After a terrible night for Roman Reigns, he and his family were visited by a demon, The Demon Finn Bálor. Having not appeared since a SmackDown filmed in Saudi Arabia in 2019, Bálor’s alter ego skulked the aisle of Madison Square Garden, putting the cherry on top of the sundae that was Reigns, Heyman, and the Usos getting hassled by Brock Lesnar.
Is The Demon thing kinda goofy? If you’re me, yeah. I remember ol’ Fergal painting himself up to look like Venom when the Bullet Club was just a wrestling stable that existed so he could look cool getting a ride on Bad Luck Fale’s shoulders and not a general menace to society. Like most things in WWE, it’s just a gimmick. Unlike most things in WWE, it’s a well-protected one. Bálor has never lost as The Demon, and outside of a scheduled-then-cancelled match against Bray Wyatt as Sister Abigail, has never truly experienced the usual amount of WWE’s patented blend of 50/50 booking and unending embarrassment.
That said, whatever sense of the spooky unnatural I was meant to feel was pretty much spoiled by SmackDown’s commentary team, Michael Cole and Pat McAfee, who stepped on Bálor’s entrance by talking over the whole thing, Cole at his usual “hey guys, this is a surprise” cadence, and McAfee like a drunk dude who is really excited about a kick return that’s going to go 15 yards. Rendered normal by all of this, let’s analyze Bálor’s alter ego.
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"The Demon" Finn Bálor
While cool in theory, the minute something gets called an "alter ego" is the minute whatever prestige the character had is shot.
- Love the effort, Finn.
- Fans responded like The Demon was a well-protected special attraction, which is true.
- Booked perfectly, as if to remind Roman Reigns that Bálor was not an afterthought on his way to Lesnar.
- Smoke machines were set to "the Enterprise has been rocked by a dozen photon torpedos."
- Unlike Sting, Bálor really goes nuts with the facepaint. It's all over the place, as opposed to Sting's face, minus his hairline.
- Hard to see all of Bálor's abs under all of that paint.
- Pat McAfee not acting like he had been there before.
- Zero sense of awe for the home audience, as The Demon was quickly called an alter ego, like it's just facepaint that somehow kicks him into another gear and not some ancient Celtic demon come to life to devour Finn's enemies.
- Despite having ages to fix it, Bálor's ceremonial wig still looks like Captain Jack Sparrow's hair.