Paul “Triple H” Levesque held his usual pre-TakeOver conference call earlier today (Aug. 15), and a number of interesting questions were raised. Unfortunately, NXT’s founder and supervising producer and WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative didn’t offer a whole lot in the way of direct answers.
Two topics generating headlines around the internet were whether the Fox deal for SmackDown would impact NXT, and if Hunter knows the status of former NXT and Cruiserweight Champ Neville.
On the former, he said he likes NXT being on WWE Network, but we’ll see where things stand in a year when the blue brand moves over. A potential move to a network like FS1 got the “never say never” response. The Fox deal and SmackDown’s move to Friday will result in a lot of changes, and The Game doesn’t ever want to settle for doing things one way just because that’s how they’ve always been done.
Regarding Neville, Haitch said he’d have to check and see what the Brit’s status is currently. He praised his runs on the black-and-yellow and purple brands, and agreed he’d be a great fit on NXT UK. Beyond that? “Time will tell”.
Some other highlights of the call:
- Aleister Black’s injury led to everything being put back on the table for the Brooklyn main event. In the end, it made sense to do Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano one-on-one again rather than try to shoehorn in a third person with no build.
- Triple H thinks NXT will be fine if there are a wave of post-SummerSlam call-ups because of how deep their talent roster is. Unless Vince strips the brand, they’ll be okay.
- Asked if he could see his show being a third brand in the Superstar Shakeup, he said they kind of already are since talent always moves up during the Shakeup. He pointed how much of the Raw and SmackDown rosters have been through NXT, and said they’ll bring folks back like they did with Tyler Breeze and The Revival on recent house shows as the situation merits it.
- Trips isn’t too concerned about the specific length of TakeOvers, but instead focused on what they need to tell their story. He thinks only having an hour a week for NXT is a good problem to have and keeps them from overexposing people.
- NXT UK broadcast plans should be coming in the next couple weeks. He hopes to eventually build out his global territory system, and then the main NXT Title will be like the old NWA belt, travelling between them.
- A caller saying he’s burnt out on the main roster led to Triple H emphasizing how WWE has something for everyone, and responded to being asked if he’d like to run Raw and SmackDown using “the NXT approach” by saying he wishes he could fly or walk on water.
- With regard to targeting New Japan stars or mixed martial artists, “talent is talent”.
Levesque has a way of saying all the right things on these calls. Problem is, a lot of the time, that means not providing a lot in terms of straight answers.