Interview: Finn Balor talks wrestling in India for the first time, unfinished business with the WWE Universal Championship and more
Q: This will be your first-time wrestling in India. What do you expect from the fans in New Delhi?
A: It’s been a long time since WWE’s had a tour in India and I’m pretty sure that the fans will be excited. We’re expecting a big crowd that night, both nights actually, and I hope they’ll be loud and excited and they’ll be in for a good show.
Q: Kavita Devi recently signed with WWE and took part in the Mae Young Classic. What are the chances that we will see more Indian Superstars in the WWE in the future?
A: It’s a huge opportunity for Indian Superstars.
Obviously, she’s been very impressive. She’s down at the Performance Center training. We have some of the best coaches in the world in the Performance Center. I spent a year and a half of my career working down there working with Matt Bloom, Terry Taylor, Robbie Brookside and Johnny Saint. There’s a new coach there who was one of my original coaches, Johnny Moss, who she will be working closely with. Then there’s Sarah Amato who’s been an important force in the women’s revolution. All of that put together, she’ll be sitting under the learning tree down at the Performance Center and it’s going to be an incredible kind of growth for her as a performer. I think her future is going to be very bright.
Q: Kane has been after you in recent weeks. Could we see “Demon Kane” vs “Demon King” anytime soon?
A: You’re going to have to ask Mr. McMahon that. I don’t make the matches, I just win them. You put me in the ring and I’ll win the match. Will we have “Demon Kane” vs “Demon King”? You’ll have to ask Vince McMahon that but if that match does happen, “Demon King” will win.
Q: What do you think of the rise of Braun Strowman?
A: He’s had a very quick rise but I think a quick rise could lead to a quick fall. I think he should be worried that he’s going to burn himself out. The bigger they are the harder they fall. I’ve chopped down bigger men that Braun Strowman for 17 years. He’s a big, tough guy but if he steps in the ring with Finn Balor, I’ll take him apart piece by piece. I’ve done that plenty of times before to people much bigger than him, much stronger than him and I ain’t worried about Braun Strowman one bit.
Q: Pete Dunne made his main-roster debut on RAW last night. What do you think of his prospects?
A: Pete Dunne has incredible potential. He’s still a very young man, still learning the ropes, but he’s done incredible things during his time in the UK and he’s spent a little bit of time at the Performance Center. A little more time there would benefit him, maybe a year or two in NXT to help him mature and get comfortable with the WWE style. I think that he’s one for the future and my advice would be, the slower he takes the next two or three years, the longer he’ll last. He doesn’t want to be like Braun Strowman and blow himself out in a year and a half.
Q: After 8 years in Japan, what convinced you to make your dream move to WWE?
A: Ambition. I’d beaten everyone in Japan, I’d beaten everyone in Europe and I wanted to beat everyone in WWE. I’m pretty much half-way there, apart from one man, Brock Lesnar.
Q: You’ve had a long career across the globe. How would you describe the difference between wrestling in WWE to the UK or Japan?
A: It’s very interesting because when I was wrestling in the UK and wrestling in Japan, I always felt like I was in my own little bubble and the matches that went on there either at the local town hall or a big arena in Japan. The only people who would have seen it would be the people who had been there at the live show and there wasn’t much reach outside of that.
Having come to WWE and having the WWE Network and the reach that it has all over the globe, and TV networks in hundreds of countries across the world, the WWE really is a monster at being able to put me on a platform and giving me the opportunity to show the world. The fact that I have fans in India when I haven’t wrestled down there before is all part of the WWE and the platform they’ve given me to perform on, so that’s the main difference.
Q: WrestleMania 34 isn’t far away. If you could choose any opponent to face, who would it be?
A: This is a very difficult question but I think it has to be the man walking around, kind of, with the Universal Championship – holding the title that I never lost. It would be a pretty good match for WrestleMania – Finn Balor vs Brock Lesnar.