This week’s installment of NXT featured the former champion, “The Demon” Finn Balor, addressing the fans regarding his recent steel cage loss to Samoa Joe, the fact that he is no longer NXT Champion and the question of what is next for him.
The fans cheered. They asked him not to leave. They chanted for the “Balor Club,” to which Balor replied “Too sweet” while giving the too sweet hand symbol.
But what, Balor continued to wonder aloud, is next for him?
The lights fell. The crowd cheered. A familiar violin chord played over the loudspeakers, leading into a familiar theme song.
“King of Strong Style,” Shinsuke Nakamura headed to the ring. Without words, the two superstars acknowledged their mutual respect for each other. For years, their paths crossed in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Years later, both men are older, more seasoned, and met once again.
They smiled. They soaked in the fans’ cheers. They did each other’s poses and hand gestures.
Then, it was down to business. Nakamura talked about how while he was in Japan watching Balor on NXT. He referred to Balor as an icon. “If I want to be the champion, I have to beat icon,” Nakamura said. “I…have to…beat…You.”
The fans chanted “Yes!” in response. Balor considered his earlier question of “what’s next” to be answered. Finn Balor versus Shinsuke Nakamura.
In this meeting, Nakamura continued to act in what I have been calling “King of Friendly Style” — in each of his confrontations in NXT, he politely comes to the ring and challenges people, shakes hands and leaves. Completely chill.
Balor, meanwhile continued to be a fan favorite, cutting yet another compelling promo. His matches are always superior. Watch any of them.
Balor and are both the physical embodiment of passion and professionalism. They are two of the best in the sport of professional wrestling. Their match will be intense. With Balor on the way to being called up to the WWE’s main roster, the outcome of this matchup is likely predictable. Balor will put over Nakamura in order to leave NXT in the right hands.
The match itself will be a thing of beauty. I cannot wait.