Ariel Helwani got Triple H on the record about more than just an alternate history of the Wednesday Night War during their recent hour+ long conversation (embedded above).
Regarding taking over creative from Vince McMahon, Helwani brought up the initial perception that McMahon would still be running Raw and SmackDown “from afar.” Ariel comments that the shows have made it pretty clear that’s not the case, which Hunter then confirmed:
“No [Vince has nothing to do with the product anymore]. One of the things that he said to me — I don’t want to say outright said, but alluded to me, he’s like, “Look, you’re going to do things. You can’t think about how I would do things. You have to think about what you want to do, and how you feel like it’s best for the product. I might not like it, but I understand why you’re going to do the things you’re going to do. You have to do what you feel is right.’
“But it is a tough thing to get to. No one works together for that long of a period of time... everybody would think to themselves, ‘Well, I would have done that slightly differently,’ you know? Doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong.
“We use the term all the time in the business, ‘chocolate and vanilla’. I want chocolate, you want vanilla, one of us has to pick a flavor. He would always pick the flavor. Now it’s my turn to pick the flavor. It’s all good — it’s all ice cream. But it’s my time to pick the flavor, and I have to be confident in those decisions. I can’t look back and think, ‘What would Vince want to have for a flavor?’ because it just wouldn’t be authentic then.”
On the subject of advice from his father-in-law, Haitch also said:
“He did [offer advice]. Look, in some manner, I think, for both of us, it’s a tough situation for him. It’s even hard for me to picture now that he’s not in the equation, and he’s not in any way shape, or form. But it’s hard to think about that he’s not there.
“There was definitely that moment, definitely giving me advice but I think also in some manner, most of that advice was centered around like, ’This is what you’ve been sitting next to me learning how to do for 25 years, or whatever that is, and you got this, just be confident in your decision-making, listen to people, be open to ideas, be collaborative with other people.’ Things like that that were just wonderful advice. And the truth is, it’s my father-in-law. He’s not involved in the day-to-day business, but if I had to say to him like, ‘Man, I find this difficult to deal with,’ he would give me some overall advice.”
“There’s some truth to it, yeah. You have to understand Brock’s relationship with Vince, and I think if you look at Brock’s relationship across combat sports period. He has a relationship with [UFC President] Dana [White] that’s a certain way, his relationship with Vince — that’s a certain way. But Vince is the devil he knows. And Brock is inherently not a trusting person. It’s just how he is, he doesn’t like people. [laughs]
“But he’s not a trusting person, and I think in that moment where you just hear, ‘Vince is out’ — now what’s gonna happen? I’m outta here... and I think there was just a moment of that. Nothing more. Nothing less... then we have conversations and comes back. I have a great relationship with Brock.”
Back to the present and future under his guidance, Helwani asked The Game about several of the big names fans have heard, or are hoping will be back soon.
On Sasha Banks: Time will tell. I think in a lot of ways communication breakdowns are terrible. There was a communication breakdown there, for whatever reason. Starting back up that communication is not a difficult process but it can be a process and you have to go through the process. But she’s an unbelievably talented woman who can do just about anything she wants, it just comes down to what does she want to do now. She’s an unbelievable performer that I believe in with everything I have.
Braun Strowman: “He’s a polarizing person a little bit sometimes in the business but for a guy his size, what he brings to the table, he’s an amazing athlete. If this is what he wants to do at the highest of levels, then I would like nothing more than to give him another shot.”
Bray Wyatt: “One of the most — I mean this in the best way possible -- crazy, creative people I’ve ever been around. Mind just never stops thinking of creative but it’s like being in a whirlwind of stuff. So without the harness and without someone to point the tornado, it’s just all over the place. He’s a victim of his own mind and creative but I love working with him.”
Trips also talked about an old rival of his many are expecting back for WrestleMania 39 in Southern California next year. Along with the usual caveats about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s schedule, The Game said:
“I know somewhere deep inside of him there is that burning thing to go, ‘I gotta feel that one more time, gotta get in there one more time because that clock is ticking.’”
There’s also a lot of talk about Triple H’s heart issue and the health scare that led to his being out from last summer until this year’s ‘Mania. It’s a fascinating interview that’s worth a watch or listen.