Triple H Says He Didn’t Agree With NXT’s Creative Direction During His Absence

Triple H WWE

NXT changed dramatically during Triple H’s absence, many of which he believed were positive developments – but he didn’t necessarily agree with all of them.

Triple H and Shawn Michaels were among the names credited for raising expectations on WWE’s main roster, all through making NXT a must-see product. Despite the brand being promoted by the same organisation that controls Raw and SmackDown, the difference was night and day.

‘The Game’ has now spoken out about the change made to the brand during his absence from the company last September, during which time he suffered from a “cardiac event“. Speaking to BT Sport’s Ariel Helwani ahead of WWE Clash At The Castle, Triple H discussed the sweeping changes made:

“I didn’t necessarily agree with the creative direction sometimes. And that had nothing to do with Shawn [Michaels] or anything else when I stepped away for health reasons. And there was already pressure to change the direction and change what it was. And that happened, I knew what the changes were, I don’t know that I necessarily agreed with all of them, but I do think that there are a lot of changes that happened that were extremely positive for the brand and I would have liked to have done anyways that I think a lot of people would have gone, ‘No way he would have done that’.”

Continuing, Triple H explained how, while the pandemic changed what the concept of NXT was, shooting the show from the WWE Performance Center ruined the company’s ability to train the next generation:

“The brand turned into something else, different from what the original intention was. Part of that was the success of it, part of that was [the] pandemic. The brand changed in the pandemic, people forget that for two years, maybe over, that we couldn’t recruit. I couldn’t train athletes, I had no place to train them. Then we moved, all of our training became a television studio to shoot Raw and SmackDown.

I had all these athletes under contract, anybody that already didn’t fully understand what they were doing and how to execute it wasn’t learning because there was no place for them to train, we medically weren’t even allowed to put them in the building to let them train. So if we wanted to, we had no place for them to train because the training facility was a television studio. That massively changed what it was, massively changed where it was headed, and what it would become.”

Triple H elaborated further, explaining how WWE’s NIL process changed how the company recruited new Superstars. The multi-time World Champion insisted how passionate he was to ensure everyone who applied was given the same opportunity, regardless of their wrestling experience:

“That changed the nature of what NXT was and would become, and over time, it just kept heading further down that road because of where we were with the pandemic and everything else. It needed to flip back, it needed to when NIL came about for us to be able to go into these markets now.

Collegiate athletes, which is this massive pipeline of people that for, a lot of them have thought about doing this their whole life, but how do you go about becoming a WWE superstar, right? If you’re smart, you play a sport that can pay for your college, you go to college, you finish up, you get a job coming out of college, and then you try your hand at getting trained by somebody or on the flip side, if it’s something that you really want to do. Creating that pipeline for those collegiate athletes, which is this massive pool of talent, is game-changing for us, and that’s exactly what we’re doing right now.

You know, the last two or three large recruiting efforts we’ve had in tryout systems have all been collegiate athletes. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to hire, if somebody finds a different path into the business, no matter how long or short they’ve been doing it and I think that person’s talented, fits what we’re looking for, I want to work with them, come on in. If they’re working somewhere else, and they have a skillset and now they’re no longer under contract and I think we can do something with it, come on in.”

Wrapping up, Triple H named a handful of current NXT 2.0 talents who’ve come on leaps and bounds since they were first introduced to the viewing audience:

“That’s what we’re working with now and I think it’s why you see Bron Breakker doing so well in such a short period of time. It’s why you see Tony D’Angelo doing so well in a very short period of time. Tiffany Stratton, I can name a list of people that are in NXT now and as you see NXT ramping back up, you see NXT now, you look at some of those people and you’re like, ‘wow, this person stepped through the ropes for the first time six, eight months ago.’

And they’re doing this live on national television being seen globally, like, six, eight months in. It’s crazy, you know?”

NXT rebranded to NXT 2.0 last September, beginning with the 14 September broadcast. Since then, a number of new faces have emerged; alongside the names mentioned by Triple H, the top stars of the brand now also include Toxic Attraction, The Creed Brothers, and Grayson Waller, to name a few.

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