Triple H did a conference call with selected members of the wrestling media today to talk about tomorrow's NXT Takeover special, which airs on the WWE Network.
WWE's Adam Hopkins opened the call by welcoming the media and turned the call over to Triple H.
He noted that he once again he saved us from the background music that plays before calls (it is brutal). He is excited where they are with NXT and presenting Takeover tomorrow on The WWE Network. He said he is excited for the young guys to show the world what they can do and hopefully show the media that the future of WWE is in good shape.
HHH then turned it over to the reporters for questions. I am recapping so Mike will ask the questions, and he got on first.
Mike asked with the success of Arrival, will be see more of the live specials. Will they be a regular thing on the Network. H said that he doesn't know if they will be monthly, but never say never with WWE. He said he is happy where they are and Arrival was a great success. He noted that Vince McMahon even noted that they have launched a brand in NXT. With that said, he doesn't want to lose track of what NXT is, and that is getting talent ready. He said that quarterly is probably how it will work out. H talked about how they aren't just training wrestlers there, but also people who put the shows on, cameramen, announcers, etc. People learn what live TV is like by doing these specials. You live or die on your own. It is a new challenge for them and when they get to Raw, it will help prepare them for doing live TV. He does believe that there is room for an opportunity for a whole new brand in NXT. He could see people looking at the NXT talent and have people wonder what will happen when they make the big roster.
Mike asked H a question I had, if HHH happy with the transition of the NXT talents that have come up to the main roster? Is it hard to transition them from NXT to the WWE? H said that yes, it's a difficult transition. Just because something works in Orlando, doesn't mean it will translate before a big WWE crowd. He said you can't forget that there is a transition from NXT to WWE as well. He mentioned Cesaro and how a year or so, he was working at NXT while he was on the main roster. H said when he saw Cesaro work in NXT, he would tell him to do the same thing when he is on Raw and Smackdown and Cesaro knew he was working differently on the big roster. There are many factors that go into a talent transitioning. Overall, he is very happy with NXT and how they are taking over, and that is why he used the name Takeover. He said they won't all be home runs, but it's ridiculous to think that. He is very happy with NXT and the workers.
Brian Fritz asked if they have thought about doing their NXT tapings more often. H said that they have tossed it around. The more you shoot, the more the costs go up, same with going live. He said he would love to do it live every week, but there are other factors. It's all on the table. He also mentioned what a great partner Full Sail is and they have to be conscious of their schedules as well. They are always thinking about what they can do.
Fritz asked about the next step, after Full Sail and the Performance Center. H said that the next step is finding the right talents to bring in to train and become wrestlers. He is really focused on working with the Creative department to go world wide to find new talents. They have had camps in Europe, Brazil and the Middle East recently. They want to recruit and be on a global level.
The next caller asked if guys who had worked outside of the US have had adjustment problems. H said the difference isn't that much about the big crowds as much as the mental outlook of now working for WWE. When you come there, you step into a whole different world, where the company does thing do things their way. It's the big time and it's intimidating. He said even back in the Monday Night War, there was that adjustment when a guy would come over from WCW. It's a curve. He said he looks at Bray Wyatt and he is just becoming comfortable, even though he has been knocking it out of the park since he came to WWE. It takes a while for anyone. The caller then paraphrased H incorrectly, and H reiterated that WWE is different from Japan or Mexico. He said that there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle and the more you have, the more successful you will be. He talked about the workers learning how to give the fans what they want.
The caller was hard to hear because he was breaking up (cheap phone I guess). I think he asked why there are more WWE talents on the show. H said that when he can use a WWE star that isn't in a big storyline up there, and he can bring them down to NXT, he will because the main roster folks can help the young talent. He talked about using Tyson Kidd, because he believes in him and he's talented. He has been hurt and not used, but he is on Total Divas and he wants to give him a chance on NXT. Maybe it could reinvigorate his career. NXT is about making stars and that is his goal. He noted Cesaro is there now and would work all the time if he could, but since he has a bigger spot on the roster now H can't use him as much down in NXT. But Cesaro has been great working with the young guys and when they get up to the big roster they will have a comfort level with him. He said that the workers are like a family and they are happy for each other when they get called up. He said that it's a great place and he loves it, even thought it can be a strain time wise. He said it invigorates him whenever he comes there.
