Maybe it's his glowing orange hair, his extremely pale skin or his every day Irish name (with no last name), but when you hear people talk about Irish WWE Superstar, it's seemingly always about Sheamus. It's easy to forget that Bray's own Finn Balor (real name Fergal Devitt) has been making his way in the industry of pro wrestling for a similar length of time.
But why is it easy to forget? Is it the aforementioned physical features of Sheamus that makes him stand out more? Of course hardcore wrestling fans remember Finn from his time in Japan as well as his body painted run in WWE's development brand NXT, but has Balor has stagnated a bit in WWE and needs something fresh?
Well it would seem from the past few weeks that Finn Balor is getting a new lease of life in the WWE. A lot of fans have gotten their wish recently as the Irishman has been paired up with his former New Japan stable mates, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. (AKA The Good Brothers, AKA The Club, AKA Gallows & Anderson) So is this the "heel turn" people have been calling for? Or just another case of WWE's writers having absolutely no idea what to do and just throwing some proverbial shit at the wall and seeing what sticks?
For now it looks as though he's just playing an edgier version of his babyface self, helped by some added confidence of having his two real life best friends beside him on TV, but would this new "lease of life" in WWE for Balor be even better or stronger if it was a fully fledged heel turn? Of course it would.
For now it seems the former heel team of Gallows and Anderson are inexplicable babyfaces or even worse: babyfaces by association. The clear indicator being that they were nice to Roman Reigns on RAW this week and only mean to the genuinely hated Jason Jordan. But the newly formed "Club" were victorious in the main event 6 man match against 2/3s of The Shield and Jordan which means that although this may be a case of "we have nothing better for them, put them together", there may be big plans ahead with a win like that.
You may be thinking that shouting "NERD!" at people and smiling a lot is the best way for this trio, and particularly Balor, but as the video below from his time in Japan with the same group proves, you're wrong.
Finn Balor is a crazy good heel. Sure, he may be a good looking guy (so much so he was sponsored by and modelled for Armani during his time in Japan) but maybe WWE looks to market that feature in their stars in the completely wrong way? You can bet that the male boos for Roman Reigns in the crowd are as much because of the female cheers than they are for his five moves of doom and being shoved down people's throats. That's definitely something that could be pushed towards in a Finn Balor heel run.
Compare that man, Prince Devitt, standing there cutting a promo in an all black Irish jersey taking the piss out of the Japanese interviewer and arrogantly predicting how he's going to beat the babyface champion to the one you've seen on Raw since he was called up in 2016. Night and day. That's the real Fergal Devitt and there's no reason it can't be the more successful Finn Balor.
With the added chip on his shoulder of never really losing the Universal Title and certainly never getting a rematch for the title he never lost, you have the makings of a new top heel in the WWE, something they are mercilessly crying out for. Only The Miz can make a claim to be a true heel in WWE these days and he spends half his time languishing in the mid card divisions and the other half making straight the DVD movies. (Which is great work if you can get it!)
One thing is for sure though, babyface or heel Finn Balor is well on his way to becoming the huge star anyone who was aware of him earlier in his career always knew he would be. Even "The Great One" Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a fan!
It’s tough but you gotta take it day by day my friend and just embrace the ⚡️. Keep kickin’ ass & stayin’ focused. You’re doing great 👊🏾 https://t.co/LeCOOqqscj
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) January 6, 2018
Whether WWE has the guts to go all in on Finn Balor and the original Bullet Club as bad ass heels like they were in Japan remains to be seen, but it's certainly a hugely exciting prospect heading into 2018, especially when you consider Wrestlemania is fast approaching and the man who replaced him in "The Club", AJ Styles is a babyface who happens to have the WWE Title.