Triple H hosted a conference call with members of the media this Saturday night following NXT Takeover: WarGames in Los Angeles, California.
The Game discussed everything from the Four Horsewomen, Matt Riddle’s in-ring Takeover debut, testing out new technology, new features at the Performance Center and a whole lot more.
Below is a transcript from the conference call. To fellow editors, if you use any of our transcript in your article, please credit ProWrestling.com with a link to this article.
ON ADDING MATT RIDDLE TO THE CARD DESPITE PREVIOUSLY CLAIMING THE CARD WOULD ONLY HAVE FOUR MATCHES:
“I lied to you. [Laughs] Sometimes I do that. I wasn’t lying to you then. It’s nice to give a surprise. It’s nice to be able to do something cool and different. We built a match for next Wednesday, so people know he’s going to be in the building … It gives you a cool little shocking moment, and just when you think that’s the shocking moment you get this flash K.O. as Kassius Ohno gets knocked out, and you just make Riddle — while he has this aloof personality, when the bell rings, holy cow he’s dangerous. Win-win for everybody.”
HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO TOP EACH SHOW AT EVERY NXT TAKEOVER SPECIAL?
“You always have to top what you did before. That’s the difficult part of this business. But the second you’re done having that match, people are like, ‘Now what you are you going to do?’ That’s the pressure. You always have to take it to another level, but that’s also what makes it so good. I think that’s what makes these kids so good.”
“It’s a massive collaboration of all those talents, all supporting each other and rising up to put on the best show possible. Sarah Amato, Matt Bloom, Shawn Michaels, Steve Corino, Terry Taylor — all the people that are working on a day-to-day basis with the talent. It’s a huge team effort. The crew at the TV studio, the digital teams — all those things.”
ON WWE EXPERIMENTING WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY LIKE VIRTUAL REALITY, AND THE COLOR-CHANGING BRACELETS IN THE CROWD:
“We have Full Sail, the Performance Center, now we have the Content Innovation Lab down there — it’s a think tank, and an experimentation for WWE as a whole. We can try things out, and if it fails it’s okay. It doesn’t get the criticism or the spotlight that Raw and Smackdown, or WRestleMania does. We can try things, and it can work or not work.”
“For us to be able to experiment and get outside the box, see what’s awesome, see what people like, and take this to another level. You don’t want to say it’s ever good enough. This business will change every single day. You never stop learning about it. You never stop trying to transitioning in it. You always have to be willing — the crowd that watches, you have to give them what they want. That ‘want’ is going to change over years, over generations, and you have to be able to morph and shift with it.”
TESTING NEW TECHNOLOGY AND SHOOTING FOOTAGE FOR NXT IN SAN JOSE THIS WEEK:
“What we shot actually went live. It didn’t go anywhere, it didn’t air live, but it went to our studio live. It was an opportunity for us to explore some new technology. It was also an opportunity for us to get some really cool, unique, venue-looking content to place within the shows over the upcoming weeks. You’ll see some of the storylines play into what happened in San Jose. It was an experimentation to get some unique content.”
“It bodes well for us going forward being able to shoot things in a different way, not only television-wise live, but as you said with Network specials, being able to go live, doing something outside of the box that’s unique. As we move forward with fans, it’s reimagining what WWE is, what NXT can put out, what the Network can bring to you — it’s just reimagining all of it. It takes time to do all those things, to make sure that you’re delivering all of it in a seamless way.”
ARE JESSAMYN DUKE AND MARINA SHAFIR READY TO BE IN THEIR NEW POSITION WITH SHAYNA BASZLER ON NXT?
“I wouldn’t put them there if I thought they were going to fail at it. Is it a risk? Yeah. But it’s our job with any talent to try to protect the weaknesses, accentuate their strengths. We saw them do what they did tonight, but it’s not like I’m going to have them running an Ironman match tomorrow. It’s going to be step-by-step, and we’ll get to a place where they’re comfortable. But I feel like they can deliver in the role they’re in.”
“With any talent, especially with homegrown, having never done this before, you always have a doubt if they’re ready for what I’m putting in front of them. They’re protected. They’re around something that allows them to do things we can make them comfortable with. Having seen them, they’ve come into this very fast. If I didn’t have confidence they could do it, I wouldn’t have put them in this spot.”
INJURY UPDATES ON BOBBY FISH & PETE DUNNE:
“[Bobby] came back just fine. He had a moment in the ring — when you’ve had something surgically repaired, the first moment you take a big shot to that surgically repaired thing. there’s a moment where you’re like, ‘Oh my god I did it again!’ And then you realize you’re good. I think it happened to it in the match. He was fine.’
“Pete had broke a little bone, I think in his foot. He was working on it, he went back and found out he broke a bone, and if he wanted it to heal he had to stay off of it for a few weeks. So that’s what we did. He was fine coming into tonight. All the carnage you witnessed tonight, and everything you saw, unless there’s something I haven’t heard yet, pretty much everyone walked out unscathed.”
ON THE FUTURE OF THE NXT UK DIVISION AND POSSIBLE SHOWS IN THE U.S. OR TAKEOVER EVENTS IN THE UK:
“As we come into the beginning of the year, you’ll begin to see that brand expand again. We’ll have a big announcement coming soon … The brand has been wonderfully successful. It took us awhile to get it rolling because we wanted it to be right. We had a couple glitches on our side as far as the timing of it all. But now that it’s up and running, Wednesdays are becoming a massive destination site on the Network for NXT UK, NXT itself and 205 Live. The traffic there has been amazing.”
“The response has been amazing. People love the show almost across the board. It has the same gritty feel of NXT but feels wholly unique. It just feels, while in the same vein as what you love, it’s slightly different, and that was the goal. I’m not happy exactly with everything about it, and we’ll change it — I’d be shocked if I wasn’t constantly changing, and that’s what we’ll do. You’ll see that happen at the beginning of the year, and we’ll announce that in Liverpool.”
ON THE TALENT THAT WASN”T USED AT TAKEOVER, AND THE POSSIBILITY OF MAKING THEM LONGER IN THE FUTURE:
“I don’t feel like it’s a bad thing to have an abundance of talent that you don’t have to overexpose. I would rather do that than see everybody every week. Lars Sullivan wasn’t on the show tonight. EC3. Forgotten Sons. Street Profits. There’s a lot of top people that weren’t on the show tonight. All talent that have the ability to jump up. You’re not going to get the same thing every single Takeover.”
“It also allows us to use social media to evolve these characters on a 24/7 basis. You might not see them every week, but you might go to the Performance Center YouTube that we just launched. We have a team down there that can create content on a 24/7 basis.”
“When I was a kid you didn’t see everybody on TV, and you’d get really excited about when you did see them. It’s part of it — that anticipation, that build. You have to talk about them, you have to keep them fresh in the show. You can’t forget about them. Is it a challenge in a one-hour format? Yeah. But then you start asking, does it start to get too long? I want you to leave tonight wanting more. I love it, but I wish there was more.”
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