Finn Balor Addresses His Demon Character & Being A Heel, Big E Comments On His MITB Experience

Finn Balor appeared on the latest “After The Bell” podcast to discuss The Judgment Day, WrestleMania, Money In The Bank, and other topics. Big E was also on to preview today’s PLE.

Big E on his experience winning Money in the Bank in 2021:

“It was massive. It was really, really just one of the most special things that I’ve ever done in my career. Obviously, you know, I really cut my teeth as a tag team wrestler, as a member of a faction for a long time. I think when you’re in a group so long, obviously we’ve talked about our story so many times, but the three of us were so used to doing everything for the group and it was always about that. So this was a departure from that. I was really happy with my career in many ways and all the things that we had done as a collective, but I also got to a point where I felt like I could give more, and I wanted to do more, and it was time for a change. So to get this opportunity to do a solo run, to start building some momentum, we had the I-C title stuff with Sami and then with Apollo for a while, maybe a little bit too long. You know, Apollo and I were back and forth for four months, but that is not at all an indictment of Apollo. I think he’s so amazingly talented. There are times where we were we thought things would go a certain way with our rivalry and maybe it didn’t conclude when we thought it would, but I would say that dude is so incredibly talented that if you’re going to be in a program for too long with someone, you want it to be with someone of that caliber who’s just incredible what they do.”

“So yeah, so we did all that stuff too, and then finally got the chance to go after the briefcase, to be in that match. For me, one of the really cool things is, a lot of this stuff has been kicked off once we finally got back in front of crowds. I will tell people time and time again, we did our very best during the pandemic, during the lock downs with a ThunderDome, but there is nothing like doing what we do in front of people. There is no replacement for it. I think of Drew all the time. I take my hat off to him because he held us down during a really tough time, but he never really got the acclaim of being champion in front of tens of thousands of people like he should have, but it was really special because I got to have that moment in front of fans.”

“The really cool thing too is I loved the lineup when I saw everyone that was going to be in the match for for Money in the Bank, just stacked with so many incredible performers, so many guys who could credibly be world champions, so many guys who just added so much to the Money in the Bank match as well. So that was the thing too is just, you know, winning a title, winning a briefcase, winning a championship is amazing, but you also want the match itself to be amazing. You want to capture people’s emotions, You want them to be invested. Those guys did such an incredible job of delivering an incredible super athletic, super entertaining unique match. So that match was really special too.”

“Obviously Seth Rollins is a living legend. I’ve known him since, I think he got to FCW around 2010, and I have so much respect for him as a performer, and the fact that he was the last one up that I ended up hitting the Big Ending off the ladder to take that moment away from him. It’s just me on the climb up. I think about that moment. I’ve replayed it so many times, but It’s a special moment.”

Finn Balor on being a heel:

“This has been the goal since I first put on a pair of wrestling boots. You know, I was born to be a heel. When I started this at 18 years old, I was a heel for years upon years and it wasn’t until I came to NXT in my first run that I started to learn or to be taught how to be a babyface. It was something that was kind of very much a WWE directive. That’s how they saw me, but that’s not really how I see myself. It’s been very much an exploratory and a couple of months for me and kind of getting back to what I feel I do best, or at least what makes me happiest in the ring. I don’t know if it’s what I actually do best, but it’s what I enjoyed the most, so I’ve really thrived personally in the last couple months, I feel.”

If the Demon character handcuffed him:

“It became a crutch. I’ll hold my hand up and say I’m guilty of trying to please too many people and not please myself. The thing with that character, or even a lot of the stuff that I was doing in WWE in general, was a result of trying to please too many people, be it the creative team, the writing team, the merchandise team, the promotions team, the tickets team and not really pleasing myself.”

“When the demon character was conceived in Japan, it was something that didn’t really have a rhyme or reason, but it was just something that I felt I could express myself and mold myself better in the moment when I needed to go into that zone. When you bring it into the WWE Universe, it has to become something or it has to have a reason why this happens, why this transformation happens, and I feel like the more you try and explain something, the less sense that actually makes and the more ridiculous it becomes. For me, that was the crutch that I felt. It wasn’t necessarily the process of the paint or the creative part of trying to execute a different unique design every time, it was to try to keep so many people happy and not really staying true to myself and why I was doing it in the first place.”

Balor on getting cut open in his Hell in a Cell match against Edge at WrestleMania 39:

“It (the ladder) just keeps coming towards me, but my brain can’t understand why the ladder is still coming towards me because I have my hands up trying to stop it. It’s coming through my hands and it’s almost at my forehead. I just dropped my forehead. It dings me on the top of the head and I was like, hmm, that wasn’t too bad actually. So like, I’m kind of sitting upright and it was like just a little bit of blood on the tip of my finger. I thought it was just a little scratch. I turn over onto all fours so my head is kind of down and it’s just like drip, drip, drip, and ref goes, ‘Hey, Finn, you’re busted open dude.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it’s just a little blood. I’m fine.’ I can see him look and he gets closer. He goes, ‘Dude, this is a big one.’ I’m like, ‘I’m fine. It’s WrestleMania. I’m fine.’ He goes, ‘They’re telling me in my ear piece we’re gonna have to stop the match and go talk to the doctor.’ I crawl over to the doctor. The doctor is trying to get into the cell because the cell is all locked and stuff. I peek out over the edge of the apron and I look at the doc. I say, ‘Hey, is it bad’, and she said, ‘It’s really bad.’ I said, ‘What are we gonna do?’ She said, ‘I’m going to staple it.’ I’m trying to stay in character going like, ‘Staple it. Staple it.’ So at this point, the doctors are laughing because they’re wondering what the hell is wrong with this guy because he’s going, ‘Staple it. Staple it.’ This is WrestleMania and I don’t want people to lose sight of the fact that this is a big match and I don’t want me to come out of character and I want the people to lose interest. So I’m trying to stay in character. She goes, ‘Okay, this might hurt’ ‘I said, ‘I don’t care. Just put the staples in. I want to go back to work’. So she goes, one, two, three (staples). I look at her. I said ‘Doc, can I go back to work?’ She says yeah, ‘I think you’re good.’ Then I just slipped back into the ring and we go back to business, but that’s what happened. I finished the match with three staples in my head. We finished the match. We walked back, we cleaned it up, and it was 14 staples in there the next day.”

You can check out the complete podcast below:

(h/t to for the transcription)