Triple H did a longass very interesting conference call before Nxt aRRival live show where he talked a lot about NXT goals long term..
Next question comes from Bryan fritz.
Bryan: Paul, thanks for taking time today for the calls.
Triple H: Sure thing, Bryan.
Bryan: When you took charge of the developmental system of WWE a few years ago. Can you talk about where it was then, and where it is now and the biggest challengers along the way?
Triple H: Umm..Listen, I never want to say it was in a bad place before. I thought it was in a very good place, but we always used to stuck it off to the sides. I used to say, our developmental was "the worst kept secret on the planet". Everybody knew it was ours, everybody knew what it was, but no one acknowledged it and I never understood why. I felt like, if you want to attract athletes from all over the globe, and this is one of those things that sometimes critics or fans of our business would say "why can't we just simply look around and get wrestlers?". Well, what you wanna attract is the right people, the right charisma, the right personality, the best athletes and then you can train them to get better. You can teach them how to become stars. It's a big process, but to do that, to be as big, as we want them to be in every way, we(developmental) had to grow, our system had to grow. When I first got into this, and Vince was talking about me taking a bigger role in the office, things I looked around the most and I thought we've got all this amazing stuff as a company, we're so big, so global, but we're not setting up for the future? The indy scene is becoming less and less of a factor all the time, it is what it is, and now you've having to create the talents. They are not out there ready to get picked any-more.
You know, you can look at it, and people can make the argument, "Well, WWE just tries to morph them into what they want!", and yeah it's right, we want you to run our playbook. You play for another team, you play their playbook, when you come play for us, we want you to run our playbook because we feel like we know what it is that we can be successful at, right? and people wanna have that debate on whether that's right or wrong, go ahead. But we do expect them to run our playbook. Sometimes its really hard to get guys out of(their routine), they have been doing a playbook for eight years, to get them to come over to ours, it's a tough transition. Sometimes it's lot easier to teach guys from day one, and to get them to follow ours. We look for talent from everywhere, but the fact to me that we just didn't have a system that was equivalent to what we were as a company. The WWE had evolved but the developmental system had stayed what it was...Not bad, but stayed what it was, and we just took it and massively, kinda amped it up and got it up-to speed. I'm very proud of that, the whole system and everybody that's part of it. I can look at it, and I can see the success of guys that we've told, over that process that this might not work out, and then we were able to refocus, re-energize and repackage them and turn them into stars. That's a testament to all of this.
Bryan: What do you think is the next step? What would like to see happen over the next couple of years as it continues to grow?
Triple H: As we talked about a minute ago, for me, we don't need to go global touring, I don't want to lose perspective of the fact that it is developmental, but for these guys and the girls that are here in the system to be able to work(infront of large crowds), when you get up to that level and we're trying to perfect you, (it can be achieved) if they can be working every weekend fridays/saturdays/sundays whatever. Once you get to that level, the only way to get better at this is, to do it infront of fans, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes, see how crowds react, different in every place you go to and work that. The continuation of that process, is to me kinda the next step, really evolving that aspect. It's a big world out there, with great athletes and potential stars, and its tough process. Sometimes, we can find a guy oversees and wanna work with him but it takes six months to get him to the country to start to train. I mean, its a long, hard process and I hope to improve that. Whether its through satellites, I'm not sure but we're working on all that. We do scan the world looking for talents, that's one of the things we've changed and grown is our recruiting process. To be able to let people know, that WWE is an option.... you know, I think now people get it, if they wanna get into football, this is what you do, if you wanna play soccer, this is how you do it, they know if you wanna be UFC/MMA fighter, they know how to do it. With WWE, it was like "how do you do that? I don't know where to start?" I wanna get that out there to people, "Listen, if you've a interest in this, it's not easy but this is how you go about it". It gives us a much bigger pool to look at and choose, and trust me we're going to weed out the ones that aren't serious, the ones that are here just to get on TV, be famous or use us as a platform to get somewhere else, that becomes see-through. This is a hard business and it takes a lot of work, its hard to get, it can be very rewarding but it takes a lot of effort, and it "weaves itself out" most of the time, of guys who really don't have their heart into it.
