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GARGANO HURT, WHY NOW IS THE TIME FOR MATT RIDDLE, WHO THE NXT LOCKER ROOM LEADERS ARE, A GREAT TAKEOVER AND MORE: FULL COVERAGE OF TONIGHT’S HHH NXT CONFERENCE CALL

By Dave Scherer on 2018-08-18 22:48:00

HHH met with reporters after tonight’s Takeover show.  He said that he thought they had a phenomenal night.  He is so right.  He said it was the highest grossing NXT event ever.  Completely sold out.  Successful night across the board.  He said that there were a few injuries.  Gargano may have dislocated his knee.  EC3 is banged up as well.

They started with Mike Johnson, and everyone laughed.  Mike asked if the New Japan/ROH show WrestleMania weekend will be competition for the next show.  H said he never holds back.  He swings for the fences every time out.  He doesn’t care who runs against them.  He will put his product up against anyone’s.  No fear there.

How does H see them growing?  What is next for the brand.  

He said to continue evolving and growing the business.  He said that the goal is to alway try to outdo what they are doing now and grow the brand.  Ww will have announcements on UK soon.  They are going next week to shoot more TV and it’s great.  He thinks the brand will tour more globally.  We are a long way from when it was called developmental.  He said that they have grown since then, they still develop but they are a third brand now.  They will continue to grow and push the other brands.  There is room for all of it.  With everything that was on this card, there is other talent waiting, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, the Mae Young entrants and more.

The first caller came on and H said it would be awesome if there was another Mike Johnson on the phone to be the first caller.  Damn, I should have called in and been Mike. Next time.

He was asked what which of the Johnny-Ciampa matches surprised him.  He said none of them really.  They just work to make them different.  There’s an art form to that. He said it’s not surprising, it’s just really cool.  He said that Shawn Michaels works with them a lot and it shows in the nuances.

He was asked how much went as they expected vs. what happened.  He said that sometimes stuff happens.  Clearly he wasn’t planning on Gargano hurting himself.  They changed on the fly but it was supposed to go differently than it did.  But the only people that knew that were those who were involved with the planning.  He mentioned Dusty Rhodes told him that if he can get 70% of what you see in your mind happens, that’s great.  He did a great Dusty impression when he said it.

He was asked about Matt Riddle coming in and what about him made HHH want to bring him in.

He said he’s a sharp dresser, laughing at his flip flops.  H said that he brings a lot to the table and he has adapted well to the business already, on his own.  H watched him for a while through his ups and downs.  He thinks the time has come where he has gotten good enough and he’s ready to get hired.  He said that they watch people outside of WWE and sometimes they let them develop before bringing them in.  He said that some need to learn and grow before they come in to NXT/WWE.  He said that they watch guys and they want to bring them in while they are growing on an upswing, before they stagnant.  There is a lot of talent that they have talked to where they have said that they are interested in that they see keep on working on what you are doing.  They help them out if need be.

He was asked about the greatness of Ricochet.  H said that he is phenomenal, like a human CGI.  He said that Shawn and him were talking to him about the flip he did at Full Sail against Velveteen, and they were shocked that he could actually do that when they brought it up as an example.  He said that the trick is when you are that good, it’s hard to make it not look easy.  He said you need to make it look like a fight, which is the art form.  He said that the art and grit is what made Shawn Michaels, that is the art form, to make it look like a fight.  Ricochet did that tonight when Adam Cole pushed him.  He praised Cole for taking Ricochet to the next level.  He said Ricochet earned the win by grinding and not making it look easy, it looked like a fight.  he is coming into his own now in that respect.

Why bring in Riddle now?

H thinks he is ready and he had matured as a person.  He thinks Matt had realized where he wants to go in wrestling.  He said he believes in him and he has a lot of talent, but we will see.

He was asked about Dream having “Call me up Vince” on his tight.  What will Vince’s reaction be?  He said, “You mean Vince McMahon?”  It was funny.  The phone cut out but it seemed like H seemed to say he didn’t know in advance.  He said if he was talking about Vince, you could get a good call or a bad call.

H was asked about what it would take for the brand to get to the point where talent wouldn’t get called up, a TV deal?  H said that it’s like football, some people like College better than the NFL.  A lot of college players go pro and fail.  He said part of what makes college football work is the coming and going of players.  He said that if a player could go back to college, it would an element.  H said he could see a time coming when talent gets “called to” NXT.  He said that the Performance Center offers a lot of things, like top flight training.  He could see talent coming back there from the main roster, or even going to another country to work.  He could see it getting to a point where going to NXT isn’t a demotion at all.  He could see it going from getting called up to getting drafted to different brands.

He was asked about NXT being on Evolution.

You will see the NXT brand plus the finals of the Mae Young Classic.  They will have a massive part in the show.  He said that back in the day, it wasn’t the time for the women’s evolution but it is now.  He said that Shayna and Kairi had a great match, both have grown a lot.  There is a wealth of women’s talent out there and we will continue to see it.  The fans are behind it so now is the time.

He was asked what he sees as the next main event feud in NXT.  Whatever resonates he said.  They have the Black storyline to uncover.  We will have to see where things go.  If you asked if we would be where we are with Ciampa and Gargano when they first teamed, he wouldn’t have.  Things change and that leads us to where things go down the road.

He was asked what’s next for Mustache Mountain.  WWE UK maybe?  He said sure, it’s like the territory.  It’s not a lesser brand.  And it doesn’t mean Pete Dunne can’t defend here or Ricochet there.  If it makes sense to move talent there, or here, he will do it.  He’s very high on a lot of the UK talent.  He put over Pete Dunne and Zack Gibson.  He then put over Mountain for the way they performed.  He said no one lost in that match, and that is exactly why NXT booking is so good.

What’s up with Black?  He’s not cleared yet.  He’s day to day.  It’s a doctor’s decision.

The last question asked what Ciampa and Gargano do day in and day out to gain his trust.

He said that there’s the time you spend in the ring, and all of the rest of the time.  He said that people earn trust by how you handle things on a day to day basis.  He said that they came in as part time guys.  He didn’t have the budget to bring them in full time but he said come in and I will do what I can.  They were great to work with and they did everything they could.  Now they are leaders of the locker room.  He said that when Tegan Nox got hurt, by the time H got to the back Ciampa was in the back holding an ice bag on her knee.  Ciampa, Gargano and Black are leaders.  They are the people who looks for.  He wants people that will be part of the solution.  He puts as much stock in the human being as he does their talent in the ring.  He doesn’t want people that are flies in the ointment, no matter how talented they are.  He doesn’t want locker room cancers.  They have set a great culture in the Performance Center and he won’t let anyone mess that up.  Those two earned his trust and are at the top of the list.

H thanked us again for our support and covering the brand.  He thinks it’s great to watch the career arc of the talent through our eyes.  That ended the call!

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