WWE COO Triple H took part in a conference call with members of the wrestling media on Thursday to talk about NXT and tomorrow night’s NXT TakeOver: Dallas live special on the WWE Network. Here are some highlights from the call:
* Triple H welcomed everyone to the call, as well as new members of international media who are taking part in the call.
* Triple H touted tomorrow night’s TakeOver: Dallas live special on the WWE Network, talking about the big matches on the card.
* Triple H talked about the upcoming Global Cruiserweight Series this summer, noting the qualifying matches taking place at EVOLVE, PROGRESS and RevPro.
* Triple H announced that Rich Swann of NXT, Zack Sabre Jr. from EVOLVE, Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Noam Dar of the UK, Ho-Ho Long from China and Akira Tozawa from Dragon Gate in Japan.
* Triple H announced that NXT will run another tour of the UK in June, starting from 6/8 to 6/10 at the Download Festival, then running live events in Dublin and Belfast, Ireland, followed by Bournemouth and Plymouth, England.
The call then went to questions from the media:
* Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com asked about if Austin Aries and Shinsuke Nakamura are specifically signed to NXT and if other talents down the line might be signed specfically for NXT. Triple H said that NXT is a brand unto itself and he wants to present it at way. If talents signed to NXT are good enough for the main roster, then they will have the chance to go there. He noted that many talents have called up wanting to go to NXT and it says a lot about NXT as a brand.
* Johnson also asked about the specifics of the Global Cruiserweight Series and how its gonna be run between WWE and the other indies they are working with. Triple H said they are working it out as they go, but if I’m an indy company and WWE is gonna be working with us for this Global Cruiserweight Series, then its a win-win for them. Triple H noted that he is a big fan of the indies and its helps the health of the business overall.
* Brian Fritz asked about if there could possibly be more than 4 TakeOver specials per year. Triple H said he is happy with where they are at now, but if we can increase it, that’d be great.
* Fritz also asked about the teases & vignettes of talent going to the main roster and if that will continue with NXT talent debuting or for the Global Cruiserweight Series. Triple H said he takes it on a case-by-case basis, noting the No Way Jose vignettes.
* Neil Docking of Mirror Online asked about PROGRESS’s qualifying matches in April for the Global Cruiserweight Series and if WWE production would be there because of WWE’s UK tour ending around the same time. Triple H said he doesn’t know what he’s doing tomorrow, but he feels to let those companies do what they do and allow those talents to be seen by a larger audience.
* Docking also asked if other UK promotions will be part of the Global Cruiserweight Series. Triple H said that it depends, he’s open to working with companies that he feels are doing a good job.
* Docking also asked about Zack Sabre Jr. and Noam Dar being part of the series. Triple H said that is thanks to his team of scouts, including William Regal, scouting these talents and coming back to him with their recommendations.
* Digital Spy asked about the thought by many fans that NXT TakeOver could blow away Wrestlemania 32. Triple H said that people say a lot of things and its their opinions. Its a double-edged sword for him, but its gonna make everybody better. At the end of the day, NXT and Wrestlemania, its all WWE.
* Miami Herald asked about the visual production for the debuts of Aries and Nakamura at TakeOver. Triple H says he’s looking for them to be the performers that they are. Whoever you are, when you walk into WWE from somewhere else, its a completely different production from what we do to what others do and its a learning curve for new performers.
* They also asked about NXT running 2 shows on one night and if that will continue. Triple H says yes because of how much NXT has grown and having Florida shows and tours across the US allows for the newer talent to get their reps in and gain experience. Triple H noted how much the Florida fans love getting to see the new talent develop in their ascent onto NXT TV and beyond.
* Justin Labar of Wrestlezone.com asked about the Global Cruiserweight Series and if the end goal is to have a Cruiserweight Champion. Triple H said that it’ll be an event unto itself and then from there, its up in the air, whether there will be a Cruiserweight Division, a title, etc. There are a lot of ideas being floated about. He’s hopeful that it becomes an annual event.
* Jason Namako of Wrestleview.com asked about Triple H being backstage at the EVOLVE event in Orlando back in January and his thoughts on attending the show live, as well as WWE’s continued partnership with EVOLVE and WWN. Triple H said that being there that night was like a trip back in time because that is how he started in wrestling. Getting to see a lot of the young, hungry talent and the excitement level that’s there, I love those events and being able to see them when I can, when time permits, and getting to see and speak to Gabe for a few minutes was great. EVOLVE runs a good and very capable promotion and as many avenues there are for young talent to be a part of is great to get reps in front of fans and hopefully have that opportunity to become more, its good for everybody.
* Namako also asked about Shinsuke Nakamura’s debut tomorrow night at TakeOver and what about Nakamura stands out to Triple H that NXT fans should be ready to see. Triple H said that Nakamura has an amazing charisma and personality and its something you can’t really teach. Triple H notes how people ask him about Nakamura and he hears people say that he’s like Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury, but he hits you really hard and has this intense style. Its tough to picture it, but it really works. He has this charisma where when you are done watching him, you’re gonna go, “Oh, I just watched something special.” There are certain talent that come along that I feel that way about and he’s one of them.
* Scott Fishman finally asked about the creative process of new hires to NXT and if they try to separate them from their original names, personas compared to back in the day. Triple H said that if there is a value to the name, then they will try and keep that, noting Samoa Joe.
* Fishman also asked about the rumors of Vince McMahon not liking NXT. Triple H said he is sure spending money on something he doesn’t like, don’t believe everything you read. With talent down, if Vince can make money on something as a promoter, he will. He is a big fan of NXT and their audience. Yes, they do sometimes disagree on things, but those rumors are inaccurate.
* Triple H thanked everyone for taking part on the call, its an exciting time with Wrestlemania weekend, NXT, the Global Cruiserweight Series, the Hall of Fame, etc. He noted how great the Kay Bailey Arena looks and how it will look for TakeOver tomorrow night.
You can check out the full audio below.