WWE held a conference call today to promote tomorrow night’s WWE NXT Takeover: Chicago live special on the WWE Network. Adam Hopkins welcomed everyone and passed things over to Triple H who opened and thanked everyone for being on the call before stating that it is an exciting week for the company as today, the 90 minute UK show from Norwich airs, which he said was excellent and said that he is looking forward to people seeing it and that it is another step in them localizing content and getting things established around the globe. Triple H said that it is a process and they want to do it correctly as opposed to quickly and that tomorrow, they have Takeover from one of his favorite buildings in the world, The Allstate Arena and that he looks forward to bringing the unique NXT brand to the building and its audience and thinks that it will be a great card before putting over Roode vs. Itami, stating that Itami is ready to make a statement after all of his setbacks to date and then put over the Women’s Match and the Tag Team Match and said that the Tag Team Match might be the last chapter in the feud and said that the Authors of Pain have not been in the business long, but that they have come a long way and they have impressed him, while DIY are great too. Triple H said that he is looking forward to Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne in a rematch from their Title Match and said that he wanted to now thank everyone for an ultra successful WrestleMania week and said that it will continue to grow and said that he will provide more information on the upcoming Women’s Tournament as time goes by and that is something he is excited for. Triple H then said that it is now time for his favorite part of the calls, the question and answer session.
The first caller asked about this being Hideo Itami’s biggest match in the United States and that if this match does not go well for him, is this then the end of the line for him. Triple H said that if this match does not work out, he does not know, but will decide then and said that he likes to look at things from a positive point of view and said that Itami went from being a big star in Japan to having a lot of setbacks and that part of it was Itami finding his way in NXT and said that it happens at times and it is a confidence and comfort thing, but he is a good guy and has worked hard, so when he got injured, he felt bad for Itami and thinks that he is a big player and will rise to the occasion and if he does not, then they will discuss it and he will see what Itami wants to do and they will go from there. The same caller asked that since this was a quick turnaround for Takeover, are we looking at more frequent Takeover events. Triple H said that this one was more of a perfect storm, since there was such a long time period between WrestleMania and SummerSlam, plus the fact that it was in Chicago and he has wanted to get there with a Takeover since the beginning and it fit perfectly on the WWE Network too.
The next caller asked about the return of Drew Galloway and how he has reinvented himself. Triple H said that at the time when Drew left the WWE, it was the best thing that could have happened to him and he has always been extremely talented, but he needed to walk away and go and prove himself and HHH really respects that he did it and said that Drew took the challenge and won it, went out and proved himself and added that he thinks that Jinder Mahal is another person in that vein and said that both men are different guys now and said that sometimes guys get in the rut of being in the WWE and they may not be where they want on the card, but they are making good money and it is not easy to take the chance to gamble on yourself, so he respects that. Triple H was then asked about whether the call-ups to the main roster has changed his approach to how he presents NXT and said that it can be hard, but it is also what the brand has been designed for, to create talent for the main roster and said that it takes time to get things going after getting gutted, but it is a process and you have to be aware of that. HHH also mentioned that it also happens off camera and they have had a lot of their team called up as well and that it is a process that they have to go through and mentioned the passing of Dusty Rhodes and how that was a big hurdle to overcome and thinks that they are getting into a great place with all of the projects that they have going on right and he is happy to be able to give them all exposure on the WWE Network and said that if you’re a fan, you need to have it.
The next caller asked if Tommaso Ciampa was injured at the WWE NXT live event last night and said that he turned his ankle, so they got him out of there, he was x-rayed and there was no serious damage other than it being a sprain and said that he texted with Ciampa and he is up and moving around today, but he will get checked out by medical, however as of now, he’s good to go tomorrow and would hate for him to miss out tomorrow as he and Johnny have a lot of history in Chicago. The same caller asked if there is a backup plan if he can’t go. HHH said that they don’t know and will see how it goes today and if it worsens, then he will work on it later today.
The next caller asked about what they are looking for in talent for the upcoming Women’s Tournament, to which HHH said that they want it to be global and said that when the idea started, they did not know how high end that they could make it and how big, but when they started to scout women, they found a lot of gems out there and they realized that it wouldn’t be hard to fill a big tournament and said that there are a lot of women that should be in it that won’t make it due to them wanting to make it global and said that they are looking for the talents in the same manner that they did for last year’s Cruiserweight Classic and that now they just have to decide what will be the best matchups in the tournament. The same caller asked about having female refs to which HHH said that it is something that they have been working on for a while and said that he does not see gender and as long as they are a good ref and can do a match, that is all that matters.
The next caller asked about whether the UK Title match at NXT Chicago will be a good barometer for him in regards to the English talent in the United States. HHH said that he does not really look at it that way and thinks that if fans see them wrestle, it will sell them and he wants to keep the UK talent in the mix as they get the territory ready to go and said that they kept them active during WrestleMania weekend and wants to keep growing them and talked about how young Bate and Dunne are and said that their upside is huge and can see them coming to NXT and the main roster down the line before stating that it is great for UK fans to see their guys grow and evolve. The same caller asked about great it was to have Jim Ross back calling matches. HHH said that it is phenomenal and said that Jim Ross has been through a lot with his wife’s passing and said that he is sort of glad it’s coming to be and talked about how great Jim Ross is and how he needs to be involved with WWE in whatever capacity and that it is great for Jim Ross to have work to dive back into and said that he can’t wait to see him tomorrow and knows that Ross will add so much to the product and the brand as he brings the great style and credibility that he has to the brand.
The last caller asked about Roderick Strong and how he is adapting. HHH said that he thinks that he is adapting very well, he’s a great talent, a hard worker and a great guy, but he is not an outsized personality, so they needed to find a way to have him connect with people and sure, he could write a character for him, but his real story is better than any fiction and said that he talked with Roddy and he was willing to make his real story his TV story and said that it has allowed him to connect to the crowd in a way that he has not before and said that coming to the WWE Performance Center is about growing and becoming something more and thinks he is doing a great job of that as he is young, smart and his future is bright. The same caller asked that after the United Kingdom, what is the next big market for them to conquer. HHH said that is the big question as once the UK is up and running, they then need to decide where to go next and said that it is a big world and there are a lot of places to go and they need to decide where it makes the most sense for them to go and mentioned the Dubai tryout stating that what they offer is a part of the decision and said that they will have strategic conversations to decide the next steps and when they know, they will then tell everyone, but said that it is an exciting time that now you can see worldwide content right on your mobile device and said that he knows what he sees in his head, but he can’t say what is in Vince’s head and said that if you’re a fan of what they do, as the fan he is, then it’s the most exciting time and it is only going to get bigger and bigger and then said that before he does his wrap up, WWE NXT will be touring the UK soon, with a big presence at the Download Festival.
HHH then thanked everyone for their support and put over the upcoming Women’s Tournament and how many female performers past and present have asked him about being involved before noting that Alundra Blayze will be at the WWE Performance Center next week to work with talent, while fellow WWE Hall of Famer Ricky Morton will also be there guest coaching and said that it is exciting that people who have not been around in a while come back and help tomorrow’s talent and talked up the busy weekend of WWE action on the WWE Network and said that is it.