Finn Balor Says SummerSlam 2016 Injury Was “The Best Thing That Ever Happened” to Him

Finn Balor has spent the past year rising to the top in NXT after losing to The Fiend back at SummerSlam in 2019 and finding a new home as part of WWE’s developmental brand.

Balor’s run on WWE’s main roster hit a number of road bumps following his promotion back in 2016, the most obvious one coming back in the summer of that year, when he was forced to relinquish the Universal Championship just hours after becoming the inaugural Champion.

Balor was away from the company for almost a year and was forced to have surgery on his injured shoulder, but the former Champion revealed in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated that while he thought that this was the worst thing to happen to him at the time, it was actually the best thing, a message that he is seemingly sending to Karrion Kross following his recent shoulder injury.

“When I was in that moment, I felt like it was the worst thing in the world,” says Bálor. “I felt like I let all these people down, and there were all these expectations that couldn’t be fulfilled.”

“Looking back, I now realize it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I had a 16-year climb to the top, which ended in beating Roman, Seth, and raising the title. I spent so much time climbing up that mountain, but I never turned around and assessed the view. I needed to rebuild my shoulder, but I also needed to take stock of what I had already accomplished.”

“I grew up a lot during that period. Those eight months took me away from wrestling and helped me reconnect with a lot of people and grow as a person. I’d pushed a lot of things aside in this tireless pursuit of my dream. When I came back to wrestling, I was a lot more rounded of a human being, and I knew exactly what I wanted in wrestling.”

“For Karrion, it’s a s—– situation right now. In a few months, I hope he can look back and realize the experience made him a better person and performer.”

Finn Balor is part of the fatal four-way match for the NXT Championship tonight on a special episode of NXT, where Balor takes on Tommaso Ciampa, Adam Cole, and Johnny Gargano for the chance to hold the brand’s main title for the second time.