Wrestling promotions these days love their supernatural crap. I still don’t know what WWE’s so-called “Reality Era” was, let alone when, but years of Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss’s spooktacular shlock would suggest it ended a loooong time ago.
And while the Judgment Day faction is vaguely gothic, it’s not even the spookiest thing Finn Bálor has done in the company.
What started in Japan as Marvel cosplay evolved (slightly) into a full-blown alternate persona for Bálor. Now sporting Adrien Brody’s rasta wig, Finn entered through a cloud of fog as The Demon to wrestle some of his biggest matches.
The character was well-protected, too, suffering just one loss to Samoa Joe in NXT.
Once, Finn was supposed to dress up like a big angry pumpkin to face Sister Abigail (Bray Wyatt in drag). A miraculous outbreak of mumps prevented this, however…
…so the Demon character maintained its dignity right up to Extreme Rules 2021, where Bálor faced Roman Reigns.
Seeking revenge after Roman “accidentally” low-blowed him in their Smackdown match…
…Bálor tapped in to his dark side to unleash The Demon. The problem was, WWE wasn’t about to take the title off Roman, and he couldn’t retain by countout or DQ.
WWE thus had to have The Demon lose while still maintaining his mystique.
Most of the match wasn’t too noteworthy.
The fans, hungry for some meaningless carnage, chanted, “We Want Tables!” Bálor, as both a demon and a man of the people, obliged by pulling one out from under the ring…
…but Roman put it right back. Good for him! That’s dumb.
The arrogant Reigns got even more heat by putting on a face mask before brawling in the crowd. Too good to breathe the same air as the fans, huh?
At last, Roman gave the people what they wanted. A table spot?
No, a giant wedgie for Finn! Naturally, the fans chanted, “This is awesome!” at the sight of The Demon’s right buttock.
The champ seemed to have the match won with a spear, but The Demon gave Reigns another “accidental” low blow while kicking out.
The ensuing replay would land in Roman’s demo reel for Ow! My Balls!
The Demon hit the Coup de Grâce, but the Usos broke up the pinfall. As the tag team champions wasted time setting up a table…
…Finn fought back, even putting Jey through the announce table (which had been there all along).
But then Roman surprised Finn with a spear through the barricade.
Just when it looked like curtains for Bálor, the arena lights turned red, a heartbeat played over the PA, and Finn started flopping like a fish.
Obviously, no one had any idea what the hell was going on, except the announcers:
“That’s the damn Demon’s heartbeat!” said an astute McAfee.
His powers rejuvenated from humping the mat, Finn sprang to his feet.
“Oh my God! What the hell?” said Cole. “The Demon has resurrected!”
Sure, The Demon had wrestled over a dozen times, and nothing remotely like this had ever happened —
— but screw it. Instant lore!
Mock the visuals or logic all you want, but you couldn’t argue with the results:
Billy the Bigmouth Bass over here was unstoppable, whacking Roman with a steel chair and booting him through a table…
…before positioning him for the Coup de Gras [sic]. The Demon’s music blasted throughout the arena. He had Roman dead to rights. He stood up on the top rope, paused, and…
Whoopsies! Total length of The Demon’s rebirth: 87 seconds.
As soon as Finn hit the canvas, it was back to reality. No more red lighting, no more theme music, no more supernatural powers…
…and no more match, as Roman speared and pinned him.
So what happened? Speculation and clickbait abounded…
…but the real culprit was a cameraman who cut the rope at the opposite turnbuckle…
I found out this on Facebook 👀 pic.twitter.com/D6W163edrb
— Alu Matar (☝🏽☝🏽☝🏽🇵🇰 🇵🇰 🇵🇰 ) (@MatarAlu) September 30, 2021
…while the kayfabe explanation for The Demon’s downfall was simple bad luck.
At least the Exploding Barbed Wire pyro failure was an accident…
…WWE Shockmaster’d Finn on purpose!
The Demon’s failed comeback wasn’t the first goofy resurrection in WWE history: Back in 1994, Yokozuna and the whole heel locker room ganged up on The Undertaker, sapped the power from his urn, and stuffed him into a casket…
…only for Taker to cut a nonsense promo and ascend to heaven.
But at least he made it there! Had Ghost Taker instead fallen flat on his face mid-flight and gotten whooped some more by Yoko and co., that would have been it for the Undertaker character.
Ditto for Taker climbing out of his grave at Buried Alive, then this happening:
But at Extreme Rules 2021, The Demon showed his ass…
…and hasn’t appeared since.