WWE News

Triple H Discusses Former NXT Stars Appearing In AEW

Triple H Adam Cole reDRagon NXT

Triple H has given his thoughts on several former stars of the NXT brand that he founded now appearing on television every week for AEW.

WWE EVP Triple H changed the wrestling game in 2012 when he unleashed NXT as a developmental brand like no other. Quickly gaining a hardcore fanbase, the black and gold brand became must-watch television and a rite of passage for independent stars looking to make it to the main roster of WWE.

But a lot can change in a decade and now many of the stars that made NXT so popular have moved on from the brand and some have even moved right out of WWE. Adam Cole, reDRagon, Malakai Black, Ruby Soho, Andrade El Idolo, Buddy Matthews, FTR, Keith Lee, PAC, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Miro, Shawn Spears, Tay Conti, Mercedes Martinez, Toni Storm, and Marina Shafir are among those who used to appear on NXT but now compete in AEW – not to mention NXT’s former General Manager and now chief of the Blackpool Combat Club, William Regal.

Speaking to The Athletic, Triple H touched on some of the talent that has left WWE for pastures new in AEW and The Game said, if they’ve got a good gig then he’s happy for them:

“I like all those guys. They helped us get where we needed to get, and I’m thankful for it. The truth is there was a period of time where we were trying to build NXT. We built NXT. Then we were trying to build a brand that could get a television show and sustain it. All those names helped us get there. Whether anybody believed or not they fit on Raw or SmackDown, those aren’t necessarily my decisions solely, and they’re Vince’s (McMahon) decisions and fans’ decisions; and then, can we continue to do business with them?”

“If they have great gigs, I’m happy for them. I stay in touch with almost all of them. I like to think they came into us here, we taught them a lot, got them to (a higher level) where they learned how to do television, how to be professionals, and all that to be successful there.”

“At some point, they might come back with us, or they might never because they don’t fit our brand as well, but that’s OK. They got us to certain places, and I’m thankful for that, and they’re thankful for that, and they’re off to different things. But that doesn’t stop the train. People leave football teams, move to different teams all the time, and it’s great.”

Triple H also discussed the shift in focus that led the black and gold era of NXT to give way to NXT 2.0 and says it was always part of the plan.