At WrestleMania 34, Finn Balor opted for a ring entrance that showed support for the LGBTQ community instead of coming out as The Demon. In an interview with SI.com, Balor says his “message of inclusion” and support for the LGBTQ community is more important than any Demon.
“A lot of people maybe thought going into WrestleMania, ‘Well, if Finn’s not gonna be The Demon, it’s gonna suck. I think what we did at WrestleMania is a lot more important than any Demon could have been.”
By the time he first wore the T-shirt on air, Bálor had been developing the idea for some six months. Speaking with friends in the LGBTQ community and living for the past year in Brooklyn, Balor says, helped him realize that his industry could do more to support an underrepresented segment of its audience.
“I feel like — not that they were excluded, but sometimes they felt like they weren’t included,” Balor said. “That’s something I felt a responsibility for, to use the platform that I have for good and to help maybe a small amount of people for the right reasons.”
His proposal for the T-shirt design initially stalled for months with WWE’s merchandising department. In February, Balor decided to take action of his own, commissioning a friend to draw up a rainbow version of his Balor Club symbol that he posted to Instagram with the caption “BalorClub is for EVERYONE.”
“I’m not one for reading comments or reading what people say online because generally there’s a lot of negativity,” Balor said. “But I had a lot of messages from friends, DMs and stuff, that were saying, ‘This meant so much for us.’”
The post also caught the eye of Stephanie McMahon. She reached out to Balor not only to complement his message but also to get WWE’s promotional machine behind his efforts.
“It’s crazy because it was kind of a couple months of me talking,” Balor says, “then as soon as the right people heard it, it was almost instantaneously, ‘We gotta have this shirt out next week and we gotta talk to GLAAD ASAP and we’re gonna roll with it.’”
— Finn Bálor forEVERYone (@FinnBalor) April 2, 2018