During the post-WWE NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night One media call, Triple H and Shawn Michaels commented on Io Shrai’s loss, WALTER’s future in the United States, and more. You can check out some highlights from the call below:
* Triple H thanked everyone for joining and said he thought it was a spectacular show. He said that William Regal mentioned to him that it was their 34th Takeover and said. ‘Name a company that can put out 34 big PPV events like we have and have them pretty much across the board deliver.’ He talked about how thinking how far they’ve come, it’s been quite a ride and the last year has been rough on everyone to put out content in a constantly-changing landscape, but tonight was the first night he thought they could see the light at the end of the tunnel at “a lot of things.” He noted they had a lot of fans that were very passionate, loud and excited and the talent were chomping at the bit to go out and show the world what they could do. He said “Stand and deliver” is what they did. He said the layout, the set design, and everything else clicked well and thanked Peacock for simulcasting with them. He noted that Shawn Michaels was with him as well.
* Asked about what’s next for Io Shirai and why Raquel Gonzalez was picked to beat her for the title, Triple H put over Shirai’s title reign and talent, noting that he’s said many times that she could be argued as the best female performer on the planet. He said that Gonzalez was the person because she’s the right woman, right time. He noted that she has a presence that it’s hard not to think she’s a star and it’s all been over the last year, year and a half. Triple H put her over for how she transformed herself into an absolute star and put herself in the position for it to be her.
Michaels recalled that he saw here in a show in St. Petersburg two and a half years ago, saw Gonzalez standing there with Rhea Ripley, and thought “Oh my goodness, those two are gonna be stars.” He says that Rhea and Raquel are homegrown and said he’s seen Gonzalez grow and display an incredible work ethic. He said her journey is a real feel-good story. He added that Shirai is guaranteed money night after night and has earned the right to be called the best in the world.
* Asked what’s next for Shirai and if she might end up on the main roster, Triple H said there’s always more to achieve in NXT, but said that Shirai has earned the right to do what she wants to do, mentioning that if she wants to take time off or go after Gonzalez, she’s earned that right. If she wants to do something else, she’s earned that too. He said that whenever someone loses in NXT, people assume that they’re leaving the brand. He doesn’t agree with that and says there’s always more to do, more to prove and the next challenge. He says whatever she wants to do, but he doesn’t see it as if she lost a match and is just moving on. HBK said that NXT has the deepest and best women’s division and doesn’t know why anyone would go anywhere else.
* The next caller mentioned Erik Rowan saying on Twitter that he wanted to face WALTER. Hunter said that everyone wants to face WALTER until he chops them, just like everyone had a plan for Tyson until they got punched in the mouth. He said WALTER’s a machine on a different level, and what he does that’s special is everything because he does it all so well, making the simplest things mean everything. That’s created an aura and importance to who he is. Triple H said he’s straight money and is heading back home for a big, but that he can’t wait to get WALTER back here. HBK said everyone wants to face WALTER, and said he loves that WALTER is faithful to NXT UK. HBK said he’s gonna be that brand’s champion for a long, long time.
* Asked about WALTER potentially working in a regular capacity in NXT while remaining based in Europe, Triple H said that he can do both if he wants to. Travel restrictions are a concern, but beyond that it’s very possible because the travel isn’t that different than flying from New York to Los Angeles. He said the door is open for WALTER as long as they can do it. Michaels added that they’d to everything they could to get WALTER to go everywhere he wants if the world would work with him. He added that the UK Champion has seen the possibilities now that he’s been in the US.
* The next question was about how Triple H and Michaels see each other in terms of what they bring to the table for NXT. Hunter said that having worked with Shawn for 25 years and his seeing Shawn from a mental standpoint of the business, there’s not a lot of guys who understand what they do like Shawn does. He said if he was asked a few years ago who he thought would have the most impact in NXT, it would have been Shawn because of his knowledge and understanding. He noted that they have worked together for so long that they are able to think alike and work on ideas in a way that’s unmatched.
HBK said that it’s that he sits with his best friend, doing creative and enjoying the time like they used to, but on a whole other level. He said every time they work together, he thanks Hunter for letting him call this his job. He said that he’s able to learn from Hunter from a production standpoint and that he’s learning a new genre to the business that he didn’t know before. He said he calls HHH “Scorsese” because he goes to such a deep level on production and camera shots and the like, which Shawn is trying to learn.
* HBK was asked how involved he gets in the tag team division and said that at one time when he was coaching, he worked with everyone as much as he could. He doesn’t get to do that as much now that he’s as involved from the production side but he said there’s something of the Rockers or DX, or something he can connect with in every team they have. He said it makes you feel good when you see a little hint of what it was you used to do and then try to add to it. He said that the guys these days have taken things to a whole new “off the charts” level and he helps them with the storytelling and psychology.