Triple H did a media call earlier today to promote NXT TakeOver: Orlando and Wrestlemania 33. Here is the recap from the call:
(recap sourced from PWInsider.com)
Triple H met with reporters via a conference call this morning to discuss next weekend’s NXT Takeover special. He was introduced by Adam Hopkins and started out by thanking us for joining him. It’s an exciting time with the push to WrestleMania. He thinks that this year’s Mania will be great with a lot of long term stories playing out in a big way. When you talk about Mania week and what is has become, from Axxess to Mania to NXT to The Hall Of Fame to Raw to Smackdown to NXT Taping the next week, 130,000 tickets out to the people. He doesn’t know any other company that can do that.
Before he went any further, he wanted to talk about the tragic passing of Jan Ross. Jim Ross has always been part of the WWE family. Nothing can prepare someone for this. The company sends their thoughts and prayers to Jim and his family. It is a truly sad day and I echo his sentiments.
He then talked about next Saturday’s Takeover card. He expects the show to be great and I am sure that it will be. NXT Takeovers always are. Before opening it up, he reminded us that 205 and UK stars will be working at Axxess.
The first caller was Mike Johnson. H and Adam were shocked. H said it wouldn’t be Mania season if Mike wasn’t number one. Mike asked about H saying last time that he wasn’t happened where NXT was. He asked if that changed. H said that he will never be “happy” with the product, he always wants it to be better. But the unhappiness had nothing to do with talent. It has to do with his end, booking, production, etc. The Performance Center is there to create stars and as people move up to the main roster, it strips NXT. He talked about how they lost almost the entire Women’s division at the draft. So he said that he was unhappy with where they had positioned the brand behind the scenes. He said that they got caught but he is much happier where they are now. They are on the path to get where he wants it to be.
Mike asked if the UK talents at Axxess will be recorded for the upcoming UK show. H said that there will be cameras there to capture content, but they are not looking to tape actual shows at Axxess. They have some stellar matches planned for Axxess. He said that the Wednesday following Mania they will record NXT TV then.
Jim Varsallone asked about the development of younger talent, such as Patrick Clark. H said when you talk about young talent, his mind goes to Clark. He said that the Performance Center is about taking people like Clark, with a ton of potential, and helping them reach it. When you are taking young talents it’s a process to get them to where they need to be to become and NXT and WWE star. He mentioned that the Authors Of Pain are a great example of young guys coming in and learning and growing. He said that you take the talents on the journey in steps.
Does H ever foresee branching out the Performance Center to take them to places like the UK and Toronto. He is always thinking about that kind of growth. They have to figure out the best places to do it. He said that right now the PC is at 100 people and they are maxed out. He wants to perfect the system and make it grow, but it has to be done the right way. He said that the growth is something they have learned as they have grown, such as having 10 Chinese wrestlers in the PC and things as simple as figuring out how to speak with someone that speaks Mandarin. The growth is something they look at all along.
The next call came from Spain. When will NXT come to his country? H said that he would love it. They look at it logistically as to where they should go. He said that fans in Spain should take to social media and request NXT. H said he loves Spain and would love to go there.
He was asked about this being NXT’s WrestleMania. He talked about the growth of NXT from being just a show in San Jose in a few years ago to now, where it is the NXT of WrestleMania. He said that it will be the most watched NXT show and it’s a great opportunity for them to make a name for themselves to the world.
Dave Meltzer asked about the UK tapings. Is it looked at as Network content or would they like to get TV in those markets. H said it’s an evolving process. It will depend on the market as to whether they can do it. Do they have good broadband there, etc. It’s an exciting time. The world is a smaller and bigger place due to the internet. While they can reach everywhere, they can also promote locally and specifically.
What is the status with guys like Kyle O’Reilly and WWE. H said that without looking specifically at it, he couldn’t say off of the top of his head. H looks at all talent as just that, talent. Kyle is amazing and he has no doubt he will end up in WWE. It just comes down to when it makes sense for both sides to work together.
Jan Murphy asked about Bobby Roode and what has he brought to NXT. H said that anyone that comes in has a learning curve since WWE does things so much differently than other places. Roode brought so much to the table but he had some learning to do and he is doing it. He has a great level of comfort and doesn’t get rattled. It sets a great example for the younger talent in NXT. H said that growth is helped by who is around you. He was lucky enough to work with Bret Hart. Guys like Roode and Nakamura set examples for guys whether they know it or not.
What does being in Mania mean to him? He said it means that the three months before the show are just ridiculously busy for him. He said that when he steps out on that stage at Mania there is nothing like it in the world. The passion level at Mania, both good and bad, is just awesome. To step out there is amazing. He said that when he tore his quad he still had to stick his head outside of the curtain because he had to feel the Mania passion. He said it’s an addiction, it really is. The weekend starts with the Hall Of Fame, which is just awesome. The people get to stand in front of the fans and get acknowledged for their great careers. It’s amazing for them and a great weekend.
The last call came from Jason Powell. He was asked about Kassius Ohno/Chris Hero talent leaving NXT and coming back later. He said that sometimes think that they are playing for the Jets and NXT is the Patriots. He needs the talent to play on their playbook and be on the NXT team. When talents can’t do that, they can leave. And when they change their minds, they can talk and come back. When they leave a lot of the time they realize what NXT was trying to tell them to do was the right thing to do. They learn and come back. Down the road he can see talents going from Raw to Smackdown to NXT to the UK etc. He said that they are just scratching the surface of what the overall company is and he sees it continuing to evolve in the future. All of the talents that are out there are or could be a part of that.
Is there any update on NXT TV airing live more often? There have been conversations. It comes down to costs and production bandwidth. Right now, with Raw and Smackdown live, making NXT live would not leave him much time for the rest of his duties. But, he is constantly looking at things. Vince always says look at today like it’s your first day on the job. Always ask if they are doing things the right way.