Finn Balor was one of the hottest acts in NJPW when he decided to leave Japan for WWE in 2014.
Balor was coming off a huge match against Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 8 and was the leader of the infamous Bullet Club. Despite being a top star, Balor felt it was time to move on from NJPW.
I felt like I'd pretty much done everything I could do in New Japan," Balor told Sam Roberts on the NotSam Wrestling Podcast. "There were storylines pitched around and thrown out there, but I didn't feel like it was gonna be any different stuff. Then I was 32 years old and I thought, 'If I do another year or two in Japan, will the door still be open for WWE?' The landscape was a lot different then because they were into younger talent. Every time the opportunity came up, it never felt like the right moment. But when it came up that time, I was about a year-and-a-half into the Bullet Club stuff and it felt like 'Now is the time to go.' I felt like I had peaked and maxed out, not only professionally, but personally and mentally. I had been in Japan for eight years and doing everything I could to get to the top in New Japan. It felt like a time to reset. At the time it felt right. It's worked out so far."
In the same interview, Balor revealed that he had turned down previous offers from WWE, feeling that it wasn't time for him to make the move just yet.
"The offer was there when I was 26, 27, 28. Every year they came knocking," said Balor "I had done two years in the New Japan Dojo and there was a couple of phone calls made with offers on the table. For me, it never felt like the right time. Honestly, when I finally came, I wasn't sure it was the right time either. But I figured I had to roll the dice at some point. I'm the type of person that I'm never ready until I'm actually doing it. If I had came to WWE (when I was 26), I don't think I'd still be here how. I'm very happy with how things evolved with my career."
Balor was part of NJPW from 2006 to 2014. His last match in NJPW was at April's Invasion Attack 2014 event. He made his NXT television debut on the September 25, 2014 episode.
Balor scored a big victory over Drew McIntyre on Sunday at WWE TLC. He is scheduled to face Dolph Ziggler on tonight's episode of Raw.