Finn Balor's Lucky Bodypaint: Why The Demon Is Stupid

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by Uncle Sam, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Rear Naked Bloke

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    Oh, you've done it now - you've really got under Finn Balor's skin. You've got a title match at the big show on Saturday. Rumour has it that Finn's going to put on his bodypaint. There's no way you're going to win - no way. Nobody's ever defeated the Demon Balor; he's undefeated. You're fucked, mate. But, uh, why?

    Is it because when Finn puts on the paint, he becomes a different person? He uses different moves, behaves differently - perhaps he becomes more vicious and violent and less forgiving. Well, probably not, because he wrestles exactly the same as he does when he's wearing a leather jacket.

    Is it because he becomes more resilient, like say The Undertaker did when he had Paul Bearer and his urn? Does he take more punishment than a human should be able to take, and keep on coming? Um, not really.

    Alright, I've got it! It's to psych his opponent out and put them off their game. Surely not every opponent he's faced wearing the bodypaint has totally no-sold it and behaved as normal? Surely they look a little tentative, at least during the initial lock-up. Only, uh, if memory serves, that's literally never happened.

    The only plausible explanation for why the Demon is undefeated: it's Finn Balor's lucky bodypaint. Some people have a rabbit's foot or a horseshoe or a condom they've had in their wallets for years, but those things would cause unsightly lines in Finn's trunks. Fortunately, he's got lucky paint.

    That's the only explanation for why this guy comes out dressed as Jack the Ripper or waving a chainsaw and everybody's selling it like he's the ultimate badass and he's going to consume your soul and then it contributes exactly fuck all to the match.

    Remember, in the bible, when Satan hit Jesus with a side headlock takeover? The parallels are spooky. Remember, in The Exorcist, when the demon Pazazu looked like it was losing the battle for the girl's soul, but then it snuck up behind the priest and rolled him up with a schoolboy for the three? I didn't sleep for days. Remember Dante's Inferno? The seventh circle of hell was full of demons that got the shit kicked out of them and then sold a concussion. Finn's obviously been taking notes.

    Thank goodness he's undefeated or that aura of invincibility would totally dissipate. Thank goodness he's not basically inverse Bray Wyatt - wrestling like a normal bloke and constantly winning.
     
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  2. ヒュー G. レックション

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    Yes indeed you have made the topic Ive wanted to make for some time but could never be bothered to.

    All points I agree on, Balor should not wrestle the same or act the same as the Demon, but he does and I think it's a shame. His mic skills are meh, and his in ring skills are solid... but that's it. People love the Demon thing and that's great because it gives him a character that his mic skills lack. But in ring I think he should turn it up a notch, do different moves, act more supernatural, even nosell, things like that.

    The Demon is really Balor's only unique thing, he's pretty generic in all other areas so I really think they need to take advantage of his Demon persona.

    But he's still very over so they probably don't think any changes to him are necessary, and maybe they're right. But I believe if Balor stays the way he is, he'll be a solid midcard champion at best.
     
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  3. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Rear Naked Bloke

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    You've just jogged something else loose, Mr. Rection.

    I've long said that Finn isn't particularly popular or good, but his entrance is both. His entrance with the orchestral music and the mist and him crawling around on the floor. He behaves like someone else during his entrance, then the bell rings and it's all, "Alright, side headlock into the ropes. I think that oughta make people believe I'm powered by the souls of a thousand tortured innocents."
     
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  4. Wrestlinggeek

    Wrestlinggeek Dark Match Jobber

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    And i totally agree with you.Though the entrance is cool he should at least accompany some cool and lethal moves with it so that we can actually believe that The Demon is an upgraded version of Balor.
     
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  5. Sean Valjean

    Sean Valjean Lets Bitch About This Thing We Love

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    While I adore Balor, you're not wrong. The Demon is cool as is, but it has the potential to be so much more if they treat it more like a completely separate personality as opposed to just a badass-looking super mushroom.

