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  #1  
Old 12-10-2017, 01:16 AM
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Default WrestleZone Forum Files #3: Just How Sweet Is Finn Balor? (Get on the Main Page!)

Welcome back to the Forum Files where the best posts make it up to the main page! Post in here until the end of Sunday December 10 and the best ones are put into a special article on WrestleZone.com!

Today’s Topic: Is Finn Balor Really That Good?

Finn Balor hit the ground running in WWE but since returning from his horrible shoulder injury, things haven’t been going quite so well for him. Whether it’s losing to Kane or having no real direction, he’s been having a down year.

Is this what Balor really is, or is he just in need of a few tweaks? Was Balor a flash in the pan or is he a top star who isn’t being booked very well? Let us know and see if your response is too sweet.
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2017, 02:16 AM
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Finn Bálor is a perfect example of bad booking ruining a potential Superstar. He has had multiple good to great matches until now, be it on main roster or NXT. Be it against some of the best in AJ Styles or someone like Bray Wyatt. His promos obviously don't impress like Cena or Rock. But who does that nowadays? His promos are effective, they actually make sense and the crowd's response is always positive. His entrance is engaging and the crowd always supports him.

So, the matches are good, promos are effective and the crowd is behind him. What's lacking? The booking. If you're a potential superstar like Finn Bálor, you shouldn't be squashed by Kane of all wrestlers in 2017 of all years. Just imagine Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins getting squashed by Kane? Won't be right, no? That's what sucks for Bálor. The guy is talented enough but booking doesn't do him favours.

Also, the demon persona is perfect for him to stand out different from everyone else.

In nutshell, he's a potential main eventer lacking any push nowadays.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:24 PM
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Here's the thing: Finn Balor has proven to be a really good worker, not just in WWE but also in NXT and NJPW. In the case of NXT, he had some of the best matches the territory ever had: Some of which include (but aren't limited to) those against Neville, Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens. Those who would later reach the main roster themselves. Even today, he's still capable of putting on quality matches. (A.J Styles, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, etc.)

And when it comes to his demon alter-ego: It's always a treat to see him in that mindset, and up to this point: He's got the best entrance out of everyone currently in WWE. When he locks himself into 'The Demon', you know things have only gotten too personal for Balor to take lying down.

The problem with Finn Balor is that while he oozes charisma, very little of it actually goes into his mic work.

Don't get me wrong, it's perfectly fine being soft-spoken and articulate during your promos, lots of people have done it before and some of these issues have been because the material wasn't up to snuff: But it doesn't change the fact that sometimes Finn is just very boring to listen to. Every promo we've heard from him since arriving into WWE has been mostly similar to one another, talk about recent events between him and his rival in a generic monotone voice, maybe occasionally show some anger every now and then proceed onward. It's effective yes, but it also makes it slightly repetitive when you have the same rival for weeks without rest. Once in a while, if you want to switch things up you can bring up 'The Demon'.

That's another problem I have with Finn: What is it about The Demon that separates Finn from The Demon? Outside of maybe entrance, they both have the same moveset, most of the same mannerisms, even the same finishers. Nothing new has been added, no stakes have been raised. I hate to say it, but it sort of makes the idea of an alter-ego sort of pointless.

Even so: I don't think that's necessarily the problem with Finn seeing as he still sells well in WWE's store and fans continue to pop for him every time he appears on TV. But I think what's happened with Finn is that he's lost the support of the higher-ups: Why is that? Simple, injuries.

Do you remember back in SummerSlam 2016 he won the Universal Title? That was awesome news. Then one day later, he had to vacate the title because of an arm injury: He wouldn't return until the RAW after WrestleMania 33. Even so, it wouldn't be long until he got injured again on the hands of Jinder Mahal.

When you get injured quickly, management is going to be less willing to push you and once you get labeled with the term 'Injury-prone', that pretty ends any chance you have of being a main-eventer. Thankfully, Finn hasn't gotten injured since: But the fact that Finn got injured not one, but TWICE during big moments for his career is not a very convincing sign that good times are ahead.

So now that we've talked about what's wrong with Finn Balor, what can we do to fix it? Well, I would like to introduce the concept of 'less is more'.

When Finn Balor is himself: You can keep him exactly the same outside of one detail, you make him talk less. Maybe have him do shorter promos, maybe only say a few words, whatever you do: Finn should not speak as much or as long as he does right now. If done right, this helps to give Finn a more bad-ass appeal as a strong, soft-spoken, take no prisoners face who leads by example.

