Triple H recently conducted a media call ahead of NXT Takeover: Vengeance Day. The full audio of the call can be found on The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Triple H was asked about Edge’s recent appearance on NXT TV and his future with the brand including the possibility of him challenging for the NXT Title.
“I think that Edge’s return has been done really really well. He really is in a place in his mind where he wants to build young and just get them rolling in different directions,” Triple H explained. “He has been talking to me prior to coming back the first time at the Royal Rumble over a year ago [about] coming to NXT and not only stepping in the ring and talking but stepping in the ring and performing. Prior to him even coming to The Rumble, he sort of gave me, ‘Man, here’s my list. I’d like to work with this guy. I’d like to work with him. I would love to come here and work with this person’ It’s just where he’s at.
“That youth is exciting. Their enthusiasm, their passion for this, their drive, their desire and I think that when he came to NXT, seems like months ago now but it was two weeks ago, just knowing him so well, I could see the smile on his face all day as he went around just talking to these guys and girls. It’s awesome to see, so I don’t think any of it is beyond the realm of possibility. You saw it last year with Charlotte. I think you see it this year with him playing things across the board, whether that be [Drew] McIntyre, or Roman [Reigns] and / or Finn [Balor], Pete [Dunne].
“I think that all those things are on the table, but one way or the other, depending on where WrestleMania goes beyond that, I think there’s ability for him to come to NXT and sort of use his star power to one, help them and kind of elevate but also for him to have sort of that final few chapters of his career the way he wants to have them and with the people he wants to have them with. So I’m excited for that, and luckily, he’s got something he’s not only willing to do but really pushing hard to do.”
It has been recently reported that the NXT Title will be defended at WrestleMania 37 weekend. Triple H gave his thoughts on NXT talent being featured at WrestleMania.
“My thoughts on it are that it’s great,” Triple H stated. “You come into the place with WrestleMania where with so many brands, a big roster of RAW, big roster of SmackDown [and] a large roster of NXT, that you get to just a certain place where how big and how long do you want these shows to be.
“Everybody is sort of putting their chips on the table, so to speak, for their spot in Mania, as always. That’s the big spot of the year. Not everybody can be in those spots, obviously, and I think everybody understands that, but that’s the battle, and it’s a balance is my opinion. I just think that you have to balance that out, but I love having them be a part of it.
“If you tell me that NXT gets to be a part of the biggest stage in the game and the biggest spectacle, it’s phenomenal. It just helps the brand, and it helps continue to drive it forward. It’s just a matter of how much can you fit into WrestleMania, now weekend. What is the benefit to having its own platform of an NXT takeover that week? It’s a balance, but I love it if we can do it.”
WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan addressed WWE’s declining TV ratings on the Q4 and Full Year earnings call noting that eyeballs have moved to other places. Triple H was asked about Khan’s comments and agreed with them stating that TV ratings are not the only barometer of success.
“I think Nick said it best, in that, you’re talking about eyeballs and consumption,” Triple H said. “In any of our brands, RAW, SmackDown [and] NXT is no different, you’re looking about how are people consuming the product. The world is changing. In some way, you would say to yourself, and I’m not talking about our industry at all but television consumption is down across the board. Are people just watching less content? No, they’re watching more content. People are on their phones 24/7. People are watching content on so many different platforms, and streaming devices, and apps and everything in between that to not consider those as platforms that are taking your eyeballs, I think Nick said it in a clarification the other day in an interview that he did, even for him watching SmackDown, he watched it on an app for very for quite a few months.
“Those don’t count in television ratings. They count clearly. That’s a fan watching the show if you want to look at it in that manner, but it doesn’t count as a television rating. You have to look at them across the board. To just say that in today’s world all that matters is one of those platforms, any given one is just naïve to all the other platforms. It really is. You have to take into consideration everything. You have to take into consideration where people are when they’re watching and how they’re watching if people want to watch on their times. Appointment television is not the same conversation it was 15 years ago.
“We take that into consideration just like everything else. I’m very happy with where we are but always looking forward to be a lot better. It’s that you’re never content, never happy with where it is. You want it to grow. You want it to be more. You want to get more eyeballs. The Peacock thing is another example of that. The opportunity for us to have more eyeballs across the board from so many people in so many different ways is incredible, and that’s all part of this engagement and driving people to watch the product when they want to, not when and where and when you want them to.”
There has been some speculation that NXT will move nights due to NBCSN shutting down and sports programming like their NHL Wednesday night block moving to USA Network. Triple H addressed the possibility that NXT could air on Peacock.
“To be honest, I’m not 100% sure in those conversations,” Triple H admitted. “I’m not at that level of detail with the Peacock thing. I haven’t been engaged in it at that point. The great thing about NXT and it’s placement right now on USA one, they’re extremely happy with the product. Two, they’re extremely happy where it sits, but you have to look at it all as one big circular kind of universe.
“They all kind of pitch into each other, and so having the platform of USA with NXT, much like RAW to pitch you to Peacock and to pay-per-views and all the other content, it’s just me speaking, would seem like it would be the best place for it to be. The relationship with USA is really strong and remains for NXT. Where it goes in the future, obviously for any anything, that’s up in the air, and as these platforms shift and move and their desire to push subscribers and / or viewers in certain directions, obviously, is a part of this, but the great thing about Peacock, this NBCU relationship, it just strengthens across the board.
“They’re all synergistic to each other. When you talk about the size and the strength of Peacock, it just increases the viewership dramatically. So if there’s a special event coming on there, the ability for more people than ever before, by far, can be able to see that event and to have eyeballs on that event and to get cross-promotion across everything is bigger than it’s ever been before, and that’s the goal.”
WWE NXT Takeover: Vengeance Day takes place this Sunday night and will air on the WWE Network