    They should make the Demon the Phoenix to Balor's Jean Grey – a malevolent personality that's only unleashed when Finn is pushed to his breaking point, whether physically or emotionally. If you're the unlucky soul that forces Finn to bust out the paint, God help you. The Demon is ruthless, can't be hurt as easily, and is more concerned with maiming someone rather than just winning.

    I do like that the Demon is undefeated. It should stay that way for a long time, since that's really the only thing special about the persona right now. It's basically Balor's version of The Streak. Whoever conquers the Demon is going to be a big deal.

    Finn himself and the Demon are still very popular, so there's little cause for concern just yet. The persona has a solid foundation that can only get better. There's a ton of potential to expand on the idea once he hits the main roster, especially if the Balor Club comes to fruition.
     
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  6. Harthan

    Harthan Sic Semper Tyrannosaurus

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    While my opinion of Balor is pretty high nonetheless, I think the real problem here is the relentless shoehorning of Finn into the "fighting champion" face role. He clearly has big ideas and big personality - you need look no further than his role as the leader of the Bullet Club before departing - and indeed, Sam, I must disagree that he's not popular (NXT fans continually go nuts for Finn) or good (Finn's track record of delivering in main events is very good) but I would agree that he's not as popular or good as he could or should be. The character he plays now in NXT is pretty much what he was in New Japan before forming the Bullet Club - a plucky, fighting face. And that made him recognized as one of New Japan's best juniors and nothing more. It was only by turning heel and forming the Bullet Club that Finn became the top foreigner in New Japan and a serious threat to win the gold there - he certainly would have by now if he hadn't left for the WWE.

    It's a bit odd, really, because NXT has done as well as they have by really letting people gravitate to their natural roles - they never tried anything with Zayn other than underdog face, because it worked; they never deviated from Owens the monster heel, because it worked; and so on down the line. But with Finn they've insisted on his clearly inferior character relentlessly, and this is why the Demon can't be anything more than a nice piece of ultimately meaningless theatrics - they just won't let Finn break out of this box they decided he belongs in. It's sort of baffling and I fear it was the result of the injuries to NXT's top faces in Itami and Zayn forcing them to stick with it. My guess is the Demon was meant to be something that really took off when Finn finally turned heel, when he could be aggressive and terrifying and really live up to the threat he presented - but the lack of people who could carry the face torch forced NXT to make Finn that guy, and they got stuck awkwardly by having to keep promoting this thing that just doesn't make sense for a face.

    I hope someday soon, whether in NXT or on the main roster, they manage to turn Finn heel, and my guess is the memory of the neutered Demon will fade quickly as the unrestrained best version of Finn can finally let loose and live up to the potential. But I agree that right now the Demon just doesn't fit at all what they're doing with Finn - I think they probably wanted him to be a heel by now, but couldn't bring themselves too without Zayn and Itami healthy.
     
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  7. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    The issue isn't Balor, it's that WWE wanted a marketable gimmick and ONE paint...

    Think back to his NJPW days, it would be a different paint for each opponent, designed to get under their skin or cos Devitt thought it was cool... we got Joker Finn amongst others...

    WWE can't and won't accept that... they need one character so it's The Demon... their long term hope was it would replace Undertaker as their dark character and it may well do so... but the downside is that the fanbase in NXT KNOW Balor is more creative than this... so they don't react to him as well because he's "Prince Devitt Lite" rather than the balls to the wall force of creativity he was in Japan.

    They're serious about him, they've brought in his amigos and his push begins now... I can see him not using the paint for at least 6 months... maybe even until he goes for the title... Sting 2016 if you like....

    But it's no more stupid than a clearly aging Undertaker still pretending to be a dead man...
     
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  8. Good Golly It's Ollie

    Good Golly It's Ollie Magical Girl

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    Okay Sam, 2 things before I start: 1) I think you're great, and 2) you're an excellent poster, but I'm confused here. Are you saying you dislike Demon Mode as a concept, or are you saying it's not enough and needs to be pushed further?