Now what happens when you turn him into The Demon?: Well this is where more comes in, as we all know: There are many moves Finn uses that he has yet to attempt in WWE and if he has, it's a rare moment. Why not WWE let 'The Demon' be where Finn unleashes his most dangerous weapons, such as '1916' (or as it was known in NJPW as Bloody Sunday) or Devitt's End (you could rename it Demon's End if you really wanted to) or maybe even Prince's Throne. I can assume many a fan would love to want to see a WWE match with any of those moves.

In short: Finn is sweet, but he isn't as sweet as some of us make him out to be. But with a few tweaks and a bit of good luck: He could easily make it back in the main event scene.
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2017, 01:54 PM
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Finn Balor is indeed awesome. The main issue is that he got a terrible injury at the worst possible time. That's not his fault as injuries do happen, but he has yet to regain his momentum since then. He had an extremely entertaining run in NXT from tag teaming with Hideo Itami to winning the NXT Championship at The Beast In The East special, in what is my favorite of any NXT Championship reign. His entrances as The Demon were unlike anything I had ever seen the first time I saw them. Then you have his great matches against guys like Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, and Shinsuke Nakamura. He's good in the ring. He's good on the mic. He has cool merchandise. Other than maybe his not being as big as guys like Roman Reigns, Finn had everything you could want in a top star. His being the top guy in NXT during his run there was justified. I supported his big initial push on the main roster.

Finn was immediately put into a feud with Seth Rollins to see who the first Universal Champion would be. This feud did a good job of showing fans who may not have watched NXT, just what Finn is capable of doing. I agreed with him being the first Universal Champion. As much as I like Seth, it was better for Finn to get this win. He will always be the first Universal Champion. No one can take that away from him. He could have been one of the top guys going forward.... But then his awful injury happened and undid so much of his momentum. That is part of the problem. The other problem is Brock Lesnar never defending the Universal Championship. Guys like Finn Balor are stuck with not a whole lot to do until the inevitable Brock VS Reigns match for the Universal Championship. Finn never lost the belt in a match. He vacated it due to injury. He should have gotten another shot by now instead of being put into random filler feuds, getting defeated by KANE of all people, and don't EVEN get me started on that Bray Wyatt feud. I hope Finn is able to get the Universal Championship opportunity he deserves. He has what it takes. The problem is he got hurt at the worst possible time, and then he along with Seth and other top tier talent got stuck due to the Brock VS Reigns match that HAS to happen no matter what we as fans would rather see. Hopefully Finn will be able to re-enter the top tier again eventually, it is where he belongs on the card.
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2017, 02:21 PM
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I've mostly shied away from these Balor threads because I'm a huge fan of Balor. But some of the points made against him are totally validated and makes wonder what it is I like about the guy. He's got a great look but so does Randy Orton. He's pretty solid in the ring but so is Cesaro. He's got a killer entrance but so does Shinsuke Nakamura. What exactly is it that makes him stand out from the rest? Creative and his character are to blame here. Even someone as boring as Matt Hardy turned the wrestling world upside down with a little character development and decent booking. That s all Finn needs to stand out head and shoulders against one of the most stacked rosters in WWE's history.
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You can keep him exactly the same outside of one detail, you make him talk less. Maybe have him do shorter promos, maybe only say a few words, whatever you do: Finn should not speak as much or as long as he does right now.
Dude, I absolutely love this.

Braun Strowman is a prefect example. Strowman could never hang with the likes of John Cena or Paul Heyman on the microphone. He could never deliver a ten minute promo on why he's the best big man WWE has seen in the last decade. But he's on par with the best the WWE has to offer and anytime Strowman's on my television screen, he's a delight. He doesn't talk much because he doesn't need to. WWE needs to build Balor like this. He doesn't have a strong presence on the mic and I feel like he's suffering for it. If they could cover that up by having him talk less, Balor would certainly be a more effective character.
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2017, 02:42 PM
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Fans like Balor and want him to succeed, which in and of itself should be enough for WWE to do something with him. He has a good look, he's good inside the ring, he has a charismatic presence, his segments draw well and he sells a lot of merchandise; I mean...why shouldn't WWE push him when you get right down to it?

