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Finn Balor, Prince Devitt, whatever you want to call him, this man can wrestle. Some regard
him as one of the best wrestlers in the world, and it doesn’t hurt that his character work
and appearance are also great. He’s currently in NXT, having previously been champion, but
his call up to the main roster seems imminent. I know a lot you have been waiting for this,
so here’s Wrestling Origins: Finn Balor! Fergal Devitt was born in Bray, a town in
County Wicklow, Ireland on July 25th 1981. As a young kid, around the age of four, Devitt
would spend the afternoons watching wrestling with his grandfather, and was a fan ever since.
He loved superstars like The Ultimate Warrior, Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude and Shawn Michaels,
but said he never even thought about becoming a wrestler as a kid because he was such a
small guy. Instead, Devitt would take up soccer and Gaelic
football all the way through childhood. See, wrestling isn’t the most viable career option,
so Devitt buried his passion in favour of other sports. However, as he neared the end
of his schooling, Devitt decided that despite being only 5 foot 11 and 180 pounds, he was
going to at least try to follow his dreams. Once he finished school, he went over to Kent,
England, where he joined the Hammerlock Wrestling Company. Here he would train under Andre Baker,
learning the art of catch wrestling. After training for a little while, Devitt debuted
in NWA UK Hammerlock in the year 2000 at the age of just 18, and would soon go on to win
the NWA British Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship. Once he graduated the school, Fergal would
begin touring the UK, Ireland, and even the US. By mid-2002, after gaining a nice amount
of experience Devitt opened up NWA Ireland, his very own wrestling promotion. Here Devitt
would even start training other wrestlers, most notably current WWE wrestler Becky Lynch.
Like many others, despite working in some well known promotions, Devitt also worked
in a ton of smaller ones throughout his career, sometimes even for a single match. Since I
will mainly be covering the larger, more popular ones, I’m just going to list off a bunch
of the smaller ones he worked in: Canadian Wrestling Federation, All Pro Wrestling, Fighting
Spirit Federation, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Revolution Pro Wrestling, and Westside Xtreme
Wrestling to name a few. Moving to 2005, on October 8th in Nashville,
Tennessee, Devitt would defeat Dru Onyx for his second British Commonwealth title. After
this match, both Devitt and Onyx were invited to the New Japan Inoki Dojo to train, which
is ironically in Santa Monica, California. Anyways, he would train there while also working
mainly in Millennium Wrestling Federation. Here he would impress many promoters and trainers
with his abilities, and after was even invited to train in New Japan’s main dojo in Japan.
In early 2006, Devitt packed up and headed to Japan at the age of 24, where he would
begin training in the Japanese style of wrestling. Devitt said that he was still so young when
he got to Japan and it was a huge culture shock. However, at that point, Devitt was
willing to do anything to pursue his dreams, so he had no issue with moving to a new country
to learn new techniques and train.
In March of 2006, Devitt dropped his British Commonwealth Championship to Karl Anderson.
The day after losing his belt though, Fergal signed a contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Since he had already been training, it wasn’t long before he got in the ring. Fergal made
his debut in April 2006 against El Samurai, but under the new name of Prince Devitt, mainly
because the locals were flat out unable to pronounce his first name.
The next month however, Devitt began wrestling for New Japan’s Wrestle Land promotion.
This time he was wearing a mask and took on the name Pegasus Kid. Sound familiar? That’s
because Devitt was the second Pegasus Kid, as the original was Chris Benoit.
That run was relatively short lived, and soon Devitt once again began competing under his
real identity. Prince Devitt would even turn heel later that year and started teaming with
the Control Terrorism Unit, or CTU. During his time with the CTU, he would go on such
a bad losing streak that his stablemates wanted nothing to do with him. They gave him one
final chance to prove himself in October, where Devitt did just that. He won and impressed
his teammates, thus was allowed to stay with the CTU.
