Triple H took part in an NXT media call today, discussing NXT Takeover, Ricochet’s injury, the UK division. Below are the key highlights, courtesy of PWInsider.com.
Triple H jumped right into it and talked about the wild week that NXT has had. They mentioned the NXT Talent being at the Download Festival and then onto France and Belgium. They come back to two shows in the US, Takeover and then back to the UK for the Tournament at Royal Albert Hall. He is really excited for the time ahead. He said Shawn Michaels is excited too, as getting him to go overseas, or anywhere, isn’t easy.
He said that they will leave the UK and go back to Full Sail for TV on the 21st.
He said that this is an epic card, which it always seems to be when they run these shows. He thinks this card will be no different. He then previewed Saturday’s card, which sure does look awesome on paper. He emphasized that Velveteen Dream and Lars Sullivan are homegrown stars. He talked about they create them at the Performance Center.
He added that there will be a post match conference call, as well as a meeting with reporters.
The first caller was Mike Johnson, of course. That is what is HHH said, “of course”. They joked about it. Mike asked about Bobby Roode saying that the company as looking to build a bigger center. H said that Roode’s info is glorious but it’s not always accurate. He said that there are no plans in place now but they are always looking to expand because the Performance Center is so important. He is always open to the concept of expanding. It’s in his mind, but they haven’t started the journey to do it yet.
Mike mentioned that it was Lars Sullivan’s biggest test to date. What is H looking for out of the match? He said that it’s Lars’ biggest challenge to date. So far he has done great with every challenge so far. He expects him to succeed. He said that he expects Lars to exceed his expectations and he has done it so far. He said that he expects him to go in a monster and come out a bigger monster. He said that people compare him to Strowman but he sees him as a hybrid monster and the sky is the limit for him. He thinks he is ready and he will knock him out of the park.
Dave Meltzer asked about TV deals. He said it’s stable and thriving. He asked what H’s ultimate dream was down the road for the company. H said mentioned that he wasn’t at the Korean summit, saying he popped for the photoshop that has made the rounds. He said he wants to continue with global localization. He said that there are a lot of places where there is demand for them but geography keeps that difficult. As technology becomes better, they can visit doing more around the world. He said that if a kid from Dubai could apply and then work in a local market and then come up to NXT and the main roster, it’s great for the local market he came from. He said that there is a lot that goes into doing business in other countries. It’s part of the equation and it would be great to create something similar to the territories down the road.
Dave mentioned a knucklehead fan writing him saying that some of the younger guys can’t follow the older guys, and does he consider that. H was cool, saying that guys are all in different places in the growing process. Guys have to move up the card. Exactly. Sheesh, everyone isn’t at the exact same level fan that wrote Dave. It’s about the process. He said that even pros like Adam Cole have learning to do, like working to the cameras. And Lars Sullivan can work with Cole and learn from him along the way. He said that all of the shows are repetitions. He wants guys to work up to the talent they are in the ring with, not have the better guy work down.
Jim Varsallone asked about Danny Burch. He said it didn’t work out in the moment the first time, but they stayed in contact and still used him. That happens a lot. He said that he just didn’t have the space for him at the time but he stayed on his radar. That happens a lot with talents and when people ask why a guy isn’t in the Center, it’s because the guy is out learning on the indies. Danny got himself in great shape and get better on his own. H is happy that he is back with them now. It just takes time.
How active do you want people on social media? NXT teaches everything at the Center. They teach them the ring stuff, but also financial training, media training, social media training, language training, etc. He mentioned John Cena learning Mandarin. They teach social media training and how to build a brand. Talents make mistakes sometimes but they are always working with them to improve. Social media is a very powerful tool. He said he is very proud that while NXT doesn’t do much promotion, but they use social media a lot.
Jason Powell asked why Ricochet missed the show in Belgium. H said that he tweaked his shoulders in Paris and he is not injured. They didn’t want to take a chance so they held him off the show. Sometimes you have to pull in their reigns and that is what they did.
He was asked why the UK tournament won’t air live. He said it was multi-pronged but the main thing was the availability of Royal Albert Hall. He wanted to run there. He was on the last show that WWE ran there. It’s too small for the main roster but perfect for NXT. They got a call saying that they wanted NXT so they took the two dates that they could get, since it’s very hard to get in there. He really wanted to be in the building so he ran there. It worked out better to tape it, that was the biggest part of it all. He said he knows people don’t want it to be spoiled but he said just stay off of social media. He said there is a lot of content from WWE now so it requires a commitment from the fans and sometimes fans don’t have time to watch things live so they have to time shift.
Nick Hausman asked about Paul Ellering. Are there plans to use him more in NXT. He said that when AOP got called up, he wondered if Paul would want to go up with them. When the decision made was to bring them up on their own, he had a conversation with Paul saying that he wanted to use him again in the future. People loved having him around and he added to the AOP and also backstage. H said he wants to look for the right thing for him and if Paul is available and wants to do it, he will be back. H loves having legends work with NXT. He mentioned Johnny Saint in the UK. He likes having that old school element when they can have it.
H was asked if Shawn Michaels will work another match. H said when it comes to him, you have to ask Shawn directly. He was asked about a Shawn media call, he said he knows Shawn will say no. H said TMZ him at the airport, and he may kick you.
Raj Giri asked about Johnny Saint coming in as the GM. How have plans changed since last year? H said that the plan is still pretty much the same, but it’s morphed some. It’s taken longer to get where he wants it, but they have exposed great talents to the world with the UK shows and post TV. Going forward the plan is to get something going on the ground there. He hoped to have announcements soon.
He was asked about NXT going live down the road and/or going to cable. H said that the landscape of the world is constantly changing so his point of view is never say never. Raw and Smackdown are juggernauts and that won’t change but NXT has grown too. It has become the third brand and it’s different than the big two. There’s interest there so never say never, it depends on what comes up.
Our last question came from Ryan Satin. He asked about former NXT wrestlers coming back at NXT events. It’s about opportunity. The guys like to work and be on the road and have fun doing what they do. Most people that came up through NXT loved it and say to HHH that if they are ever off, they would love to come back to work for him. He mentioned The Revival doing it. He said that he loves to give the fans something special. He thinks over time we will see more of that. The top guys are busy but the other talents, who aren’t in a big storyline, could pop up on NXT events or even TV.
H was asked if there were any talents that he think would benefit from coming back to NXT. He mentioned how Cesaro coming back helped NXT and him. Same with Tyson Kidd. He said that he would love more of that. He said that they are deep in talent, mentioning that EC3 isn’t even on Takeover this weekend. He said that everyone doesn’t have to be on every show, you can ebb and flow things and move talents around. He said that it used to be a 10 year WWE career was the exception, now it’s the rule.
That concluded the call. H said that he appreciated us and he is off to do the UK call. He added that he learns a lot from the calls because it makes him think differently. He thanked us and reminded us he is doing a post show conference and call.