“I’m incredibly competitive, and I’m competitive in all natures, but I’m very proud to have the best game I can have with the person I’m in the ring with,” said Balor. ” It’s my aim. I’m not relying on a formula or doing the same things that I already know. I want it to feel organic and be a little different. For lack of a better expression, I don’t want to trust the same old people… I want to push the boundaries of what we do.
“If the grades are good then great, but it’s not my job. My job is to go there and have a good game. In the past, my main fault was trying to keep too many people happy. Ever since I came back to NXT I have focused on what I thought was right. If people like it, that’s cool. Otherwise, I don’t care. Some say they do this for the fans, or for the notes, or the money, but I do this because I feel alive when the bell rings. ”
Balor is approaching the one-year mark of his current run in NXT. He believes this race has pushed him further and tested him as a professional more than at any time in his long career. He commented on how these are the first times he’s wrestled with guys like Gargano, Ciampa, Matt Riddle, Timothy Thatcher and NXT North American Champion Damian Priest. The matches of the past 11 months have challenged Balor more than his five years with WWE.
“Very few people realize that about my current race, but this is the first time I’ve wrestled with Johnny, Ciampa, Matt Riddle, Priest and Thatcher,” Balor said. “No independent matches, no home matches, just a big TV and Take control matches. That feeling of brutality, the unfamiliar element of the way they move and the nuances of their manners, it has gripped me more in the past 11 months than I have in five years in WWE.
“Not to belittle what I accomplished in WWE, but by the time you saw my matches on TV let this be my first run NXT or Raw or SmackDown, I had made these matches on the road and I knew these opponents. This race was a match, then the next one. It pushed me more than ever in my career. I’ve grown more in the past 11 months than I ever have, simply by simply coping with an opponent on live TV. If you want to be the best in the world, you have to be on top of your game and adapt your style to all of these different opponents. You can’t hide, especially in NXT. ”
Balor noted that if he didn’t win the title tonight, his post-game plans were already in place. For him, the victory is not in the odds or in the gold, but in the ring and in the best possible performances, and then returning home to spend time with his wife.
“After NXT, I’m going to get in my car, still in my gear, and go home,” Balor said. “When I’m home, I’ll take off my gear, cut my ribbon, take a shower, then sit on the couch with some donuts and a few beers. I’m going to watch a few episodes of Money Heist, which is a Netflix series based in Spain about a bank robbery, and then I’ll pass out on Wednesday morning, I’ll take things in hand.
“People are talking about winning the title or winning ranking wars. For me winning is getting in the ring and doing my best and then coming home and being able to spend time with my wife. For the past two years, I’ve celebrated life instead of just celebrating wrestling. When I go to work I take it very, very seriously. And when I get home, I take it very easy. ”