Triple H held a conference call on September 30 with several media outlets ahead of NXT TakeOver 31 on October 4, 2020. The full call can be heard below.
Triple H opens the call by plugging the NXT go-home show on the USA Network, talking about how spectacular he expects the show to be, and puts over the hardcore fanbase knowing what to expect. He states that this TakeOver will change the direction of a lot of things with NXT and he’s extremely excited for everyone to see it.
He talked about the challenges trying to be creative with COVID with people having to drop championships and withdraw from shows. He runs down the NXT TakeOver 31 card, hyping the championship matches and says that TakeOver will have a “unique look and feel that has never been done before” and that we’ll learn more on Sunday.
He added how BT Sport has been one of the best partners WWE has ever had, and how it’s been great for the UK audience. The Heritage Cup was mentioned, where Triple H explained on the Conference Call that it consists of UK rules and is rounds-based.
Triple H then opened the conference call to questions from the media.
Mike Johnson from PW Insider opened by asking about the COVID-19 situation in terms of the quarantines and talent drop-outs from shows. He asked if the Performance Center was clear for people to return to training and if the card for NXT TakeOver 31 would remain as advertised.
Triple H said that this Sunday’s card will remain, all being well, exactly the same as advertised, but that it’s touch and go at times. He added that as always, things can change but the Performance Center is fully functional. He stressed that it’s a situation that nobody can control, but they are doing everything they can to keep people safe. Any talent that tests positive is fully contact traced, for the safety and wellbeing of everybody. He completes the question by saying that everybody in WWE, other promotions and sports, in general, are doing the best they can.
Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net asks about a party that was held that may have triggered the COVID outbreak and asks if any punishments will be given, and asks what is being done to prevent these kinds of things from happening.
Triple H says the message WWE is sending is to convey to everybody stay safe and be responsible. The situation with COVID is far from over, and that talent is being advised to be safe, be smart, and wear masks. He adds that they are all urged to social distance, and to stay inside of their bubbles.
But he also adds that going to stores and getting food is obviously very difficult, and although he is not thrilled when people break rules, their personal lives are still personal. He says people should follow the rules, but also try and live their lives as best they can.
Alex McCarthy of TalkSport asks about NXT UK and NXT UK Takeover Dublin being postponed. He asked where the next TakeOver might come from and if one will happen from BT Studios. He pressed on any ambitions for a UK TakeOver before Summer.
Triple H said that Europe is in a different place than it was a couple of weeks ago, and that nothing set in stone and everything is moving fast. As soon as he can travel talent, it will happen. If it comes down to nothing changing with the COVID situation and they really need to press on, then BT would likely be asked to host a TakeOver.
He said he would like to get something done as soon as possible but depends on what the restrictions are. Right now, he said he is just thrilled that BT allowed WWE to get into their studios and resume NXT UK. He added that he was looking towards the next step, but that he was just not sure what that will be.
Kelly Wells of PWTorch asks about Kyle O’Reilly. He asked about creative changes that have been made and asks if this was always the creative plan with him, or if COVID has changed the plans.
Triple H started by saying that this was something that’s been talked about for a while. He conceded that COVID has sped up the process, but not by too much, but he would like to have had more time to flesh out the story. He mentioned that stuff changes week to week and sometimes day-to-day, but they’ve been talking about Kyle as a singles competitor for a while.
He says O’Reilly is naturally charismatic and funny, and that he’s excited to see what happens with him and his development. Triple H said that Kyle O’Reilly and Finn Balor have campaigned to work together for a while, to everyone who would listen, and that this is their chance.
Josh Lawless of SportBible asks about the adaptations of there being no fans and the move to the ThunderDome and asks when we can expect to see fans. He asks if there is a possibility we see shows with masks and social distancing.
Triple H pushed that it is a touch and go situation, but in terms of travelling shows and different cities it’s not going to be for a long time. He said though that one set location could be possible. They are constantly looking to see what is available as things open, but WWE won’t do anything If it isn’t safe for fans, crew, talent and staff. He finished by saying he thinks WWE’s protocols are as good as anyone else’s in the world.
Triple H said he doesn’t know if NXT will be involved, and hasn’t heard anything. He said that it’s a case of “wait and see”.
Sun Radio Australia asks how COVID has impacted WWE looking and scouting talent around the world.
He said that wrestling is exciting, and he loves to see people grinding it out and making names for themselves. He added that he is 100% keeping an eye on things and that today’s world means you can get footage from anywhere and people send stuff if asked. He said because the restrictions are on travel, people can’t be looked at more closely and that’s frustrating, but as soon as they can open up that part of their business again, they will.
Nick Hausman of Wrestling Inc asks about RETRIBUTION debuting on the main roster and asks how much input talent have when they get called up.
Triple H joked and said he didn’t know anything about RETRIBUTION being from NXT!? But then said that there are conversations about who goes where and when. Sometimes he gets a heads up and he can write them out of NXT and there’s a clear plan. Sometimes he has no say and it goes to the respective creative teams. He may get asked about what talent can handle, and how they are in certain situations, but it doesn’t go further than that. Once they’re moved to RAW and SmackDown, it’s in their creative teams’ hand from there.
Adam Carruthers from Astro Supersports Malaysia asks about the motivation to get Wade Barrett back into NXT and onto the commentary desk.
Triple H says he’s been a big fan of Wade Barrett for many years. He talked about his commentary elsewhere, and the stint he did on commentary when he was injured in WWE. Hre added that he had been interested in Wade for a while but the timing never matched up with COVID and everything else going on. He said they finally got something set up, and he was available and they did a deal.
He closed by saying he’s a great addition to NXT and has a very credible reputation but also brings character. He said Wade was just scratching the surface of how good he will be as a commentator and will only get better.”
Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer ends the questions by asking if the growth of the audience on a Tuesday has fueled any talks of moving NXT permanently.
Triple H said that there are always conversations happening but he is happy to have NXT remain on Wednesday’s. He said he doesn’t see “them” (referring to AEW) moving days when NXT was on Wednesday’s first. But he said that it all boils down to where it sits for their TV partners as well because it isn’t their decision.
He adds that they do the best show they can do, with the talent they have, and that those business questions come down to not just WWE but their partners as well. But as of now, there is no intention to switch days.
Triple H ended the conference call by discussing Tegan Nox’s injury. He confirms the torn ACL and that she has already had surgery. He states that she is very strong but has had a run of bad luck and that she was unfortunate. He added that if anyone can return from an injury like this it’ll be her. She’s just had bad luck, but he can’t wait to see what she can do when she gets back.
He closes the conference call by sending his best thoughts to Tegan Nox and wishes her a swift recovery.
Stay tuned to Inside The Ropes for more news and updates for NXT TakeOver 31.