Finn Balor’s match with Samoa Joe will not be his last as a full time competitor with NXT.
Balor, the NXT champion, was rumored to appear tonight on Monday Night Raw and unveil the Balor Club with Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson and Doc Gallows, but the debut was, once again, put on hold.
The reigning NXT champion, Balor treated the crowd to a thoughtful, revealing interview Saturday in the NXT ring at WWE AXXESS.
When asked to comment on the rampant reports floating all over the internet, Balor playfully replied, “I’ll tweet about it in the morning.”
Balor also discussed his physical, bloodfilled match with Samoa Joe from Friday’s NXT Takeover.
“I heard Samoans have hard heads, but it turns out what Enzo Amore told me about Samoa Joe’s head was true,” said Balor, showing off his sense of humor. “His head is S-A-W-F-T.
“The match with Joe was a long night. He’s put me through some of the most brutal matches I’ve ever been involved in, and he’s a tremendous competitor. But as you can see, I’m still the NXT champion and I’m looking forward to the next challenge, whatever that may be.”
Balor is expected to defend his title in must-see matches against Shinsuke Nakamura and Austin Aries.
“I’ve known Shinsuke a long time,” said Balor, referencing their battles from New Japan Pro Wrestling. “He came here with one thing on his mind, and that is becoming NXT champion. When Shinsuke is ready, Shinsuke will get his opportunity.
“I came to NXT with my eyes on the NXT championship, so anybody that wants to come to NXT wants the NXT title. And it’s my job fight day in and day out. Austin Aries is here now, Shinsuke Nakamura is here now, and there will be a lot more people here soon with their eye on this title. As soon as they’re ready, then I’m ready.”
Although Balor is now for his demonic face paint, he has a much softer side outside the ring. One of his best friends in NXT, he admitted, is Bayley, and he is extremely proud of what she has accomplished in the ring.
“Bayley has done incredible things for all of women’s wrestling,” said Balor. “She may have dropped the title to Asuka, but Asuka definitely has a huge future in front of her. The ladies continue to revolutionize what we do. Last year, we had Charlotte, Sasha [Banks], and Becky [Lynch] all on the non-televised San Jose show two nights before WrestleMania, so there is nothing that says that Bayley won’t be at the next WrestleMania.”
When asked to describe the biggest difference between wrestling in the United States and abroad, Balor explained the most significant difference is the magnitude of the WWE.
“I came up in the U.K., which is a very catch-as-catch-can style, and then I somehow ended up in Japan and spent eight years there learning strong style,” said Balor. “I got to spend some time in Mexico learning the lucha libre style, and the WWE is a hybrid style of everything mixed together.
“The difference is the sheer scale of the reach that we have as WWE superstars. I could have a match in Japan and put my heart and soul into it, and literally, I might get one text message. I got 500 text messages after [NXT Takeover on Friday]. The reach is the thing that’s changed for me the most.”
Again pressed for information about the Balor Club’s rumored debut, particularly considering Balor posts pictures of Gallows and Anderson on social media, the NXT champ played it coy.
“Don’t you post pictures of your friends on Twitter?” he asked. “So why can’t I post pictures of me and Karl Anderson hanging out?”
Balor also shared that, once he moves to the main roster, the opponent wants first is none other than the man he defeated for the NXT title, Kevin Owens.
The interview was then derailed with a few special guests. Kevin Owens interrupted, Enzo Amore joined Balor in the ring, and Bayley then came out and asked for a hug, which was granted.
Balor was then asked about his dream match with any opponent in wrestling.
“Eddie Guerrero would be phenomenal,” said Balor, “but I was always inspired by the HBK, Shawn Michaels.”
After wrestling all over the world, Balor explained that he has found his home in the WWE.
“I was six years old watching wrestling on TV,” said Balor. “I was eight years old watching Ultimate Warrior run to the ring at WrestleMania. I was eighteen years old starting out on a journey in the U.K. wanting to be a professional wrestler. I was 24 years old when I started in Japan, and I came here two years ago to NXT.
“It was a big gamble to come to WWE, and it was a big gamble to come to NXT. Honestly, the gamble paid off. What we’ve done with NXT in the last year-a-half since I’ve been here is the part of my career that I’m most proud of.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.