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Triple H on How NXT Is Doing Since Going Live, Says Talent Won’t Be Abruptly Pulled From NXT Anymore

November 2, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Triple H WWE Hall of Fame

– Triple H spoke about the changes NXT has gone through since going live during the first episode of Corey Grave’s After the Bell. Speaking with Graves, The Game discussed what he’s been happy about regarding the changes and how the old method of pulling people abruptly from NXT to put them on Raw or Smackdown is going to change now that NXT is its own brand.

Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:

On he he feels about NXT’s live era so far: “I’m excited [with] where we are. It’s a funny thing. First of all, did you ever think we’d get to this point? … And all the steps that it took it along the way to getting it where it is, is very cool to see. But I’m thrilled with where it is. There’s a lot of speculation and a lot of conversation made about, ‘Oh, the Wednesday Night War and what they’re doing, what we’re doing.’ Look, it’s never been about that for me. Regardless of placement, anything else, we’re on Wednesday nights. We stayed on Wednesday nights, whether anybody wants to believe it or not. Because that was the viewing pattern, right? Wednesday nights.”

On going to two hours: “I’ve been saying for a long time, the one thing that I felt NXT could use is a bit more time. We were at a point where we had a pretty robust bullpen, a bench of talent waiting to go. But in a one-hour show, when you’re building to the next Takeover or whatever, you just don’t have the room to keep debuting talent and getting people out there, and giving them that opportunity as you’re trying to tell that episodic storytelling. So it became the curse of the one-hour. Awesome ability to digest it quickly, fun show, all that stuff.

“But you run out of room to debut. And I think this has opened up that door to us getting new characters out there, new talent out there. Giving new opportunities, and you’ll see more and more of that. In the first few weeks, you want to build up these epic shows around the talent you have that are as named as possible. So the first [episode] of that 10/2 show was almost like a Takeover in a way. I feel like in the last week or so, we’ve really come into the smooth transition back into what NXT is. The storytelling, the characters. Kind of building those long-range stories, and then letting them deliver in the ring. I’m happy, because I don’t feel like it’s changed. I don’t feel like the product has changed, I don’t feel like NXT has morphed into becoming something else, or trying to pretend to be Raw or Smackdown. It is what it is, and that’s the exciting part about it. For me, it’s not about today; it’s about the long-range.”

On talent getting pulled from NXT to Raw or Smackdown: “That will change now. It was before where it was just like, ‘Hey this is what we need, this is the moment we needed it.’ You know, when Vince called and said, ‘I need –‘ Basically, ‘I need your entire women’s division from NXT.’ And I was like ‘Oh my god. Like, the whole thing?’ And he was like, ‘Well not the whole thing.’ And he listed the talent, I’m like, ‘Well, that’s everyone!’ And what I had said then was, ‘Can you leave me Asuka? If you leave me Asuka, I can tentpole her and build the rest of it around her, and then no problem.’ But you know, all those women kind of went at the same time, and there was a plan for more to come right after that. So I was like, ‘Man that’s tough'”
On why that won’t happen anymore: “Now you put yourself in a position where you sort of can’t do that. You have to give some considerations to the other brand, so there needs to be longer-term plans laid out. ‘Hey, this person’s gonna move to Raw. But they’re gonna move in February. This person’s gonna move in June. We’ll also be down a program with this person here. You guys have interest in that?’ So we can begin to take back and begin to take things that are, you know, they don’t have something for somebody. If I see somebody that’s just sitting, not doing anything and I think, ‘You know what? I’ve got a big idea for that person,’ great.”

On if we’ll see more people jump back to NXT like FInn Balor: “I do, yeah. I think now, this is sort of the template of whatever is on the table. If you look at the roster, there’s going to be times when they’re like, ‘Look, until the next draft comes or whatever, this talent’s here, but they’ve kind of worked with everybody. And we’re going to finish up this program with them.’ And then we almost inherently need to sit them down for three months, or six months or whatever that is just to clear this up, so we can get to the other side. Then when we do the switch it’s all new again. ‘Great, give them to me, I’ll take them.’ Like you mentioned the territories, I’ll take them. Here’s the window and here’s what I’m going to do with you in that window for the most part, barring all the other things that can happen. It’s a cool opportunity.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s After the Bell with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.