The extraordinary man who can do extraordinary things. You can’t deny that the beloved Finn Bálor has helped change the game in professional wrestling over recent times. Credited with founding the highly popular Bullet Club during his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling as Prince Devitt, the Irish superstar has captured the hearts of wrestling fans across the globe with highlight-reel move sets and cheeky personality.
Since signing to NXT, Bálor has made himself one of WWE’s biggest draws and continues to currently impress on the main roster at Monday Night Raw as one of the companies top performers. Morgan Richards spoke with the Demon King ahead of WWE’s UK tour about the Bullet Clubs legacy, his toughest opponents and competing on the grandest stage of them all at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans...
One thing that has dominated the wrestling world all over in recent years is the whole Bullet Club/Bálor Club movement you started back in your time in Japan. Is it quiet surreal to see how far everything's evolved, seeing it grow on the outside, and bringing it to WWE as well?
Yeah I feel the club for me has really evolved since what it was in Japan. You know Bullet Club came from a very dark place in my personality and probably a dark time in my life where I wasn’t really happy with where I was. I feel like Bálor Club now has kinda gone in a separate direction, I’m trying to spread more positivity and equality for everyone. So I feel that, although we all came from the same place we’re definitely going in different directions and I’m happy with the direction I’m going in now that’s for sure.
You’ve just competed at your first ever WrestleMania in New Orleans. Of course, you unfortunately missed out being part of the show last year due to injury. Was there that extra excitement being part of the card this time around?
I feel like my whole career I’ve kinda done things the hard way and taking the long rounds. Honestly I felt mostly calm and relaxed. I feel that if I had a match last year I probably wouldn’t have been ready you know, even though I was medically cleared I wouldn’t have been at my best in the ring. The year before that I was obviously in NXT and even the year before that so, I feel like everything happens for a reason and at the right time. Honestly I tried to treat it as any other match. Man, I know it’s a big deal, It’s WrestleMania 34 in front of a lot of people but to me every match is as important as the other and you see that every Monday night on Raw. You see that every house show I step into the ring in so, I don’t treat anything any different.
Lot of wrestlers seem to agree that even though they travel the globe, they only get to see that city’s airport, hotel, gym and area. What is your normal day-to-day regime before a show?
So I wake up early, go to the gym, light workout. Very light workout [laughs]. Back to the hotel, shower. Make sure all my wrestling gear is in the bag and at about two o’clock every show we’ve got to be at the venue. That’s about it. Once we get to the venue, we eat, stretch and then we’re ready to go by eight o’clock.
You’ve obviously faced a whole variety of opponents throughout your career, but who would you say have been your toughest three to step into the ring with?
Let me think. Samoa Joe. Huge man but moves like a cruiserweight, hits like a heavyweight and has stamina for days. Bray Wyatt. He has size that just doesn't translate on TV, like in person he’s much bigger than he looks. I had to use a lot of the lessons I learned from fighting Samoa Joe and apply them to Bray Wyatt. The third most toughest person I’ve ever faced in the ring would be Zack Sabre Jr, who despite his size and unique frame has deceptive toughness and uses your own movements against you. He’s someone who’s very economical with his movement and someone who can counteract someone's strength with his technique.
Speaking of Bray Wyatt, there was one match we never actually got to see which was yourself vs. Bray in the Demon vs Sister Abigail storyline at TLC in 2017. What could we have expected from that match?
I don’t know [laughs]. It’ll always be that great unknown question. I think that it could have really went either way. What were we going to see with Sister Abigail, I don’t even know what we were going to see but I think it worked out well for me in the end. Obviously Bray was struck down with illness, was it fate or not I don’t know - maybe it was Sister Abigail that stuck him down [laughs]. But obviously Bray had to step out, AJ (Styles) stepped in and I believe that was definitely a turning point in the year for me and helped me get a little bit of steam to where I am now. So, thank God we didn’t see that Sister Abigail!
What storylines or rivalries would you like to see Bálor involved with in the future? Did we miss out on not seeing the Demon vs Sister Abigail? Let us know in the comments!