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Thread: Taste My Rainbow - Balor‘s No More Than The Boogeyman (Why the Demon King is Just a Fling)

  1. #1
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
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    Sep 2013

    Taste My Rainbow - Balor‘s No More Than The Boogeyman (Why the Demon King is Just a Fling)

    Balor‘s No More Than The Boogeyman
    (Why the Demon King is Just a Fling)

    When Jinder Mahal rocked Finn into a concussed state, I watched as people threw stones at Balor through social media for being too delicate. Then I noticed the same seesawing twats whining on Twitter just weeks later about how management hasn’t done anything significant with Finn since he returned to RAW... Uhhh maybe because the dude can’t sign his fucking signature without separating a shoulder. Balor’s suffered three separate injuries over the past 16 months (one of them dating back to his latter days in NXT) and whether or not it’s simply a couple bad breaks for Finn, you know their long term impact is weighing on Vince’s conscience. It’s that type of fragility that’s gonna have VKM diagnosing Balor as another Daniel Bryan and pushing him more towards medical tests than another Universal Title reign.

    Steering Finn away from the main event scene is probably the best course of action anyway seeing as how the stars don’t appear to be aligning for him in said role. Unlike the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, Balor isn’t a box office hit (and that includes when hours of special effects go into his appearance). As was the case with The Boogeyman, introducing the Demon King to a mainstream audience opens the proverbial can of worms because it’s a matter of style over substance. What sets Balor apart besides his elaborate entrances? Outside of Takeovers and PPVs, Finn is just an ordinary bloke in a leather jacket.

    Honestly, what does Balor offer that other wrestlers weren’t already bringing to the table? The UK guys WWE currently has under contract showed me more in one NXT match than Finn did throughout the entire two years he spent down there! For fuck’s sake, Big Show’s had more memorable performances here in 2017 than Balor so spare me the ‘brains over brawn’ argument because I’d take Strowman over Finn in a heartbeat.

    And even in Jericho’s absence, the list goes on and on. Becky, Sheamus, Lorcan… so that makes Balor what? The fourth best Irish wrestler in WWE? If oney Finn wrestled with the same aggressiveness as the former Biff Busick. He could at least unleash an alternative move-set while tapped into his darker side. Jesus anything to deviate from all those neutered ninja kicks.

    That’s not the half of it either. I’m still struggling with this harsh dynamic of Finn being a white meat babyface who has complete creative control of his inner demons. Perhaps if Balor wrestled less Randy Borton-ish and more savagely while in disguise, I wouldn‘t be so unimpressed. Finn’s no macho man but it wouldn’t hurt for him to impose his will a bit against inferior opponents. Balor doesn’t even stand out from the crowd seeing as how he barely comes within shoulder height of much of the roster. And no, size isn’t everything but Finn’s character is hardly larger than life. He’s essentially a faux finished version of the Monster Among Men.

    Then as if the rumors weren’t laughable enough already, the idea of bite-size Balor leading a Club type faction is even more comical. Don’t even try putting him in the same league as Styles. That’s a whole other level of hilarity. I mean in all seriousness, what does Finn do better than AJ, Gallows and Anderson that justifies him being the alpha male of such a group? Applying makeup hardly counts as a predominant feature. Plus Balor needs a woman’s touch to do that anyways which just emasculates him one step further.

    Please excuse me for putting the boots to Balor. I realize it seems unfair to write off a guy who hasn’t factored into any major storylines since ’Mania but that’s one fault you can’t blame on creative. Finn’s series of misfortunes haven’t exactly instilled confidence in the company that he can handle a proper program; let alone be built up enough to contend with the Beast Incarnate. Even by kayfabe standards, Balor versus Brock just isn’t believable. The reality is that Lesnar would shit all over The Demon and leave a skid mark of body paint in his wake.