Bryan: Thanks, looking forward to the show on thursday night.
Triple H: Thank you very much, hope you enjoy it.
Mike: Good to talk to you sir, how are you?
Triple H: Good to talk to you, mike.
Mike: NXT being first on the network is obviously a huge compliment to the NXT system and what you guys have accomplished. Why would WWE need to go forward and do NXT as first Live special, as opposed to waiting for wrestlemania or a special Live event with WWE roster talent? Why NXT first on the network?
Triple H: Well I think, it fit. You know, when we talk about the "past, present and the future" of the WWE, as soon as you turn the network on, you've got the past in the content, the vault, in the library we've put on. The present, with all the stuff that's happening today and we wanted the ability to showcase the future. Fans have been able to see NXT domestically, they have been able to see it on Hulu, and other places on the internet a little bit but not been able to experience it fully. Globally, our(WWE) product is distributed but we've strategically held back on NXT and it almost to a great extent, it has helped us because it has created such a "back-draft" Buzz on the internet, social media and our fanbase in general. Our research showed recently, one of things fans were really excited to see was NXT, 'coz there was so much buzz. We just dropped a few things here and there, with talents coming from RAW and other things, but the Buzz was so huge and unexpected. I take pride in all these kids, that Vince was able to look at it and say "Hey, the first week of the network, I'm gonna give our fanbase something special, to be able to glimpse the future of the business, and I'm wanna do it LIVE and I want to make it big!". That's a testament to everybody here working, from the coaches to staff, to talent that are here, trainers....everybody. Trust me, Vince doesn't let anything happen or show up on the air, that he doesn't think is worth.
Mike: One more question before let someone else jump in. The NXT brand itself has obviously carved a nice little niche for itself in full sail. If the Network is a huge success, How much is that brand going to change? Do you look at it as, Nxt maybe this being a launchpad for able to tour, leave full sail, move to other markets and do TV there?
Triple H: You know, I love the fact that it's at full sail and our fanbase here is really rabid. It's their show, we get different group of people all the time, there's also a large core group...you know, its gotta a little bit of that "ECW vibe". It's something special to that and they are passionate for it. I don't know if you ever got the chance to be at the show live but there's an excitement level there, its like they own it. I'm telling you, even the most jaded old timers come in here, they see it and after the show they come to me asking when can I come back? it's "reinvigorating" to what we do in the business. As for as the touring goes, this absolutely opens up possibilities. Touring and live events are the life blood of what we do. We have to provide opportunity for guys to go out there and perform their craft in-front of thousands, and this allows for that to happen.
As for as TV shows, I don't want to lose sight of the fact that this is only a learning experience. The goal is to get these to the big leagues, and one of the beautiful things about our partnership with Full-sail is that it allows us give these guys a "micro" version of RAW and smackdown every week. One of the best compliments about the performance centre I got, is actually from one of the talents that debutted. A month in, I went to them and I asked if they were able to get past initial nerves yet and that person said to me that, they used to be really nervous, but the day before they were standing on the stage in the afternoon, looking out at the empty arena and said to himself that you know what, if I really break this down, this is what exactly what we do at NXT. The cameras are in the same spot, we're in the same positions, everything is set up the same way and the only exception is, the building is bigger and there are more people. That's a big compliment to what we hoped to achieve with the performance centre, we're really trying to give them the same experience so that when they get up there, they are not over-whelmed. People don't understand, you come from any place else and you walk in the door at Raw/smackdown, you look around and 21 TV trucks are there, it's like an anthill, millions of people going everywhere, doing thousands of things all at once, massive crowd, tough to please at times and all that is over-whelming to talent. This really helps to prepare them in the best way possible. And I don't ever wanna lose perspective of that, it's easy to get wrapped up in the buzz that makes you think "hey people really like that, let's do something more", but I wanna keep the perspective of what it is and what it's meant to be.
Mike: Thank you and its funny, you mentioned ECW, because when I went to full sail and saw one of the tapings, It really reminded me of old ECW arena but also the old RAW shows with the manhattan building. I can't agree with you more, thank you for your time.
Triple H: Thank you.
You can read full interview in this thread...