WWE: Finn Balor’s “Demon” character isn’t working

Credit: WWE.com
Credit: WWE.com /

“I’m very comfortable being Finn, but when it comes to the Demon, I have to re-educate myself. That’s an added challenge because of how infrequent we are doing it.” – Finn Balor in December 2018.

Finn Balor without question is one of the most talented Superstars that WWE has on their roster. Balor has a very organic, natural connection with the fan-base. Yet, I sense there’s a disconnect between The Demon Finn Balor and the fan-base in general. This disconnect is in no way Balor’s fault. It revolves around how the alter-ego of Balor is presented and, in-turn, how it’s marketed.

The Demon Character, in essence, is Finn Balor feeling the need to go ‘to a place’ that day-to-day Balor can’t go. Now, this is the first issue. Balor has used the Demon character sparingly on the main roster thus far. He has used the character in matches with Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, AJ Styles, Baron Corbin and more recently Andrade. How many of these actually required ‘The Demon?’ You could without question argue that the Rollins match required this modification (due to the match being for the Universal Title), but the others? Not so much.

In turn, when Balor is using this character for mediocre feuds, isn’t it just presenting the fact that Balor without the Demon character can’t get the job done when it matters? An expansion of this is the fact that The Demon Balor and non-Demon Balor wrestle the exact same (with a few minor exceptions, mainly mannerisms), so it doesn’t totally make a whole lot of sense from that standpoint.

My main issue with the character is the presentation. Most recently, at the Super Showdown show in Saudi Arabia, Michael Cole informed the audience that Balor unleashes The Demon “on special occasions.” This is a central flaw in the character.

Revert back to January 2019, Finn Balor was booked to face Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble PPV. This was arguably the biggest match of Balor’s WWE career – but he didn’t use The Demon character. No doubt – you could argue that it presented issues for WWE as if they booked The Demon in the match and he lost, the value in the character would diminish.

Notwithstanding this – shouldn’t there be a kayfabe answer to this? Shouldn’t Balor address why he would/wouldn’t use the character in the match? Why wouldn’t he use it – in the world of WWE – if he’s never lost on the main roster with the character and he’s suddenly faced with the biggest match of his life, why would he not opt to use the Demon character? It doesn’t make a whole lot of logical sense in the grand scheme of things.

The solution to the Demon character is difficult to address. There is the idea of Balor using the character exclusively for PPVs, but with WWE having a PPV seemingly every two weeks, it may get extremely boring extremely quickly. Additionally, there is the argument that Balor should move away from the character completely. From a booking standpoint, this may help.

However, as long as The Demon’s merch is selling, the character won’t be going anywhere. If you look at the merchandise WWE offers for Balor: 85% of the aforementioned merchandise, relates to The Demon character, a character that appears twice a year, if that.

I get it. The character itself is extremely marketable. It looks cool. It looks like something you would want on a t-shirt or a hoodie. But if Balor’s entire merchandise catalog comprises of a character he uses sparingly, what does that say about the non-Demon Balor?

My solution is simple – The Demon is presented for big matches only. I am referring to World Title matches and WrestleMania that’s it. In-turn you have a character that you can initiate long-term booking around for your most important angles.

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Without question – if Finn Balor is having a red hot feud in the summer months (and fans are actually invested), there’s no reason why you can’t use The Demon character for this also. Ultimately, there is certainly something missing from the presentation of the character. I have flagged up the majority of them.

I think this is something that WWE needs to have on their minds during future presentations of the character to ensure fan reception to the character and Balor himself remains positive.