Triple H Interview On WWE2K17, Brock Lesnar, NXT & More

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Triple H Interview
Triple H Interview

Triple H was recently interviewed by ESPN. You can check out the entire interview here: http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/17076126/wwe-triple-h-nxt-ufc-200-brock-lesnar 

Here are some highlights from the interview:

HHH on NXT:

“It’s hard for me to imagine that just a few short years ago, NXT was kind of just a concept that we had. How quickly it has become something so much more than that.”

HHH on Brock’s recent success in UFC:

“It’s huge. I think any time that you can have a WWE performer that can cross over into something else and have that kind of a night or a performance, whether that’s making a movie or television show or competing in the UFC, that’s huge. To me, it speaks to the amazing athlete that Brock Lesnar is. To be able to come back at such an elite level after a fairly long period of time doing something different and be that dominant is just amazing to me.”
“We have said it a million times about Brock but I think it’s worth repeating. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime athlete that comes along and is just — you can see it when you look at him. Guys don’t come along that quick, that big, that fast, that aggressive and with that mentality. He is a once-in-a-lifetime combat athlete. Certainly he helps UFC, banking on Brock Lesnar’s name in the very beginning of him becoming a UFC star and showing his dominance in it. And now it’s the same thing, back and forth. They benefit from it, we benefit from it and it has been great. My hat’s off to Brock, he’s an amazing, amazing athlete.”

The difference in booking between NXT and WWE’s main shows Raw and Smack Down:

“I think for me that was part of the goal when we were creating NXT, to not just recreate Raw or SmackDown and kind of have some variety and give them something different. To me, our industry is kind of like music. There are all different kinds of genres in music and with Raw and SmackDown you are trying to hit the most mainstream level of enjoyment of the product that you can, sort of like in pop music. NXT is a bit more of a style of music. It’s a bit more intimate; it’s a bit more designed to hit our hardest-core fans and give them something that they will enjoy.”

“To me, at the end of the day, that’s the core of what we do. But it’s still understanding that Raw and SmackDown are completely different where you are trying to hit the biggest audience possible. I’m excited that people like NXT so much, obviously, but I’m excited that we have that variety. If it was all the same, I don’t know that the interest level would be the same, and that’s part of the magic of what [NXT] is. It’s different. One is not better; they are different.”

On wrestlers being called up from NXT to Raw and Smack Down and whether it hurts the company:

“It’s funny that when people talk about it to me, some will say, ‘Well, isn’t that the downfall of NXT because when a superstar becomes big enough that he’s immediately going to be taken away from you?’ I feel that’s the strength of the brand. If you look at the growth of NXT in the last couple years, there are points in time when people said, ‘Oh no, these characters are getting called up and [NXT] is doomed.’ We made somebody else the lead characters of the show and that’s the challenge and the beauty of it. It’s always fresh, it’s always different, it always feels like there is something new going on to me.”

“With NXT being different, it complements Raw and SmackDown. You have the opportunity to see these guys come in and make a name for themselves on a bigger platform. They can grow themselves while helping to create NXT’s brand. Then, if you’re following NXT, you’re ahead of the curve when they come to Raw and SmackDown. You know everything about them and their backstories. It’s like being a fan of the band before they hit it big. You have that claim to fame. And to our most passionate fan base that’s an exciting vibe that we have. I think that’s why social media is so strong for us — it’s people that want to be ahead of the curve.”

What does it mean for HHH to see the NXT guys in the new WWE 2K17 game?

“It’s huge for me. I feel sometimes like a dad with NXT, watching characters come through here and see stars come in with either no level of skill at what we do or an amazing level of skill and I watch them change from the time they walk through the door to become something more. WWE, no matter how you slice it, it’s just different. It’s a different world, different product and a different environment. And it’s a different learning curve. You see it with talent coming in how some adapt and learn faster than others. Watching them adapt and grow, somebody like Finn Balor change and morph and become so much more, it’s an amazing experience. I look forward to the opportunity of getting to see them grow through the years.”

Reacting to Bret Hart having an issue with HHH’s game stats being higher than his own:

“[Laughs]. I have not heard that. I’m sorry, there was a report that somebody was upset that their video game ranking was lower than mine? I don’t even know how that works to be honest but I suppose there it is. I see guys arguing about stuff all the time in the locker room and video game rankings would probably be part of that. I know that they are very competitive with each other in a lot of ways so it wouldn’t surprise me. Trust me, the locker room can make anything a competition.”

Triple H’s opinion on Shinsuke Nakamura:

“I have watched a lot of guys over the years and there are certain talent that you’re just drawn to, and that’s charisma and X factor and all those things. Shinsuke brings something to the table that I haven’t seen for a long time. He brings a level of charisma, a level of showmanship, that you don’t see a lot of times with guys that have an aggressive style, with the striking and skill set, that he does. He’s an amazing athlete.”

“I think he’s somebody I had my eye on for a long time as far as being part of WWE as a whole because I think he’s that different level of performer. He’s one of those guys that is harder to explain what he is because when you start to begin to say it, it doesn’t do it justice. You kind of just have to say, ‘You just have to see him.’ Once you see him, you want to watch him again. He’s that kind of performer.”

What can NXT learn from Raw and Smack Down and vice versa?

“It’s hard to say that you learn something directly from a specific brand. I feel like the business constantly changes. What fans want constantly morphs and changes. Characters that worked 15 years ago wouldn’t work today. Performers that were huge 10 years ago wouldn’t work today. It’s constantly morphing and constantly changing. I think they will all learn from each other.”

“I think when you see things succeed in SmackDown, they will begin to morph into Raw, and vice versa with NXT and all of it. To me, that’s the exciting part about the brand extension. It creates a lot more opportunity for a lot more talent and a lot more ideas to be put out on the table and performances to take place. That gives the NXT universe much greater variety to express what they like and dislike. I think the brand extension is going to be the ultimate opportunity for the fans to express themselves more than ever and morph and change [the product] to what they want.”

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I've been watching pro wrestling since 1989 and quickly caught on to UFC when it first started - thinking it would be a different type of pro wrestling similar to Japan's UWFI! I also make industrial metal / alternative music - I play drums, guitars, bass and keyboards and produce.