mutual friends made it obvious they’d get along but they likely didn’t expect to become as close as they did.
Most fans view Sami Zayn as Owens’ best friend and Karl Anderson as Balor’s best friend. However, Finn and Kevin grew closer through their time in the Performance Center and beyond. Owens stated Balor was the only wrestler he told about getting called up for his match with Cena and has referred to Finn as his best friend in multiple interviews. The same feelings have been expressed by Balor. Both men stated facing each other at WrestleMania is one of their dream matches.
3 Moved To Japan For Dojo Stint
Most American fans that remember Finn Balor’s run in New Japan have fond memories of him having classic matches and creating the Bullet Club. Things were not always so glamorous for Balor in Japan. Finn actually got his start there by moving out to Japan solely to be a young boy and work in the NJPW dojo doing grunt work to pay his dues.
Following the long road of hard work and training, Balor finally received a chance to become a player on New Japan shows. Most young Japanese wrestlers do this, but it took far more by Balor having to moving from Ireland to Japan with zero promises of anything aside from a hard life. All of his success was truly earned after the risky and difficult path he took to prove his worth.
2 Spent Most Of NJPW Career As Cruiserweight
Something most WWE fans would be shocked to realize is that Finn Balor was New Japan’s version of a cruiserweight in their Junior Heavyweight Division. Balor was the centerpiece of the division winning the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship three-times and the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship six-times with Ryusuke Taguchi. Despite being extremely popular, NJPW didn’t move Balor into the heavyweight picture until the end of his run.
A.J. Styles and Kenny Omega have replaced Balor as the leader of the Bullet Club. Both men have received runs in the Heavyweight Division due to their talent but likely due to Finn leaving as well. New Japan realized keeping their top talent with a ceiling over their potential would give them more incentive to leave for WWE. Balor should have had multiple runs with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship but it never happened for him.
1 WWE Planned To Make Him "The Guy" Before Injury
A very sad fact for Finn Balor is just how strongly WWE believed in pushing him before his injury at Summerslam 2016. This was right around the time period Roman Reigns violated the Wellness Policy to get suspended and put in the proverbial doghouse by WWE. Balor defeated Roman on his first night on Raw to earn a spot in the match against Seth Rollins for the first ever Universal Championship.
WWE intentionally had Balor cleanly defeat Reigns and win the title one month into his tenure to give him the ball right away. Finn was scheduled to have the rest of the year to prove he was “the guy” to build around. No one else has received this chance in recent years aside from Reigns. Balor had the chance before the worst luck ever struck and he sustained the injury. Finn is now back and 100%, but WWE is once again committed to building Roman at the expense of everyone else.