In a break from our usual posts, this post is about a man from Bray Co.Wicklow here in Ireland who is currently taking the world of Professional Wrestling by storm. That man’s name is Fergal Devitt. This piece is a career outlook of sorts.
From Bray Co.Wicklow Devitt was born in 1981, and grew up a huge fan of professional wrestling, Fergal sought to achieve what many who watched the sport did, to make a name for himself as a wrestler. Fergal made his debut in the ring in 2000 at the age of 18 after training with NWA UK Hammerlock. Not long after his debut he began touring around Ireland, the UK and the U.S., he even went on to win the NWA British Commonwealth Heavyweight Title. In 2002, Devitt along with Paul Tracy opened up a sister promotion to NWA Hammerlock, that being NWA Ireland, which he helped trained a vast number of wrestlers (the author is this article included, although I could never quite grasp it).
After a being invited to train in the New Japan Inoki Dojo in California, Devitt was invited to train in the main Dojo in Japan. In March 2006 Devitt signed a contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling, and this is where his career truly took off. Devitt made a huge name for himself in Japan. Devitt competed in various tournament throughout 2006-2007. In January of 2008, Devitt (who was competing under the name Prince Devitt) won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles with his partner at the time Minoru.
2008-2009 seen Devitt compete in various tournaments being unsuccessful in them, and had another reign as the IWGP tag team champions with Taguchi. In 2010 he entered the Best of the Super Juniors Tournament where the winner would receive a shot at Naomichi Marufuji’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title, which Devitt won and went on to win the title itself.
If we fast forward to 2013-2014, this is where Devitt done some of his best work, along with Karl Anderson, Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale (who was Devitts bodyguard at the time) formed the Bullet Club. A Heel stable that took New Japan Pro Wrestling by storm. Any tournament entered that year or title match competed in, Devitt would often use the Bullet Club to help him steal the victory. The stable dominated NJPW for well over a year, winning multiple titles, and knocking back anyone that stood in their way. In April of 2014, the Bullet Club turned on Devitt though during a match with Taguchi, and Devitt parted ways with NJPW the following day.
Following his departure from NJPW, Devitt returned to the independent scene (or the indie’s to dis hard fans) and took an idea he started in Japan to another level. In Japan he started putting on body paint during big match, and during his time in the Indie’s he took that to new heights. As shown in the picture above, Devitt used a wide variety of variation in his body paint, from Venom, to the Punisher, even the Joker and Bane were brought out. The question when booking him was always, what will he come out as this time?
On July 28th 2014 something big happened though. On this day it was announced that Devitt had signed a developmental deal with the global juggernaut that is World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE. He signed a deal to work their developmental territory NXT. His named was changed to Finn Balor, which is derived from Irish Folklore. He made his debut on September 28th, aiding Hideo Itami in his feud with the Ascension. Balor and Itami done battle with the Ascension for the remainder of 2014. In January of this year at NXT Takeover: Rival he defeated Adrian Neville to become the number one contender to the NXT title. He would challenge champion Kevin Owens for the title only to lose. At NXT Takeover: Unstoppable in May, he defeated Tyler Breeze to once again become the number one contender for the NXT Title.
On July 4th at the Beast in the East show in Japan, in front of a crowd he strived for 8 years to make a name in front of, Balor defeated Owens to win the NXT Title, and add another title to an already decorated career. While he is set to defend his title in August, the question of when he will get the main roster call up is the question. When will we see him show up on Raw or Smackdown?
While Katie Taylor and the world of boxing might be more well-known and promoted on television, or even Dublin’s Conor McGregor and the UFC. Bray has another star in its ranks. While a lot people would turn their heads at the thought of professional wrestling, to anyone from Bray that knows Fergal can’t help but be proud and to anyone from Ireland I suppose, this man is representing our country on a big platform across the world. This is a man who worked and dedicated himself to something he grew up watching. Dedicated himself to something he knew he wanted to do for a living and has shown that with a lot of hard work and perseverance anybody can achieve their dream. Fergal has certainly come a long way from a small town in County Wicklow to the biggest wrestling company in the world. The great thing is, he is only just beginning his career there. We wish him all the best, and look forward to seeing him impress on the main roster soon.