Finn Balor has one of the most interesting gimmicks in professional wrestling today. Every live special/Pay-Per-View special, Balor comes out in body paint, unleashing his “Demon” character. After he came to the main roster, he began to be known as “The Demon King”.
The question always comes to mind – What is the reason behind Balor painting himself every special? What do his paintings mean?
The answer is quite simple. The fact is, he used to paint himself far back in his days in New Japan Pro Wrestling when he was Prince Devitt before he became Finn Balor. In New Japan, he got several opportunities to put on the paint, and he put on paint in various forms, paying tribute to the Spiderman character Venom, to Star Wars character Darth Maul, to Joker, and so much more. However, none is more famous and marketable than his “Demon” persona.
Balor himself said that when he came to WWE, he was very surprised that they let him continue using his paint. They clearly realised how marketable the Demon character is. His paint on his body depends on various circumstances, one of the main ones being the location he is in. The most prime example would be in NXT Takeover: London, where he had his paint referencing Jack The Ripper, the most mysterious and notorious serial killer of all time, native to London itself.
In NXT, Balor had lesser chances to paint himself as the Demon, as Takeover specials happened barely 4-5 times a year. However, the Demon character was extremely protected. He lost the NXT Championship at a house show when he was not painted. However, his one and only loss in the Demon paint in NXT was his final Takeover match against Samoa Joe at NXT Takeover: The End back in June.
It must be noted that in the specials up from his debut at Revolution up till The End, Balor’s paint progressively reduced bit by bit. At Dallas, he took a different approach when he painted part red-part blue. He also used a chainsaw in tribute to the cult classic film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
As mentioned, his paint progressively reduced as he was nearing the end of his NXT run. That is a nice anecdote to note about his winding down time in NXT. He had used lesser paint in his final appearance at New Japan Pro Wrestling as well.
On Raw, Balor explained The Demon King story and his name as being in accordance with the Irish mythology