Triple H held a conference call with the media today for the NXT TakeOver: Toronto show on Saturday. Highlights from the call are below.
– Triple H talked about NXT having a stacked roster and how it’s an exciting time for NXT. He noted that some of their talent has been waiting for an opportunity and that everyone is chomping at the bit. He ran down the card for Saturday’s show, noted how great Toronto crowds usually are, and expects an incredible night.
– Triple H was asked about how they decided on the stipulations for the NXT Title match. He said that they wanted to make the match unique and create drama around the third fall if it happens. He said Cole and Gargano are so talented though that it didn’t really matter what stipulations they added to the match.
– Triple H was asked about WWE bringing in Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as Executive Directors and if he had any interest in those jobs. He said that due to his schedule, he can’t be at every show for either brand and that he is already busy enough with only so much time each day. He said Heyman and Bischoff’s roles are specific to their brands, while his job is broader than one specific brand. He said his creative role encompasses almost every area of the company. He joked that Vince McMahon is always trying to add more hours to a day so they can get more done but that there is only so much time. He added that he is already noticing positive changes since the hirings and that he is excited to work with both, noting that he has worked with Heyman for awhile.
– Triple H was asked about what it’s like when notable talent like Kushida and Bianca Bel Air don’t make a NXT TakOver card. He said that not making a card makes these guys work even harder and that while talent always wants to get a top spot and maintain it, it’s important that talent doesn’t get overexposed. He said NXT has a good problem in that they have too much talent.
– Triple H was asked about Drew McIntyre saying he wants to work NXT UK, Fandango coming back to NXT, etc. and how common it is for talent to make requests like that. Triple H said it happens often, noting that wrestlers often talk to him about wanting to work NXT UK. He added that the competition between brands is good for all of them. He also added that a lot of main roster guys watch the NXT shows and that he gets texts from them as the show is going on. He put over the NXT UK brand as well.
– Triple H was asked which match will steal the show. He said that the card is so stacked that any of the matches could be a show-stealer.
– Triple H was asked about Shayna Baszler saying that she’d love to have the MMA Horsewomen face the WWE Horsewomen and if that will happen. He says that it’s possible down the road when the time is right, but that currently they’re all doing their own thing. He noted that Ronda Rousey has been clear about her passion for WWE and that she has more to prove.
– Triple H was asked who would take over for Vince McMahon and if he is the heir apparent. He said that there is no heir apparent and that Vince will probably outlive all of them. He noted that WWE does have succession plans but they often change due to a variety of factors.
– Triple H was asked what the plan is for the 2019 Mae Young Classic. He said that they are working on it but they have to get the timing right due to the upcoming FOX move. He said a move like that impacts everything else and causes certain things to be pushed back.
– Triple H was asked why Johnny Gargano has not been working live events and if it’s possibly due to an injury. He said Gargano is fine but that he did have a minor lingering thing so they reined him in for a bit as a precaution.
– Triple H was asked about WWE running the EVOLVE anniversary show on WWE Network and how often he’d want to see independent promotions get broadcast time on WWE Network. He said the EVOLVE show was planned for awhile and that he expects to see more shows like that with promotions that they have alliances with. He noted that EVOLVE, WXW, ICW, and Progress are all places to be if you want to make it to WWE and that WWE has the ability to give those promotions exposure on the Network. He seemed very confident that we will see more specials like the EVOLVE one soon.
– Triple H was asked if there is any talk of doing two NXT weekly shows. He said that they already do two NXT shows (NXT and NXT UK) but that they are always evaluating the best mix of content. He said that internally they always debate what to do next and that they want to be careful to put things in place to succeed. He noted that NXT has been on Wednesday nights forever but that when a competitor (AEW) puts their show on Wednesday night, nobody talks about it being counter-programming, but if the situation was reversed, everyone would make a big deal about WWE counter-programming their competition. He said WWE does their own thing and doesn’t worry about what others do.
– He was asked about his schedule once Smackdown moves to FOX. He said he will try to manage his busy schedule as best as he can and try to go where he is most needed. He used NXT UK as an example of how he used to go to every NXT UK TV show, but now the NXT UK team has been built up to where he doesn’t have to go anymore. He wants to build good teams so he can hand things off, just like Vince sometimes isn’t at TV.
– Triple H was asked about handling nerves before a show. He said nerves are good because it means the wrestler cares about doing well and that he wants them to have nerves. Nerves can be inspiring. He added that the talent approaches all shows like they air live and that they are trained and prepared for these moments.
– Triple H was asked about working with The Rock’s daughter, Simone Johnson. He said she has the same passion for the business that runs in her family and has her dad’s work ethic. He added that nothing will stop her if she wants it.
– He was asked about Sami Zayn noting that The Rock was recently at the Performance Center. He said he was there to see his daughter and added that the Performance Center has an infectious, inspiring atmosphere.
– Triple H was asked about the mix of matches on the card and how four of the five matches are title matches, and whether there needs to be more room for grudge matches. He said that he doesn’t like to just put matches on the card for the sake of doing it and that there is no formula. The goal is to put on the best show possible.
– He was asked about the possibility of a Women’s War Games match. He said it’s possible if the right situation arises.