With SmackDown moving to FOX, all the talk was about WWE adhering to their split brands with not as much crossover as before. Then Survivor Series season began and we've seen Superstars from all three brands on all three shows at times.
Triple H was asked if NXT will be featured prominently on Raw and SmackDown going forward like it has over the last few weeks during a media call several days ago.
"I don't think that is the intent, not that it won't happen. But the intent is for NXT to be what it's been and that's be a stand alone brand," said Triple H. "It's a different feel and texture than Raw and SmackDown. This is a moment in time with Survivor Series becoming that one time a year where all of these brands can go against one another.
"I think the split will be more defined after Sunday."
He added that when he looks at RAW and SmackDown, some of the most exciting things have been the inclusion of NXT. He then talked about how it's the NXT talents' time to step up now.
"When you get to Survivor Series – you look at some of the biggest matches on that card and part of the inclusion of NXT is what makes it feel so big…Matches feel bigger because of that. You have to be judicious on how you do that or it becomes more of the same. Having the occasion when those things can happen, if you're judicious with it, then it's super-meaningful," said Triple H.
He was then asked if NXT's participation in Survivor Series was always planned or a late audible.
"Both. It was talked about a while ago with their inclusion. That was always a part of the conversation but it was challenging in that conversation because we already have WarGames out there and promoted," stated Triple H. "As we get closer and it becomes more of a week-to-week on TV, that increased the challenges. Once we did the first show which was a SmackDown invasion of NXT, that changed the scope of the involvement of NXT on a week-to-week basis and an overall story arc."
Triple H then talked about how there were some plans there but they weren't as baked in as they are now. He said they came across an opportunity in that moment where they had travel issues.
"We needed to pull the trigger on something bigger. We did it and it created a tremendous opportunity that we took advantage of," stated Hunter.
Instead of one creative team booking for one show like with Raw, SmackDown or NXT, there are now three creative teams that need to work together for Survivor Series. Triple H talked about the tug of war amongst the teams.
"With the creative team down here [in NXT], I've got me, Shawn [Michaels], Road Dogg. I'll put that up against Heyman and Pritchard. If we have to go in the office and crack some heads, we're good," stated Hunter.
"There's a collaboration there and it's a working process. Some of this was planned and some of it was stumbled upon out of chaos. Anytime something happens where there's chaos, sometimes I feel that's where the best stuff happens – when there's chaos."
He said it's been a fun and collaborative process but there are always last minute changes as well.
"You can't fully make Wednesday until you get to the end of Monday. You can tent pole things out, in this case on Wednesday, but you have to see what happens and if stuff ends up the way you thought it would. It's been a fun, collaborative process and exciting because you're going by the seat of your pants to make it happen," said Hunter.
All of the WWE titles will be contested in triple threat matches involving all three brands at Survivor Series except for the world titles. Those will be contested in three different matches and Hunter was asked if there was ever a conversation about putting the three world champs in a singel match at Survivor Series.
"Those conversations early in the process took place and there was debate. But the Lesnar-Mysterio story was so strong, how do you step away from that to go to something else? It feels that that one needs to take place," said Triple H.
"Once you did that then it started to change the dynamic and it's not brand vs. brand. Everyone morphed into their own spot. The Fiend being what that is, it almost works cleaner to be its own unique storyline [vs. Daniel Bryan]. Adam Cole will defend the championship, reliant on everything going well at WarGames [in the Triple Threat Match]."
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