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Triple H Says Running Great American Bash Opposite Fyter Fest is ‘Part of Healthy Competition’

July 7, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Triple H WWE Hall of Fame

Triple H discussed WWE running the NXT Great American Bash opposite AEW Fyter Fest and more in a new interview with Sports Illustrated. Some highlights are below:

On when Adam Cole proved to him that he belonged as NXT Champion: “You see it on camera, but Adam Cole is so good, so consistently good, that it is easy to look past him as our cornerstone. He never seems to have a down moment, even backstage. He’s just consistently a professional, and there is never is doubt in my mind who he is and the level of performance he’s going to give. He makes it look so easy and so smooth. He’s also a locker room leader, but he’s not the guy saying, ‘I want to be a locker room leader.’ He leads without even trying to assume the role. People look at him for his consistency.”

On when he knows that the time is right for a title change: “So much of this business comes down to guts and feel. There are a lot of people I trust, like Shawn [Michaels], that have experience and a feel for this. When it’s time for a change, you can feel that momentum. There is no math behind it or science to it. The best in our business, they know that feel. That’s always been the art of what we do, which is a little harder right now without 15,000 people in the building giving us their feedback. But that’s what it comes down to for me, the feel.”

On Keith Lee: “Keith brings a big presence, and he carries such enormous respect with him. He is a moment-maker and a reason to watch, and he knows that, but he’s also super open to a different manner of doing things. When he first came in, there were some frustrating points. He wanted more, but I saw that ability. There were little gaps in his game, and the goal was for us to help him to be even more huge. He has limitless, pun intended, talent, with all the tools and ability, but we wanted to sharpen him up first before we let him loose. The second you let him go, as you see now, no one can take their eyes off him, everyone is watching.”

On NXT running Great American Bash opposite AEW Fyter Fest: “It absolutely is part of healthy of competition. Anyone that thinks it isn’t, to a degree, is being naive to the situation. You saw that back in the day when Clash of Champions was counter-programming [to WrestleMania IV ]. At the same point, it can’t drive your booking decisions. Obviously there are counter-programming decisions, but I can tell you exactly how this came about. Almost all of these storylines were headed where they are now. There was a gap, timing wise, between In Your House and what will become the SummerSlam TakeOver, and you need a halfway point and a build. This is that halfway point. So it doesn’t change our decision-making process. I don’t counter-book, I book what’s right for NXT.”

On Sasha Banks: If there is [anyone operating on a higher level], it’s a very short list, and that’s a list that also includes Bayley. They’re on fire right now. Sasha-Io, that’s a match people say was a four-day build, but it was built much earlier than that. You just couldn’t promote it until we did. Sasha and Bayley, having them on the show is awesome. We have this collegiate-type pride where people want to come back to NXT. People carry that pride, and almost everyone that leaves calls me up and says, ‘Hey, I’d love to find a way to do something.’ Sasha and Bayley blow up my phone with ideas, and you can see the spark in their eye when they walk back in. It’s so much fun.”

On how the NXT roster can stand out without the benefit of a crowd: “How can talent stand out? By not being safe, and I don’t mean not being safe in the physical sense, but rather in their creative decision-making process. Without a crowd, you have to look at it as a little bit of freedom. It’s really easy to be an older talent and want to try something different. But when you’re in front of a crowd, they want to see you play your greatest hits. That gets the biggest reaction. When there is no crowd, you have that ability to be less safe in your decision-making process. Reactions are less immediate so you can experiment a little more. And when crowds come back, and the excitement level is contagious, my hope is that the talent keeps some of that freedom to experiment.”