Finn Balor Makes WWE Main Roster Return on SmackDown, Attacks Sami Zayn
Photo credit: WWE.com
Finn Balor made his return to WWE’s main roster on Friday night’s edition of SmackDown at the Toyota Center in Houston.
He announced his return by first interrupting a Sami Zayn in-ring promo:
Balor then quickly attacked Zayn, finishing him off with the Coup de Grace:
Friday also marked the first time SmackDown or Raw occurred in front of a live crowd since before the COVID-19 pandemic started early last year.
The 39-year-old was part of WWE’s main roster from 2016-19, but he went back to NXT in 2019 and eventually became NXT champion for the second time in his career.
Balor held the NXT title for 212 days before dropping it to Karrion Kross at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver in April. He then lost to Kross in a rematch on the May 25 edition of NXT TV, which was his final appearance on WWE programming before Friday.
Before signing with WWE in 2014, the Irish Superstar competed in Japan under the name Prince Devitt. In New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Balor was a three-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion and six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champion.
It didn’t take long for Balor to reach the top of NXT after signing with WWE, as he won the NXT title in 2015 and held it for 292 days.
Balor’s first main roster call-up occurred in 2016, and in one of his first main roster matches, he beat Seth Rollins to win the Universal Championship at SummerSlam 2016.
The celebration didn’t last long, though, as Balor suffered a shoulder injury during the match and had to vacate the title the next night. He made his return to Raw nearly eight months later.
While Balor would go on to hold the Intercontinental Championship twice, he never returned to the top of the card on the main roster. That made his NXT return sensible for all parties involved.
Balor rebuilt his equity in a big way during his second NXT run, and he is now in an ideal position to become a world title contender on the main roster once again.
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