wrestling / News

Triple H Says NXT Opened the Door for AEW to Be an Alternative, Shawn Michaels on Improvements for NXT on USA Network

September 10, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Shawn Michaels Triple H D-Generation X Raw 10818

Yahoo! Sports recently interviewed WWE executive Triple H and Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels ahead of the upcoming launch of NXT on the USA Network scheduled for this month. Based on Yahoo!’s report, Shawn Michaels appears to be taking a more active role with NXT behind the scenes. Below are some highlights.

Triple H on how NXT will put more of an emphasis on the in-ring product: “We will put more emphasis — like NXT has since Day One — on the in-ring product. If you are a fan of what we do, of the art form of sports entertainment and what happens in the ring, bell to bell, then this is going to be in your wheelhouse. Whereas Raw and Smackdown — this is very important, too — are more of an entertainment show and has something for everybody, this will be a bit more focused and a bit more intense.”

Triple H on Shawn Michaels’ involvement with NXT and the developmental area: “I think it was important for Shawn to put the business down for a little bit and walk away. As he started coming around the PC, it’s hard to come around there and not start to become invigorated by it. It’s like the fountain of youth. The excitement is contagious, and I could see him start to get that bug and his gears started to spin. I let him build at his own pace and now Shawn is probably one of the most engaged people in the product, talent and brand.”

Michaels on what they will try to improve in NXT: “We continue to try and improve on things that are innovative, things that will take NXT into the future. We don’t spend a lot of time on what has worked or the foundational aspects or values of the wrestling business as a whole. Creatively, as a group, we try to think about tiers we want to go to, and maybe putting ourselves into uncomfortable situations. If we’re getting like that creatively, I feel like that’s a good place to be in because it means we are stretching ourselves.”

Triple H on how the competition in NXT is with themselves: “For me, it’s about putting on the best show we possibly can whether we had competition or not. The winner, I think, is fans. Competition brings out the best in people and I think that’s what will happen here. For me, the competition is with ourselves — to constantly raise the bar, to be something better — and I don’t just mean in-ring, I mean for the business in general, to be leaders. It’s something I challenge everyone at the Performance Center to do every day, create the business the way we want it to be. When we say we are the future, that’s what we mean.”

Triple H on how NXT opened the door for an alternative five years ago: “If you talk about the upstart, what they’re going out and saying is that they’re an alternative. We were that alternative five years ago. We opened the door for being an alternative, we opened the door to show people that it can be done on a bigger level and on a different basis. As far as being the alternative, great, go put on the best show you can put out, and we’ll put out the best one we can put out.”

Michaels on the NXT roster: “I think the NXT roster can go with anybody in the entire world. There are a bunch of unbelievable talents. The wrestling business as a whole is in a phenomenal time. There’s an abundance of talent out there and I think the world is going to get to see it. I’m sure everybody likes to win, but everybody who has a brain can see that this is great for the business. We want to show what we’ve felt for quite some time and that’s that we have the best talent in the world.”