Credit: Larry Csonka
Here are some highlights from today’s WWE/NXT conference call with Triple H…
* As previously posted, Triple H commented on the leaked photos involving Seth Rollins. He noted that Colby Lopez (Rollins’ real name) has apologized and that, “This is an unfortunate personal incident and that’s all it is”.
* He gave a short preview of tomorrow’s NXT Takeover: Rival special.
* Triple H commented on the status on the NXT brand. He feels that NXT will become more of a touring brand, and that they could tour regularly by the end of 2015. The goal would be to run small venues, and to do sold shows (shows that a third party pays for and WWE then produces, casinos do this a lot). He wants to do this so that the talent can continue to learn, but also so they have the advantage of learning in front of different crowds.
* He wants to make NXT a viable brand so that it won’t be a demotion for guys on the main roster to come down to NXT and add an exciting element to the product.
* WWE will hold tryouts during the weekend of the Arnold Classic. They are running two shows in Ohio that weekend.
* Triple H was asked about the possibility of an NXT match at WrestleMania. He’d love to see it happen, but also doesn’t want to lose perspective of what the brand is. He thinks they can get there he just doesn’t know how close they are to doing it.
* He was next asked about the differences on the way that the ladies are booked in NXT vs. the main roster, and if it was simply his ideology vs. Vince’s. He said that they have a little different audience at NXT vs. the main roster. There are more casual fans of WWE and it takes a while to change perceptions, but he thinks they are doing that but admits that it will take time and effort. He discusses how the sports world is looking at women differently, mentioning Ronda Rousey.
* Triple H discussed Hideo Itami’s transition to living in the US. He noted that it has been a lot for him, he left Japan and its culture and it takes time to acclimate. He said that there is also a factor where the Japanese look at WWE as a huge upgrade and it can be a lot to absorb. He has seen changes in him since his arrival and think that “he’ll get there”.
* He thinks that Kevin Owens is changing and growing and that he and Zayn will have a great match at Rival.
* When asked about the atmosphere in NXT, he says that the roster is excited and that is it an exciting place to be right now. The talents are getting their own merchandise, and are feeling special and like they belong. He also feels that it will cause competition with the main roster (the merchandising) and that is a good thing.
* On the Owens vs. Zayn feud, he says he likes that they can embrace their past prior to coming to WWE. They have such a long history that it just makes sense to embrace and use it.
* He was asked about Alex Riley’s position, and Triple H noted that Riley had asked for a change and will get opportunities. He made it sound as if Riley would be returning to in ring action.
* Triple H and Vince never sit down and watch the NXT product together, and that Vince usually has it on in the background since he is working so much. He did add that Vince is proud of the product. He and Vince have spent a lot of time over the years discussing the subject of developing WWE’s future. He always wanted to run developmental, and he is honored that Vince entrusted him to do it and start the performance center.
* As far as Indy guys getting noticed, Triple H said that William Regal is his trusted eye for talent and goes around scouting on trips. He also added that independent performers should always work on their craft, work on their mechanics and their personalities.