Triple H hosted a conference call with reporters this morning to talk about tomorrow's NXT ArRIVAL special.
The call opened with Adam Hopkins Director, Public Relations/Corporate Communications. They are live at the WWE Performance Center. He turned the call over Triple H.
He made a great line about the horrible music that we listen to before the calls. Cracked me up.
He said it's a great time to be a wrestling fan. He talked about flying on a plane with Hulk Hogan a few days talking about 30 years of WrestleMania and here they are again rolling the dice with the WWE Network. He talked about the Network and all it offers. He talked about NXT and it being the future. He said it will be evolving in front of our eyes.
He talked about tomorrow live Arrival special. He is obviously proud of the Center and the talent that is down there. He said that Arrival will be an amazing opportunity for the future Superstars of WWE to show their craft in a way that they never have before. He said that the way WWE and Vince are trusting the NXT talent to be the first live product that they put on the WWE Network shows how much the company and Vince have pride in the Center.
He said that Cesaro, who he thinks will explode in WWE over the next few years, will take on Sami Zayn. He said that they have had match of the year candidates already and he thinks it will be the same tomorrow.
Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville in a ladder match will be exciting. The pre-show starts at 7:30 and has Bret Hart, Paul Heyman and Kevin Nash on it. H said he tried to create a situation where opinionated guys can give their honest views on the business.
Then it was time for questions.
The first question came from Mike Johnson, of course.
H was asked why it was decided to go forward with NXT as the first live event instead of say WrestleMania. H said that it was the future. They have the past in the vault. The present in the content. They wanted people to see the future in the NXT talent. People have been able to see it Hulu, but they want to open it up to the masses. They found in the research for the Network that people really wanted to see more NXT. Vince is behind it too.
He was asked about the NXT brand and whether it will change, like become more WWE like.
H said that he loves that it's at Full Sail and the fan base there is rabid, it's their show. He said it has something like an ECW show. He said those fans own the show. Oldtimers come over and say they love it too. It's reinvigorating. He said it does open up more options for touring and that is the life blood of what they do. He said in the end though he doesn't want to lose sight that this is a learning experience and that has to be remembered. He said the ultimate goal is to prepare them for the big roster and this helps prepare them for that. He wants to keep perspective for it is and what it's for.
Scott Fishman asked what the atmosphere and feeling is like down at NXT vs. a regular show.
H said it's like WrestleMania for them. They are grasping that this is huge for them. They are going without a net and they know it. They are getting a chance to be the first live show.
He was asked who he sees being the next WWE stars, and who is ready.
He said that they have a great group, they are in the on-deck circle. It depends on what the roster needs. He says he knows who they will be, he just can't tell you and laughed. He said he hates giving things away. He said it's hard to keep anything a surprise any more and he wants to make it more fun.
Brian Fritz was next. He was asked about where the talent system was before and where it is now.
He said he never really looked at it as being in bad shape, he said people come from anywhere. He said he realized that it needed to grow. He said he realized that WWE evolved while the system stayed what it was. So they took it and ramped it up.
He was asked what he thinks it the next step.
H said that probably touring it a little bit. He doesn't want it to go global, but more touring would help the folks in the system. He wants to get the reach out for the brand and to get more people globally into the company. Great potential wrestlers are everywhere and they are looking all over the globe for wrestlers. They want to let people/athletes know that WWE is an option.
Mike wrote the next part, where I asked questions.
Dave then got on the call and thanked HHH for the muzak comment. HHH joked it was to sooth everyone for "softball questions."
Dave asked HHH what his reaction was when Vince asked him to take a bigger role in the company. HHH said it was a conversation that took place over a long period of time. He joked that Vince is a great salesman and said it probably started in 1998 or so. He joked that it happened way before he got involved with Stephanie. HHH said Vince talked about him doing it when he got out of the ring and said he was aware of what Pat Patterson's role was. He said he enjoys the process of the behind the scenes not for his own stuff but others. He said watching The Shield and The Wyatt Family, he was "Giddy Dad" on Sunday. He said it's not an easy process but the kids are taking to it and to seeing them succeed is something special.
Dave mentioned the "This is awesome" chant before they even locked up and HHH said it was the first time he's ever seen it. He said that it's a testament to the creative. He said that you can bring in a character but they have to come up with the nuances, like The Shield and The Wyatts' entrances. He said all the table dressings and ambiance and environments that is worked on is just as important as anything else. He said that they are about spectacle as much as the in-ring stuff. He said you want everything to always work and you do the best you can with it. He said it's an awesome process to put it together. He said after the match, Vince McMahon had a huge smile on his face... (Continues on next page)