POST NEWS UPDATE: Finn Bálor opens up about low point during WWE run, Wyatt Sick6, The Demon, R-Truth/Judgment Day

Originally published at POST NEWS UPDATE: Finn Bálor opens up about low point during WWE run, Wyatt Sick6, The Demon, R-Truth/Judgment Day

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources, and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** The What’s the Story? Podcast has an extensive conversation up on their feed with Finn Bálor. Among the topics that were delved into was Bálor sharing that the two months prior to his heel turn in WWE was the lowest he’s ever felt in his career investment-wise. It was Adam Copeland wanting him in Judgment Day that pulled him out of that slump. Bálor revealed that he was paired with A.J. Styles and Liv Morgan just so he could have someone to turn on. He was originally supposed to turn on Styles, but Copeland ended up being on the receiving end.

I haven’t said this publicly, ever. But, the two months before I turned heel was probably the lowest I’d been in my career, with respect to investment level, the personal investment. I was just showing up, I was going, ‘Yeah, who do you want me to lose to today?’ It was just kind of the same sh*t that I’d been doing over and over again and I was doing the same act for so long and I just felt like I had so much more to give. But, it wasn’t anyone’s fault. There was a lot of factors that led into this and one of them was COVID because COVID meant that my green card process got all f*cked up and then, because of that, I had to go home to Ireland for two months right before WrestleMania so then I was kind of out of the buildup to WrestleMania. I came back right before WrestleMania, I was left off WrestleMania because there was no time to build a match so that then just starts to f*ck with your brain, going like, sh*t, why am I not on WrestleMania? I’m not good enough. But it wasn’t really that. It was just COVID had locked me in the U.S. for two years so then when the lockdown stopped, I needed to travel to Ireland to get all my visa and paperwork still sorted. That took so long because it’s the backup from the two years. That then had an affect on the next couple of months of my career and it was right there that I was kind of left in limbo in the storylines, we’re just throwing sh*t at the wall and it was kind of Edge who was the one who said, ‘No, I want this guy. This guy, we’re not using him enough. I want him in Judgment Day’ and that’s kind of where things started to turn and then we went with the story of putting me and A.J. (Styles) and Liv (Morgan) together as a little kind of faction just so I had someone to turn on. That was literally set up just for me to turn and originally, I was supposed to turn on A.J. but, then it all changed. I turned on Edge because I think someone got injured and they needed to turn Edge back babyface or something like that. One domino falls, the whole stack goes…

He spoke candidly about no longer being the ‘new kid on the block’ in WWE. He remembers coming up to the main roster in 2016 and being the fresh face. Bálor admitted that part of the reason why he thinks about that is rooted in insecurity.

And then when you’re that deep in the game, 20-plus years in the game, you’re thinking like, ah, people have seen me so much now. There’s all these new kids coming in, they’re way cooler. You kind of lose your cool, new, shiny toy feel. When I came up in NXT and then I was Universal Champion, it’s like, I was the new kid on the block and everyone was interested and excited to see what he’s gonna do next but, everyone’s kind of seen everything I can do. So, I’m not doing anything new, I’m not doing any new tricks. You start to second-guess yourself and go, oh sh*t. What? Did I pass the expired date? And then with the contract coming up, looming and it’s four months, it’s three months and go, sh*t, I really should enjoy this one because this could be my last one. You just don’t know. It’s obviously rooted in insecurity. It’s a mad feeling to then go from having so much insecurity and sh*t, am I gonna keep doing this? To then I’m signing a new deal and it’s like, rush of endorphins come back, the adrenaline comes back and the eagerness and the thirst comes back to like, yeah, I wanna show these people again. I wanna show everyone. I belong here, I still belong here and I’m gonna be the f*cking best at this.

He is one-half of the World Tag Team Champions with J.D. McDonagh as a part of The Judgment Day. Bálor touched on some of the background items in Judgment Day’s clubhouse that have been highlighted on social media. He brought up The Demon-themed lunchbox. Bálor said that was not planted or done on purpose to signal anything. It was something he randomly added and people picked up on it.

That’s stuff that we’re doing by ourselves (background items in Judgment Day clubhouse). That’s not written in the script, right? So people are seeing that and going, ‘Oh f*ck, The Demon’s coming. That’s a sign The Demon is coming.’ But, a lot of the stuff is just spontaneous. For example, that Demon lunchbox, that was a gift from the guy who helped me do the paint at WrestleMania. He brought that full of drinks and stuff like that and ah, ‘It’s for you.’ So it’s just been in the props truck and then when we set up the clubhouse, it’s, ‘Ah, The Demon thing in the props truck. Let’s get it.’ So then we have it on the set and then, we put little Rey Mysterios, ‘I’m a deadbeat dad’ and that was just Dom (Mysterio) brought that one day and then it just became a thing, so a lot of that stuff is — not improvised but, it’s not written in the script. We’re just adding things in to spice it up a little bit, you know?

Looking back at the group around WrestleMania XL season and shortly afterwards, Bálor felt things were beginning to teeter off but credited R-Truth for giving them a shot in the arm.

