NXT champion Finn Balor recently spoke to Bleacher Report to hype tonight’s Takeover Vengeance Day pay per view, where the Prince defends his title against the Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Why defending the NXT title at WrestleMania is a catch-22:
I don’t think we can take away how important TakeOver is on WrestleMania weekend. Do we want to impact NXT TakeOver by having the NXT title match on WrestleMania? I don’t know. It’s a catch-22 because you want NXT to grow and you want it to be involved in WrestleMania, but at the same time for the last five or six years, we’ve been building this brand on our own and our whole goal is to knock it out of the park at TakeOver. It kind of detracts from TakeOver during WrestleMania weekend by putting some title matches on WrestleMania. It might be a little bit counterproductive to what we’re doing. That’s not really my decision, but if they want to send me out there on TakeOver, if they want to send me out there on WrestleMania, if they want to send me out there on Monday morning in the parking lot of a supermarket, I don’t care. I’m going to defend the NXT title.
On his move back to NXT and wanting to help build the brand after his main roster run:
It definitely grew to be a lot longer than I had been led to believe at the time,” he said. “There was certainly a hunger for me to outgrow NXT at that period in my life, and I wanted the challenge of Raw and SmackDown, and I wanted to be on Royal Rumble and Survivor Series and WrestleMania. There was more of an anxiety to move to the next level and push harder and move to what I perceived as a step too far in regards to going to Raw or going to SmackDown. Now, I feel very different in the sense because NXT has grown so much, and it really is an established brand. Also, I’ve checked all the boxes of the things I’ve wanted to do in my career. This is really something I can put my heart into. It’s something I’m passionate about. I don’t have that urgency or that need to move to that next level. NXT, Raw and SmackDown are all on the same level right now in my view. People may see that differently, but the way I see it, I get challenged even more at NXT because of the variety of opponents. I definitely don’t have that urgency to move to Raw or SmackDown right now. I’m very much committed to what I’m doing right now in NXT.
On his first Universal title reign ending because of an injury:
It happened, it was part of my story, and it was part of my growth. Going back to checking the boxes, I’m like this 14-year-old kid from Ireland with this dream to be WWE champion and I did it at SummerSlam, and I beat Roman Reigns in my debut on Raw and then Seth Rollins to win the title. Like, where can you go from there? You got to look at the positives and really that was it. That was the top of the mountain for me. I got there, it got taken away from me early, whatever, it happened exactly the way it was supposed to happen for me. I learned a lot from it and maybe I would’ve been in a lot worse position now if I had that run people feel I was robbed of. It’s part of my story, it’s made me a stronger person, and I’m not resentful for that at all.
On Bullet Club’s impact in the industry and wanting to work with other companies:
I think it’s something that’s really stood the test of time, and it’s a credit to not only the original generation of myself, Gallows, Anderson, Tama [Tonga] and [Bad Luck] Fale but also the guys who came in after us whether it was Adam Cole, Kenny Omega and AJ [Styles]. It’s something I feel that’s grown and transitioned, and people have gotten attached to it and bonded to it. It’s something that’s developed over the years in different forms. It’s really cool to see how it’s going right now. I know there’s a lot of cross-brand work going on, which is something I’ve been an advocate for for years,” he said. “I don’t feel like we should be limited to what our contract says or what company we work for. I feel like wrestling on the whole can be better if we all worked together, so if that means me going to Japan or me going to Europe or me going to Mexico, I’m down to do that. I’m all for the open-border policy, not just between countries but companies as well.