Finn Balor is elevating everyone he faces on the NXT brand and this move will have long-term value to the promotion.
NXT used to be a brand where hardcore and casual wrestling fans could rejoice at consistently great professional wrestling. Since it is move to the USA Network that has changed. But that change does not speak to the talent that is on the roster. One such individual is Finn Balor. As a multiple-time champion, many wonder when the NXT brand will be centered around the man with infinite abs. Its true that his current run in NXT has been perplexing in ways, but it is a run that serves Balor less and is more about the people around him.
Balor returned to NXT nearly one year ago. After being dispatched by the Fiend at SummerSlam, he would show up in NXT two months later. But the smiling, fan pleasing version of Balor was gone. Instead, he returned to the cutthroat version that many remember from his time in New Japan, at the formation of the Bullet Club. The excitement was palpable for this version of “the Prince” to face off with the likes of Keith Lee, Adam Cole, Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Riddle, and others.
When we saw those matches, they delivered, Balor consistently put on must see matches every time he competed. What was even more special is that instead of immediately being elevated into the title picture, he faced off with lesser known competitors such as Trent Seven or Ilja Dragunov along with some of the bigger names that NXT had to offer. Balor came out on top in those matches, but the purpose of them was to “give the rub” to those men in ways that does not seem to work on the main roster. Balor kept his momentum while helping shine the light on names that some people may miss.
Balor elevates everyone around him
Then COVID-19 hit. Right when WWE was hinting at a potential Balor versus Walter feud for the NXT UK title that would have overshadowed any other title feud in the brand. There is no telling when this feud will be able to happen in the future, but it is something that must come back up.
In the meantime, Balor has been on television. His time is spent in feuds with the likes of Cameron Grimes, Damian Priest and recently Timothy Thatcher. And during this time, he is fallen just short of being the number one contender for NXT singles titles. He does not take many defeats, but when the outcome does not go his way it is meant to make the victor look extra special. Is it working? Only time will tell.
Is Finn Balor being misused? The answer to that question is “no.” Much like Asuka, he is someone that can immediately become a credible threat to the title. Instead, he is being used to elevate others around him at a time when WWE needs to create more intriguing characters that can be looked at in believable fashion. Grimes, Priest, Dexter Lumis, Bronson Reed, and many others stand to benefit from his presence but non-dominance of NXT. There is going to be a time when Balor has another title around his ab-laden waist. But when he does, it will be more about the rise of those around him rather than his place as the greatest in the WWE.