Former NXT and WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor made a surprise appearance during this week's episode of NXT, confirming that he would be moving back to the Yellow and Black Brand with the statement "Finn Balor is NXT." The Irish wrestler originally competed in NXT from 2014-16, setting a record for longest reign as its top champion at 292 days. He quickly shot his way up the card once he made the jump to the main roster and became the first man to hold the Universal title, but he suffered an injury during his championship match that forced him to drop the belt a day later and disappear from TV for months. Many fans hoped he would climb his way back to the top once he returned, but in the years that followed he was kept almost exclusively on the midcard.
His last match prior to a two-month hiatus took place at SummerSlam, where he lost to "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt in just three minutes. On Wednesday Newsweek dropped a new interview with Balor where he explained why he made the switch.
"I've been out of the ring for about two months and out of NXT for much longer," Balor said "To get the opportunity to return to Full Sail live on USA is a huge honor for me.
"Right now that's what it means," he added when asked what his statement "Finn Balor is NXT" meant. "I'm going to wrestle whenever, whoever I want. That's something I've been chasing for quite some time in my career. I don't believe in any boundaries be it weight class, country, promotion... And I want to break those boundaries. I'm here at NXT to do that."
Balor admitted that the landscape in NXT has changed quite a bit in the past three years. When he left the first time, none of NXT's current champions were under contract, and many of its big stars like Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Pete Dunne, Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, Kushida, Walter and The Street Profits where either years away from being brought in or were just getting their feet wet on the brand.
"I have to be honest, it's a little nerve-wracking," Balor said. "The game has changed a lot in NXT since I was here. Seeing the match Cole and Matt Riddle put on tonight, they are two of the absolute best in-ring competitors in the world. So it's a little nerve-wracking to get into the deep end with those guys.
It's gotta be a challenge for myself in and out of the ring, and personally, to see if I can still go," he added. "It's been a while since I've been here, and the NXT style has evolved incredibly. When I was here it was me and [Samoa] Joe, and back then, I don't want to say it was a slower pace, but it was definitely more rugged here and there. They are going fast, and it's going to be a test for me and I'm looking forward to it."