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PAUL LEVESQUE & SHAWN MICHAELS POST-NXT TAKEOVER: STAND AND DELIVER NIGHT ONE MEDIA CALL COVERAGE

By Mike Johnson on 2021-04-07 22:08:00

Welcome to PWInsider.com's ongoing coverage of Paul Levesque's post-WWE NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver Night One post-show media call coverage!

Adam Hopkins welcomed everyone to the call and said it was an amazing start to Wrestlemania week.  He introduced HHH and said Paul would have a surprise tonight.

HHH said that William Regal told him it was their 34th Takeover and imagine a company that could put out 34 events like that and have them all deliver.  He said it was pretty amazing to think about where they were and where they are.  The last year was rough on everyone, from the crew to the talent.  He said it was hard to create and put out content.  He said that tonight was the first night he felt they could see the light at the end of tunnel of "this thing."  They had some very loud and passionate fans in the building.  The talent were chomping at the bit to go out and show what they can do.

HHH thought the set design, the show's flow, the matches everything was great.  He thanked Peacock and The USA Network for their help.

Shawn Michaels was with him to participate with him as well.  

Gary Cassidy asked them to reflect on Io Shirai's reign and what's next as well as why Raquel Gonzales was chosen to end the reign.  HHH said Shirai had a monumental reign and is a phenomenal talent.  Raquel has an incredible presence and when you see her, it's hard not to see her as a star.  Her evolution over the last year and a half and you look at where she was when she came in, she transformed herself into a star.  She put herself into that position.

Michaels said he strolled into a small show and there was Raquel standing there with Dakota and he said, Those two are going to be stars.  Raquel was homegrown and her work ethic is second to none.  Watching her journey has been one of the most impressive and feel good stories.  It's great to see her get recognized.  Io Shirai is money.  She can be banked on delivering every night. Takeover to live event to TV.  She proves she's the best in the world every night.

They were asked what was next for Io Shirai and whether she might be main roster bound.  HHH said there is always more to achieve in NXT but whatever Io wants to do, she has earned that right, whether it's move on or take time off or go for another run at the NXT title.  He said that everyone always assumes when someone loses or has a bump in the road, there's a belief they are moving on and leaving NXT.  There's always the next competitor and challenge.  He doesn't see it as Io lost and she's moving on.

Michaels said that the best women's division in all the world is NXT, so why would you go elsewhere.

They were asked about Erik Rowan tweeting he wanted to face WALTER.  HHH said everyone wanted to face Tyson until they got punched in the mouth.  He said WALTER is a machine and he makes the simplest things mean everything.  He gets the most mileage out of everything and has built an aura for himself that is rare.  He's excited to go home and be back in NXT but HHH can't wait to get him back here.  You put his name next to a lot of people and you get excited.

Michaels said that WALTER is faithful to NXT UK.  He's going to be that champion for a long, long time.

I asked them about WALTER potentially coming to NXT in the States consistently and remain European based.  HHH said if he wants to do both, he can.  The travel isn't much longer than flying from NYC to Los Angeles.  The door is open for him but it comes down to travel restrictions.  Michaels said if the world would work with him, they would do everything they can to go him everywhere he wants to go.  It's up to the world to let them to do that but WALTER sees the possibilities now that he's been here.

They were asked by Jim Varsallone what each of them brings to the NXT table in the other's eyes.  HHH said that after 25 years of working alongside Shawn and knowing the psychology and ring smarts.  He said that he felt that Shawn would be the most important person they could bring to NXT.    They have worked for so long and think so much alike that when they start working on ideas and riff off each other, he doesn't know there's a better combination when it comes to creating ideas.

Shawn said they get to be creative and sit together the way they used to driving when they are in a car.  He said that every week, he thanks HHH for letting him continue to let this (WWE) be his job.  Learning the production aspect of the wrestling business allows him to learn something that he never knew before.  He pointed out that many of the camera angles and shots tonight came directly from HHH.  He's trying to learn and glean that.  They've had a great friendship and they get to extend it to the NXT product.

They joked how hard it was to put each other over after years of ribbing each other.  They joked they are like Stadler and Waldorf.

Shawn was asked by Jason Powell how involved he gets in the tag team division.  He said there are always something from the Rockers or DX in every team they have and it makes you feel good when you see a little hint of something that you used to do and then you can add to it.  He said he and Marty Jannetty were really innovative in 1988 but these guys have taken it well beyond them.  One of his joys is helping them expand to that.

HHH said they have lots of great people who help them, producers and beyond.  HHH said he's worked with everyone on down and he'll put his money on Sarah D'Amoto, Matt Bloom, Steve Corino.  Everyone is just trying to make everyone the best talents they can.  Shawn tosses in Finlay and William Regal and said they have so many people from different backgrounds and experiences that helps makes the talents today the most well rounded they can be.

They were asked about a talent meeting last week.  HHH said that if he wanted everyone to know he would have printed a memo and gave it to everyone and let it leak.  He said it was no different from other regular meetings.  He said there was nothing brought up about other talents and people and it was a motivational meeting to let talents know where things were going and why.  Michaels said he never speaks at those meetings and joked he was out of the loop.

Michaels was asked about the stare down he had with Adam Cole and whether he had the itch for one more big bout in NXT.  Shawn said he just saw Cole was staring at him so he stared back.  He joked he was going to take him out, then laughed and said he loves Cole, he's one of his guys.  It was just one of those fun moments coming out of bringing the Ladder into the Escobar vs. Devlin situation.  He said it's one of those things where you wish you were 10-15 years younger because you'd know how cool it could be.

Toni Storm vs. Zoey Stark was brought up.  HHH said Storm is one of the most talented women in the world but Zoey Stark is a woman who came in the door and they gave her opportunities and she keeps knocking it out of the park, so you know you can go with it.  Moving Zoey forward doesn't hurt Storm.  Moving her up gives everyone more talents to put her in the ring with.  You want to make as many stars as you can.  The momentum of the win or less is what matters.  He doesn't believe the loss hurt Storm's momentum but it added to Stark's momentum.

Michaels said that Stark has caught everyone by design.  You keep giving them opportunities if they deliver.  HHH said they are excited to have her here and she's in the mix.  She's been here for three months and she's moved herself into the mix.  HHH said the first person he saw working out this AM when he walked in was Stark training and later before the show she was training.  She's a machine and the sky is the limit.

HHH thanked everyone for taking part and thanks Shawn for joining him.  HHH said he usually thinks about how he'd never want to be the guy followed a Takeover show and now he's the guy who has to follow it.  He previewed the card for Night Two.

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