Is Balor as good as he's been hyped to be? Probably not, but that's got more to do with unrealistic expectations of fans and those fans who're incredibly into him overhyping him than anything else. Very, very, very few people could be as good as Balor was hyped to be upon the announcement that he was signed by WWE and Balor's not one of them. That's not to say that he isn't very good and doesn't have a lot to bring to the table, it's just that he's not this game changer that every guy who has a lot of positive buzz going is proclaimed to be by fans but that's okay, he doesn't have to be some revolutionary force who changes the way we see wrestling.

Balor has been heavily misused over the course of the last few months, in my opinion. His use against Kane and his use during the Survivor Series were both atrocities and serve as a reminder of how out of it Vince McMahon can be sometimes. He's sacrificed to Kane, 50 year old Glenn Jacobs who is on the verge of retirement, so Kane can look good in a match with Braun Strowman that he's going to lose and, at Survivor Series, Balor was just a body to fill a spot as the entire match was designed to put the spotlight on Triple H, Kurt Angle and Shane McMahon. As of right now, in my opinion Balor should be Intercontinental Champion instead of Roman Reigns; it wouldn't hurt my feelings at all to see Balor face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania for the Universal Championship but it's all but written in the stars that won't happen, so why not give him a strong run as Intercontinental Champion rather than putting it on probably the one guy to debut in the last 5 years that's above that particular title? Reigns can have entertaining matches for the title but there's simultaneously two different stories going around: Reigns will drop the title before WrestleMania or he's going into WrestleMania with it in order to make history as the first simultaneous Universal and Intercontinental Champion. I'm leaning more towards the latter because Vince McMahon is so in love with Roman Reigns that I just don't see him passing up any opportunity to cement Reigns even more than he already is. If Reigns goes into WrestleMania as champion, he can still have entertaining matches as champion but there's no sense of "danger" that he'll be dropping the title and that always takes a little something away from the matches.

As for any particular tweaks I'd make, I'd move him more into the role of a tweener rather than a babyface. I'd possibly go the route of portraying him more along the lines of Randy Orton in that he's vicious, ruthless and aggressive with anyone who gets in his way. Keep his promos short, to the point and intense, I don't mean that he has to shout his head off or froth at the mouth when he's talking, just look intense, focused and get the fans to believe you want to take someone's head off; don't worry about trading banter with his opponents, don't have him dwell so much on the "Balor Club", do an occasional promo, nothing more than 3 minutes or so, while in his "Demon King" persona, but only for special opponents.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:28 AM
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I thought Finn Balor was that good when he started out on the main roster. Not based on anything I saw or more importantly felt but purely on the logic that WWE used by giving him a win over their perceived "#1 guy" and then giving him their new main title on their main show.

This was huge. Balor didn't have to be built at all, he just was. Why? All I can figure is that WWE invested a lot of money in faux leather jackets and demon masks. Someone like Balor, and almost all WWE wrestlers, need to be built in WWE logic. This guy was given the ultimate push. Fans complain about Roman but the push Finn was given was down their throats and through both intestines.

Then he got hurt....

So now he has become a guy who is just being treated like normal. Like we are supposed to forget his earlier success or at a minimum believe it was basically a fluke. He is now doing the normal things a normal newish wrestler would do: competing up and down the card, helping others elevate, cutting vanilla promos, and just hanging around until something clicks or a spot opens up further up the card.

Which makes total sense. It just can't sit well with Indy and NXT fans who want so much more for him or smarks like me who still think of him as this guy with a rocket strapped to his ass who only lost his momentum because he got hurt.

But is he good? I don't know. WWE thought he was at one point. They may still think so but they haven't done much since his return that clearly tells us what they think. He hasn't shown me much outside a thrilling entrance and cool make up. Besides that he doesn't feel like much more than Tony Nese with a nasally tone and an accent. His promos are drab. I can't figure if he has an ounce of personality at all. He moves around the ring quickly some of the time but so do so many others in 2017. Is he a powerful small man? Kind of, I guess. I think jumping off the top rope with two feet on another man's chest is kind of stupid.

In the end I just struggle to find opinions on the guy. Which is the worst opinion to have, I'm basically becoming apathetic. I've looked for what made him so worthy of his main roster push and haven't found much to the point where I'm not really looking anymore. Hopefully that can be turned around.
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:57 AM
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The article on the main page:

http://www.mandatory.com/wrestlezone...-is-finn-balor
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