Finn Bálor's Demon: A Quick History Of The WWE Character

Finn Balor at Survivor Series 2017
(Image credit: WWE)

Throughout the course of WWE history, there have been multiple wrestlers with iconic alter-egos that made their mark on the industry. Wrestlers like Mick Foley with his three faces – Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind – as well as Bray Wyatt and his character known as The Fiend, have become iconic over the years. Another name on that list is Finn Bálor, the former NXT Champion and inaugural WWE Universal Champion, who will bring out his “Demon” when facing Edge in a highly anticipated WrestleMania 39 match.

But before Edge, who seems to be calling back to his days in The Brood, enters the Hell in a Cell with Finn Bálor and his Demon, some wrestling fans (both newcomers and lapsed fans alike) may want to know about the history of the demonic alter-ego and how Bálor has brought him out for his biggest matches throughout his career. That being said, let’s trace the WWE character back to his humble beginnings…

Finn Balor winning his first NXT Championship

(Image credit: WWE)

The Demon Of NXT

By the time Finn Bálor made his NXT debut in November 2014, the wrestler formerly known as Prince Devitt in NJPW had already cemented a legacy as not only one of the most talented and charismatic grapplers on the planet, but also one with a history of using elaborate body paint for marquee matches. The founding member of the Bullet Club had already painted himself to look like iconic comic book characters like Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage, but none of that compared to the character he would debut during NXT TakeOver: R Evolution event in December 2014: The Demon.

Following a decisive victory over The Ascension with Hideo Itami, Bálor and his Demon persona would go on to become one of the biggest NXT stars of all time, dominating the competition in one classic match after another. All the major subsequent TakeOver events saw Bálor make subtle changes to the persona, but while his appearance changed, the Demon remained just as powerful and mysterious as the NXT Champion.

Finn Balor after winning the inaugural Universal Championship

(Image credit: WWE)

Finn Bálor And His Demon Win The Universal Championship  

One month after suffering his first NXT: TakeOver loss at the June 2016 event subtitled, The End, as well as first under his Demon persona, Bálor was drafted to the WWE main roster, under the Raw brand. Fans wouldn’t have to wait all that long to see his alter-ego in action, as the revamped “Demon King” made his presence known in the lead up to his SummerSlam match against Seth Rollins to determine the inaugural Universal Champion.

The highly anticipated match, which made Bálor and Rollins both look like superstars, showed what the former NXT Champion, and his over-the-top persona, could do on the big stage. The Demon King walked out of the Barclays Center with the championship around his waist, but he did so with a severe injury to his shoulder, one that would take him out of action for more than six months and force him to relinquish his new title before his reign could properly begin.

Finn Balor making his entrance at WrestleMania 35

(Image credit: WWE)

The Demon Becomes A Prominent Member Of WWE’s Main Roster

Over the course of the next few years of Bálor’s career, the Demon persona became a major part of his character, appearing in a number of his more high-profile feuds. This includes a SummerSlam 2017 match against Bray Wyatt, an absolute barn-burner against AJ Styles at that year’s Survivor Series, and other contests against the likes of Baron Corbin and several others.

The Demon would finally make his WrestleMania debut at the 2018 event in which Bálor defeated Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley in the second-to-last match of the night. With the IC Title, he would go on to use the character sparingly in the following months before being taken out of action by Wyatt at SummerSlam 2018, effectively ending his first run on WWE’s main roster.

Finn Balor returning as the Demon on SmackDown

(Image credit: WWE)

The Demon Goes Away But Isn’t ‘Dead And Buried’ 

A few months after disappearing from WWE TV, Bálor went back down to NXT, where he revamped and retooled his more traditional wrestling persona, once again becoming one of the main attractions of the brand. He repeated history by claiming the NXT Championship again, but this time was different, as it didn’t involve the Demon.

In a 2020 interview with Digital Spy during the middle of his incredible run for the black-and-gold brand, Bálor explained that though the Demon wasn’t “dead and buried,” that moment wasn’t the right time and place for the more over-the-top persona, one that he considered a “crutch” at times:

I feel like there's a time and place for everything but right now I feel like The Demon character is something that would maybe be a step in the wrong direction for what I've done over the last 11 months in NXT.

The Demon didn’t stay away all that long, as exactly a year after making those comments, Bálor brought back his alter-ego to challenge Universal Champion Roman Reigns to a match at Extreme Rules. But like so many who came before him, Bálor and his demon could not defeat Reigns.

Finn Balor talking about his Demon on Monday Night Raw

(Image credit: WWE)

The Return Of The Demon For WrestleMania 39  

For nearly the past year, Bálor has been the leader of The Judgment Day, the dominant stable featuring 2023 Royal Rumble winner Rhea Ripley, Damian Priest, and your grandmother’s most hated wrestler, Dominik Mysterio. During that time, Bálor has helped turn the faction into one of the best in WWE, thanks in part to a series of matches against the group’s former leader, Edge. The feud, which has been going on for months now, has led to a highly anticipated Hell in a Cell match between Bálor and Edge at WrestleMania 39, one that will bring back the Demon persona after an 18-month hiatus.

On the March 20, 2023 episode of Raw, Edge challenged not Bálor, but his Demon, to come and play in the diabolical structure. The challenge was answered the following week in a sinister video where he said “there is nothing more dangerous than a caged demon” before images of the Demon persona were superimposed over his face. 

And with that, the Demon is back…

Only time will tell what the next chapter will hold for Finn Bálor and his Demon. Regardless of the outcome of his Hell in a Cell match against Edge, it appears that the persona feared by wrestlers and loved by fans will be around for at least a little while longer.

If you want to see how things play out on the “Grandest Stage of Them All,” make sure you have a Peacock Premium subscription, which is the only place to watch all upcoming WWE premium live events like WrestleMania 39.

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.