I hope it can continue. I think it’s been two years now and I thought it was kind of starting to teeter off there in like the couple weeks after Mania (XL). I’m like, ‘Ah, I’m not sure how long this has got left’ and then… R-Truth coming in — that was like right before WrestleMania. That’s when I thought I was starting to teeter off and then R-Truth came in and gave it a little shot in the arse and then right after Mania, again, it was like another thing with Liv (Morgan)…

A new group, now known as The Wyatt Sick6 are a part of Raw. Bálor is open to working with the group. When it comes to incorporating The Demon persona, he wants to keep his main character a heel but The Demon as a babyface. He feels the persona has not been handled properly over the years and if it’s not handled right, he does not want to reintroduce it.

I’d love to work with The Wyatt Sick6. I feel like we could do some cool sh*t there… I would like to keep Finn as a heel and The Demon as the babyface and not blur the lines at all. But it’s so hard and I feel like The Demon’s kind of something that we haven’t executed very well the last couple years and I’d rather not-not do it than do it in a way that I’m not happy with so, and look, in six years time, they can throw me out there in Demon paint and I’ll do the entrance. But now, Finn’s having too much fun and I feel like I can give a lot more layers as a heel Finn than The Demon. The Demon’s just very straight-forward. He’s like a bulldozer. He just goes straight for the kill, where Finn’s a little bit more sneaky and there’s more story arcs you can tell with Finn versus a supernatural Demon so…

Also on the Raw brand is Ilja Dragunov. At WWE Worlds Collide in 2020, Bálor and Dragunov went one-on-one. Bálor feels he was not in the right mental space at the time and should have done more homework on Ilja.

And then Ilja (Dragunov), I had the match with Ilja but, I don’t think I was in the right mental state at the time to really turn it on. I just didn’t know him. It was the first time we met was that day and I feel like I should have went into that match with a little more homework done… I’ve never watched it back. But that’s me. I just don’t like to watch myself back. I’m too embarrassed.

While speaking about names he’s enjoyed working with, he heaped praise onto Brock Lesnar. Finn said Lesnar is his favorite opponent.

It kind of normally goes the bigger you get, the slower you get. You look at Braun Strowman, no offense, but he doesn’t move like Brock (Lesnar). Brock is just a different level. Completely different level than everyone else on the roster, like physically, and I think he understands the business better. I think he’s the most underrated professional in history perhaps. He sells better than anyone, more realistic than anyone. He’s by far my favorite opponent… He’s always overlooked (in those conversations). Always overlooked. He’s been at the top for, I don’t know, 15 years? More maybe and yeah, he can do it all.

As he continued to recount memories from his career, he spoke about the Steel Cage match with Samoa Joe at NXT TakeOver: The End. Michael Hayes wanted Bálor to do the Coup de grâce off the top of the cage. Finn explained why he said no to that:

When I was in my first run in NXT in a Cage match against Samoa Joe, they wanted me to jump off the top of the cage and do the foot stomp and I said no, and this is Michael Hayes, he’s like the main producer. He’s like, ‘What do you mean you don’t wanna do your finish off the top of the cage?’ And I said, ‘Well, A, I might get hurt. B, it’s my finisher and I’m losing the match so, why would I do that off the cage?’ He goes, ‘Hmm, good point.’ But in my mind, I’m thinking, hold on, this is NXT. This is the training ground to get me to WWE. I’m not gonna risk getting hurt here to then jeopardize going there, and I’ve kind of kept that philosophy now, saying, hey, I’m not gonna risk getting hurt today because then I won’t be able to wrestle tomorrow. So, that’s pretty much why I don’t take many risks anymore… It’s a marathon, boys, not a sprint. I took all those risks when I was 19 and 20 in Wolverton and Bray, like jumping over the top rope, no one catching me, straight onto the AstroTurf or whatever it’s called.

There was a point when the topic transitioned over to Rey and Dominik Mysterio. Finn recounted Royal Rumble 2018 and thinking it was ‘stupid’ that he, as a babyface, eliminated Rey.

The night that Rey (Mysterio) came back to WWE was like the Royal Rumble a couple years ago, maybe like 2019 or something and I had done almost an hour in the Rumble that night and it was my job to eliminate Rey and everyone’s cheering me, cheering me, cheering me, cheering me. Then Rey comes in, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. Then I took him out, everyone goes, ‘Boo!’ And I thought, why did they book me to eliminate Rey? That was stupid, you know?

Elsewhere in the conversation, Finn expressed that he hopes Dewey Foley comes back to WWE as a writer. He enjoyed putting together material with Foley in NXT.

Believe it not, I worked very closely with Dewey (Foley) as a writer in NXT in my second run when he was a writer there. He was a fantastic writer and I really loved working with him and we developed a great relationship and he’s someone that I hope comes back to the company because he’s a good dude and so is Mick (Foley) obviously. I’m incredibly fond of Mick… It was cool because we all seen him in Beyond the Mat as this little weird kid and then I’m writing promos with him. What a story he has, growing up in the business, seeing his dad be a superstar and then, getting to transition into the business, which kind of similar to Dominik (Mysterio) as well.

