Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated spoke with Triple H to talk about the competition on Wednesday nights that have taken the spotlight with Great American Bash and Fyter Fest. Triple H talked about the healthy competition between WWE and AEW and addressed the counter-programming decisions that NXT has made.
NXT beat AEW in total viewers last week on the first night of Great American Bash and Fyter Fest. Triple H said that counter-programming is part of healthy competition, but he also laid out how these decisions have come naturally and come from where NXT’s storylines have been heading.
“It absolutely is part of healthy of competition. Anyone that thinks it isn’t, to a degree, is being naive to the situation,” Triple H asserted. “You saw that back in the day when Clash of Champions was counter-programming [to WWE’s WrestleMania IV in 1988]. At the same point, it can’t drive your booking decisions.
“Obviously there are counter-programming decisions, but I can tell you exactly how this came about. Almost all of these storylines were headed where they are now. There was a gap, timing wise, between In Your House and what will become the SummerSlam TakeOver, and you need a halfway point and a build. This is that halfway point. So it doesn’t change our decision-making process. I don’t counter-book, I book what’s right for NXT.”
Barrasso addressed the potential spoiler that was leaked out by a NXT wrestler and asked Triple H why people should tune into Great American Bash. Triple H said this week’s show will be something special and hypes up the dream match between NXT Champion Adam Cole and NXT North American Champion Keith Lee.
“I thought we had an epic show last week, and this week’s show is something special,” Triple H stated. “I know there is a little bit of controversy around it, and this won’t be the first time I’ve taken it upon myself to manipulate that process, but what I can tell you is that this main event delivers. Adam Cole and Keith Lee, I think it’s a dream match between our two top performers from 2019, and they deliver here.
“People are going to be very entertained. When you look back in a year, a match like this is going to make the demand even greater for the Great American Bash next year.”
Barrasso noted Lee’s accomplishments in WWE so far including his appearances at Survivor Series and Royal Rumble. He asked Triple H what the fans might not know about Lee.
“Keith brings a big presence, and he carries such enormous respect with him,” Triple H said. “He is a moment-maker and a reason to watch, and he knows that, but he’s also super open to a different manner of doing things.
“When he first came in, there were some frustrating points. He wanted more, but I saw that ability. There were little gaps in his game, and the goal was for us to help him to be even more huge. He has limitless, pun intended, talent, with all the tools and ability, but we wanted to sharpen him up first before we let him loose. The second you let him go, as you see now, no one can take their eyes off him, everyone is watching.”