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Finn Bálor explains NXT return, heel turn: ‘The Prince is back’

Finn Bálor’s didn’t lay all his cards on the table in his first interview since sending Johnny Gargano to the hospital with an unexpected assault on Oct. 23’s NXT. But on appearance the Fri., Oct. 25 edition of FS1’s WWE Backstage, the former NXT & Universal champion did give us a pretty clear indication of where his character is right now.

Before getting into this week’s turn, Booker T and Renee Young asked him to address his return to the black-and-gold brand. He had a very good answer for that, and one that sells NXT to WWE fans who might be looking for an in-house alternative to the so-called main roster shows.

The two open storyline issues didn’t get specific answers. Bálor talked about how good it felt to kick Gargano down and leave Full Sail speechless, but didn’t address a motive beyond “showing the world who he really is”.

That sly grin after asking Booker if he was “a fan of my work before WWE” wasn’t the only reference to his work as a heel in New Japan.

Renee tried to get some info on if returning to his pre-WWE roots meant reuniting with a certain Club, but Finn didn’t bite. Instead, he just told her he’s spoken to lots of people, and everyone wants a piece of him.

As someone who’s always appreciated Bálor’s talent but never felt much if any connection to his WWE babyface character, it’s amazing how much more charismatic I find him as a heel. Perhaps that’s not too terribly surprising... as the current blockbuster movie starring a character Finn used to cosplay as reminds us, evil can be more interesting than good. No matter, it’s hard to take your eyes off The Prince.

Will the return to his pre-WWE help NXT in the ratings? That’s unclear. It definitely adds some interesting wrinkles to the brand’s kayfabe - especially if they keep him as an unaffiliated rogue, as they appear to be doing.

See you Wednesday night, Prince.

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