Promoting this coming Monday's historic 1000th episode of Raw, Paul Levesque, also known as Triple H, addressed a number of topics including Randy Orton's ongoing sixty-day suspension for his second violation of WWE's Talent Wellness Program.
Orton, who hails from St. Louis, Missouri, the site of Monday's show, will be unable to appear due to the suspension. Though Levesque won't divulge what Orton did wrong, he notes "The Legend Killer" will be back once the suspension concludes.
"It is important to remember that all of our wrestlers are human but they also have to be accountable," Levesque says of Orton's suspension.
As WWE's Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events, Levesque's corporate role is to discover tomorrow's Superstars. He admits it's a struggle.
"We're trying to teach them to be the Stone Colds and the Undertakers of tomorrow, but the one thing we can't teach is charisma," said Levesque. "You can teach people to do moves and create story lines and the psychology of what we do, but you can't teach someone to be the Rock. It's an innate ability to walk into a room and have everyone pay attention. Put aside the athleticism and what happens in the ring, what our business is really about is connecting with people emotionally. If you are emotionally connected to your character, then people will want to see you. It's true in Hollywood and movies. You don't have to be the best actor, just be a presence."
Triple H, The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin created on-screen personas "fans loved, hated or loved to hate" on Raw in the late '90s. Levesque feels they were the first stars of reality television.
"Every guy we have, whether it's me, whether it's the Undertaker, whether it's John Cena playing the character John Cena, is a performer," said Levesque. "What we did is very much the beginning of reality television. 'Jersey Shore,' whether people want to believe it or not, is a scripted kind-of show. They don't give them every single word, but they give them premises and they set things up. It's not a documentary where you follow them around brushing their teeth. And that's what we are — we blur that line and that's what people find intriguing."
Levesque also offers insight on The Rock and Kane's on-stage personalities, WWE's decision to make their shows "PG" television, critics denouncing wrestling as "fake," and more. Read more here.
Cody Drennen contributed to this article. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.