Paul “Triple H” Levesque recently spoke with USA Today’s “For The Win” section to promote tonight’s NXT TakeOver: WarGames and tomorrow night’s WWE Survivor Series shows. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On his recent in-ring return: “It was one of those things that on a Saturday I was at an event at my kid’s school, and two hours later on I was on a plane to Santiago, Chile. Whatever [the flight] is, 12 hours later, I was headed to the arena putting my gear on, going ‘What am I doing?’ And then in Europe and the whole thing. What it has done though is, it’s been a really cool experience. In the past few years when I’ve had the opportunity to get in the ring, it’s been always based around WrestleMania and the pressures of, like saying ‘I know you haven’t thrown a baseball all season, but it’s Game 7 tomorrow, World Series. We need you to pitch in Yankee Stadium.’ It’s a lot of pressure.
It’s really cool to have an opportunity for a little bit of a change. As difficult as it is [physically] – you can work out in the gym all day long, it’s totally different from being in the ring. To be able to go to these live events with these guys that I, you know, a lot of them I had a hand in them coming through the system, and remember that ‘Hey, this is fun.’ One night I’m working with Rusev, the next night I’m going up twerking with the New Day, the next night I’m in the ring with the Shield. I heard a lot of fan comments when we were there, people say ‘It’s really cool, this is so special.’ They have no idea how special it’s been for me.”
On dealing with NXT stars moving on to the WWE main roster: “Yeah, but that’s the nature of the beast. It’s funny, you can look at those things in two ways of either ‘Ah I built this and now it’s gone, bummer.’ Or ‘Oh man, we did this, now it’s gone. There’s a huge opportunity to make something even better.’ I feel like, in some ways, that’s part of the secret sauce to NXT. It’s just always evolving. There’s always something new.
You know, just when Asuka’s at the peak… boom, she’s gone. A year earlier, when the women’s roster almost all got called up at the same time from NXT, just got strip mined – Asuka was kind of the focal point of that. She rode that out as this dominant champion, but yet while doing that, this whole group of women evolved around her. Ember Moon, Kairi Sane, Ruby Riot, Nikki Cross, Peyton and Billie, Sonya Deville. Just all these women that got this opportunity to grow, and a chance, and they gave us the chance to write different directions.
Does it take some time? Yeah. Does it take a rebuilding? Yeah. Does it give us a bump in the road where people just saw a huge event and it was awesome, then they tune in six weeks later and they go ‘who are these people?’ Yeah, but that’s the cool part of it, to me. I like that challenge. It’s exciting that we always have to be thinking about the mix of experienced talent and brand new talent. When you look at SAnitY, you see some of the talent that are in there… yeah there’s Eric Young in there, but then there’s Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain – brand new. There’s Authors of Pain, who have only a couple of years in the business. Andrade Almas, having done stuff other places but coming into his own with us. Lars Sullivan, that’s a homegrown [talent]. Velveteen Dream, a young guy just getting the first platform anywhere. There’s that mix of Aleister Black, bringing in his years of experience, yet while still learning. It’s just a really cool mix in NXT always trying to have that balance, and I think that’s part of the magic of the brand.”
Check out the complete Triple H interview at USAToday.com.