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Finn Bálor knows exactly why ‘The Demon’ gimmick failed

There are a lot of reasons Finn Bálor’s WWE career hit a snag when he was called up to Raw in 2016.

One of them actually followed him successful first run in NXT, though. The company never really understood what to do with the cosplaying gimmick Bálor (then Prince Devitt) did prior to signing with WWE.

As part of the press rounds the Irishman is making now that he’s won the NXT title during his second stint with the black-and-gold brand, ViBe & Wrestling asked Finn about bringing back his painted persona, “The Demon.” It’s similar to an answer he gave in another interview about the concept being gone, but this answer also hits on a couple other issues:

“I think we can bring the character back, but it has to be used more effectively. The key element of the ‘Demon’ is the element of surprise and I think we lost that when it came to promoting it in advance in the media. If we could bring that element of surprise back it would be more effective. In my opinion, I think we possibly used the ‘Demon’ too much. As a result, Finn Bálor was damaged as a talent and needed to put the ‘Demon’ aside a bit and focus on being Finn. It cannot be that the ‘Demon’ was Finn Balor’s crutch. That is what we are doing right now. I’m sure we will use it again in the future, but right now I’m very happy with the direction of the character Prince and now I feel more comfortable in the ring than ever. So, the day will come when the ‘Demon’ returns, but for now I’m very focused on Prince.”

The lack of surprise was a problem, as once he was advertised as competing while wearing the make-up, you knew there was almost no chance he was losing.

Even worse though is the lack of character development he mentions. Bálor’s best moments came when his real personality shined through his kayfabe one. Even in NXT, his on-screen gimmick was “guy who wrestles well and occasionally shows up in red-and-black for a cool entrance.”

The success of the updated version of his Bullet Club character he’s using now is testament to just how much “The Demon” was limiting him.

Finn may be willing to bring back his main roster schtick, but I’m okay with leaving it in the past.

Long live the Prince.

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