Triple H recently spoke with ESPN to promote WWE Evolution and the finals of the 2018 Mae Young Classic, which will see Toni Storm do battle with Io Shirai on Sunday. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:
Any surprise standouts show up in the tournament?
“Kacy Catanzaro and Xia Li.
“Kacy, I don’t think she’s even been with us a year all in, and she goes and does what she did last night and tonight and you’re going, “Oh my god.”
“Two years ago in China when I first met Xia Li, she didn’t know what WWE was. We had to explain to her what WWE was because we were there looking for athletes and she had never seen it. She grew up in farmlands in China so she didn’t know what it was. Once we told her what it was and showed it to her, she was, “oh yeah, definitely.” Then she came in and tried out and she just fell in love with it, and she has so much heart and passion I was like, “yeah, we’re bringing her back.” There’s certain people you see when you give them the chance to, and they’ve never seen it before, they get the bug bad. She was one that was like that.
“For Li to do what she did tonight and last night, two years from even knowing what it was, to be where she is now, that’s incredible. That’s [NXT coach] Matt Bloom, that’s [NXT coach] Sara Del Rey, that’s the team that we have and the system that we have.”
The Evolution pay-per-view is coming up. Will we see segregated men’s and women’s pay-per-views in the future, or will they be blended where women main event some pay-per-views and men main event others or will it be mixed?
“To me, if you segregate it, then it’s not equal. I agree with it in theory for the Evolution one — I love that concept. I love doing it and to do one [women’s only pay-per-view] here or there, I think it’s great. I don’t think it should be an all-the-time thing.
“To me, the variety of what we do is what makes it great. If everything is the same, then it’s ehh [shrugs shoulders]. If you have a seven-to-ten match card, that’s a big card, if half of them are women and half of them are guys, that’s cool. I really do not think that’s a stretch or implausible at all. I think that depth to me makes it more exciting. I’m a believer that you don’t have to see every single thing every single time on every pay-per-view we do, and that it should be spread out a bit. Maybe you don’t see the same people on the next pay-per-view. [The shows should] be different, but still be able to give the fans that same level of quality and same level of, “Oh my god, I have to see that.” I think that’s doable.”
It doesn’t get any bigger, in terms of crossover, than Ronda Rousey. What do you think was the biggest hook for her — the interest in WWE? Continuing her athletic pursuits? The allure of social change?
“I don’t want to oversell the social changes, but Ronda said, “I feel the WWE is the biggest platform in the world for me to affect change.” It’s one of the first things she said to me. She wants to inspire young girls and young people and show them that you can do anything, and she said there is no bigger platform in the world for me to do that with than with you guys. [She said] with UFC, I got so far, but the bigger platform is this because I can go on talk shows, I can do entertainment stuff with WWE, I can do every single entertainment and sport aspect of it and reach the world on a global basis. We go everywhere. That’s a game changer.”