On a special bonus edition of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, the post-game NXT “TakeOver: XXX” media call with Triple H was featured with Triple H taking questions after the show that saw Karrion Kross win the NXT Championship.
Not present at the show was NXT play-by-play commentator Mauro Ranallo. It was reported that Ranallo has returned to Canada to be with his family, but there have not been other reports indicating why he has done so nor when he will return. Corey Graves filled in on commentary with Vic Joseph and Beth Phoenix, and Triple H commented on the situation.
“Mauro just wasn’t available tonight,” Triple H stated. “Since we announced ‘TakeOver: XXX’, Corey Graves did commentary on the first one (TakeOver), and he’d been wearing me out on doing commentary for this one since we first mentioned it, and Mauro’s not available. And here we are. I thought he did a phenomenal job. I thought he, Vic and Beth did an amazing job. I thank him for being here, and thank him for wanting to be here because, like I said, he did the first one. It was so meaningful to him. Just him getting done last night and big day tomorrow.”
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions and RAW and SmackDown Women’s Champions Sasha Banks and Bayley appeared on the show. Triple H gave his thoughts on seeing them at “TakeOver: XXX”.
“So I break this down, a lot of times, to passion, and the thing that I respect the most is anybody that is super passionate about this, it really just sticks with me,” Triple H revealed. “And when people like Sasha and Bayley, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing, if they’re in town and they’re here, I know I will get a text during that day from one of the two of them saying, ‘hey, can we come by tonight to say hello, to see everybody and hey, maybe can you put us on the show. Would love to do something too. Oh, by the way, if you want us to work, we’re happy to do that too. Oh, by the way, if you need us there on Wednesday, we’ll show up for that too.’ I mean, they love this, and their passion to want to come here and be a part of it and contribute to it and contribute to the future of it, and they come here and they see everybody that’s here. Just seeing them lights me up when they’re here. It really does.”
Triple H also revealed that WWE Champion Drew McIntyre had also inquired about coming to TakeOver. He noted that passion that many NXT alumni have for the brand because of the memories and experiences they had at NXT.
“Drew McIntyre, same thing,” Triple H pointed out. “I did some ESPN media with Drew McIntyre yesterday, and as we were getting on the phone to do it, the first thing he said to me is, ‘hey, can I come to ‘TakeOver?’ It’s that level of passion of people that they don’t have to. They just want to. They want to be a part of it. They want to be here. They want to be engaging it, and that to me is is awesome. To want to do it, to have the passion to do it and to want to, whether it’s to give back or be a part of it or just witnessing or be here and see it. That’s the stuff that I love, and there’s a lot of talent.
“Trust me, there’s a lot of talent that call and would love to be here tonight, and they were like, ‘ah, I don’t get in until after the show,’ or ‘ah, I got this media thing. Can’t be there but man if I get done early, I’m going to come by. Is that OK? Can you make sure security lets me in,’ or, ‘hey, is medical still going to be there’ because in this time, we all got to check in and everything and go through the process. It’s awesome to see that that level of passion from the talent.
“The Pride they take in NXT of what they went through when they were here, their fond remembrance of it and what it means to them, and then they’re wanting to give back to that next gen and also come back here and be a part of it. I can’t tell you how many talent have come here that went through this, and if they come back here to Full Sail, this happened to me a few weeks ago with somebody who’s here, and they just said, ‘oh my God, I’m more nervous about this than for PPVs and stuff like that. I haven’t been here for so long. It’s such a great place.’ It just brings back memories for them. To me, it means everything. Everything.”
Dakota Kai took on NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai, but she failed to win the title. However, her heel turn has made her into one of the top stars of NXT, and Triple H talked about the growth Kai has undergone.
“To see her growth and development from the sort of person that came in here, that was just comfortable being the friend of the other people to the person that was, in some ways, we did the creative where she was petrified of Shayne Baszler because you could almost see it in her that she was intimidated by a lot of the bigger stuff,” Triple H explained. “And you can almost see it in her face in her eyes, and I was like, ‘well, we’re going to run with that,’ but to see where she’s come to where she is now. To see her step into it herself and to see her go out there week after week and put on great performances.
“To see her get the microphone and cut promos that are great. To see her go out there tonight and, as you said, Io Shirai, arguably I mean this across the board for everybody, you could make the argument that she’s greatest female performer today in-ring. To go out there and hang with her at that level and do an amazing job with it and to make you believe. It’s awesome. Can’t say enough good stuff about her and her growth.”
Triple H also highlighted Raquel Gonzalez and her growth as well. He called the confrontation between Gonzalez and Rhea Ripley a “star-making moment for both of them.”
“Likewise with Raquel Gonzalez. To see the shift that she has gone from just the sort of nervous performer to all of a sudden being this giant badass force behind Dakota Kai, and you believe it and you feel it. She believes it, and she feels it. Then Rhea Ripley comes out there like a force of nature, and the two of them squaring off, like, to me, just in that brief moment, star-making moment for both of them.
“Those are special things, and again, hats off to Dakota Kai just earning it every step of the way, and win or lose man, she had a star-making night across the board. She is a player. Absolutely, and one of the best in-ring female performers in the world. Bar none.”