Equally adored by male and female fans due to his explosive wrestling style and charming good looks, WWE wrestler Finn Balor has a trump card which is his alter-ego, the fearsome Demon King.
It is an intricate look which requires Balor to be covered with elaborate face and body paint, a process that can take up to four hours.
With grey eyes and an easygoing nature, the 35-year-old Irishman whose real name is Fergal Devitt, laughed when told he was voted the sexiest male wrestler of the year by readers of Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
He said: “I’m obviously extremely flattered. But wrestling is not a beauty contest, it’s a lot more than that.”
Once a scrawny kid training in the dojos of Japan, Balor has become one of the most popular professional wrestlers in the world.
He recounted his wrestling origins: “I arrived in Japan when I was 24. I was just a boy with no experience of the world, outside of Ireland. Through my eight years, I developed into a cultured human being and kept myself on an even keel with everything I’m doing now in WWE.
“I trained in Britain originally and when I went to Japan, I got retrained in the Japanese style. There’s a lot of attention to detail. It’s almost like I was trained twice. I really believe that the attention to detail in the dojos and the Japanese fighting spirit to never give up, was instilled in me at an early point.”
This is something that has stuck with him in WWE. But it has been a while since the Demon King made his last appearance.
Balor continued: “That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? The Demon King is something that I only channel on certain occasions.
“I can’t really control myself. I have to be boxed into a corner. It has to be brought out. In recent times, I haven’t been put in a situation whereby I needed to draw on that power. I’m sure in the future that will be something that will be needed.”
The longest reigning NXT champion at 292 days, Balor created history by defeating Seth Rollins, becoming the inaugural WWE Universal Champion at Summerslam last year.
But he sustained a serious arm injury and was forced to relinquish the title the next day.
“Growing up, I never imagined being employed by WWE, let alone becoming a WWE champion. I’ve far exceeded my dreams so right now, I just hope to continue to grow as a performer and help to inspire the next generation of wrestlers.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network/Sharon Lee