Finn Balor pitched to join NXT UK before he returned to SmackDown

Finn Balor wanted to make the jump to NXT UK after his run in NXT U.S. came to an end

Photo Courtesy: WWE

Balor wanted to go back to NXT UK before he was moved to SmackDown.

On the 9/3 edition of Friday Night SmackDown in Jacksonville, Finn Balor is getting his shot at the Universal Championship when he challenges Roman Reigns. Balor was in the Universal Title scene going into SummerSlam but an attack from Baron Corbin prevented him from getting the title match. 

Ahead of his bout against Reigns, Balor chatted with BT Sport and said as his run in NXT was nearing its end, he pitched the idea of joining the NXT UK brand. The powers that be in WWE were not in favor of that idea because they wanted Balor on SmackDown.

The surprise appearance at NXT UK about two years ago was something that I was really excited about and it wasn’t gonna be a one-off. It was gonna be more of regular thing and we were building towards a match with WALTER that got taken away from us by the pandemic and something I’m still super invested in and believe it or not, before I returned to SmackDown, I could feel the run at NXT kind of coming to an end and I kind of exhausted all the resources there, the guys I could wrestle against and I actually pitched the idea of moving to NXT UK and obviously that might’ve been a little bit of a bold move and maybe a bold pitch but I felt like I could not only challenge myself against guys like Ilja [Dragunov] and WALTER, A-Kid and Jordan Devlin but, help the brand the same way I tried to help NXT in the last couple of years so I felt like it was a win-win for all of us but the office had a different opinion on that and they wanted me on SmackDown so, but seeing that brand grow, it’s incredible. Some of those guys are some of the best in the world and like you said, it’s a more — I don’t wanna use the word ‘pure’, but it’s a more — definitely more mat wrestling-based and some of these guys are really talented that have a huge future ahead of ‘em so, it’s great to see the brand grow and hopefully we’ll get the fans back in the U.K. soon too and no offense to the BT Studios but if we can fill that up with people or get us back in places like Blackpool or Wembley, it would be incredible.

Balor made one appearance for NXT UK and that was at TakeOver: Blackpool in 2019. He was moving towards a program with WALTER that was taking shape as NXT UK TakeOver: Dublin was inching closer.

At TakeOver 36, WALTER’s two-year reign as NXT UK Champion came to an end when he was defeated by Ilja Dragunov.

If the quote in this article is used, please credit WWE on BT Sport with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription. 

About Andrew Thompson 3707 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.