The post-NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver Night One media call saw Triple H & Shawn Michaels weigh in on Io Shrai’s loss, WALTER potentially working more regularly in the US and more. You can see a full recap from the media call below:
* Triple H thanked everyone for joining and said he throught it was a spectacular show. He said that William Regal mentioned to him that it was their 34th Takeover and said. ‘Name a company that can put out 34 big PPV events like we have and have them pretty much across the board deliver.’ He talked about how thinking how far they’ve come, it’s been quite a ride and the last year has been rough on everyone to put out content in a constantly-changing landscape, but tonight was the first night he thought they could see the light at the end of the tunnel at “a lot of things.” He noted they had a lot of fans that were very passionate, loud and excited and the talent were chomping at the bit to go out and show the world what they could do. He said “Stand and deliver” is what they did. He said the layout, the set design, and everything else clicked well and thanked Peacock for simulcasting with them. He noted that Shawn Michaels was with him as well.
* Asked about what’s next for Io Shirai and why Raquel Gonzalez was picked to beat her for the title, Triple H put over Shirai’s title reign and talent, noting that he’s said many times that she could be argued as the best female performer on the planet. He said that Gonzalez was the person because she’s the right woman, right time. He noted that she has a presence that it’s hard not to think she’s a star and it’s all been over the last year, year and a half. Triple H put her over for how she transformed herself into an absolute star and put herself in the position for it to be her.
Michaels recalled that he saw here in a show in St. Petersburg two and a half years ago, saw Gonzalez standing there with Rhea Ripley, and thought “Oh my goodness, those two are gonna be stars.” He says that Rhea and Raquel are homegrown and said he’s seen Gonzalez grow and display an incredible work ethic. He said her journey is a real feel-good story. He added that Shirai is guaranteed money night after night and has earned the right to be called the best in the world.
* Asked what’s next for Shirai and if she might end up on the main roster, Triple H said there’s always more to achieve in NXT, but said that Shirai has earned the right to do what she wants to do, mentioning that if she wants to take time off or go after Gonzalez, she’s earned that right. If she wants to do something else, she’s earned that too. He said that whenever someone loses in NXT, people assume that they’re leaving the brand. He doesn’t agree with that and says there’s always more to do, more to prove and the next challenge. He says whatever she wants to do, but he doesn’t see it as if she lost a match and is just moving on. HBK said that NXT has the deepest and best women’s division and doesn’t know why anyone would go anywhere else.
* The next caller mentioned Erik Rowan saying on Twitter that he wanted to face WALTER. Hunter said that everyone wants to face WALTER until he chops them, just like everyone had a plan for Tyson until they got punched in the mouth. He said WALTER’s a machine on a different level, and what he does that’s special is everything because he does it all so well, making the simplest things mean everything. That’s created an aura and importance to who he is. Triple H said he’s straight money and is heading back home for a big, but that he can’t wait to get WALTER back here. HBK said everyone wants to face WALTER, and said he loves that WALTER is faithful to NXT UK. HBK said he’s gonna be that brand’s champion for a long, long time.
* Asked about WALTER potentially working in a regular capacity in NXT while remaining based in Europe, Triple H said that he can do both if he wants to. Travel restrictions are a concern, but beyond that it’s very possible because the travel isn’t that different than flying from New York to Los Angeles. He said the door is open for WALTER as long as they can do it. Michaels added that they’d to everything they could to get WALTER to go everywhere he wants if the world would work with him. He added that the UK Champion has seen the possibilities now that he’s been in the US.
* The next question was about how Triple H and Michaels see each other in terms of what they bring to the table for NXT. Hunter said that having worked with Shawn for 25 years and his seeing Shawn from a mental standpoint of the business, there’s not a lot of guys who understand what they do like Shawn does. He said if he was asked a few years ago who he thought would have the most impact in NXT, it would have been Shawn because of his knowledge and understanding. He noted that they have worked together for so long that they are able to think alike and work on ideas in a way that’s unmatched.
HBK said that it’s that he sits with his best friend, doing creative and enjoying the time like they used to, but on a whole other level. He said every time they work together, he thanks Hunter for letting him call this his job. He said that he’s able to learn from Hunter from a production standpoint and that he’s learning a new genre to the business that he didn’t know before. He said he calls HHH “Scorsese” because he goes to such a deep level on production and camera shots and the like, which Shawn is trying to learn.
* HBK was asked how involved he gets in the tag team division and said that at one time when he was coaching, he worked with everyone as much as he could. He doesn’t get to do that as much now that he’s as involved from the production side but he said there’s something of the Rockers or DX, or something he can connect with in every team they have. He said it makes you feel good when you see a little hint of what it was you used to do and then try to add to it. He said that the guys these days have taken things to a whole new “off the charts” level and he helps them with the storytelling and psychology.
Triple H added that they have so many great people helping like producers, coaches, trainers, and named Sarah D’Amoto specifically along with Matt Bloom, Steve Corino, and Terry Taylor. He said no one has an ego, everyone is just working together to help make the best product possible. HBO mentioned Fit Finlay and William Regal, and how they have so many backgrounds and styles so they can make well-rounded talents.
* Asked why MSK was chosen to win the titles, HBK said they bring energy and Triple H said that if you put GYV, Legado, and the other tag teams and their styles in, and take MSK out of the equation, the division feels different. He said that they just came in like firecrackers and have a different energy. So when you put them into the equation, they change the dynamic. They were all of a sudden this light that came in and changed things. HBK said that they added the final piece they needed for the tag division.
* Asked about last week’s talent meeting where he reportedly addressed the move to Tuesdays, Triple H joked that if he wanted everyone to know he would have printed a memo and just given it out to everyone. Hunter said it was a conversation with the talent to tell them where they’re going, similar to other meetings. He said that the stuff about “other talents” (AEW) was inaccurate and it wasn’t brought up; it was just a factual meeting to give them information and motivate them. HBK said he almost never speaks at those meetings.
* Shawn was asked about the staredown he had with Adam Cole and if he had an itch for a last big match on NXT. Michaels said he was walking back from the ring and Cole started staring at him so he stared back. He joked that he would slap the taste out of mouth, and said he loves Cole. He said everyone knows the similarities between them and said it was just a fun moment and he wishes he was about 10 or 15 years younger because it would have been cool at the time.
* Asked about Toni Storm’s loss to Zoey Stark, Hunter said while Storm is one of the most talented women in the world, Stark is someone who came in and keeps knocking every chance they’ve given her out of the park. He said that it doesn’t hurt Storm to move Stark forward, and it just gives everyone more people to face. He said the art of what they do is being in a position where you’re on top of the ladder and pull people to you without losing your spot. He doesn’t believe the loss hurt Storm’s momentum, but it benefitted Stark’s.
* HBK said that Stark has taken everyone by surprise and no one expected what they were going to get. They keep putting the chips in and she keeps delivering. Hunter said she’s always overdelivering and he’s excited to move forward with her, noting she’s “in the mix” in just three months. He said that the first person he saw working out this morning was Stark, and just before showtime she was still training. Sky’s the limit for her.
* That ended the call.
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