On Thursday, WWE COO Paul “Triple H” Levesque held his quarterly conference call with members of the wrestling media prior to NXT TakeOver: San Antonio.
Below are highlights from the call.
* Triple H welcomes us to the call, especially the international media.
* Triple H says that the build to TakeOver: San Antonio was “challenging” due to many circumstances including the holidays, the shooting schedule and adding a TakeOver in November in Toronto, but still thinks its a “stellar” card.
* Triple H runs down the TakeOver: San Antonio card and gives high praise to Roderick Strong, Andrade Almas, #DIY, Eric Young, The Authors of Pain, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce and the main event of Nakamura vs. Roode.
* Triple H notes the unveiling of the NXT Year-End Awards that will be given during the TakeOver: San Antonio pre-show.
* Triple H heeps high praise on the success of the UK Title Tournament, noting that the goal is for that to turn into a weekly show.
We now go to questions from the wrestling media.
* On the guys that participated in the UK Title tournament being pulled since from different indie bookings, Triple H says that there was confusion from many people, but the talent who signed knew what the deal was and what the restrictions were, that they could not be on indie shows in the UK that would be distributed on VOD platforms, they could only be on the shows that were a live event only. There is a grace period that we are allowing talent to work indies, but they did know coming in what those restrictions were. The confusion is not on our side, or the talent’s side, but on the promoters’ side that decided to change things. You will see announcements in a short period of time that will clear up things for everyone.
* On what the timeline is for a weekly UK series, Triple H says that doing a weekly show is a lot different than doing a tournament. We got the money to do it now, but we’d like to do it where it is beneficial to everybody.
* On what format for a tournament works best, Triple H says that it depends on what the overall goal for the tournament coming out of it. A long-form tournament, like the Cruiserweight Classic, or a two-night tournament, like the UK Title tournament, both work in their own different ways.
* On how the Cruiserweight Division was turned out since the Cruiserweight Classic, Triple H says that feels like it is a work in progress. That there is a growth curve that is going to take place, from both a talent standpoint and a creative standpoint. 205 Live is there to be able to showcase what the Cruiserweights can do it in a more effective manner. But, being on RAW brings a synergy to it and allows them to get much more exposure. Have high hopes for it and in a few years, it will be a staple of what we do.
* On using Shinsuke Nakamura as the fixture of the NXT brand when he could be on the main roster due to his age, Triple H says that there are different components to it. We are a TV product and having someone come in from a different country with a language barrier and no real knowledge of TV production, there is going to be a learning curve in working with those talents to grasp the aspect of working TV. Think Nakamura is great, wanted him in, but he needed to have that experience of working TV. In terms of him working the main roster, its not a matter of if, its a matter of when.
* On having all of these new shows and how to handle all of that, Triple H says that there is the potential of talents migrating from NXT to 205 Live to the upcoming UK series. It gives guys more places to work, more places to succeed and a clearer path to the main roster. Not looking for what to do right now, looking for how to have the pipeline and opportunity level for the next 5-10 years that makes it beneficial for everyone.
* On what the goal is for the UK series and if it would be strictly TV, or adding weekly live events, Triple H says that he wants talents to be able to get in as much work as possible, but at the same time, it has to be quality places for guys to work, places that are there to cultivate talent, not companies with one-off shows. Companies that have storylines and give guys opportunities to work on promos, etc. The goal is for these guys to be able to be full-time pro wrestlers and not have to worry about anything else, but keep it in a professional environment, whether it be with them, or with other quality companies.
* On his thoughts on former UFC fighter turned indie wrestler Matt Riddle, Triple H says that he had a try-out for us and we saw his talent then, but there is a period of time where he had to prove himself. We nudged along his progress to make sure he was taken care of and to see if it was more than promise and it was. He has a bright future and we will see how it goes.
* Finally, on the possibility of airing a NXT TakeOver special on the USA Network to see how it would fare, Triple H says that they have to weigh heavily the options on if it is better on the Network, or on a major cable network, but he likes that NXT is kinda like an exclusive priority on a still-expanding Network that has been able to create all of these opportunities.
Triple H thanked everyone again for being part of the call to close things out.