    Despite what my Balor bashing suggests though, I don’t hate the guy. In fact, I very much wanted to mark for Finn when he first signed with WWE a few years ago. I tried enjoying the buzz Fergal Devitt created around NXT but never even got to experience a hangover effect because of the sobering realization that well… Balor’s really nothing special. If seeing is believing, I’m still waiting for Finn to show me “it”. As tired as people are of Roman, I’ve grown more restless with Finn who’s like a poodle nipping at the heels of the big dog. Sure Reigns is still the more manufactured of the two but he’s also better equipped to withstand the grueling schedule. Finn’s health remains a concern as does his ability to be a top star on RAW.

    Are those baby horns trying to bore their way through his forehead?

    The company can doodle on Balor all they want but that doesn’t make him a draw. Vince took a gamble with Finn last summer and it didn’t pay off. Balor lost his spot in the deck as a result and at the risk of getting completely lost in the shuffle, I think Finn’s best bet is to stay in the upper midcard for now. Have him chase the Intercontinental Championship and then maybe feud with Bray at SummerSlam after Wyatt most definitely jobs to Brock. Rush things and its bound to backfire like WWE’s ballsy choice of pay per view titles.

    In the bigger picture, I’m unsure what Balor’s future holds but to say he’s destined for greatness just reeks of word vomit. Finn kinda reminds me of Del Rio in the sense that he can consistently put on good matches but relies on a separate entity to make him remotely interesting (yes I‘m demonizing Paige for her sinful behavior). Unlike her racy videos however, there’s nothing must-see about Balor between the ropes. How many MOTY candidates has he competed in since leaving New Japan? Zero according to my math. Finn just doesn’t excel in any particular category. Yeah he’s the popular play thing now but give it time. Once the initial wow factor wears off, Balor’s shiny new appeal will fade and he’ll become yesterday’s news.

    Unless Finn gives his demon shtick a serious makeover, the sideshow act will lose its luster and eventually drive fans to go searching elsewhere for fun. He has this uber marketable gimmick but nothing else worth buying into which, from a fan’s perspective, is more depressing than losing Mauro Ranallo. What’s the point of having an alter ego if it doesn’t give you any superhuman powers? That’s my issue with this whole goddamn concept. The Demon King isn’t an extension of Balor’s character… it’s the exact same fucking thing. And my unwillingness to open up to the Irishman isn’t meant as a knock on anything he’s accomplished in the past. Finn’s been successful all over the globe and hell, he played a vital part in propelling the NXT banner to new heights. But as far those eager to watch him elevate WWE’s flagship show, I’d curb your expectations before Balor American History X’s them.


    Last edited by SkitZ; 12-24-2017 at 06:40 AM.

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    Sep 2013
    Balor had two things going for him when coming into WWE. The first was the hype around the Bullet Club, and the other was his sense of showmanship and tendency to paint himself up in crazy ways for big matches. We now know of course that the BC rolls along as fine as ever without Balor around, and as for his paint job he's only got one coat these days and the magic has worn off.

    I think the idea of Balor as a great wrestler has been something of a misconception from the word go. People see NJPW and assume that means you're getting a machine that churns out classic matches. Putting aside my against-the-grain opinions about New Japan style, even supporters of the promotion would admit not every wrestler there is producing classics around the clock. There is such a person as Toru Yano, after all. And, if you ask someone what the great Prince Devitt main event bouts are, the well runs dry almost immediately. Once he gets in the ring, what really separates him from someone like Eddie Edwards or Davey Richards, those infamous standard bearers of athletic guys as dry and bland as a loaf of plain white bread?

    So that leaves the paint job and the showmanship it may or may not represent. I admit, I was quite taken with Balor's demon entrance the first time, and who wouldn't be at first look? The music, the lights, and yes, even Balor himself putting on a good show as he creeps to the ring. But he has to go to the ring eventually, and that's where we start to trip up, isn't it now? I wonder if things would be different if less fuss had been made about "The Demon" and they had allowed him to go all out with his creative paint jobs. He had plenty of cool variations at one time, but now it's just Finny and the Demon, on your Saturday morning commute. Maybe it wouldn't make a difference, but at least it would create a little more buzz before his big matches, now that so much of it has worn off.

