Triple H has discussed in detail the approach WWE takes when it comes to evaluating new talent and how their readiness for TV is assessed on an individual basis.
Speaking on a media call related to NXT: TakeOver Vengeance Day, Triple H was asked about the process of a talent signing with the company to appearing on television and what goes into making that decision.
Triple H explained:
“If you go back and look at the history of all of this, it depends on the performer.Some talent comes in right away and they float right to television.Some talent come in and they don’t.Really, what it comes down to is us giving them bits and pieces of opportunity.I say this to everybody when they walk in the door, for the most part, we’re going to give you bits and pieces of opportunity.Where that opportunity goes depends on how the opportunity is taken advantage of.”
Triple H used a recent talent acquisition to illustrate how those who are ready will receive opportunities:
“You bring people like MSK with a thought in your mind of ‘hey these guys are really good performers.’ But I don’t know what they bring to the table of their television knowledge or performance.When you’re doing something like the ‘Dusty Cup’ it’s easy to have in mind where you want to go but to then tweak things over the weeks as opportunities change.You see somebody – ‘ok they’re not quite ready for that, we’re gonna move them to this.’Or they are ready for that and you move them forward.Those two are sponges.I said this to them tonight when they were done.‘We gave you bits and pieces of opportunity, you have knocked each opportunity out of the park.’That is not because, and this is not me putting the system over, it’s not because they knew it all walking in the door.They’re sponges.”
‘The Game’ then spoke in-depth about how for some talent it’s easier to adapt when they’re starting from scratch rather than adapting to a new system.
Triple H stated:
“Sometimes people get it and sometimes they don’t.Sometimes they have the knowledge and sometimes they don’t.There are times when I’ve worked with talent that have come from other places, and I’ve seen them on TV for years.Then the first time you work with them on television, you begin to talk to them about television production, they’re like ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.No one has ever told me any of that before, can you start over?’And you realise oh my God wow, no one has ever taught them this.They’ve always ended up just being in the right place at the right time.Or they just got lucky with how it was presented, whatever that is.”
“There are other times when you get people who come in and they’re a blank slate to it.Then you tell them some stuff and they’re like ‘ok great, that makes total sense’ and they got it, and they never miss a beat.Sometimes it’s easier to have a blank slate than it is somebody that’s been doing it a certain way for ten years.Then you tell them something and they’re like ‘oh wow, that would be so much better.’Getting them to do it on live television is a different thing.”
“So it truly depends on the performer.When they get in here, we begin to work with them, we see where they are.We start to do little things and bits and pieces with them in training and how they react to those things and how they are coached.Every bit of it lends to where they end up and how quickly they get used or not used.”
On the point of whether the WWE system has changed from the early days of NXT, Triple H was emphatic:
“I don’t necessarily think the system has changed.If you go back in time, there have been people that have been here for a long time trying to figure it out, and also, people walk into a place they’ve been trying to get to their whole life…When they get here, how they react to that and how they handle it are two totally different things.I spend sometimes a lot of time with performers that have been doing this for a long going ‘Man, do what you do, you’re not giving me you, you’re giving me some other version of you that isn’t what we’re looking for.’
But I’m trying to get them to a place and then one day the lightbulb goes off. They’re like ‘I get it’ and they relax into it and they go back to being a performer.I don’t know if that’s them having a certain expectation in their own heads but it is what it is.It’s evaluated per talent and when they’re ready to succeed we let them succeed.When they’re not, I don’t want them to fail and I don’t want them to have stutter-steps so we try not to put it out there when it’s not ready.”
Triple H discussed a lot in the media call, including providing an update on two NXT performers.