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FULL COVERAGE OF TODAY’S TRIPLE H NXT TAKEOVER-MONDAY NIGHT WAR CONFERENCE CALL

By Dave Scherer on 2014-09-10 13:52:22

Adam Hopkins welcomed us to the call with Paul Levesque. We have more international callers on the line. He joked that he was playing the piano on the hideous waiting room music.

HHH said that he was happy to be here and he is hesitant to call NXT developmental anymore. He said it was more like college football to pro football. He said that he sees NXT like ECW was back in the day, an alternative and a feeder system. I agree on that. He mentioned that the show was on the Network, for $9.99 (he was joking). He talked about the Fatal Four Way match for the NXT Title, talking about the four competitors and how good they are. He mentioned Charlotte vs. Bayley for the NXT Title and talked about how proud he is of the division. He talked about the hair vs. hair match and guaranteed someone would be shaved bald. He promoted KENTA’s debut and how it’s part of WWE’s global initiative. And lastly, he talked about the great partnership that they have with Full Sail University. He said that over the next few days they will be giving out more scholarships there. He said that they use the money from the NXT shows to fund the scholarship fund. This week, they will top $100,000 in scholarships that they have given out.

Mike asked the first question. He mentioned Monday’s NXT crossover on TV this week and asked if we would see more of an NXT experience on the Raw shows and cross-pollination.

HHH said that they were open to doing that in a lot of different ways. He said that it’s in the conversation. He said that it depends on the situation. He said that in this case, it was done to promote four talents for Thursday’s show. He said that anything new will feel fresh, but he also doesn’t think that anyone would watch them and think they are developmental. He said now it’s just a matter of bringing them up in the manner that they want to bring them up.

Mike asked when we would see Kevin Steen and Fergal Devitt.

H said that there was a plan in place. His goal is to bring them up in the biggest way possible. He said he wants to make sure that they are all put out there in the biggest way possible. He wants to make them all as big a star as possible.

Mike wrote the next part:

Dave then jumped on the call.  Dave brought up the ECW comparison and said that NXT is different from the main product and it should be.  He asked about using NXT more as an assett to push the Network, noting they could use NXT talents as a subset on Raw and even do live events on the Network.  HHH said they are open to all of that and it's a work in progress that they are figuring out as they go.  He wants to figure out the best way to spotlight them while also keeping it special.  He said letting them break out on Raw and Smackdown every week means they are now on Raw and Smackdown.  He wants it to be special.  He said that he loves hearing from fans that they bought the Network for the PPVs and discovered NXT and it's their favorite thing.  He said the best platform is still a work in progress and they are working to figure out what's best for NXT, Raw and Smackdown.

Dave said there are so many talented guys in NXT that they could touch upon something similar to the NWO or an Invasion by having a group that wants to take their spot and seize the moment.  HHH said that's not off the table and they pitch ideas to Vince and then it bubbles back down.  HHH said that if you want to make the ECW comparison, he wants to be WCW.  Dave said that's a great goal.

Dave asked him about the learning curve and experience upon taking over developmental.  HHH said it's never what you expect things to be and you have to be open to learning and finding out new things.  You never stop learning about the wrestling business because it changes every single day and if you think you have all the answers, you are wrong.  Things that worked ten years ago won't work today and if you don't grow and change, you are done.  He said that what he wanted developmental to be in his head and where he could see it going, this is what he envisioned and what he went and pitched to Vince McMahon.  They talked about it.  He said they were victims of their own success and they all the other places were gone and they had to create their own future.  He had the vision and how they got there was the hard work.  He wanted a new platform and place for them to work that was as professional as it can be.  He toured all the major training centers for sports team and would place the Performance Center up against any of them.  He wanted the best of the best and getting there was the hard work.

HHH invited the media to come down and noted that the editor of Muscle & Fitness was just at the Performance Center and went through a workout camp for an article.  He joked it took the guy three days to replay to emails after. 