He spoke about the other half of the World Tag Team Champions, J.D. McDonagh. At Survivor Series: WarGames, McDonagh jumped from the cage structure and was caught with an RKO. Finn said that was JD’s idea.

Ah, of course (it was J.D. McDonagh’s idea for RKO spot in WarGames). He was begging to do it. It was his idea. But, when you’re young and hungry and eager and you wanna make an impression, that’s what you gotta do. You can’t wait for people to say, hey, do you wanna jump off the cage? You gotta say, no, I’ll do it.

** DDT Pro-Wrestling President Sanshiro Takagi was interviewed by Tokyo Sports. He feels his ‘biggest hit’ as President of the promotion is the bullet train match with Minoru Suzuki in 2023.

It was the Shinkansen Pro Wrestling event (last September), which was the top news story on all commercial TV news programs in the morning, afternoon, evening and night for about three to four days. It was also covered by the BBC, ABC and about 100 countries around the world…

** The latest guest to appear on Insight with Chris Van Vliet was Shelton Benjamin. He shared that prior to his WWE release, there were talks of him becoming a trainer. He said becoming a trainer is not off the table just because he’s no longer with the company.

There was talk of me possibly becoming a trainer at some point. I don’t think that door has closed. I just haven’t pursued it yet. Yes (I still want to wrestle). I love training people, I love teaching, and that comes from my amateur wrestling background. But, at this point, I still think a little selfishly. I feel like I have a few more things that I’d like to do, I’d like to accomplish. So while yes, I definitely am interested, I have to put aside my own ambitions to really be able to do that job correctly and right now, at least today, I’m not ready to not think a little selfishly.

** As Vix Crow a.k.a. Alicia Fox was doing a virtual signing for East Coast Autograph Auctions, she said she’d be interested in working with TNA Wrestling.

Any of them (Fox responded when asked if there are wrestling companies she’s interested in joining). But TNA, I like TNA. I like their vibe over there… And Gail’s over there, (Tommy) Dreamer’s over there… It seems just, like, a good one, a good place to go. Get in the zone there.

** While being interviewed by Tokyo Sports, IYO SKY stated that she’s aiming to get a singles title match on a Premium Live Event.

I didn’t win the right (to challenge for the title anytime via Money in the Bank), but I guess it was a message from God. I would like to do my best to get a title match at (a) P.L.E., not as a cash-in, and win the WWE Women’s Championship again.

** A new WWE – Die Woche episode was recorded on Instagram Live with NXT’s Mr. Stone. He named Chelsea Green as his favorite client that he’s worked with on-screen. He heaped praise onto her and said she reminds him of himself when he was an active in-ring performer.

You know, hands down, I think the answer to that is Chelsea Green (as my favorite client). I mean, me and her started in NXT around the same time, I knew her previous. We’re very similar, our mindsets our very similar. We were a great collaboration and I think when we started, we were so hot so quick. Chelsea was in the Royal Rumble, I was on with her and it was short-lived because she did fire me after four months. Thanks for that Chelsea but, we’ve reconciled, we are friends again and yeah, I think hands down, Chelsea. I mean, look at what she’s doing now. What a talent. She’s so fun and entertaining to watch and you know, we’ll still text and D.M. here or there. We’re still friends so hey, you never know what could happen in the future, right? We’re BFFs still… She has 30 seconds of TV time, you’re gonna remember it and she’s great on social media, she’s fun to follow. I kind of, in a sense, when I regularly was an in-ring competitor, I kind of compare her to a female version of me. I feel like we had a lot of similarities. Both had great gear. Just our mindsets are the same so, hands down, Chelsea.

** In an interview with the Grue Rume Show, Gisele Shaw spoke about the end of the SHAWntourage trio in TNA/IMPACT that included herself, Savannah Evans and Jai Vidal.

It was really, really fun when I had Jai Vidal and Savannah Evans with me and it was part of the SHAWntourage. It was really cool, we had so much fun and you know, it’s unfortunate that it’s run its course but, sometimes good things come to an end and yeah, but we had such a blast, doing it all together and you never know, maybe down the road, I could have another SHAWntourage again so, maybe I’ll call them up and be like, hey! What’s going on? Never say never. You never know.

** Takeshi Morishima’s WWE tryout matches have been uploaded to the WWE Vault YouTube channel: 

** An article about Melissa Little, WWE’s Director of Operations for Creative Services and Photo.

** NJPW NEVER Openweight Champion HENARE was profiled on the New Zealand-based TV series, Te Ao with Moana.

** TNA Knockouts World Tag Team Champion Masha Slamovich is returning to Japan for TJPW on August 10th.

** Skye Blue and Kyle Fletcher guest appeared on Good Karma Wrestling.

** Hiromu Takahashi is scheduled for Pro Wrestling NOAH’s July 28th event.

** Black Rasslin’ Podcast posted their interview with Trick Williams.

** Neal Brennan’s chat with Chris Jericho: 

** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated rolled out his interview with Jeff Jarrett.

** July 9th birthdays: Sam Leterna.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources, and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.