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Triple H talks WWE’s COVID outbreak, NXT moving nights, the Draft & more on TakeOver 31 conference call

There’s an NXT TakeOver event this weekend, which means a mid-week media call for the man in charge of the brand for WWE, Paul “Triple H” Levesque.

For the most part, today’s session (available in full on Fightful’s YouTube channel here) was fairly standard stuff. Levesque put over not only the line-up for TakeOver 31, but also NXT UK’s restart and their upcoming Heritage Cup tournament. He acknowledged this weekend’s Finn Bálor vs. Kyle O’Reilly main event is happening a little faster than they planned due to injuries and call-ups, but said it was always part of their plans as the two men are excited to work with each other. Haitch also teased a unique look for Sunday’s show.

While giving his usual answers about talent movement, Trips said that he has no inside information about the Oct. 9 & 12 Raw and SmackDown Draft: “like you, I’ll sit back and see the excitement unfold.”

The Game also hit on a couple of hot topics surrounding his brand right now...

Mike Johnson of PWInsider asked about the state of things after the COVID-19 outbreak which dominated the news in the second half of last week, and resulted in changes to, among other things, the Clash of Champions PPV:

“As for right now, I’m very confident in that - that this Sunday’s card will [go on as announced], but this is a very sort of touch-and-go time, and at any given time, things can change, and you’ve seen that recently. The Performance Center is back functional. The talent is - you know, nobody can control this situation, and nobody’s going to be able to stop this pandemic, and COVID. We’re doing the best we can to keep our performers safe, our staff, our crew - everybody safe. So these situations where positives come up and we then go back and very, very extensively contact trace, and go back and quarantine those people - this is all for the safety and wellbeing of everybody.

“We feel very confident that once we’ve done all that we’ve isolated it and can go on doing what we’re doing, and that everyone who walks into that building and is a part of doing what we’re doing is safe. But again, everybody - that’s across the board, of not only our business and every promotion out there, but of every sport, every team, every walk of life. Everybody is doing the best they can to move forward in this, and that is exactly what we’re doing as well.”

Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer brought up the increase in viewers and ratings NXT saw when they ran on Tuesdays as opposed to Wednesdays, and inquired if there was “any serious” thought of moving the show to a night when it wouldn’t compete with AEW Dynamite (or Raw or SmackDown):

“I’m happy with where we are. There’s conversations around all of our product at all times - the best place for it to sit, the best place for it to work, all of that. Funny thing, I don’t hear anybody else asking about people moving on Wednesday, since we were always on Wednesdays...”

Meltzer interjects there to point out TNT wouldn’t put AEW on Tuesdays because of their NBA coverage, and Triple H continues:

“I know. It’s not like every other channel just has free air. It comes down to a question of where the show best sits, not only for us, but for our partners. And wherever they want to go to - we’re open to doing the best business we can, but it’s not just as simple a decision as it’s our decision and we just put the show where we want to put it. Those decisions are made by partners and everything else along the way. So to me? It’s a funny thing to me. I’ve said this since the beginning, but I don’t know - people tend to want to believe what they want to believe. It’s not a concern to me. We do the best show we can do - we got out to put the best show on that we can put on every week with the talent that we have, which I consider to be the best in the world, and do the best show we can. And that’s it. As far as where it sits, the networks, all those things, those are business questions that come down to WWE, but also to our partners. So lots of conversations will happen, and wherever it ends up, I promise you we’ll put on the best show we can, and make it everything it can be for our fans.”

And on that mildly contentious note, the call was wrapped up.

TakeOver 31 happens this Sun., Oct. 4 on WWE Network at 7 p.m. Eastern.

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