Finn Balor has his sights set on the 16-time WWE world champion John Cena. The Irishman will feature on WWE’s first UK tour in two years, starting this weekend.
WWE star Finn Balor would relish the chance to face John Cena at WrestleMania.
The Irishman returned to Smackdown in July after a successful stint on NXT and was due to face Roman Reigns for the Universal championship at SummerSlam last month.
However, he was attacked by Corbin before he could sign the contract to make it official, which allowed Cena to sneak in and sign on the dotted line instead, setting up a blockbuster showdown with the Tribal Chief.
An aggrieved Balor vowed to “deal with Cena in due time” and an ideal event for this titanic clash would be none other than on the grandest stage of them all.
“I can’t think of a better place to face John Cena than at WrestleMania”, the former champion said in an exclusive chat with The Mirror.
“I’ve got a bone to pick with John, the SummerSlam main event was mine, my name was printed on the contract, however, John signed it.
“There’s certainly an issue that needs to be settled between me and John and if we can do that at WrestleMania all the better.”
It has been a long road for Balor, who waited five years for another opportunity to try and reclaim the Universal title, after injury forced him to relinquish the belt just a day after his monumental victory.
During that time the Irish superstar admitted he has learnt more about himself from both a personal and professional standpoint, while also revealing a change in his mindset and the goals he has set.
“The thing I have learnt the most is five years ago I needed WWE and I needed to be champion, I needed to win,” he commented.
“Now I don’t need WWE, I don’t need to be champion, I don’t need to win but I want to fight and I want to fight for not only the people who believed in me along the way, but for all the people who didn’t believe in me along the way.”
Despite the criticism he faced during the early stages of his career, Balor has a burning desire to prove the doubters wrong and regain the championship that he never lost.
He continued: “Even after all my success on the independent wrestling scene, people told me ‘you’re not good enough to be a WWE champion, you’re not what they’re looking for.’
“I want to prove all those people wrong and I’m coming after Roman Reigns and the Universal title.”
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The 40-year-old eventually received a shot at the gold on the September 3 edition of Friday Night Smackdown, but was attacked by the Usos prior to the match.
During the bout, Reigns appeared to use a low blow to Balor when the champion kicked out of his Coup de Gras finishing move.
Balor soon passed out from the Guillotine submission which saw Reigns continue his year-long reign as Smackdown’s premier champion.
The former NXT superstar has been hard done by in recent weeks but despite his frustration, he remains focused on overcoming the odds and taking Reigns’ coveted championship belt away from him.
“The mindset is one of being p****d off with the situation,” the wrestler fumed.
“I feel like this story has not reached its apex, we’re just starting and there’s a lot of unfinished business.”
Balor was absolutely right as it has been announced he will get a rematch with Roman for the Universal championship at the pay-per-view known as Extreme Rules.
However, it will be the Irishman’s captivating ‘Demon’ alter-ego that the ‘Head of the Table’ will be up against at the company’s next big event.
Before Balor heads to Columbus, Ohio to tussle for the gold next weekend, he will feature on WWE’s first UK tour for nearly two years, starting this Sunday in Newcastle and heading through London and Cardiff, before ending next Wednesday in Glasgow.
Balor is delighted WWE are able travel overseas again following the coronavirus pandemic and gave his assessment on the biggest differences between US and UK wrestling crowds.
“I’m excited to be returning to the UK very soon, a place where I started my wrestling career, I have many many great memories,” he explained.
“I’m very glad the pandemic is behind us; we’re opening the doors and we’re getting back out on the road and performing in front of the fans.”
He added: “I think the UK crowd brings a very distinct energy to the building, I think it might be to do with the huge football culture of singing songs and chanting in the crowds that really translates into the wrestling arenas.
“They bring that energy, the same energy that they bring to the football games into the WWE live events and that energy is something that is very unique to the UK.”
Once the tour gets underway, Balor is set to square off against one of his former adversaries, Seth Rollins.
The pair made history when they clashed in the first ever Universal title match in 2016 at SummerSlam, in which Balor was victorious.
The prince gave a glowing assessment of his old foe and is looking forward to locking up with the Architect once again.
“Seth continues to blur boundaries in this business and evolve weekly, which is something very few performers can do so skilfully or so masterfully,” he gushed.
“We have a long, long history, he is someone I admire both inside and outside of the ring. We had that moment at SummerSlam five years ago that we’re still talking about, so we clearly touched a lot of people in a lot of ways.
“We’ve had some great matches in the past and this will be the first time we do it in the UK and I feel like it’s going to be a really special moment.”
Balor’s compatriot Becky Lynch will headline the tour when she defends her SmackDown women’s championship against Bianca Belair.
Other superstars in action over the four nights include the legendary Rey Mysterio, who will be in tag team action with his son Dominick and Scotland’s own Drew McIntyre will square off against former WWE champion Jinder Mahal.
Balor will feature on Friday Night Smackdown tonight where he will continue the build-up to his epic title rematch.