Finn Bálor Talks Wrestlemania, Protecting The NXT Brand, And Facing Pete Dunne

Finn Balor, Edge & Pete Dunne
Credit: WWE

This Sunday is NXT Takeover: Vengeance Day and one of the most anticipated matches will see Finn Bálor defend the NXT Championship against Pete Dunne.

This week Joseph Staszewski from the New York Post had the chance to ask Bálor about all things wrestling.

In the interview the NXT Champion was asked about Edge mentioning that NXT was focused a lot more on the wrestling side of things rather than the entertainment side.

“I feel like maybe I was guilty of trying to please too many people at once and not really please myself in the past with some of my performances and I’ve gone back to what I really like in the ring, which is kind of like scrappy, gritty, mat wrestling, not too much high flying, not too much outside the ring and really get back to basics.”

It was a conscious effort, he went on to say, that he wanted to return to his technical roots and to fit in to NXT. “It fitted in the no-fan environment of wrestling where the pacing of a wrestling match has to change and this was something that suited the cameras.”

Bálor noted that without the crowd he didn’t have to rely on fans reactions at ringside and so it made it feel like a real true fight. He was able to wrestle “for himself, and for what felt like was a good story.”

Pete Dunne is also known for his no-nonsense style of wrestling, does that mean that Finn sees Dunne as the perfect opponent?

“It certainly appears that way (laughs). For me, everyone’s a perfect opponent. I’ll find a way or I’ll work around regardless of their style, whether it’s Damian Priest who has a very distinct style, Gargano has a distinct style, Matt Riddle, Timothy Thatcher, I feel like for me the real challenge has been being able to adapt and kind of swim in the current of these guys’ different styles.

Pete’s style is kind of very similar to where I’m at right now in the ring. So I think it’s either gonna be a clash or it’s gonna complement each other (laughs). So I don’t how the match is gonna look. It could either be great or it could be terrible. But Pete is someone who I’ve respected in the ring for a long time.

He’s proven himself all over the world, the United Kingdom and NXT UK. He built that brand pretty much from the ground up with consistent performances every night, so he knows exactly what he’s doing in the ring. We’ve kind of had mild interactions backstage throughout our careers, but nothing in the ring and nothing too serious. We’ve never really been friends or been foes.”

Last week Edge made his presence known to both Bálor and Dunne on NXT, letting them know that he’s not made up his mind on which belt he’ll be challenging for at WrestleMania. Rhea Ripley defended the Women’s Championship at last years event, could we see Bálor vs. Edge this time around?

“Edge was someone I kind of given up on the idea of being in the ring with obviously with his [injury] situation. Obviously now the situation has changed. Edge is back. Having the opportunity to be in the ring with him is a huge potential moment for me. Whether that happens at TakeOver, or a WrestleMania, or a Wednesday night NXT, I’m just happy if it happens.

NXT TakeOver at WrestleMania weekend is a huge event and a huge kind of flag bearer for NXT. And not having the NXT title match on TakeOver, if that’s gonna in any way damage the NXT brand, it’s something I’d rather stay away from. Once we’re protecting the NXT brand without having it diluted by the big show at WrestleMania it’s something I’d be willing to do. If there’s the possibility of defending the title back to back nights, TakeOver and WrestleMania, then I’m all for it.”

Finn Bálor defends the NXT Championship this Sunday against Pete Dunne at TakeOver: Vengeance Day. A match that Edge himself said he is ‘keeping a very close eye on.’ Details of how to watch, including times and all the other matches can be found here!

H/t to New York Post and Joseph Staszewski for the transcription and interview.

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