The caller then asked a question about the crowd in NXT and how it translates to the big roster. H said that he has to serve two masters, the Orlando crowd and the main roster. They are very aware that some things work in NXT and why, and also what they think will work on the big roster. Sometimes, they don't know if something will work or not, but they try it. You have to have a variety for the show. All of them won't work but it's guts and feel. What they do in NXT is for the Orlando crowd. That can change when it goes up to the big roster. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
Jason Powell was up next. He asked if WWE has made any decision about doing NXT events WrestleMania week. He said they are always thinking about Mania, even at the Raw after it. He said that as things become bigger with The Network, he said it opens up the opportunity to do things that week. He said it will give fans the chance to see the younger talent before they were stars on the biggest stage of the year. He said that right now they are looking at what will that week long series of events are. He said that NXT will be a part of Mania week.
Jason asked about keeping the buzz for NXT on The Network and using it as a selling point to customers since after Arrival the push seemed to come off the brand. H said that some people, including Vince, were surprised by the buzz that NXT got. Vince said I was expecting a show, but you launched a brand. It took some people by surprise and they are trying to catch up now. It's an evolving process. He said that the Network just started and its gearing up. He said that NXT will be a big part of it. It's one of the most watched shows on the Network and will be a big part of it. He added that there has been promotion on Raw and Smackdown for Takeover and as The Network grows and expands you will see NXT become a bigger part of it.
Jason asked if Tough Enough will be filmed at the Center. It's being proposed that it's shot there according to H. He doesn't know 100% that it will be shot there. They are working on how to do it the best way that they can and the Center has been a big part of the discussion.
Dave Meltzer asked for a medical update on Christian or Rey Mysterio. He said he can't talk about either due to HIPPA laws but they are recovering and trying to get them under control.
H was asked about forms of training that they use. H said he had never been exposed to different kinds of training methods. He didn't play football so he did bodybuilding types of workouts. He said that he never used to warm up, etc. Then things changed in training methods and athletes noticed the changes, such as creating functional strength. He said that different training methods are a big part of the Center. He said that being functionally strong is the point. Dave asked about what kind of training methods they were doing. H said it was a combo of everything and reiterated functional movement strength is what is important. H talked a lot about training methods, which was interesting to me but if you don't work out probably wouldn't be. He talked about, in essence, working all muscles to creative a stronger overall body. He said that is why we are seeing more agile and durable guys in the ring because of it. He said that guys take care of themselves a lot better than they used to.
Meltzer mentioned that Daniel Bryan said he thinks it would be good for young talent to go to other places, like Japan, to learn other styles. He mentioned WWE having trainers with differing backgrounds working with the talents. H said that working in other places is a great learning opportunity. H talked about a guy they just let go where he told him that working somewhere else and learn some things, he could come back and employ what he learns elsewhere. H said that he learns a lot about the business every single day. The more well rounded you are the better. With that said, you can't get so ingrained in a style where you can't adapt to something else. H said that if you play for one pro team with one style of offense, if you go to another with a different style, you have to adapt. You can bring what you know and talk about it, but you have to adapt to the WWE way.
Meltzer asked about KENTA and Prince Devitt and H went WHO? Meltzer tried to explain who they were and H said he was kidding, he knows who they are. And H said no comment.
The last caller asked about the progression of Charlotte. H said that Charlotte is progressing well and is great. He said she is a natural at the technical aspect but she had to work on not playing a wrestler, but developing into one. It's a great opportunity for her. The Flair-Hart rivalry will continue when she takes on Natty with Ric and Bret there. He adds that when he books some things, he does it from a fan standpoint since he is one.
He was asked about entrances and how they differ from NXT to WWE. All of those things are important. The presentation is part of the character and his/her development. It is all part of the process.
He was asked about former NFL player Shawne Merriman. He said that they are talking. He said Shawne has had two dreams, to be an NFL star and a WWE star. H said he is a great guy and very smart and they would love to have him. We will see where it goes.
HHH added that we media folks can come down and tour the Center. I have to make it down there.
Final Thoughts: H joked a few times about dominating the call, but that is what made it interesting. He was great in answer honestly where and when he could. He does a great job on these calls and his passion for NXT and the young talent really comes out.
NXT Takeover, tomorrow night on the Network at 8 p.m.