From there he would team up with the CTU leader Jushin Thunder Liger against Wataru Inoue
and Ryusuke Taguchi (forgive my pronunciate), where Devitt would pick up the pin fall for
the victory, cementing himself as a valuable member of the stable. However just as he was
starting to take off, Devitt suffered a knee injury which sidelined him until May of 2007.
When he returned to action Devitt competed in the Best of the Super Juniors’s Tournament,
though wasn’t able to score any points in the event, despite his stablemate Minoru claiming
Devitt would win it all. Just a quick tangent, Devitt was also competing
in other promotions as I mentioned earlier, and in June of 2007 he competed in the Reclaiming
the Glory tournament for National Wrestling Alliance. Devitt would lose in the second
round to Bryan Danielson in a match that is worth checking out.
Back to Japan, in August of 2007 CTU was disbanded and Devitt, along with Minoru, joined the
new RISE stable. If you’ve seen my Origins video on Shinsuke Nakamura, you know he was
the creator and leader of RISE. Devitt and Minoru would also become a tag team called
Prince Prince, combining Prince Devitt’s first name and the last part of Minoru’s
nickname, Black Prince. Very creative. The two would compete as a tag team when TNA
visited New Japan in November, but they would lose to Senshi and Christopher Daniels. However,
in early 2008 the team would be more successful, as Prince Prince won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight
Tag Team belts, which was Devitt’s first major title. They would however lose the belts
to Akira and Liger, but would regain them to reign for three months until losing them
again in October. Moving to 2009, Devitt entered the Best of
the Super Juniors tournament where he advanced to the finals, only to lose to Koji Kanemoto.
He would also later make it to the finals and lose the Super J-Cup as well. This year
Devitt also began teaming with Rysuke Taguchi as the team Apollo 55. The two would defeat
The Motor City Machine Guns to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships
in July of that year. The two would hold the titles and even defended them at Wrestle Kingdom
on January 4th, 2010, against Averno and Ultimo Guerrero. However, on April 21st of 2010 the
pair was stripped of their titles after they held the belts for 30 days without defending
them.
In May, Apollo 55 joined the Super J Tag Tournament in an attempt to regain the belts they never
lost, but were defeated in the finals by the team of El Samurai and Koji Kanemoto. Apollo
55 would also enter the J Sports Crown Openweight 6 Man Tag Tournament along with Hirooki Goto,
where the trio would win in the finals against the team of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tajiri, and
Kushida. This would lead to a rematch for the Junior Heavyweight tag belts against El
Samurai and Kanemoto, which Apollo 55 won. Going back to June 2010 for a second, Devitt
earned a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title. Devitt would defeat the champion Naomichi
Marufuji (pardon my pronunciation) to win his first ever IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
He would successfully defend this title against Atsushi Aoki in July.
In August, Devitt entered the G1 Climax tournament, the biggest of the year. He would win four
of his seven matches in the round-robin stage, which included a win over the amazing Hiroshi
Tanahashi, but Devitt failed to qualify for the finals by just a single point.
On September 3rd, Devitt would successfully defend his singles belt for the second time
when he defeated Kenny Omega. Ironically, Omega would come back with his partner Kota
Ibushi, forming the team the Golden Lovers, in October to take the Tag Team belts from
Devitt and Taguchi. You heard me right, Golden Lovers. Don’t even get me started on their
signature move which is called the Golden Shower, but I digress.
Now without his tag belts, Prince Devitt focused on his Junior Heavyweight Championship, which
he defended against both Davey Richards and Kota Ibushi in 2011. This would be the start
of his long defence streak. Before that though, Apollo 55 would regain their tag team belts
from Omega and Ibushi, which made Devitt a double IWGP champion for the second time.
Devitt would continue defending his singles title regularly though, along with the Tag
Team belts. He would end his amazing run on June 18th at Dominion, where Devitt lost the
Junior Heavyweight Championship to Kota Ibushi after an exceptional reign of 364 days.
