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Triple H Talks Halloween Havoc Return, Finn Balor Finding His Passion, COVID-19 Protocols in Post-Takeover Media Call

October 4, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Triple H - Mae Young Classic WWE NXT

Triple H spoke to media following NXT Takeover 31 and answered questions about the return of Halloween Havoc, Finn Balor’s performance, their safety protocols for the fans in attendance and more. You can check out a recap below of the media call, as well as the full audio via Fightful:

* Triple H thanks everyone for appearing and said he had high expectations. He noted that they had to “make a lot of chicken salad” in the build of it, noting that it had to come together quickly due to injuries and COVID-19. He said that this was a game-changer for NXT with the addition of the live fans in pods with people that they know, and emphasized the safety measures, as well as the impact that fans bring to their events. He said that the talent delivered across the board and said NXT delivers something different stylistically to their performers and the matches they can put out. He singled out Kushida, Isaiah Scott, Santos Escobar and Kyle O’Reilly as having great breakout performances.

* He added that he is excited for Halloween Havoc and mentioned that, as reported, Kyle O’Reilly was being evaulated and Finn Balor was taken to the hospital for X-rays to his jaw.

* Asked about the return of Halloween Havoc, Toni Storm and Ember Moon, Triple H said that just when you think the women’s division can’t get any stronger, Toni Storm and Ember Moon come out and make their returns. He pointed out that Moon came back from a near-career ending injury and that she was so excited it was hard for her not to be smiling. He added that he asked her who she wanted to work with and she gave him a 12-person list. He put over the level of competition in NXT and said they’ve been discussing her return for a while, and it just worked out to be now.

As for Halloween Havoc, he says it’s just an exciting event and a way to have some fun and entertain. He noted that he always used to look forward to it and said that it’s bringing back something fans enjoy which is a great thing.

* The next question was whether NXT will be part of the draft and whether its time for some talent like the Garganos to move on. He reiterated that if he knew he would say, but he doesn’t regarding whether NXT will be in the Draft. He ntoed that the great thing to him about WWE is that there opportunities everywhere whether its NXT, NXT UK or what. He said that he doesn’t see it as someone needing to move just because they’ve been there for a long time. People used to stay for long periods of time and when they moved it was meaningful. He said people are impatient today and they want to see matches from people across brands, but if you can wait it becomes even bigger. He pointed out that the storytelling is important and that things have to play out. He said that Johnny Gargano and Candice LaRae are “just getting rolling” and there’s a lot more to play out there.

* He was asked about the logistics of the Capitol Wrestling Center and if that will be permanent for the PC. Triple H said they’re working through that as they speak, because it changes the dynamic of the Center and that main room. He noted that training has resumed, but ot at the Performance Center and they’ll amplify that. A lot of things that were part of the PC in terms of rehab facilities, medical facilities, and the like will stay at the PC and talent will have to shift around a bit more. Talents will train together in their specific groups to keep safety going in the COVID-19 era. They ended up gutting things as they shifted around in order to make the Capitol Wrestling Center.

* Asked what his ideal draft scenario is for talent, Triple H said he prefers whatever’s best for talent. He noted that there’s been a lot of movement from the Perfromance Center to NXT and that they want to make sure they have the best notice for when talents moves in or out and that’s not always possible. But for the most part they have notice and there are even some roster members still waiting to debut.

* The next question was about Ridge Holland’s attack on Adam Cole. Triple H said he’s a great performer, and that he’s viewed highly by performers and Coaches. He mentioned the moment where he nearly injured Johnny Gargano, saying it was just a timing thing and that there’s a fine line between something being sports entertainment and something very real. He pointed out Balor heading to the hospital and said there’s no fault there, pointing out that they take care of talent as best they can in the ring but things sometimes happen and it’s not a Holland screw-up. He said Holland was very skilled and people are excited about working with him.

* He was asked about the return of Halloween Havoc along with the return of In Your House earlier this year, and whether they might bring other older names and concepts back. He said it depends on the moment, and what resonates today. He said there are certain things like IYH and Halloween Havoc that work today, noting the fan nostalgia for Halloween Havoc and calling it a great way to have some fun and do something different with the show, and if they have those opportunities then great. He said that fans love the history of the business, just like he does. That’s why the new PC venue is the Capitol Wrestling Center and why the cold open for the show had references to the McMahons. When they can create something new with a throwback feel, he’s excited for it.

* The next question asked about how COVID-19 safety protocols were handled, and if the CWC could be the new home for WWE once the contract for the Thunderdome ends. He said that Raw and Smackdown should have a different vibe and energy, and if they move from Amway Center it will be to a larger facility and stay as the ThunderDome. He emphasized that they are saill partnered with Full Saild and that they needed somewhere with a residency and this was what worked best. He said that they worked with the CDC and local authorities to make sure they were doing everything they needed to in terms of testing and said the fans in attendance were tested, they were also scanned and ketp in groups, walked to their pods and then walked back as pods. He said they have to keep an eye on the CDC protocols to keep up to date with them, and that everyone is doing the best they possibly can.

* Asked about Finn Balor being candid about saying he needed a break last year and how it felt seeing him inspired back in NXT. He said that it’s awesome to see him return and be fired up, and said every talent goes through periods where they are fully engaged and others where they end up coasting a little bit trying to get through. He said sometimes it’s just a new challenge, a new feuds or a brand move. He noted the different vibe and energy in NXT with young talent trying to get to the next level, and said there’s a lot of hunger and drive which is sometimes what is needed to inspire people out of the rut they’re in. He saw it in Finn, and said he loves coming to the PC because when you’re in the room with the men and women here you leave energized that sometimes going back to your roots is what you need. He said Finn has a lot of passion for the business and passion for the business is the beauty of it all to him. He said that tonight was about a crew that was passionate about putting out a new product, and they poured their heart and soul into the arena.

* He concluded the show by thanking everyone and said he’s proud of the show, and he looks forward to doing it again on NXT on Wednesday, saying he hopes its a bit of normalcy coming back for people.

If you use any of this recap, please credit 411mania.com.