During this week’s media call following the first two-hour edition of WWE NXT, Triple H commented on Vince McMahon’s reaction to the show:
“[Vince McMahon] sent me a massive congratulations after it was over and was thrilled with the product.” Triple H added that Vince embraces the differences between the WWE brands.
Here are some more highlights courtesy of 411Mania.com’s Jeremy Thomas:
Triple H said that he told talent he was proud of them, and that it’s the starting line and not the finish line. He said he felt that the roster gave fans an epic night on USA, the top cable network, and put over how they were trending on Twitter all not. He said he’s proud in the performers and crew both, and thanked Full Sail Live.
Asked what thought process went into tonight’s show, he said that to make a first impression you have to figure out how to balance a one-hour show with action, introduction of the personalities on the roster and character development. You have to figure out pace, how to factor that against commercials, and said that he thought they did a good job of not making the show lag. Triple H said he wants a consistent ebb and flow to the show and is confident in the talent and staff.
Asked if the next few weeks where the show is split between USA Network and the WWE network feel like a trial show, Triple H said that they don’t have leeway in that they have to be done on USA at 9 PM and that’s tricky for live TV because you’re off whether you’re ready or not. He noted that the team they have has experience and know what they’re doing; while mistakes will happen, they had a great first go. He likes that the first few weeks will have that mix between shows and that the longterm fans know NXT. while the USA fans will be getting a taste and wanting more. Their first two-hour episode on October 2nd will be one where they hit it out of the park, he said.
HHH was asked about using Sean Maluta and the dark matches, and he said they really like Maluta. He says that Maluta has grown a lot and there is opportunity for him and others to be connected with NXT. He points out Imperium, the return of Lio Rush and the Cruiserweight Title shot. Triple H said NXT won’t change its presentation and having a few dark matches lets them settle in, make sure everything’s working and provide some potential content they can decide to use later.
He said that he was very happy with the first episode, and that it’s rare that he doesn’t walk away from an NXT show happy. He noted that there’s room for improvement and the show is a work in progress, and that he wants to take a step back and analyze it so he can be his own worst critic.
Asked about the show leaning heavily on action over promos and mic work, The Game said that they’ll tend to approach things differently and felt there was character development in the USA Network segments, but they had to be quick. He gave Cameron Grimes as an example of someone who people will want to see what he has to say after tonight and that when they get into the full two hours, they’ll have those opportunities to do that stuff and build storylines.
Asked about Lio Rush’s return, Triple H said they’d been talking about it for a long time and that with NXT on USA finally happening after a year and a half to two years, it was the right time. He put over Rush as a money performer and said he and Lorcan tore it up in their match.
Asked about Tommaso Ciampa, Triple H said he’s close to returning, but that the last bit before getting to 100% is the real frustrating part. He predicts that Ciampa will tear things apart once he gets the chance to come back.
Asked about the decision to stay at Full Sail University, he said that there were a lot of thoughts that factored in including their partnership with the school and how it’s part of the identity of NXT. He said that the fans are a big part of the brand and have been so since the beginning. Fans travel all around the state of Florida for the events and that there’s a part of him that doesn’t want to do the show in any other location.
Asked about the WWE Network issues, he said that he heard about the issues from the Network team and believes that it isn’t as widespread as social media made it out to be. He pointed out that once the issue was fixed, fans were able to log in and watch it On Demand. He said he hopes it doesn’t happen again.
Asked about the feedback he got from Vince McMahon, he said that he received text throughout the day and that Vince felt the talent knocked it out of the park and was thrilled with the product. He said Vince congratulated him and put over Vince, saying he doesn’t get the credit for embracing the differences. Triple H said McMahon appreciates that it has a different brand and sent congratulations to the talent, the crew and him. He said that they had a spectacular night and appreciated the conversation about the show, and that he wants to make it the best show that he can.