The Spotlight on the NXT Takeover: Respect Triple H Media Conference Call 10/6/2015

Tonight NXT Takeover: Resepct will air live from Orlando, Florida on the WWE Network at 9pm with a lineup as follows, WWE NXT Women’s champion Bayley vs. Sasha Banks: 30 Minute Ironman Match.Dusty Rhodes Tag Classic Semi-Finals: NXT champion Finn Balor & Samoa Joe vs. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder and Baron Corbin & Rhino vs. Chad Gable & Jeremy Jordan. The Dusty Rhodes Tag Classic Finals will also take place live tonight with Cody & Dustin Rhodes to presenting trophy to winners, Asuka will make her in-ring debut vs. Dana Brooke and Tyler Breeze vs. Apollo Crews.  Yesterday afternoon, as he always does before each NXT special, Paul Levesque (Triple H) met with members of the media on a conference call.  Here were some of the highlights from that call…
The Continued Expansion Of NXT:  One of the main things to come out of the conference call was the continued success of NXT as it’s own entity.  Levesque mentioned how NXT recently took part in the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville this past weekend.  I for one think this is a great idea as few things go hand in hand more than Rock & Wrestling.  I remember going to Ozzfest back in 2002 and meeting WWE superstars and divas throughout the day and the same with Warped Tour a few years after that.  With the killer lineup at Louder Than Life mixed with NXT, I considered heading down to Kentucky for the first time in my life this past weekend.  Levesque continued that NXT continues to have success with the sales of all of their dates in London, which includes the next Takeover special after tonight’s by the way.  He then also touched on the new docuseries coming to the WWE Network entitled NXT: Breaking Ground which will be debuting on the Network on October 26th and that the series is going to be similar to the NXT 24 special that aired this past Monday night (I was taken over with birthday craziness yesterday so I haven’t been able to catch that just yet but I heard it was great and I should have a piece up on that tomorrow).  Lastly in regards to Breaking Ground, Levesque mentioned that they were constantly filming material for that show while NXT tours, so that’s something to really look forward to. In the end, I liked that Levesque was also honest in saying that sometimes he’s had to pull back a little on some opportunities awarded to NXT in order not to burn out the talent and production team and keep everyone honest.
The Relationship between NXT and Evolve: There has been ongoing rumors that there was a working relationship between NXT and Evolve Wrestling, in particular the head of Evolve (and former Ring of Honor booker) Gabe Sapoloski.  While Levesque denied reports that Sapolsky had been brought in as a member of the writing team for NXT, he did mention that he has a lot of respect for Sapolsky and how he does view Evolve as sort of a feeder system for NXT.  Levesque continued by saying that he felt that the wrestling business needs smaller independent federations like Evolve and put over the job that everyone does down there.  He explained that if there were a talent that he felt needed to work on something or if there just wasn’t a spot for them currently in NXT, he wouldn’t hesitate to send them down to Evolve for extra training and he would like to support Evolve in any way that he can.  I can tell you from experience, and I’ve been going to there shows since 2010 when Daniel Bryan went down there between his WWE runs, Evolve puts on some great shows.
Vince Mcmahon’s Role in NXT: One of the more interesting tidbits to come out of the call was when Levesque confirmed that he, not Vince McMahon, has the final say over the booking decisions in NXT.  He explained that Vince did attend the NXT show at the Barclay’s Center but made sure that he didn’t step on any toes and simply watched the show from the gorilla position as a fan.  He explained that Vince fully supports NXT and while he wouldn’t be at the Takeover show tonight, couldn’t wait for the Ironman match this evening.
Closing Thoughts:
Overall I thought this was a great listen as all of these calls are.  I personally would have liked someone to ask Levesque about the status of the different Takeover specials as to whether they are now at a point where we can expect them bi-monthly or if we’re going to even get to a point where there specials will be monthly.  
That said, the call breezes right by in just over 40 minutes and includes a lot more than listed above.  If you’d like to listen to the call has (as usual and thanks to Jason Powell for it) posted the call online for free on their podcasts page right here–triple-h-talks-with-the-pro-wrestling-media.  Other topics covered during the call is the importance of the Bayley-Sasha main event tonight, why the match is called an ironman match and not an ironwoman match (and who made that clarification), a funny story about Finn Balor posing in front of TNA offices and so much more.  We’ll have coverage on the NXT special at some point tomorrow but until then, take care.  