    Last but not least, your injury point is well taken, albeit a little bit sad. It's unfortunate that the WWE left an entire generation of wrestlers out breaking themselves on gymnasium floors and only started hiring many of them past their prime or when their bodies started breaking down (looking at you, Samoa Joe). I'm not sure if Finn would have been a bigger star for the company if he'd been hired earlier, but he sure would have been a lot sturdier.

    Then again, you love Edge, and he shattered into tiny pieces on a yearly basis if not more for the last 8 years of his career, so it is possible to overcome such injury woes and still be a success! But then Finn would have to be able to show off even a tenth of Edge's personality... Yeah, it's a tough road for him from there.

    Great piece Skitzoid, who knows what will happen with Balor but if he fades into obscurity frankly I won't lose sleep about it... just as long as he doesn't get released and starts clogging up all my beloved indies!

  3. #3
    Agreed - he's good, but an alter ego needs something more.

    The other thing? It can't be too predictable. Don't just show up painted because it's a PPV. Do it randomly, no more than a few times a year. When it means something.

    Still, at least he's not as annoying as Nakamura.

  4. #4
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    Balor is definitely way better than The Boogeyman. He may be far from the greatest but he is a good wrestler, in my opinion.

    I will admit that I wish the demon was more of a different side of Balor, like a split personality. Have it take control of him without him wanting too, have it stop being a part of him mid match, anything to add to it.

  5. #5
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    Mizfit: Thanks for the detailed feedback, homie. I do think there's a misconception around guys who come out of New Japan being out-of-this-world awesome because lets face it... the best ones are still there. Balor is a talented guy no doubt but I just don't see him being a perennial main eventer. Not unless the fans really rally behind the guy and it happens organically. Still, I think it's a long shot given Balor's limited character ability. I'd also like it if he wasn't pigeonholed with just the demon gimmick because fans would be 20 times more into the body paint if he could alternate between different caricatures. At least keep people guessing!

    TNT: Haha true. And yes, Balor's demon appearances are far too structured. I think it'd come off better and receive a stronger reaction if he kept the fans guessing. Like if Finn's struggling to get the upper hand on an opponent, he turns to his darker side. Or if the odds are stacked against him in a certain situation, he channels his inner demon and shows up in body paint. Whether it's on RAW, PPV or some other special event on the Network. Switch it up because the whole thing's already become too ho hum for my liking. Nakamura is another guy who's yet to blow me away. I'm starting to wonder if it's because of he and Balor having to change their styles to fit WWE's? Has that hindered their move-sets?

    Zak: Despite the title of this column, I agree with you. Finn is certainly better than The Boogeyman. I meant it in the sense that Balor is more smoke and mirrors, more spark that sizzle, etc. The complete package is lacking for me. There's always been something missing and I feel like it'll eventually lead to a disconnect with some of the audience. They'll grow bored of the same old before long if Finn doesn't make a couple adjustments along the way. Longevity in wrestling is all about reinventing yourself. When the time comes (and it's approaching faster than folks realize), will Balor be able to make the necessary changes to remain relevant?

  6. #6
    What else is on? JSR-13's Avatar
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    Despite the title and maybe some of the colorful language that we have to expect from a guy who named himself after a bag of candy- I don't see this a roast of Finn at all and I totally agree with everything said here. Maybe I'm a hypocrite, but as one who clamored to see a healthy Daniel Bryan tangle with Lesnar, I rolled my eyes so hard that they could have knocked down pins when I read comments from people wanting to see a Finn/Lesnar match. Size matters, but it doesn't... except for when it does, though it usually doesn't... I don't even know how to explain it, but it's deeper than his 190lb classification. Bryan actually has believable offense to strike at Brock. Brock would have to go back to being his self from the previous decade and not the no-selling suplex city guy in order for a match with Balor to work (saying this based off of Balor's signature moves). Even then- I'd still be waiting on a spear from Goldberg to help Balor win.

    I'm like a lot of people who really want to like Finn, but there's just something missing. I can deal with guys who are not the best promos and whatnot, and I definitely don't have anything against smaller guys tangling with bigger guys. Can't quite put my finger on it, but even after over a year of watching him in NXT, he's still just kind of blah to me.

    Excellent work here, Skitzoid. You hit the nail on the head.
    Don't Touch That Dial!