From there, Devitt would defend his tag belts and would break the record for the most consecutive
title defences during a single reign with seven. Shortly after, Devitt would also win
the vacant Junior Heavyweight singles belt for the second time in September of 2011.
However just a month later, Apollo 55 would drop the tag belts to the No Remorse Corps,
only to win them back and lose them once again. That would be Devitt’s sixth reign as a
tag team champion. Skipping to March of 2012, Devitt went down
to Mexico for his first tour of the country and would work in CMLL. Here he would quickly
challenge Volador Jr. for the NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship, which he won. However,
Devitt would drop his IWGP belt to Low Ki, ending his second reign at 227 days. He would
also lose the NWA title after almost exactly 6 months.
In November of 2012, Devitt defeated Low Ki to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
for the third time. He would successfully defend this belt against Low Ki as well as
his partner Taguchi, but after Prince Devitt lost a non-title match to Tanahashi, everything
changed. Devitt became cocky and arrogant, and eventually made a crazy heel turn when
he attacked his long-time partner Taguchi in April 2013.
Now the part a lot of you have been waiting for. On May 3rd, 2013, Prince Devitt and his
new “bouncer” named Bad Luck Fale defeated the team of Taguchi and Captain New Japan.
Later that night, the duo, as well as Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga, attacked Hiroshi
Tanahashi. This new group was later named Bullet Club.
From here, Devitt would enjoy a ton of success though mostly due to outside help from Bullet
Club teammates. He would go on to win that year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament,
and following that win challenged Tanahashi. With help from the Bullet Club, Devitt defeated
Tanahashi. He would then get a shot at the Heavyweight Champion, Okada. Despite interference
from his stablemates, Okada would retain his title.
After wrapping up his rivalry with Tanahashi, Devitt focused on his Junior Heavyweight belt.
Though he had only defended it a handful of times, Devitt had held it for quite a while.
This however ended when he lost the title to Kota Ibushi in his fifth title defence,
ending his reign at 419 days. One good thing did come of this match though, as it was when
Devitt decided to wrestle in full body and face paint, which he continued to do for big
matches. Later in 2014, Taguchi returned after an injury
to attack Devitt, re-igniting the rivalry. The two would have a match on April 6th, where
everything changed for Devitt. He told Bullet Club members Matt and Nick Jackson not to
interfere in the match, which resulted in them turning on him. In the end, Taguchi defeated
Devitt. Despite the heated feud, the two would shake hands to end the rivalry after the match.
The very next day, New Japan announced that Prince Devitt had resigned from the promotion.
On May 15th, 2014, it was reported that WWE had signed Fergal Devitt and he would be joining
the NXT promotion. This was confirmed by WWE in late July, and Devitt would debut in late
September as Finn Balor. The name was derived from Irish mythology, with Balor being Gaelic
for “Demon King”. He made his debut by coming to Hideo Itami’s aid, and would have
his first WWE match in October with Itami against Justin Gabriel and Tysonn Kid.
Balor would soon win a shot at the NXT Championship, but was unsuccessful in his match against
Kevin Owens in March. He would get another shot in July, this time in Tokyo, where he
would defeat Owens for the NXT Championship. Balor would soon be paired with Samoa Joe
for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and won, though Joe would turn on him soon after.
This led to a title match where Balor defeated Joe to retain his belt. He would also retain
in a rematch on April 1st, 2016, but finally lost it to Joe after 292 days, a record reign.
Most recently, Finn Balor squared off with Shinsuke Nakamura, and despite losing, both
were given a standing ovation as fans chanted “Thank You Finn”, as it may have been
his very last match on NXT. And that’s it, Wrestling Origins: Finn Balor.
I hope you enjoyed the video. If you did I’d appreciate you giving it a like and subscribing
to make sure you catch another episode of Wrestling Origins next Friday. As always,
thanks for watching!
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Wrestling Origins: Finn Balor

201 Folder Collection
105062115 曾鼎睿 published on December 9, 2016
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