Finn Balor has revealed that he pitched a move to NXT UK prior to re-joining the main roster in July.
The former Universal Champion enjoyed a brief dalliance with NXT UK prior to the COVID-19 pandemic taking hold. Balor had begun to feud with then NXT United Kingdom Champion WALTER, with the idea that the pair would meet at NXT UK TakeOver: Dublin.
However, the increasing scale of the pandemic caused NXT UK to be shut down and the planned TakeOver in Dublin to be cancelled. This coupled with hefty travel restrictions meant that Balor’s planned showdown with the giant Austrian fell by the wayside.
Speaking to BT Sport, Balor has now revealed that he never forgot his planned run back in the UK. The now SmackDown Superstar explained that as his time in NXT came to an end he actually pitched joining NXT UK before he was moved to the blue brand.
“The surprise appearance at NXT UK about two years ago was something that I was really excited about. It wasn’t going to be a one-off. It was going to be a regular thing. We were building towards a match with WALTER, it got taken away from us by the pandemic. It’s something I’m still super invested in. Believe it or not, before I return to SmackDown, I could feel the run at NXT coming to an end and I’d kind of exhausted all the resources there too. The guys that I could wrestle against and that I actually pitched the idea of moving to NXT UK, and obviously him, that might’ve been a little bit of a bold move on maybe a bold pitch, but I felt like, you know, not only like challenge myself against guys like Ilja, WALTER, A-Kid, Jordan, but you know, help the brand the same way I tried to help NXT… But, the office had a different opinion on that. They wanted me on SmackDown.”
"Before I returned to SmackDown, I could feel the run at NXT coming to an end, I pitched the idea of moving to #NXTUK."
"I feel like I could challenge myself, but also help the brand like I helped NXT."
Maybe one day, @FinnBalor 🤞
He has unfinished business over here… pic.twitter.com/85dGelYvAL
— WWE on BT Sport (@btsportwwe) September 2, 2021
Balor continued, saying that it has been “incredible” to watch the UK brand grow.
“Seeing that brand grow, it’s incredible. Some of those guys are some of the best in the world on that, like you said, it’s a more, I don’t want to use the word ‘pure,’ but it’s a more, definitely a raw or mat-wrestling based on that. Some of these guys are really talented that have a huge team. So, it’s great to see the ground grow at the seat of breath and grow. And then, you know, hopefully, we’ll get the funds back in the UK soon too, and that no offense to the BT studios, but if we can get, feel that having people will get us back in places like Blackpool, or Wembley and, you know, be incredible.”
Instead of heading back to the UK, Finn Balor returned to SmackDown where he quickly entered into a feud with Roman Reigns. Seeking to regain the Universal Championship he never lost, The Irishman challenged Reigns to a match at SummerSlam.
At the contract the contract signing between the two Superstars, proceedings were interrupted by John Cena. The 16-time World Champion signed on the dotted line and went on to face Reigns at SummerSlam. Not to be deterred, Balor immediately challenged Reigns again after the summer spectacular. This time getting his wish.
On the September 3rd edition of SmackDown, Finn Balor will meet Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.