During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, WWE Superstar Finn Balor commented on his match with Roman Reigns on tonight’s episode of SmackDown, his road to WWE, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On his road to WWE: “I wasn’t born into this business. I’m not from a wrestling family—I’m from a family of railroad workers. I had to work for everything, not only in this business, but in life.
“I’m 5′ 11″ in a big man’s industry. Before I got to WWE, you wouldn’t believe how often I got told, ‘You’re not what they’re looking for.’ I’m proving those people wrong. Everything that’s been said about me, I’ve heard it. ‘He’s too small.’ ‘He can’t cut a promo.’ ‘He always gets hurt.’ Yet, 21 years later, I’m still here. I’m still in the main event; I’m still in the title picture. And I still have something to prove.”
On his title shot:: “It would be nice to be champion again. I’ve been asked for the past five years, ‘What would have happened if you didn’t get hurt [in the Universal Championship match against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam in 2016]?’ It would have been nice. But that’s not my story. I fight. I fought to get here, just like I’m fighting now. I’m fighting for those who believed in me, and I’m fighting against those that doubted me. I’m still proving them wrong. Teachers doubted me. Football coaches doubted me. I remember getting asked, ‘When are you going to quit that wrestling s—?’ People told me this was ridiculous.
“But I never stopped believing I could do this. If I don’t believe in myself, who the f— is going to believe in me? I know that I’m always going to show up to fight, and I’m going to do it with dignity and honor.”
On his previous win over Reigns in 2016: “I want to address five years ago, when I first locked up with Roman Reigns. The world was talking s**t about Roman and his abilities and his performances. From the first moment we locked up, I knew he was something special. He was operating on a different level that people didn’t quite fully understand. Now people are learning he is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Roman’s proven that over and again, and the masses have accepted and acknowledged that ability and growth. His presence is just unimaginable right now.
“I remember fighting in an Extreme Rules main event in 2017. I’d done my entrance, Samoa Joe did his entrance, a few others did their entrance, and then Roman did his entrance. I remember getting goosebumps as the energy just changed. It’s more raw than the Cena reaction. The Cena reaction is one-of-a-kind, but there is something uniquely different about when Roman steps into the arena.”