Triple H recently held a media call ahead of WWE NXT “Takeover: WarGames 2020”. One of the participants in one of the marquee War Games matches is former NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley, who recently opened up about losing her confidence after losing to Charlotte at this past year’s WrestleMania. Triple H was asked about his past comments about Ripley’s loss being part of a larger story for her and whether that still applies now or if those plans have changed.
“The world has changed,” Triple H jokingly noted. “None of that plan exists or was able to — everything changed, and I don’t think anybody, in that moment, could have predicted… even when all this first started, you go back to March, and it seems like, in some ways, forever ago. But if anybody would have said, even in March, ‘look, in December, you’re still going to be in lockdown. In December, this is going to have ramped up again and be possibly, arguably worse than it was before.’ Everything is changing on a day-to-day basis, and it’s hard to start to plan for next week let alone next year, next month [and] all of that.
“The one thing about Rhea, her honesty of that is great. When you’re young, it doesn’t take much to rack your confidence. When you’re young and you’re getting started and everything is rolling, it doesn’t take much to have you go from an incredible high to an incredible low and begin to question yourself and all those things.”
Triple H continued noting that hitting a low is part of any sport and is a valuable part in maturing as an athlete or performer. He said these kinds of moments are learning experiences citing his own career where he had his own low moments that later became learning experiences.
“That’s part of maturing in any sport,” Triple H pointed out. “I watch my kids play sports, and they are hardly doing anything. And then they get the ball thrown to them, they score one basket at the basketball game, and you just see this monumental shift in their entire body language to where all of a sudden they’re LeBron James for a moment and playing at a different level. As you mature and become more confident in yourself and believe in yourself and understand, it changes. That’s all part of the process.
“I truly believe, long-term, that those are all valuable things. Sometimes, I think in the world today that everybody wants everything to have immediate success and then go very smoothly all the way to the end. There’s no lessons in that. There’s no long-term value in that. If there’s no struggle, there’s no stripe. There’s no difficulties in it. You don’t grow as a performer. It’s just easy, and to me, these are all learning experiences. I look back at my career and moments in time that were amazing and moments in time that were incredible setbacks in my mind.
“At the time, horrifying and terrible for you, and then you look at them now and you’re like, ‘well thank God that happened then because if that didn’t happen, this wouldn’t have happened.’ It’s all part of the journey, and when you’re young, it’s hard to say, ‘okay, you have to think long term.’ When you’re young, long term is the spring. It’s three months from now. That’s long term. Long term is 5-10 years from now, and when you think about things in that manner, those setbacks are actually extremely valuable in getting you to the places you need to go.”
Triple H admitted that Ripley’s story is not where it was originally intended. However, he praised Ripley for being a better version of herself than she was earlier in the year.
“Is it where it was going? No, and it won’t,” Triple H stated. “The whole world changed, but I do still believe that that is a valuable — there’s a lot of valuable lessons for her to be able to go through to find herself to pick herself up. The Rhea Ripley that I’m watching right now is a way better Rhea Ripley than it was in January-February of last year when she was on the high or even December of this time last year. She’s a way better performer, way more mature, her understanding, all of it, and all of that came through that process. It is what it is.”
Triple H was later asked about the women’s division in general and the spotlight they have received. Triple H noted that when you have something that is good, you want to showcase it. He said that there is no specific focus for a specific reason saying that if the women main event, they are in the main event because they are deserving of it.
“When something is that good, you want to put it out there, and to me, every single time you put the women in NXT in a position where they can go out there and deliver the way they do, you do it because they’re great at it,” Triple H said. “I said it last night when they all walked back through the doors, ‘No one can touch our women, and they are a bunch of badasses.’ It’s amazing to see, and there’s an underneath to that even when you look at the eight women that are in War Games.
“There’s an underneath to that’s strong as well and a next level that is coming up that is strong as well. And they’re learning that from the women that we have in those positions now. You look over in NXT UK and you see Piper [Niven] and Kay Lee Ray and just all the women that are over there. It’s very strong, and I don’t look at it any differently. I don’t book them. I don’t even think of it in that manner of ‘well, what are you going to do with the women,’ or what are you going to do with their storylines’ or how much of that should you put in the show?’ To me, it’s just telling the stories and what is there, the talent or the talent? So if they end up in the main event spot, it’s because they were the main event players.
“That’s what the mix is all about, and you’re just piecing it all together by what’s there, not by anything else. No one gets bonus points for anything. No one gets points taken away for anything. It just is what it is, and that to me is the ultimate sign of respect. You’re that good that it doesn’t matter. It almost is bothersome to me a little bit when people go, ‘It’s the greatest women’s division.’ I don’t know. It’s just awesome. Some of the best performers in the world, that group across the board either men or women, doesn’t matter how you look at it.”
WWE NXT presents WarGames this Sunday night December 16 live on the WWE Network.