Triple H held a conference call earlier today with reporters in advance of this Saturday’s WWE NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III live special. Adam Hopkins opened the call and welcomed everyone, before passing things over to Triple H who thanked everyone for being on the call. Triple H said that he is excited for the Barclays Center and Takeover as it is NXT’s version of WrestleMania, where things finish up and then start again for the next year and said that he is excited and that they have a lot of things in store and said that he will also be taking questions about the Mae Young Classic if anyone has questions about that topic, noting that taping the show was an amazing experience.
Triple H then said that before he goes any further, he would like to send out his thoughts and prayers in this conference call for Ric Flair, who is one his best friends, his idol and his mentor and said that it has been a rough week for him and his family, but that Ric is a fighter and Ric won’t go down without a fight and said that he hopes to see Ric strutting down the aisle again real soon. Triple H then said that the floor is now open for his favorite part of the conference call, the question and answer session.
The first question asked about Dave Prazak and Gabe Sapolsky working down at the WWE Performance Center, as well as the deals put in place with PROGRESS Wrestling and asked about the relationships with NXT and WWE and whether both men have added to the creative process with NXT. Triple H joked that he did not know about the PROGRESS guys being in Florida and said that he wants to work with people that are in the business of cultivating talent, not people that are just interested in running shows and said that there is an opportunity on both sides with them and they can each learn from each other and they can learn what WWE is looking for when they cultivate new talent for WWE in something of a feeder system. Triple H said that Dave Prazak has been very supportive of women in the business and he thought that it was important to bring him in and said that he called him into a meeting to discuss something and Prazak was surprised that he would ask for his advice and said that all of that is important to him. Triple H said that there was speculation about Gabe and he likes Gabe, noting that he is a smart guy and when he has an opportunity to bring him in and learn from him, then it is good for everybody and said that they are not driving anything in particular, but he will wait and see and said that he likes talent, wherever it comes from and wants to work with people like that and noted that neither are officially employed by the WWE.
The next question asked was how a young Triple H would do in WWE NXT right now. Triple H said that there is an opportunity there and the slate is fresh when people come in and said that when people are in developmental, there are opportunities and that it is up to them to make the most of it, noting that it is a process where he has to gauge where people are and what they are ready for, while also needing to be cognizant of how they’re paired and said that it is a giant puzzle and they have to see where people fit.
The next caller asked if WWE and wrestling in general could have done more for the women’s wrestler earlier than before. Triple H said that maybe it could, but he just thinks that now is the right time for it and said that at this point in time, the women are getting to be the heroes in entertainment and maybe, that means that people are more ready now and all he knows is that the time is right for it now, people like it and are excited for it. HHH noted that when he came up with the idea and pitched it, it took a while to get it accepted and he originally thought it would be 16 women, but then he said that there were at least 32 he could use and it was hard to exclude people and said that when they got to the tournament, he expected it to be good, but he was blown away by how good it was and so was Shawn Michaels, while some of his people said that they thought it was better than the Cruiserweight Classic and said that these are all women that got into the business for the same exact reason as he did and that they saw wrestling as a youngster and thought that it was great and wanted to do it. HHH noted that for the guys, there was always the pot of gold at the end, but it did not exist for the women and they went for the ride anyway and said that it was even hard to find footage of some of them due to lack of opportunities and hopes that little girls watch the tournament and they say that they want to do it too and is excited to show the tournament to the world and can’t wait for them to see it.
The next caller asked about the company releasing many episodes of the tournament at once. HHH said that the world is a changing place, stating that his kids are 11, 9 and 7 and they do not get the concept of watching something at a specific time and said that it is an experiment to get the episodes out in a big way and said that you can watch the First Round in a week, then watch the rest of the tournament the following week and thinks that people will binge watch it and in a couple of weeks, they will go to the live show in Vegas on September 12th and is interested to see first-hand how the binge watch worked.
The next question asked about the Mae Young Classic Finals on September 12th and what the plan is. HHH said that he is not one hundred percent sure yet, but his intent is to make a big promotion around the Finals, with a big build and said that he is not sure how 205 Live will shake out that day, but that the logistics are being worked on. HHH was then asked about how many of the women he thought that the company should sign and if there is a plan in place for a Women’s Only type show, similar to 205 Live with Cruiserweights only. HHH said that he would never say never and things could end up there, noting that the company are experimenting and watching how the world shifts and moves and with the women, it could be different because they could send the women to the 3 brands and beef up the rosters, plus there’s also the United Kingdom and said that he does not know that they need their own show and said that it might make it less than more.
The next caller asked about the company adding more Spanish wrestlers. HHH said that they are constantly looking and recruiting names and that they look everywhere, but that they don’t always find it, however they are always working hard on it. The same caller asked about bringing WWE NXT to Spain, to which HHH noted that at this point, it has to make sense logistically and said that they are trying to get there, but nothing has been finalized just yet.
The next caller noted that there are a lot of NXT alumnus on the SummerSlam card and said that it proves that the system is working. HHH said that it is proof and said that while they take guys from other places, they still have to teach them, but they have also created people like Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair and they are bringing names in and cultivating them and said that it is about 80% of the roster, so the system is working as it should and said that it will never be everything that he wants it to be, but that is because he has such high standards. HHH said that they do all that they can to make the talent succeed and then they need to go and do it and said that he is thrilled with the process and where they are. The same caller asked about taking talent from the main roster and bringing them back to the WWE Performance Center. HHH talked about Jinder Mahal and how the company always had faith in him during his NXT days, but that it did not pan out when he got to the main roster and that Drew McIntyre was in the same boat, noting that they both left to figure some things out and come back ready and they did and that sometimes, guys need to go away and learn to come back and be better than when they left.
The next call asked about the overall card for Saturday’s event. HHH said that the premise of the show is kind of like coming home and redemption and said that the first year in Brooklyn was the turning point for the brand and talked about NXT alumni wanting to come on Saturday, just so they can be in the building to be a part of it. HHH said that it is kind of like a homecoming for Drew McIntyre too and mentioned Bobby Roode spending nearly a year as a pompous Champion. HHH said that Ember and Asuka are ready to go, Hideo Itami has persevered and his heel turn has been great and put over how cool of a guy Aleister Black is. HHH said that he is looking forward to SAnitY vs. Authors of Pain as well as Gargano vs. Almas and questioned if Almas can reinvent himself and whether Johnny can start a Singles run. HHH said that does not even take into account all of the great talent that are not even on the show and said that NXT is a hotbed and the place to be and that this card is the finish of the season, on a high note, however they are starting next season in a higher gear. The same caller asked about what Vince McMahon says when they discuss NXT. HHH said that Vince is excited about NXT and asks when he will get some people on the brand, so he works with his team to get those people ready. HHH said that there are a lot of things he has to get them ready for and when they talk, they exchange what they see with each other and sometimes, that means that he has to tell Vince that he is protecting people for instance, so Vince relies on him and his team and said that he himself wants it to be the best that it can be for all of the talents and that they can’t all be the main event guy, but he wants them all to be ready when they get their opportunity on the main roster and said that they have to give them the tools to do that.
Triple H ended the call apologizing for being late to make the call, but noted that it is SummerSlam week and hopes everyone enjoys Takeover, SummerSlam and the Mae Young Classic and closed the call once again offering his well wishes to Ric Flair.