WWE Superstar Finn Balor was today’s guest on E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness. Balor opened up about the shoulder injury he suffered in his Universal Championship win against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam 2016. The injury forced Balor to relinquish his Universal Championship the very next night on RAW. He then underwent extensive shoulder surgery and stepped away from wrestling for nine months.
Balor returned to the WWE in April of 2017 and has since climbed the Universal Championship ranks. On Sunday, Balor will have the opportunity to regain the Universal Championship he was forced to relinquish in 2016, as he faces off against Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at the upcoming Royal Rumble.
(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
On The Injury He Suffered Against Seth Rollins At SummerSlam 2016:
Straight away I knew the shoulder was out because I could feel it out. I didn’t really know how bad because I’ve had a shoulder separation before where I could pop it in and it wasn’t too bad. When I hit the deck, I said, ‘Oh no, your shoulder is out of place.’ I instinctively pull my wrist and pull it forward. It pops back in and I go, ‘Ok, whew. Just breathe. Calm down. Get your bearings. Get back in the ring.’ I get back in the ring and start working. It feels pretty loose. I think he shoots me off and I reverse him and push him in the back and just that little push with my right hand on the back, it pops out again. I go, ‘Oh no, this is gonna be a big issue.’ I ended up coming out three or four times in the match where I kept resetting it and resetting it, but it was totally destroyed. It was a bicep tear, pec tear, the socket was broken, the labrum was torn, which is what I kept slipping in and out. Halfway through the match I realized, ‘You’re not gonna be wrestling for a long time.’ They said, ‘Stay the course,’ and we finished the match and the rest is history.
What Surgery Was Like:
The doctor diagnosed it as a torn labrum. We go and get a scan the next day in Manhattan. They say, ‘There’s a labrum tear there.’ WWE, credit to them, had me do the thing with Mick [Foley] where I give the title back and I’m on a flight to Birmingham. Tuesday morning, they cut me open….he cuts me open expecting a labrum tear and does the little keyhole deal. He says, ‘You’ll be under 30 minutes. You’ll come back out and be back in the ring in three months.’
He goes in with the scope and is looking for the end of the tear of the labrum and he’s going all the way up and he’s like, ‘Oh no, the pec is torn. Uh oh.’ Then he goes all the way down, ‘Oh no, the bicep is torn, too.’ Then he has to take a lunch and figure out a game plan of how he’s going to do the surgery while I’m knocked out on the bed. I ended up being out for 6 hours or something. WWE ended up calling going, ‘Why isn’t he out of surgery? It was only supposed to be a 40 minute ordeal.’ Obviously, he had to come up with a strategy to how he was gonna fix it and in what order and stuff. He said it was a big mess in there. It was just one violent separation that sparked it all. He said that there was no way of knowing and that maybe that pec tear could have been there before, but he said that it was more than likely the one violent separation.
On His Mindset After Being Injured:
When I’m sitting on the deck inside the ring, when it happened and I pop it back in, I’m literally thinking to myself, ‘It’s very typical of you to put another obstacle in your way to keep you from where you want to be. Good job buddy!’ Honestly, I really believe things happen for a reason, in fate, in the universe working for us instead of against us and probably what happened that day was the universe saying, ‘You’re not ready for what you’re about to encounter.’ Maybe it happened to fast. My whole career, I started at the bottom and worked my way up slowly. Then all of a sudden, I’m cast into RAW and three weeks I’m at the top of the hill. I think it was the universe’s way of knocking me back down to the bottom of the hill and making me have that slow climb again. I think people around me were more upset for me than I was actually upset. To me, I was this 18 year old kid who had this dream of being a WWE Superstar and I had the Universal Title in my hands. I’d done that. I reached the top of the mountain and was like, ‘What else is there to do?’ I wouldn’t change it.
What His 9 Months Off Were Like:
We had to do a second surgery where they put stem cells in. The first month is pretty much a blur of going back and forth to Birmingham and getting everything fixed and getting a timeline of when I could get back and then I just dove head first into rehab. WWE was great. They let me relocate to Birmingham, so I did a lot of the rehab there. I did a week on and a week off. I didn’t like being home, so flying into Birmingham and doing a week’s worth of rehab down there kind of gave me that satisfaction of being on the road. I’d do a week out in Birmingham, a week at the Performance Center and the time flew. It sounds like a long time – 9 months – but it flew.
On Wrestling Brock Lesnar At The Royal Rumble At Chase Field:
I don’t plan the future. I don’t think about things too much. I’m sure on the day I’ll be really into it and enjoy it, but a couple days ago someone said, ‘That’s a baseball stadium you guys are wrestling at.’ It hadn’t even crossed my mind until someone said that. I kind of like put it out of my mind again. I think it’s better to live in the moment and when you get there on the day see how you’re feeling, feel it, and try to create something on the day. The more you try and plan this stuff in advance and build up these expectations in your head, the more you’ll drive yourself insane and let yourself down with the results. I’m just gonna try and go with the flow on the day and I’m gonna do the best I can, but I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna be living in the moment. Hopefully the people enjoy it. Hopefully I enjoy it and hopefully we knock it out of the park, no pun intended.
Finn Balor Reveals Extensive Nature Of Shoulder Injury & Surgery