Jason Powell asked about Kevin Steen, KENTA and Fergal Devitt retaining their names so far.  He said changes could be coming but he also not going to put his head in the dirt and ignore what's come before.  He realizes that these guys have a following and to ignore that doesn’t make sense. He said he has always felt that way, going back to the Curtain Call at MSG. He said that guys that bring name value will have to have that used. They will WWE-ize it, but they don’t want to act like what they did never existed. He said that there are the fans that only know WWE so they have to bring them up to speed too. He said that he doesn't want to pretend what they did prior to this didn't exist and that changes could be coming and they will be involved and happy with where they changes come.  He said you use what they have when they bring to the table when he come in and then you build from there.

Back to Dave!

HHH was asked if there are any mainstream athletes that they have recruited that they can report on.  He said that they have a loose working relationship with the NFLPA and they have a few name guys that they are close to bringing in but they don’t want to put any names out there until it’s a done deal. To H it’s about finding the best athletes in the world and he doesn’t care where he finds them. They can come from anywhere. It could be an actor or Olympic guy or NFL player. If they are good, they’re good. That is the way it was in the old days. The Road Warriors were bouncers he said. They became one of the greatest tag teams in the history of the business.

Scott Fishman asked how the NXT guys were received backstage, as if WWE talent wondered if they need to step up.

H said he loves to watch the way people in the business react. At first, they were like do well guys. Then it was kind of like, well NOT THAT WELL! He said that Fergal, Steen and KENTA are good, real good, so everyone should know that and up their intensity. He said it’s fun for him to see that kind of competitiveness. He referenced the Attitude Era and how that is what he knows, and how they all wanted to be the best and outdo each other. He said the worst thing is guys getting complacent.

He was asked to compare the creative process with WWE vs. NXT, do they use NXT stuff for WWE use later?

He said sure, it’s a petri dish in NXT and they try things there and then bring them up to WWE to see if they will work. He said what works in front of 600 fans is often different than what works at Madison Square Garden. He also pointed out that the people working production down in NXT are the people they hope to have doing it years from now.

The next caller asked how he felt after the NXT performance on Raw.

He was beaming. He was very proud of his guys and what they did. He loved watching them step up to the next level and react to it. He said he was even prouder that when they came in the back, they had learned and grown from it, which makes him happy. He told a great story of how he said to Bray Wyatt, “Is this your first time headlining Madison Square Garden” and how happy it made Bray.

He was asked about Mick Foley, how instrumental he was to H’s career and if he made him a better performer.

He said absolutely. He said that all of the guys did that for each other back then. He talked about Foley’s match against H for the Title and how it was when Mick wanted to step up to the next level. H wanted to prove himself as a top guy. He said he loved Mick and he helped make H a better character since Mick was so loved. He said he jokes with Mick about being a crazy character at one point, and then lovable later on. He said he was instrumental in his career.

The last question asked if the talents in NXT are developing at the pace he wants.

He said that everyone is different and progresses at a different level. Some people pick it up really quickly, other guys not so much. It depends on the person and the process is individual. He said the process depends on the person. He said that NXT is growing on its own. Crowds are up and they are selling merchandise for the guys. They are part of a brand and learning as they go. They are playing the game already.

He was asked about taking NXT on the road, like they do with Raw and Smackdown.

He said absolutely. He wants NXT to be a brand as soon as possible. He wants to grow it to the point where he can take it on the road. He said it will continue to grow. He mentioned that guys on Smackdown and Raw are still learning so NXT guys can grow and learn at the same time. He wants to grow the talent to the point where Vince says he wants people on Raw and he has to fight to keep them in NXT. He said he wants to get there the right way, it’s not a sprint it’s a marathon. He said it you have watched the growth since the first special, you see it.

In closing H said he wanted to thank us for participating. He said that he thinks they are important and he enjoys it. He said he likes having the open line of communication. NXT Takeover is tomorrow night on the WWE Network. And he also wanted to take a second to extend his thoughts and condolences to the family of Sean O’Haire on behalf of him and WWE.

Once again, it was another excellent call with Triple H.

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