Finn Balor debuted his face painted gimmick on Monday night. The execution of the debut itself was pretty awesome, the fans appeared into it, and Seth Rollins acted in a way which is fitting for the character — you know, as if it were the Undertaker appearing out of the dark.
Still, I’d argue it was too soon.
Not incredibly too soon, but six days soon nonetheless.
With SummerSlam right around the corner, debuting Demon Balor — or, as I guess the WWE is now calling him, The Demon King — on Monday Night Raw makes his appearance at the summer’s biggest event slightly anticlimactic. After all, now there’s little mystery behind the character.
The assumed logic behind the WWE introducing him on Raw was so that the very casual members of the WWE Universe can get invested in The Demon King before Sunday. That’s something worth noting, as not every human trotting about the planet watches NXT.
Still, what The Demon King is, what he represents as this supernatural-ish figure could have been accomplished without giving us the gift that is Balor in full makeup before his match for the WWE Universal Championship.
I liken this to getting Christmas presents early. If our good friend Santa Claus dropped off the gifts a week before Christmas, of course we would all be giddy and excited. But the actual allure of Christmas morning would be gone. That special feeling of waking to the unknown would already gone.
That’s how I feel about The Demon King debuting on Monday. It’s not something to hate, or a move that ruins Balor’s character, or anything that takes away from what whatever will happen for the rest of his career, but it does remove some of that special feel from SummerSlam.
There’s more reasons as to why the WWE likely felt the need to have Balor come out with the paint on Monday. Well, at least more assumptions.
The company may be seriously considering putting the belt on the former NXT talent. A move wrestling die-hards would most certainly love, but a risky one considering he has been on the roster for a whopping three weeks. By having our face painted hero make his appearance before SummerSlam, the WWE gave itself the luxury of seeing how the crowd would react to him.
From that standpoint, it is totally understandable as to why the creative team made this choice. However, it still doesn’t change the fact that now the world knows about The Demon King on the main roster, and that “first appearance special” feel at SummerSlam will no longer be there.
Rarity makes things more valuable. It is something the week just took away.
It is why the price of chicken wings goes up for each Super Bowl, diamonds are expensive, and whatever other objects out there raise in value whenever less of it becomes available. We are three weeks into Balor’s main roster run, and it already looks like The Demon King character won’t fall into that category, as he will be popping up twice in a single week.
The WWE chose to get the known over having that rarity aspect to Balor. It wanted to make sure Finn Balor’s outside-the-box character wouldn’t be jeered at SummerSlam before the event actually happened. Part of me wants to applaud the company for making sure before taking a huge leap of faith with him.
Then again, another part of me wants to wake up a week before Christmas, and still be able to look forward to Christmas morning — wondering what delightful gifts will be underneath my tree. The WWE, in a figurative way obviously, just burned my tree.