As noted, Triple H held a media call earlier this week to promote WWE NXT "Takeover: Orlando" and WrestleMania 33. You can read the first part of highlights at this link. You can check out the full call in the video above or the audio player below, here are some highlights:
* He was asked if the goal with the WWE UK tapings and potential similar events in other parts of the world has to do with just WWE Network content or if they're looking at landing TV deals in those markets to promote the events, or if it's still an evolving process. Triple H said it is still an evolving process and will continue to be that way as they get to the different markets, depending on many factors such as the size of the opportunity, the local partnerships they have, penetration of the WWE Network and broadband capability in that market. He said they are really looking into it and it's just going to depend, and time well tell but they are looking for the best avenues. He said it's an exciting time.
* He was asked about Kyle O'Reilly and similar talents in limbo that might be coming to WWE. Triple H said he can't say off the top of his head without going and looking because he has so many different talents and details on their deals going on. He looks at all talents as just that - talent, and regardless of where they come from or what experience they come from, he looks at them as potential. He called Kyle an amazingly talented kid and said he has no doubt he will end up in WWE at some point to show the whole world what he's capable of. It comes down to where O'Reilly is at and his availability, and where WWE is at and their availability to work with him but Triple H hopes those worlds collide very soon because he would love to have O'Reilly because he's very talented.
* Triple H was asked what NXT Champion Bobby Roode has brought to the brand, if he's lived up to expectations and how important the experience he brought to NXT has been during the turnover in the last year. Triple H said the experience is very important. He said everyone who comes into WWE at this point is on a learning curve because of how advanced everything WWE is doing these days. He said the level of what WWE is doing vs. what anyone else is doing, as far as TV production and how they create shows goes, is on a totally different level. He doesn't care if they have 5, 15 or 18 years experience when they come in, they're on a learning curve. He's always thought Roode was a phenomenal talent. Triple H never named TNA or Impact Wrestling here but mentions always being impressed by Roode when he would see him work in various places. Triple H said Roode is learning to polish his skills now and is learning to create TV, create moments and not just get into the ring. Roode's level of comfort and not getting rattled while learning helps because the younger talents see that level of comfort and level of ease, and that's then comforting to them because they see they don't have to panic. Triple H believes that is when everyone grows. He said everyone learns all the time in this business and your growth is based a lot on what's around you. He talked about the top talents he was around when he came to WWE years ago and said you couldn't help but get better. He's trying to create some of that environment where there's some experience level and everyone's learning still. He said guys like Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura are learning to produce TV but they're also teaching the other talents whether they know it or not.
* Regarding what WrestleMania and getting into the ring still means to him, he joked that it means he doesn't have 1 second to himself for the last three months before WrestleMania as his calendar is laid out every minute of every day. He said it's hard to put into words what it's like to walk out onto that platform at that level but there's nothing greater, performing in front of the WWE fans, who he believes are the most passionate in the world. He called it awesome to be a part of that. He said the rush from the crowd is an addiction and when it's in you, it's something you want to continue to have and if you have the opportunity to enjoy that, you will. He also commented on the WWE Hall of Fame and called it one of the coolest nights of the year because the performers get a chance to get the spotlight back on them.
* Regarding Kassius Ohno's return to NXT, what changed from his first run and if there are different expectations now, Triple H said the system isn't for everybody and there are lots of rumors and speculation on why he left the first time. He said most of those aren't true and not factors. He said the departure was really amicable as they had a talk before where Triple H said if it didn't work, there would be no hard feelings and both sides would go about their ways. He used the NFL's Jets and Patriots as a random example, saying if you play for the Patriots they just need you to run their playbook. The Jets playbook may be great and you may know all their plays, but you're on the Patriots side and he needs you to play their playbook, be on their team and be open to that if nothing else. He said there were just difficulties there, not mean-spirited or in a terrible way, just an inability to work together that caused Ohno to leave. Triple H was happy to see what Ohno did having success outside of NXT. Fast forward to now and they had talks about wanting the opportunity again. Triple H indicated Ohno realized after he left how everything WWE told him that he thought he knew better on, he went and applied outside of NXT and now he's doing all the things the company talked to him about doing, and he didn't know why he wasn't doing them now in NXT. They then started having talks and the timing was right so they got back together and will see how it goes. He said the entire thing was handled in a great way and he's all about opportunities but the system they have won't be for everybody and they're not the only place to perform. He's happy Ohno is back and thinks Ohno is a phenomenal talent but like everybody he's going to learn and grow, and they will continue to work together. Like he mentioned before, Ohno has a wealth of experience and a level of comfort that he can teach. He talked about putting a guy like Patrick Clark in the ring with Ohno and how the experience level and the knowledge level will transfer from one guy to another as they're putting on this show together. That's when it becomes magical. The things Ohno knows he will help transfer to Clark and move Clark up the line of experience. That's what it's all about and Ohno brings a wealth of that. He's thrilled to have Ohno. They will have other talents to leave, other talents to come back, talents who will be on RAW and SmackDown over the next few years before shifting back to NXT or maybe the UK or somewhere else.
He called it a shifting, evolving place that can then lead them back to where they were before, or not. There are opportunities there for everybody and he believes that is the magic in what they're creating. He said he's not giving all the facts right now but they are just picking at the surface of where he sees them in 5 years from now. They have redefined WWE over the last few years and it's not what it was. It's no longer just one show with RAW - it's now RAW, SmackDown and NXT. It's also cruiserweights with 205 Live, UK talents with a series very soon. All these different opportunities are what has redefined what WWE is in just the last few years and they are just picking up the surface of where they will be in 5 years. He's very excited about that and all the talents, experienced or not, are all a big component of the future because at the end of the day, talent is what they are.
* In regards to NXT possibly airing live instead of taped, he said those talks also happen but it comes down to a matter of cost and bandwidth during production, among other factors. He also commented on not having much time to do the rest of his job if he had to do a live RAW, SmackDown and NXT each week. He said it starts to become just a bandwidth issue but it's certainly a conversation they have. They're never going to say this is what it is and just get used to it. He said they are constantly looking at things. Vince McMahon has a saying he's kind of ingrained into everyone and Triple H thinks it's a very wise thing - "Treat every day like it's the first day on the job." He said Vince has ingrained a lot of wise things into them and that's one of them. He tries to embrace that way of thinking and is always looking at what fits best.