The Spotlight On Triple H’s NXT Unstoppable Media Conference Call


Yesterday afternoon Paul “Triple H” Levesque conducted his quarterly Conference Call in which he speaks with different members of the wrestling media either the day of or the day prior to an NXT live special  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to listen to the call live because of my 9-5 gig but thanks to Jason Powell of the entire call is available to the public.  I think this is something very cool that Triple H does and shows how much he has his finger on the pulse of the audience that contains NXT’s most passionate fanbase.  I also find the calls quite enjoyable as you can tell how badly Triple H wants to see NXT succeed, he’s obviously very proud of his braintrust and I can’t say I blame him one bit.  Here are some highlights from the conference call.


1) Bloom and Amato Get The Call- One of the most newsworthy items to come out of Triple H’s conference call was the announcement of a new head coach and assistant head coach of WWE’s developmental system, NXT.  As for the head coach of NXT that was a position given to WWE veteran Matt Bloom.  Bloom is probably best known as, the former Prince Albert, A-Train, Tensai, and (most recently) Jason Albert, to most WWE and NXT fans.  I personally saw Bloom watching Wrestlemania live, right below where I was seated, with the NXT talents and I could tell how much respect the talents had for him.  As for the Assistant Head Coach of NXT, that honor went to Sara Amato who is probably best remembered by wrestling fans as the former Sara Del Ray who wrestled Ring Of Honor and Shimmer, among many others.  I couldn’t be happier to hear of Amato’s promotion as she is very talented and if the current crop of NXT women are any indication, she’s doing a great job!

2) NXT Unstoppable Updates-  Triple H addressed the elephant in the room  head on during the call announcing that Sami Zayn has been cleared for tomorrow night so the main event will remain as advertised.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Hideo Itami who is injured, though Triple H did mention he’d be represented “in a storyline sense” at the show, he is scheduled to take on both Tyler Breeze and Finn Balor in a triple threat number one contender’s match.  The rest of the card will be filled out by Charlotte and Bayley taking on Emma and Dana Brooke, Rhyno vs. Baron Corbin in a grudge match, a tag title match that will see the champions Blake and Murphy vs. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady and a women’s title match in which Sasha Banks will defend her title against Beck Lynch (no relation, sadly).

3) A Second Touring NXT Brand?- One of the other major things to come out of Triple H’s conference call are long term potential plans to have NXT split off into two different touring brands.  The idea would be to have the main NXT roster make up the brand that would be touring larger venues, perhaps nationally, and then have a second NXT brand consisting of the up and coming NXT superstars and divas, run smaller venues likely in and around the Florida area.  This is a great idea and creates that double A, triple A baseball like system throughout WWE.  It really makes a lot of sense when you consider that no more than 20-25 NXT talents are usually on a live two hour show.  On the ESPN E:60 special you heard Triple H say that there are currently 75-80 men and women down in the performance center.  This would be a great way to get those other 50 members of NXT that live event experience if they aren’t quite ready to be featured on the NXT progam.

Closing Thoughts 

As always a very informative conference call as I feel they offer a unique behind the scenes perspective leading up to the NXT live special.  I always thought it would be a cool idea for either Triple H or Vince McMahon to do one of these calls for the WWE pay per views as well.  If I were on the call I would ask if their were any plans to sign talents specifically to NXT.  As NXT continues to expand and get bigger as it’s own entity, I feel that it will eventually become hard to continue to build around superstars who are on their way out of NXT at some point, although that sure hasn’t been the case as of yet.  I also wonder if there’s nothing for some of the current WWE superstars if maybe they can go down to NXT for some work or a fresh coat of paint, similar to what Tyson Kidd did.  The name that comes to mind for me would be Jimmy Uso, who hasn’t been on WWE TV since the injury to his brother (Jey is out for the next six to eight months) and would, in my opinion, be a welcome addition in NXT, at least in the interim.  Regardless, i’m excited for NXT Unstoppable and hope that these calls with Triple H continue moving forward.  I’ll be back with a Spotlight immeidately following NXT Takeover: Unstoppable.  If you’d like to listen to the entire Conference Call you can do so by clicking here or by visiting directly.