Finn Balor must maintain his edge while back on SmackDown

Finn Balor on the Oct. 30, 2019 edition of WWE NXT. Photo:
Finn Balor on the Oct. 30, 2019 edition of WWE NXT. Photo: /

Between the main roster product, SmackDown is consistently better than Monday Night Raw. One thing about the show is that it continues to build semi-fresh angles, (even though there’s still a lot of room for improvement in that space). The return of Finn Balor has kicked off what should be something worth watching as he’s demanded a shot at Roman Reigns. Regardless of the outcome, Balor must maintain the edge that he showed while a part of the NXT roster.

Balor’s second run on NXT was the refresh that his character and WWE tenure needed. There are a lot of wrestling fans and pundits that may consider that one of the best runs of his entire career. While that is a debate to be held later, one thing is for sure – Balor did some excellent work back in NXT where he claimed the title for the second time.

One thing that stood out is him harkening back to his Prince Devitt character from New Japan. While his promos didn’t always have the greatest one-liners, they were delivered with an intensity that was lacking during his time on the main roster. During his first run on the main roster, he was pushed as the smiling babyface, the same failing archetype that WWE consistently uses for babyfaces. That character didn’t exist in NXT and that’s part of what worked for him during that run.

That must carry over to the main roster. Balor’s promos won’t carry the same weight as Reigns or John Cena who will eventually become a part of this angle, but that doesn’t mean he needs to resort to the same smiling shtick of previous years. In fact, Balor could be an opportunity for the WWE to “experiment” with a new type of babyface, akin to the Jon Moxley “shades of grey” character that was initially seen on AEW. Everything isn’t always black and white, and it would be interesting to see a “new” presentation of Balor in the main event of SmackDown.

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Finn Balor is back on the main roster and stands to make waves on SmackDown. It’s too earlier to tell whether he will obtain a main event title in the future, but he has the potential to get over big with fans if they keep everything in place that made his second run with NXT special. WWE Creative needs a breath of fresh air across the board and keeping Balor’s intense character from NXT would be a step in the right direction.