Finn Bálor has admitted he has not completely recovered from the broken jaw injured he sustained at the hands of Kyle O'Reilly at NXT TakeOver: 31.
The Prince's jaw was broken in two places towards the end of his physical clash with O'Reilly at the NXT TakeOver event last October, forcing the NXT Champion to undergo surgery and miss two months of television, before returning to NXT in December.
The 39-year-old has competed since, defending the NXT Championship against O'Reilly again, but says he is still dealing with the after effects of the broken jaw.
When asked about lasting damage from the injury, Bálor told the New York Post: "Grinding my teeth still a lot. Still in pain, still very reluctant to get any type of strike to the face, which was actually something that led to the arm injury in the match versus Kyle (O’Reilly) the second one. I was protecting the jaw so much I actually weakened my arm.
"One thing that still hasn’t come back is the feeling in my bottom lip. It’s still numb. I’ve been to the dentist and you get that shot. Pretty much my bottom lip down to my chin I’ve still got no feeling, but the doctors are a little hopeful that might come back in a couple of months. They say nerves take a little longer to heal.
"Sometimes you’ll see me out there now if I’m doing a promo licking my bottom lip more or I’ll be rubbing it a little bit. It still feels like there’s Novocain in there and it’s numb. It gets dry a lot. But apart from that, no, I feel 100 percent."
Bálor's injury led to a brief reluctance to taking strikes to the face in recent matches, something the reigning NXT Champion admitted was a mental block he needed to quickly get over.
Bálor will defend his title against Pete Dunne in the main event of NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day this Sunday.
He added: "Obviously you wrestle for 20 years and you are worrying about your own performance and what you want to do and now all of sudden you’re worried about, oh I need to protect this extra injury.
"It’s not necessarily an injury, it’s more like a weakness. It’s not, oh he has a torn hamstring or something. You got plates in your jaw. You really don’t have any trust in how strong they are until they take an impact and then you go, hey, yeah that’s fine. So it’s getting over that first impact that’s kind of the block in your brain. Slowly getting over that. I’m sure I’ll be 100 percent on Sunday because I have no doubt Pete’s gonna hit me a couple times."