Back in September of 2021, Triple H was forced to take a leave of absence from NXT when he suffered a serious cardiac event. During his absence, Shawn Michaels stepped in to help run the promotion in an already turbulent time as it had just made the transition from NXT to NXT 2.0, complete with a new rainbow swirl logo and focus on an entirely new set of characters than those who’d made NXT a success during the black and gold era.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Shawn Michaels reflected on this difficult period and alluded to the fact that people might question whether NXT 2.0 would have been different had Triple H not had to take time away to focus on his health.
“Well, look, nothing sucks more than to have to follow in those footsteps, and then have all these abrupt changes that you have to then take over. I will say this, my knowledge at the time, for instance, the logo, that came at the last minute and even from Hunter’s standpoint, from the best of my understanding it was, ‘This is what it is.’
“I think that’s maybe something a lot of people — and I saw the interview you did with Hunter where he said – look, I know there are a lot of things people thought he wouldn’t have done or decisions he didn’t make, but they actually were.
“So, there were some things that he did know about, but then there was others, especially as it started going and he wasn’t there, that were very different and very difficult to sort of deal with.”
As Triple H has taken over control of WWE in the wake of Vince McMahon’s retirement, he’s made some decisive changes to the company. One of those changes includes getting rid of the NXT 2.0 branding exactly one year after it began, unveiling a new logo on the September 13th episode that called back to the colors black and gold and no longer included the number 2.0.