    If it's the latter I can certainly agree. It needs to, for want of a less memey expression, go ham. Demon Mode should make everybody shit their pants. It is not a meagre power-up. It should be the power-up to end all power-ups. It should be extreme, since it only appears at big matches. When he is in Demon Mode I can certainly respect your point that he should feel like a completely different entity rather than just "stronger". It puts me somewhat in mind of Kazuya and Devil from Tekken. Kazuya essentially is Devil, but really, the Devil is its own thing with its own ideas and power.

    However if it's the former, to counter your point, I think you need to recall that wrestling is basically a live action fighting anime. I'd say this is the one gimmick that is guaranteed do as well, if not better, on main roster than it does on NXT, because it honestly has a lot of potential for the kid demographic. It is a cartoon character. Your mileage may vary on whether this works for the top face, but since it puts me in mind of something like Spawn, or Eren from Attack on Titan, I don't particularly see it as something that needs explanation. Maybe it needs "extremifying" and intensifying, possibly, I can see the argument for that as I said.

    Your post showed how you are looking for, in your own terms, a "plausible explanation", but I think the character is actually simpler than that. The plausibility is something that an older fan or NXT mark requires. It's not something the 7-year-old requires. All I can tell you is had Demon Balor been a thing when I started watching, I would have eaten the character up and become a complete mark for it regardless of how it was done in the ring.

    I think a good solution/compromise to Sam's issue, if I've got it right, is to see the Demon Mode in a Deathmatch; Hell in a Cell or something. A real chance for him to go extreme. But there is no reason it can't work as an aspect of a face character, and there is also no reason it has to be super different in-ring. As long as the audience sees additional intensity, the gimmick works.

    I've heard (but not experienced firsthand) that heel Balor is a diffferent animal altogether. That'll be exciting to see if it plays out as expected with the Bullet Club.

    So in summary I see where you're coming from but I also think you're overthinking it as well. The Demon is awesome because of how it is as a sheer concept. It can be Symbiote Spider-Man, or it can be Carnage. It is malleable and not absolute, and it doesn't need to be super in-depth. Very unique gimmick in present climate, to be fair.
     
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  9. Heartbreak_Kid_707

    Heartbreak_Kid_707 Championship Contender

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    I'm as big of Finn Balor fan as the is...I've figure his demon out...

    ITS THE KANE COMPLEX!!!!

    LOL
     
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  10. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Rear Naked Bloke

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    Other people I've said this too seemed to be similarly confused, so to clarify: the latter. Go big or go home. Shit or get off the pot. Either play a demon or stop dressing up as one.

    If only. The difference between Corporate Kane and Demon Kane might be a bit rich for some but it's actually quite a neat illustration for what I think Demon Balor should be - an entirely different person to regular Balor, or at least not the exact same person just wearing paint.
     
    #10
  11. Emrii

    Emrii Dark Match Jobber

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    I have been thinking the exact same thing as far as the Demon Balor.

    My thought was to have Balor use Bloody Sunday and "injure" someone. Balor goes back to the Coup de Grace as his finisher.

    Demon Balor keeps Bloody Sunday.

    Modify his moveset to differentiate between the personas.

    And let Balor talk while the Demon is silent or has a modified voice.
     
    #11
  12. Vanilla Midget

    Vanilla Midget Registered Suplex Offender

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    I've always found Balor to be a lukewarm babyface and I think this is why. He's playing up being a babyface far too much to the point that he throws on this bodypaint and he might as well have painted himself up as my little pony.

    He's threatening and ominous on the entry ramp, then what follows is a typical Finn Balor match. Which is great freaking match, don't get me wrong. It's missing the viciousness that really should come along with a demon. That and he's been involved in feud with a very vicious Samoa Joe, and that aggression has not followed Finn into the ring,

    He's doing a good job as a traditional babyface, but it's in direct contrast with his demon gimmick. I've been waiting for him to turn heel ever since he debuted tagging with Hideo against the Ascension. The demon character would make so much more sense.

    I have to disagree that he should drop the gimmick altogether if he doesn't drop the mean streak. If anything it sets him apart from everyone else. I like the idea of a gimmick that isn't trotted out every match, such as an outfit, a finisher, or something else unique. The concept just needs to be refined if anything.
     
