Better Late Than Never: Finn Balor's Heel Turn Is Exactly What WWE NXT Needs

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2019

Finn Balor on NXT.
Finn Balor on NXT.Credit:

Finn Balor returned to NXT following the black and yellow brand's move to USA Network and immediately became one of the biggest stars on the show.

He is a former universal and intercontinental champion and holds the record for the longest NXT Championship reign. Balor won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic alongside Samoa Joe in 2015 and has worked with all of the biggest stars in the company.

Since joining WWE in 2014, Balor had worked as a babyface. That all changed on Wednesday's episode of NXT, when he attacked Johnny Gargano and helped The Undisputed Era to take out Tommaso Ciampa.

This is the first time the WWE Universe will get to see what he is capable of as a villain, but anybody who followed his career in New Japan Pro-Wrestling knows what kind of bad guy he can be.

With NXT struggling to match All Elite Wrestling Dynamite's ratings, Balor's heel turn is exactly what the brand needed.


A Top Heel

A few stars like Fandango, Tyler Breeze and Killian Dain have moved from the main roster to NXT, but none of them are on Balor's level in terms of star power.

When it comes to heels in NXT, The Undisputed Era is at the top of the pile, and nobody else is close to catching the faction. All of the other big stars are babyfaces.

Gargano, Ciampa, Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle, Kushida, Breezango and Pete Dunne all identify as good guys. The black and yellow brand needed another top heel, and Balor was a perfect choice.

He can play the cocky villain well, and this will give the WWE Universe a chance to see him in a new light and find out how versatile he is.

Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong have been doing a good job, but they can't be the only heels competing for titles.


A Chance for Renewal

Balor is a marketable Superstar with name recognition and a loyal following, but he has struggled to get back to where he was before SummerSlam 2016.

The Demon defeated Seth Rollins to become the first universal champion that night, but he also dislocated his shoulder during the match and had to relinquish the title the next night on Raw.

He has had a few chances to regain the belt since then but has fallen short each time. He might hold victories over Superstars like Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and Rollins, but his character has never been booked the same way since his injury.

Returning to NXT is a chance for Balor to reinvigorate his career and remind everyone why he was such a big signing for the company back in 2014.


New Opponents

Balor was on the main roster a little over three years, and it was already starting to feel like he had feuded with most of the roster.

WWE has been releasing fewer people in recent years, and Superstars are staying in NXT for longer than they need to, so the main roster tends to get repetitive.

Fresh matchups occasionally pop up, but they are few and far between, especially in the main event scene. We can only watch Reigns fight Drew McIntyre so many times in one year before the fans get sick of it.

Putting Balor back in NXT means he gets to face talents who weren't there during his first run with the brand.

His eventual fight with Gargano is going to be a work of art, and the possibility of seeing him face people like Ciampa, Velveteen Dream and Dunne should make any wrestling fan excited.

Just imagine what he could do with someone like Tyler Bate or Lio Rush. There are so many possibilities for interesting combinations and thrilling matches.


A Stable for The Demon

Balor rose to fame as the leader of The Bullet Club in NJPW in 2013. He was joined by Karl Anderson and, later, Luke Gallows in the group, but they are aligned with AJ Styles as The O.C.

The Undisputed Era reigns supreme over the black and yellow brand, with Cole holding the NXT Championship, Fish and O'Reilly the NXT tag titles and Strong the North American belt. 

If management ever decides to turn the group face or break it up, Balor is the ideal person to lead a new stable of heels.

He has the experience to be a formidable leader, the popularity to carry newer stars until they are established and the skill to make anyone else look better.

A number of rising stars could gain a lot from being associated with Balor. Cameron Grimes, Danny Burch, Oney Lorcan, Damian Priest and Mansoor could all benefit from the exposure teaming with a former world champion would bring them.


Balor's Move Makes NXT Feel Like a 3rd Brand

For as long as it has been around, NXT has been considered a developmental brand. Raw and SmackDown are on one level, and NXT is right beneath those shows.

While that is technically true, moving the show to USA, expanding it to two hours and adding a few wrestlers from the main roster has helped the show to grow into something bigger.

Despite not being in the main event scene for a little while, Balor is a bankable star. He is going to help NXT to grow, and everyone on the roster will benefit from his popularity and experience.

Putting him with Gargano for his first feud was a smart decision because they will steal the show every time they get into the ring together. If WWE wanted a program that would rival anything going on in AEW, this is it.


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