As quoted by Fightful, the former Universal Champion claimed that being around his colleagues was starting to grate at him. He recalled how he kept snapping at his friends, and that’s when he realized that he had to go away for a while.
“I was turning into a different person that I didn’t like. I was snapping at people, I wasn’t giving people time in conversations. I was turning into a bitter dick and I could feel it building and building. Thankfully, the company gave me some time to get my head straight and get better. When I came back, the idea was pitched around to go to NXT.”
According to the superstar, every element of the business became a struggle to him during this period. In addition to almost falling out with other performers, he was also frustrated with bookers, writers and the demanding travel schedule.
Balor said that working for 19 years without a break had taken its toll on him. According to the superstar, he only took breaks when he was injured and forced to sit on the sidelines. However, even that was work as he was focused on the rehabilitation process and getting back into shape to compete again.
While the physical aspect of the WWE schedule also influenced his decision, Balor stated that he needed to take a leave of absence mainly for the aforementioned mental reasons. Many performers have to take hiatuses for similar reasons, and the promotion understood Balor’s reasons for doing so.
Prior to his hiatus, Balor put over Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam. It was effectively a squash match to make “The Fiend” character look strong. When Balor returned to action, he shocked fans by appearing on the first episode of NXT on the USA Network.
Since returning to the black-and-gold brand, Balor has been in programs for the North American Championship and feuded with superstars such as Johnny Gargano.
On last week’s show, Balor featured in the segment that ushered in Velveteen Dream’s controversial return following an injury and series of misconduct scandals. This led to the Irishman’s current feud against Timothy Thatcher, who attacked him on the latest episode.
Balor will now face Thatcher at this weekend’s NXT: Takeover XXX event in Boston.