Finn Balor Teases Not Using The Demon Against Brock Lesnar
"The Demon" has been one of the most captivating aspects of Finn Balor persona ever since he stepped foot in a WWE ring in 2014. But in what will be the biggest match of his career at the Royal Rumble on Jan. 27, he might not use it.
Balor spoke with ESPN this week about his upcoming Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar, and teased the idea of not appearing in his Demon persona to take on "The Beast."
"I feel like maybe I leaned on the demon too much there in the past as a crutch, and I can assure you that the man who faces Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble will be Finn Balor, the man," Balor said. "I think a lot of people were surprised when I came out at WrestleMania not in demon paint but I feel like I had a bigger message to spread that day — one of equality and acceptance. Honestly, this match just kind of came about so fast that I haven't had much time to think about it. I don't have any new gear, I don't have any new looks, I don't have any new ideas right now, but you know, we're still six days away, so I'm sure I'll come up with something."
As "The Demon," Balor is almost unstoppable inside a WWE ring. He sporadically used the gimmick in his time in NXT, winning the NXT Championship from Kevin Owens in 2015 while wearing the red and black paint at the Beast in the East event in Japan. He has never lost a match while portraying "The Demon" on WWE's main roster, defeating the likes of Seth Rollins (to win the Universal Championship at SummerSlam in 2016), Bray Wyatt, A.J. Styles and Baron Corbin. His latest appearance with the paint came against Corbin at SummerSlam back in August, where he won in 95 seconds.
Lesnar was originally booked to face Braun Strowman at the Rumble, but "The Monster Among Men" was pulled from the match (in storyline) after damaging Vince McMahon's limo on the Jan. 14 edition of Monday Night Raw. Balor then took his place by winning a four-way match involving Corbin, Drew McIntyre and John Cena.
In a recent interview with Sam Roberts, Balor said he found it difficult to accurately portray The Demon now that he uses it so sparingly.
"I do it so infrequently now that I forget how I move as the Demon," Balor said. "I forget the subtle differences in the entrance and the mannerisms of how the Demon works. Now, when I go out there, I'm Finn Balor, but that's just Fergal. It's just me, the human. But when the Demon goes out there, I need to transform into a different person. That mindset, because I'm not tapping into it so often, that's a huge challenge for me. I gotta figure out how to do that every time, again. I'm very comfortable being Finn, but when it comes to the Demon, I have to re-educate myself. That's an added challenge because of how infrequent we are doing it."