Finn Balor has been on a tear since his return to WWE NXT back in 2019, and he's become a whole new person thanks to this second run. We have seen the former Raw and SmackDown star recharge his batteries and evolve into a brand new type of performer. One can argue that Balor's best matches have been with NXT overall, but the matches he has been a part of since his return have been on a wholly different level. He's been put up against some great performers, but there's a chance that this could be it for his second NXT run.
Balor himself has confirmed an interest in returning to Raw or SmackDown, and recent reports have indicated that this feeling could be mutual. If Balor is getting ready to move on (SummerSlam and the WWE Draft would offer great opportunities to do so smoothly), then now is the perfect time to look back on the two years he has spent on a second run with WWE NXT.
Read on for our picks of Finn Balor matches that you should check out from his return NXT run! Balor's been a part of some great matches, so this list obviously doesn't cover everything. In that case, let us know which matches have been your favorites in the comments!
vs. Karrion Kross II (2021)
The first bout between Finn Balor and Karrion Kross was a great one, but the two truly elevated their work to a new level with the sequel. Given their very distinct styles, the first match between the two felt a little overlong and clunky. The second has the benefit of retrospect to hone in more on what worked, and trimmed what didn't the first time around. The two of them seem much more comfortable with one another the second time around too, so they definitely both take a good beating before it's all over.prevnext
vs. Pete Dunne (NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day)
Speaking of styles meshing well, Pete Dunne made for a fantastic opponent for Balor to bounce off of. Dunne's a very precise attacker who focusing on doing damage on joints and focus points, so he was the perfect opponent for Balor to take on after his jaw injury. Dunne made sure to focus much of his offense on Balor's jaw, so it became even more of a match of endurance for Balor (that came full circle with Balor removing Dunne's mouthpiece). Dunne didn't win, but he came out on the other side of it a major main title contender from then on.prevnext
vs. Kyle O'Reilly (TakeOver 31)
Speaking of jaw, you can't really talk about Balor's best return matches so far without bringing up the match where it happened. The feud between Balor and Kyle O'Reilly was mainly in service of getting O'Reilly to the place where his now as a solo figure, but it was a great showing from Balor due to the vicious striking the both of them are known for. Reilly quite literally threw everything he had at Balor during this match, and Balor's victory with a bloody mouth was just a great image for TakeOver 31 overall.prevnext
vs. Timothy Thatcher (NXT TakeOver XXX)
Timothy Thatcher exploded onto the scene after his separation from Riddle, and that brought a chaotic and aggressive energy to a match with Balor at TakeOver XXX. Kicking off the pay-per-view, the entire flow of the match was following Balor as he tried to either contend or evade Thatcher's grapple heavy style. Balor shines in these types of high physicality matches, so it was great to see him forcibly slowed and try to strike his way out of Thatcher's clutches each time. It really was a great showing for Thatcher, and Balor too.prevnext
vs. Keith Lee and Tommaso Ciampa (2019)
Keith Lee and Finn Balor had a fantastic chemistry as it turned out that their styles worked together well. The No.1 contender's match to face the then NXT Champion took that chemistry to another level by adding Tommaso Ciampa to the equation. The three of them factored into some pretty unique grapples and stunts, and this was especially true for the creative way Balor actually won here. Taking advantage of the opening left by Keith Lee's Spirit Bomb with a pinpoint Coup de Grace, it was an intelligent victory in a match full of intelligent moves.prevnext
vs. Adam Cole and Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
If Balor looked good in Triple Threats, he probably looked the best in this Fatal Four-Way Iron Man match at Super Tuesday. All four competitors brought something fun to the match up, and it legitimately looked like it could go any potential way. That's why it was even more shocking when it ended on a tie. You can bunch this hour long spectacle with the one-on-one match between Balor and Cole the next night for maximum enjoyment too as it tells one long journey of Balor fighting to (re)claim the NXT Championship and kick off his new era of dominance.prevnext
vs. Riddle (NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2019)
Finn Balor's very first match since returning to NXT in 2019 needed to set the pace for his second run. Balor had come back to NXT with a new and more aggressive attitude, so pitting him against one of the chillest dudes on the NXT roster at the time was a great move. It was a pivotal match for the both of them as it set the course of their 2020 in motion as Balor would go on to dominate NXT and Riddle would eventually move on to SmackDown and Raw. It was a hard hitting match, and set Balor up for the next two years to come.prev