On the WWE NXT taping for the November 6th episode, Finn Bálor (formerly Prince Devitt) first appeared as a WWE superstar; surprisingly, he did so without his trademark body paint that he became world renowned for. Before showing up at an NXT event, Bálor was interviewed by Renee Young, who asked the Irishman whether or not he would bring his patented body paint with him to the WWE; to which he said, we’ll have to wait and see. Since then he’s posted two photo’s that indicated the chance we would see his unique style on display and potentially soon.
The first –posted by another huge signee, Kevin Steen— was more his personality, which is a much more nerdy, comic book type fan:
and the second being the demonic type creature of his own design:
Bálor (Devitt) became world famous, not only for his innovative wrestling style that combined European toughness and Japanese acrobatics mixed and huge spots, along with his own creativity; but for his eye catching body paint. His talent mixed with his look, grabbed the attention of every major wrestling company in the world, leading all of them to want to hire this guy for themselves so no one else could profit from his stellar style and ability. The WWE managed to be the landing place for Bálor, the one place he says he’s always wanted to be. It’s hard to deny that WWE is the end all be all in the wrestling industry, similar to the NFL being the end all be all for American Football. If you’re a wrestler with any drive to make a name for yourself, the WWE is the one place you strive for; just listen to Bálor, Hideo Itami and Kevin Steen, who have all said exactly that, upon arriving in their destination spot.
I had an insane theory that Bálor would end up appearing/debuting on the Raw after WrestleMania 31, but that’s not the crazy part; no, I theorized that when The Undertaker came out to make his retirement speech, he would inform the WWE Universe that he’s passing the torch to the next generation, pointing towards the stage, where an entrance similar to this would happen:
Having The Undertaker pass the torch to anyone, would instantly cement their legacy in the WWE; if Taker is willing to stick his neck out that far for someone –look at Brock Lesnar,– the WWE Universe will give them plenty of room to develop and grow, taking them seriously all the while, if they don’t already.
The biggest reason this is just so out there, is that we know he’s debuting on NXT in a few weeks, we know he’ll be there for a set amount of time and then he’ll get called up. Trying to sell him as the offspring or what have you of Taker, after being on the product for however he’s in NXT, will be a very difficult thing to manage; enough of the fan base watches NXT –especially their younger viewers,– so having him be on NXT as Bálor, only to be called up and introduced like that…would take a lot of mental separation between the two products. Granted, the one thing WWE has going for it is that they often require fans to suspend belief to accept story lines, certain characters and the reactions that superstars give to things.
Take Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family for example; we know they’re not really these lunatic cajun folk, who worship a mysterious entity known as Abigail, who leads Bray to believe he’s an immortal figure, incapable of being truly destroyed. That’s just flavor, it’s character and it’s something that is openly welcomed in wrestling; even more so in the Reality Era we live in now; where there’s an absolute dirth of real character and everyone is just a warped and exaggerated version of themselves. I’m not saying we need to go back to the days of having stars like The Gobbledy Gooker and Doink; but one of the best rivalries –to me– in all of wrestling history, was Taker against Kane. It was revealed that Kane was Taker’s brother, who was long thought to be dead, only to rise from the depths of Hell in order to get revenge on his brother. Now, when this happened I was a little kid and it was infinitely easier to believe such a crazy story; but WWE was masterful in convincing me this was real, that Kane really was burned to death and came back seeking revenge on his brother that failed to save him. If we could somehow get back to telling these fantastical stories, where all parties involved –from Vince McMahon to the writers to the wrestlers themselves– could even come close to convincing me or any of the audience that what we’re witnessing is a story to behold, then I would be happy. That wouldn’t require people being the walking dead or anything that extreme, just have some character, be something more than an average Joe who happens to have athletic talent.
I think we’re nearing that hopeful place, with guys like Wyatt and even Dean Ambrose, who’s channeling Attitude Era Stone Cold Steve Austin, while adding his own psychotic flair to things; but add in a guy like Bálor, in his full body paint, be it his demonic personal creation or any number of his licensed character ones (Spider-Man, Punisher, Venom, etc.), allow him to tap into that persona a little and they’ll have a potential cash-cow on their hands, someone more than capable of selling boat load’s of merchandise and becoming ten’s of thousands of fans favorite guy.
Bálor said shortly after first arriving at the Performance Center in Orlando, FL that the body paint may accompany him, we’ll just have to wait and see; with this most recent tweet showing off his one of a kind style, let’s hope we see Bálor start a wrestling revolution, where true characters are finally brought back.
Photo Credit: Finn Balor Twitter