Triple H recently spoke with Newsweek and said it was very important that WWE NXT stay at Full Sail Live for the big move to the USA Network this month. He also credited the NXT fanbase in Florida with helping to create the brand.
“For me it was very important,” he said. “For one, with our partnership with Full Sail. We do so much there than just put on shows. If you’re a student at Full Sail, they are working on our shows with us shadowing and it’s a learning process for them as well. To continue that process, I wanted to keep it there. They are one of our biggest and best partners. The other thing to me, that fan base in Florida, they built this. They were there on the ground floor and their energy and excitement allowed [NXT] to become what it has become and what it is becoming, and I want them to be on that ride with us and to continue to grow it. When we say ‘we are NXT’ they are every bit a part of that as the talent are in some ways. I want them to continue to show the world when we go live on USA. I want them to stand up and say ‘we are NXT’ because they are.”
Triple H also confirmed that the second hours of the September 18 and September 25 NXT USA episodes are airing on the WWE Network due to the final two episodes of “Suits” airing at 9pm ET. As noted, the first hour from 8-9pm ET will air on USA while the second hour will air on the WWE Network. Both hours will begin airing on USA with the October 2 episode. He was asked if this created any last-minute issues, and he hyped up both shows and said they will be epic.
“I don’t look at is as them preempting us [laughs]. They have their season finales there and [Suits] is a great show for our partners at USA,” he said. “I’m excited for the first two weeks to give people a taste, but leaving them wanting more. If that makes people jump over to the Network to watch the second hour, we are going to put some spectacular stuff on the first hour on USA and some on the second hour as well.
“That first week alone, on the 18th, you’re going to see Velveteen Dream and Roderick Strong for the North American title, you’re going to see a Triple Threat between Bianca Belair, Io Shirai and Mia Yim to see who will face Shayna Baszler. There’s also a Street Fight between Killian Dane and Matt Riddle that will continue their story. So there’s a lot of stuff that is going to take place. Both shows are going to be epic following one right after the other. The taste is there. If you’re a new fan watching on USA you’re going to get that taste for a couple of weeks, and then on October 2 we’re going to give you the whole thing. For two hours you’re really going to see what NXT is all about.”
Triple H also revealed that WWE 205 Live will begin to operate under the NXT umbrella soon, along with NXT UK and the main NXT brand. He mentioned 205 Live helping to “breathe” some life into NXT soon, and was then asked if we will see 205 sit under the NXT umbrella.
“You’ll start to see 205 begin to,” Triple H revealed. “I think it always existed as an island onto itself, a little bit, and it’s become lost in this limbo. You’ll begin to see it move more towards the NXT banner and the talent there. We have a lot of talent. For them to begin to compete either open against anyone or in the cruiserweight division, but have that title sit under the NXT brand is more meaningful. It creates more opportunities for more people. As for RAW and SmackDown, it’s an open division for them. When you’re on both shows, everybody is competing against everybody.”
It’s been reported that NXT call-ups to the main roster will continue, despite NXT becoming a third major brand with the move to USA. Triple H was asked if those “come ups” will continue and if talents could be NXT-lifers now, something Johnny Gargano has said he would love to be.
“I think it can,” he responded. “No different than somebody becomes the face of RAW and spends the majority of their career there. It’s the same with SmackDown and the same with NXT. I also think the opportunity for someone to leave for a period of time,take a breather and come back a little later refreshed is important. This gives them an opportunity to do other things. As NXT becomes bigger and more of a global brand, like you see what we’ve done in the UK, you will see talent has the opportunity to take a breather from RAW or SmackDown and go someplace else. And still it be very meaningful for them and not seen as “I’m going down to the minors” or anything else.
“It’s going to be a shift over to a different brand with a different feel and a different vibe where they can go and refresh and become something different so when they do go back – or maybe they don’t – they can rebrand themselves. The most successful talent in this business, from a long term standpoint, has the ability to reinvent themselves over time. And that gives them the chance to reinvent yourself at all times.”