As previously noted this week, Wrestling Inc. was on hand for a media call with WWE COO, Triple H. During the call, the subject of All Elite Wrestling and the potential competition they may create was discussed in detail. Hunter also addressed SmackDown's upcoming move to Fox and the WWE's reasoning behind moving NXT TakeOver to the Friday before WrestleMania.
For the first time in it's lengthy history, WWE SmackDown will air on the Fox network starting this October. Wrestling Inc's own Nick Hausman brought up the prospect of NXT also moving over to a Fox affiliate, such as Fox Sports. Triple H responded by explaining how they continue evaluating ideas, but for now, WWE is fully focused on this approaching transition to Fox.
"I think at this point in time, we're concentrated on moving SmackDown to Fox and what that will mean, and everything else," Triple H said. "There's a lot of talk about a lot of things and we're constantly evaluating, much like everything else. As we were talking about before, always evaluating stuff. As far as the Fox relationship goes, we're thrilled and excited to go there, and [WWE is] working on what that will look like, and the process, and everything else.
WWE annually holds their NXT TakeOver event on the Saturday before WrestleMania and the WWE Hall of Fame event on the Friday prior to WrestleMania, however, this year, the NXT TakeOver event was shifted over to the Friday slot. There was speculation that this decision may be related to Ring of Honor's G1 Supercard occurring at Madison Square Garden the same weekend. Triple H insisted that it was simply to let fans attend whatever events they wanted during WrestleMania weekend without issue.
"In general of not wanting to make fans choose and not wanting to make fans have to make a decision about what they want to go to." Triple H explained. "And it's just a better business and venue split for us. It really was nothing more - everybody reads into everything and it really was nothing more than that, it was the right business move for us."
The Elite and Tony Khan shook the pro wrestling community earlier this month with the unveiling of All Elite Wrestling and the Double Or Nothing Rally that followed. With a developing roster that includes former WWE superstars Chris Jericho, Neville/PAC, and Cody Rhodes, and talks of impressive contract offers, lighter schedules, and creative freedom, it's no surprise that AEW is on Triple H's radar. Hunter explained how it's not just AEW WWE has to monitor because it's a constant competition trying to stay relevant as a business.
"[AEW is] clearly something that we'll keep an eye on and clearly something that - they're out there doing their business," Triple H said. "But we'll do what's right for our business - what's right for WWE. What we feel is right for our fans, the WWE Universe, our fan base, everybody in general, and what's right for us. They're all business decisions and we'll continue to monitor everything. And we say it all the time but it's the truth, it's not just a competitor like that, we compete against everything.
"And I know you've heard it said that," Triple H continued, "'In the business world today, when you're a content provider, you compete against everything, including sleep, including the internet and everything else.' Everybody has 1000 pulls on their time, on a daily basis. So you want to keep your eye on everything and try to be as relevant as possible at all times, on every front. We continue to monitor that like we monitor everything, and we'll continue to do what's best for business - for the WWE."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please include a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription. You can listen to more highlights from Triple H's media call, as well as part two of Nick's interview with Sean "X-Pac" Waltman, in the latest episode of the WINCLY in the player below. During the interview, Waltman discusses his Royal Rumble matches from 1999 and 2000. He also gives some of his predictions for this Sunday's Royal Rumble. You can subscribe to the Wrestling Inc. Audio Channel on iTunes and on Google Play.