  7. #7
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    The only thing remotely interesting about Balor is his entrance - his normal one, not the “demon” Balor one. I'm just not into “The Demon”. Sure, his matches are good but he has yet to have a classic. I don't really see anything special about “The Demon”, but that's just me. Why not make “The Demon” a total badass? I would bet money on the fact that Balor would be awesome if “Demon” Balor was heel, and not be shortchanged by being of the chicken shit variety.

    This was great, Skitz.

  8. #8
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    389 miles from Sheepster
    Dear Skitz,

    This column is offensive and unfair. How dare you make such a comparison?

    The Boogeyman was better than Finn Balor any day of the week.

    The Boogeyman was believable

    I always say it. Size matters. There's a reason Rey Mysterio was a shit World Champion despite being over as anything. He wasn't believable. And Balor is the same. He is but an overpushed cruiserweight and shouldn't be anywhere near the main event. Strowman has taken bigger shits than him. Balor is never going to have a chance against the likes of Reigns, Lesnar and Strowman and shouldn't do. The Boogeyman was a good 40lbs heavier and significantly taller. He looked like he could take on a big guy.

    The Boogeyman was interesting

    Say what you want about his ability in the ring, the Boogeyman was never dull. Occasionally over the top, frequently disgusting (Jillian's mole) but always memorable- you're even writing columns about him 10 years later. I wonder if we'll be writing about Balor? Fact is, you'd watch his segments just to see what shit he did and it was entertaining a lot of the time. I'd rather watch 100 Boogeyman segments than 100 Balor segments anyway. They offered variety, entertainment and excitement. He would often serve justice to monster heels in a way that no one else could and that leads me to my next point...

    The Boogeyman was over

    Seriously, watch back any Boogeyman segment or TV moment. He was over as fuck. He even got a huge Wrestlemania pop. Balor (and most of today's stars) would give their right buttock to get that sort of reaction. Kids loved him especially but adults got behind him too. Admittedly a big part of that was his tendency to face great heels but he was really popular for a big chunk of his run. The company fucked him over by sending him to the stagnant ECW and he never recovered.

    The Boogeyman wrestled Booker T with a broken freaking bicep

    Knowing he was injured the Boogeyman still thought Booker T at Wrestlemania and got his Mania moment. He deserves more credit for that. Not like Kurt Angle levels of love but you know, more than Finn Balor.

    In-ring ability is only a small part of being a WWE Superstar. There's countless examples of that.

    So please, never compare the Boogeyman to Finn fucking Balor. Finn Balor doesn't deserve such high praise.

    Love you.

  9. #9
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    JSR: You summed up my thoughts perfectly. I don't aim to discredit any of Finn's abilities. He's clearly a very sound wrestler who can work with guys of any style. But as far as facing off with someone like Brock, I just think that places Balor in a lose/lose situation. Part of me kindaaaa wants to see it just to watch Lesnar rag doll him around the ring but it's weird too because like you mentioned, Bryan's not much bigger and yet you can envision him holding his own against The Beast. I guess its just the difference in how they each deliver offense.

    Don: Another great point, homie. I touched on it slightly in the column but not nearly enough. The Demon character naturally fits a heel way better. I get the whole ying/yang dynamic WWE's going for with Finn but just look at what they've done with Aleister Black. Similar ideology as Balor but not nearly as 90s-ish. Like I said above, Balor's Demon King shtick is marketable and gives him something extra but it's not an edge. Finn in makeup is no damn different than Finn without which I believe cheapens the gimmick. It can't just be a change in appearance.

    Nony: Forgive me! I had Boogey's best interests at heart. Seriously though, you could've easily turned that epic feedback into a retaliatory column. I miss you around these parts. Also, I didn't mean to sound like I was shitting on The Boogeyman. I'm probably the only person in existence who enjoyed his feud with Big Daddy V on ECW (and admittedly the midget angle with Finlay). He's clearly a tough bastard to boot (I had no idea that he wrestled Booker with a torn bicep!). We're in agreement as far as in-ring ability only taking a wrestler so far which is why I bash Balor religiously.

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