Triple H held a conference call on October 4th 2020 with several media outlets in the immediate aftermath of NXT TakeOver 31.
The call is available to listen to in full below:
Triple H initially discussed the rapidly changing nature of NXT TakeOver 31, talking about a requirement to “make salad, so to speak” in reference to the recent injuries to both Karrion Kross and Tegan Nox, both of which had been featured heavily in the build up to TakeOver 31. Kross, in particular, had been crowned NXT Champion just 39 days ago, before vacating the title due to an injury to his shoulder sustained at NXT TakeOver: XXX.
Triple H continued, commenting on the new aesthetic of the Capitol Wrestling Center and how pleased he is with the unique look it gives the black-and-gold brand whilst also reiterating a focus on keeping performers and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Triple H took the opportunity to praise all the performers from tonight’s show and expresses his excitement for the return of Halloween Havoc on October 28th.
Finally, before opening the call to questions, Triple H gave an update on the potential injuries to Kyle O’Reilly and Finn Balor:
“Kyle (O’Reilly) is being evaluated as we speak and Finn Balor on his way to have his jaw X-rayed to see what’s going on there”
Triple H then opened the conference call to questions from the media.
Jim Varsallone from Miami Herald opened by asking if the return of Ember Moon coinciding with the return of Halloween Havoc was coincidence or good timing. Additionally, he asked for more information on Halloween Havoc and the return of Toni Storm.
Triple H discussed the positive impact the return of both Ember and Toni will have on the already deep women’s division in NXT, he described Ember’s injury as career threatening and informs everyone that Ember is very happy to be back and specifically very happy to be back in NXT. Triple H stated, that when asking Ember who she is excited to work with in NXT she responded with a list of around 12 names, which Triple H reaffirmed speaks to the strength and depth of the women’s division in NXT.
In regards to the timing of Ember’s return, Triple H said that it was down to when Ember was available to return and that he can say they had been talking about her returning (to NXT) for a while, even from before she was injured September last year.
On the note of Halloween Havoc, Triple H said that he is looking forward to it as a fun event throwing back to older times with found memories and that he can’t think of anyone better than Shotzi Blackheart to host the event.
Alex McCarthy of Talk Sport asks about the status of NXT in regards to the upcoming draft and if it is possibly time for some of the longer serving Superstars of NXT to move on.
Triple H reaffirmed his sentiments from the Pre-TakeOver conference call:
“If I knew we were in the draft I would tell you, but I don’t.”
He continued that it’s all up in the air at the moment is a “wait and see situation” even for NXT themselves, he then discussed the wide stretching opportunities currently available to Superstars in the WWE – from RAW to NXT to NXT UK, there are many opportunities available to all and that will continue to increase going forward. Triple H then discussed his belief that there is no requirement for a individual to move simply because they have been somewhere for a while, referring to this as storytelling and comparing it to Superstars staying in territories or brands for years before moving, because this made the eventual move meaningful. He discussed the importance of patience in storytelling and that performers who can change and adapt to give themselves a new lease of life are capable of remaining in any one area for long periods of time without losing the “shiny penny” effect.
Mike Johnson from PW Insider asks about the logistics of the Capitol Wrestling Center set-up and what impact this will have on the training and curriculum as well as what changes this will have on the pre-existing activities within the WWE Performance Center.
Triple H opened by stating that this is something they are still currently working though as they speak, however it does change the dynamics of the room utilised for the Capitol Wrestling Center as it is now a “show place”. He discusses getting back to training within the Performance Center as training had been taking place in a smaller location designed to allow for social distancing and creating an open environment that is required during the pandemic. He then discussed more about the intimacies of how training works during the pandemic, including the utilisation of smaller batches of training bubbles and regular deep cleaning in between training groups in order to reduce any risks associated with returning to training.
Sean Ross Sapp from Fightful asks if Triple H has a ideal draft scenario, from either a entertainment or benefiting NXT point of view, and how does he weigh managing and booking talent to appear or NXT when he knows some of them may be leaving to perform on Raw and SmackDown.
Triple H started by reaffirming once again that he does not know for certain the status of NXT within the draft, but he would assume, given that he doesn’t know, that they are not included.
Triple H then acknowledged the high level of moment of Superstars from NXT to Raw and SmackDown over the last 12 months, placing the number in the high teens. He stated that he is always for what is best for the talent in each circumstance, always trying to plan for all sides at the entrance to and the exit from NXT. However, he did acknowledge that sometimes it is a short notice scenario and in that situation they need to do the best they can with the given circumstances to benefit everyone involved across all three brands.
Jason Powell of ProWrestling.netasks about the emergence of Ridge Holland in the post match angle as well as the reaction backstage to the near-miss incident with Johnny Gargano last month.
Triple H stated that Holland is regarded very highly across all elements of the NXT system; from talent to producers and coaches. He put the error with Gargano down to mistiming and then discussed the fine line between the entertainment of wrestling and the very real physicality of it. Ultimately, Triple H stated that the incident with Gargano was not a “Holland mistake” and that he is well liked throughout the NXT system and that he is very passionate to improve.
Jon Alba of Spectrum Sports 360asks about the COVID-19 measures in place within the Capitol Wrestling Center and if they could become a part of WWE’s permanent programming after the deal with the Amway Center expires.
Triple H stated that it was important for NXT to feel unique in comparison to RAW and SmackDown and thus it was unlikely for the aesthetic of the Capitol Wrestling Center to become part of those programmes. He then continues to say if RAW or SmackDown move away from Amway, it will be to a larger venue and it will maintain being the ThunderDome. Triple H emphasises that NXT still have a strong relationship with Full Sail and they will continue to utilises this in every way they can but explains that the Capitol Wrestling Center needs a fixed home and the Performance Center provides this.
Alistair McGeorge of Metro UK ends the questions by asking about the rejuvenation of Finn Balor in NXT, and discussing Balor’s openness about needing a break from the vigorous routine of RAW and SmackDown.
Triple H stated that it is “awesome” to see Finn back where he belongs. He discussed the every changing mindset and mentality of a WWE Superstar, moving from coasting to exhausted to energised in a short space of time, also discussing the need to work around young, hungry and fired up new talent to help find what you have been missing and remind you why you love performing. Triple H then discusses the aura of the Performance Center and it’s ability to inspire and motivate those who witness the hungry talent honing their craft inside.
Triple H ends the call by thanking everyone for staying up across several time zones to watch the show and talk about it live, before stating he hopes this is a small step towards normality for fans that we can all enjoy.
Stay tuned to Inside The Ropes for more news and updates for NXT.