After WWE NXT Takeover: WarGames 2020, Triple H held a post-show media call where he discussed the night’s events, the recent Performance Center signings, and NXT’s plans for 2021.
During the call, Triple H was asked about if we can expect to see the Undertaker make a full-time transition to a trainer at the WWE Performance Center now that the Deadman is officially retired. While Triple H says he wants Taker to enjoy his retirement, he emphasized that any training appearances Taker is able to make are always impactful.
“Anytime Taker is involved here, anytime he has walked through these doors, everybody that’s here is better for it,” Triple H said. “They all come out of here with a different perspective, a fresh viewpoint. You know, he’s one of the most knowledgable guys that has ever been in the business, I believe. Even myself, I learn from him every time I’m around him. He is looking now, I believe, to move into a sort of the next phase of his life.”
While Taker’s one-off WWE PC classes have left a positive influence, Triple H revealed he and Taker have discussed the possibility of the Phenom working as a trainer full-time.
“We’ve talked a lot about it, about being here and being involved with the future, and getting more into that,” Triple H said. “I would like to believe he has earned taking a breath after his retirement for a moment (laughs), but we’ve actually just touched base in the past couple of days, and that is something coming out of the holidays that we will certainly be talking about in 2021, which is just one more reason to be excited about next year. Having him involved, I just, I can’t stress enough how impactful that will be to everybody.”
The global pandemic has forced WWE to shift all their shows to either limited capacity or empty arenas. Beyond the absence of fans, there is also the underlying risk of talent getting sick. In the case of a talent contracting COVID, Triple H says there are always back-up plans in place, but they are no different than the adjustments that would be made for sudden injuries.
“It’s always in the back of your head,” Triple H said. “If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us, it’s that you can’t plan that far ahead. The world can change on a dime. One week we were doing shows in packed arenas everywhere around the world, and the next week we were in an empty warehouse so to speak. You just have to constantly be ready. I think it’s something that WWE does very well, and it’s continued to do over its years is pivot and change and move with the times. That’s something that we’re always looking to do. And so you keep it in your head, whether that’s injuries, whether that’s something like the pandemic, it’s always there. So you’re always trying to think of ‘Plan B.’ We’ve had to do that a lot, believe me, in the last ten months or so. It’s kind of the new norm, but you just keep moving forward and at the end of the day, it is what it is. But the truth is that goes for injuries as well, just as much as it does for anything else. If you would’ve told me that both Bálor and Kross would’ve been on the shelf at the same time, especially Kross coming out of a win over Keith Lee and becoming champ, and having to move on, you just can’t plan for that.”
WarGames is a unique event in that its structure alone commands logistical adjustments. Considering that NXT has run television out of the smaller-sized Capitol Wrestling Center, the question about how the structure would make its way into the CWC was raised. Triple H admitted that he doesn’t quite know how it’s done, but commends the team that assembles the twin cages.
“It’s a little bit like putting a ship in a bottle. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s really cool when it’s in there,” Triple H said. “As we were building out the CWC and the decision was made to do it, and the teams all came together to build that out, one of the questions that we all had was, ‘WarGames is around the corner, what do we do?’ And you start to float all the options around, everybody does, and we all come together and make decisions. As we were thinking about it one of the thoughts that was made was could we get it in here, and how could we do it if we did? One of the things that makes this company amazing and I would speak to it is the television production, the teams that make content, edit it, put it together, is second to none on anything in the world. Kevin Dunn’s team across the board and then even some of the guys here that work in the digital production, I just can’t say enough.
“Sometimes we put these shows together, and as the story packages come together I’m in awe of what they do and how they put it together. That team combined then with the team that does the set design, the team that designed and built the ThunderDome, it’s amazing. They do what they do, and it’s magical. They showed it to me in a design format, and I was like, holy cow, I can’t believe you guys can do this.
“The difficult part about it, even like the Capitol Center itself, I still feel to this day like I bought the brand-new car and I’ve got the manual, but I’m still trying to figure out what all the buttons do. There’s so many things in here that we can do. How can we figure out how to use the walls and the video? How can we figure out different lights and different things? You’re constantly just evolving, and again, like having a brand new car three months into it you punch a button and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t know it could do that.’ It’s really cool.”
While the event was a success, Triple H says there is always room for improvement.
“Production wise, I thought we did a great job with it. I thought the team was amazing,” Triple H said. “Do I think it’ll be better? Yes. Do I think there’s a lot of things I would’ve done differently? Yes. Because until you’re doing it live and until the people are in the ring and it’s actually going down, you can’t… You got to drive the car to see how it all works. Tonight we drove the car. I thought it was amazing. I thought they did a phenomenal job putting it all together, and I look forward to doing it again because we learned a lot tonight as we do every single night. But I can’t say enough good things about the team that built all this, whether it’s ThunderDome, Capitol Center, everything in between, they’re the best in the world.”
WWE NXT Takeover: WarGames is now available for replay via the WWE Network. Triple H’s post-WarGames media call is now available as part of a Sunday night special installment of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.