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  13. Messiah

    Messiah WWE Champion

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    I thought the demon was Kane.. What the fuck?... Finn Balor doesn't look like a 'demon' at all... On the main roster the fans are going to laugh at this guy if he comes up calling himself a 'demon'.. He's lucky the NXT fans are so nice.
     
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  14. @smarkmouth

    @smarkmouth Friendly Neighborhood

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    It's certainly missing a puzzle piece. I had high hopes when he debuted the paint teaming with Itami vs the Ascension, and this intangible piece didn't feel missing. Perhaps the de facto protection of a tag match masked this problem.

    I don't want to beat the dead horse, anymore. Suffice it to say that no-selling would fit Demon Balor like a glove, and an exclusive finisher to that persona would be cake icing. Imagine a nice little moment somewhere in about a years time where plain ol' Finn has to pull out that move in the climax of a hard fought bout.

    A disappointing absense of psychology to the use of the Demon.

    That's nice, dear.
     
    #14
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  15. Gallops77

    Gallops77 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    I think what they need to do is when he does get called up, be called up to run/co lead the Bullet Club (or WWE's version of it) as a heel group.

    From that point on, no more paint. No more crawling entrance. None of that. Why give the fans what they WANT when you're a heel?

    Eventually, BC turns on Balor. He disappears for a month. Comes back in the paint, with the entrance, and stays that way for matches. When he comes up, he NEEDS to differentiate the two personalities otherwise it won't get over. Do different moves. No sell stuff. Be more vicious than the "normal" Balor would have been.

    I don't personally mind him the way he is doing the paint for Takeovers. Using the paint and entrance to get into his opponents head and whatnot. But I think when he's on the main roster they need to play on it differently.
     
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  16. ヒュー G. レックション

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    Well, the Demon is undefeated no longer! I really was expecting an escape finish so I was very happy with the actual ending. My complaints with Demon Balor still stand however!
     
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  17. Trill Co$by

    Trill Co$by Believes in The Shield!

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    Demon Finn Balor should be equivalent to Super Saiyan in Dragon Ball Z, and he should have like one more "transformation" as like Super Demon or Demon Grade 2, with a different demon paint. I like Finn, and I enjoy his entrance a lot when he comes out as Demon Finn, but we need to know what's so great about Demon Finn. I think that going the Super Saiyan route would be pretty cool. Each transformation unlocks a different style for Finn and makes him behave different. Like normal Finn is the guy we see every week. No face paint, no gimmicky entrance, just a guy that comes out and wrestles. But then you get Demon Finn, whose one goal is to obtain victory. He doesn't follow the rules, he doesn't care if he's loved or cheered; he just wants to win. And then, if he can't win (ie: Samoa Joe) he goes and finds that he has one more stage to go through so that he can finally give it his absolute best, and that's when he becomes Super Demon Finn Balor. This stage is still victory oriented, but he's now able to put more thought into his rage rather than going out with blind fury. It's like he's finally tamed the demon form and has complete control over it now.

    Is that the best scenario? Probably not, but it's definitely better than what's going on right now for him. And to be honest, I wouldn't blame Vince for keeping him in NXT for not understanding the whole Demon thing.
     
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  18. Woodstuff

    Woodstuff Pre-Show Stalwart

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    Maybe WWE are doing the same thing with him in NXT? Introducing him to their audience in the same role, then giving them the same pay off by turning him into whatever badass he was in NJPW?

    Just a thought.

    On topic, I don't have a problem with the paint itself not 'changing' Balor as a person, more that he acts like it does on his way to the ring. My only issue with the Demon is 70% of his entrance. The 70% of the time he spends crawling to and around the ring, pretending he's an actual demon. Even Undertaker didn't take it to that level of imaginary, because it's cringe worthy as hell.

    And then, like many have said, Finn doesn't sell the character in the match itself. Hammering home the point that this grown man really was just acting like a 9 year old playing Spider Man. Other than that, I'm all for it.
     
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