Following the historic inaugural episode of NXT TV on USA Network from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida on Wednesday evening, WWE EVP and "The Father of NXT," Paul "Triple H" Levesque, took part in a post-show media conference call.
Check out a detailed recap of Triple H's post-NXT TV On USA Network media call courtesy of PWInsider.com below.
TRIPLE H POST-NXT TV ON USA NETWORK MEDIA CALL RECAP
HHH thanked everyone for taking part. He said that he just told talent that it was hard to follow up with what they accomplished with anything but that he was proud of them. It was the starting line, not the finish line. They went out on the top cable network in USA and put on what he felt was an epic night. They were trending at the top of Twitter all night. He’s proud of the entire team in front of and behind the cameras and thanked their partners at Full Sail Live.
It was a great night and they get to do that every Wednesday going forward.
First question was what went into the thought process of what went into making the first impression tonight. HHH said you weigh everything – how do you balance a one-hour show with action that is also the first shot with the audience so you give them character development and show them the personality of the performers. Once you make a commitment to what you are doing, you have to figure out how to pace it. How they paced it with commercials and timing – things they don’t have control over, the length of breaks and how many commercials. He felt they did a good job of not making the show lag or feel bogged down. He wants a consistent ebb and flow. He’s confident in the talent and the staff here.
He was asked if the next few weeks feels like a trial show and whether the hours being on different platforms allows for different presentation. They have no leeway in that they have to be out at the 9 PM hour tonight and that’s the tricky time for anyone doing live TV. You are off the air whether you are ready or not. The beautiful thing about the team is they have experience and they know what they are doing. It doesn’t mean mistakes won’t happen and they had an epic first shot. It’s nice that the first few weeks will have that mix. The fans who have been with them know NXT. Giving the first taste to the USA fans and giving them a little taste and dose will leave wanting more. When they hit the first two hour stride on 10/2, they’ll hit it out of the park. The goal in this is to make people want more of this.
They were asked about the dark matches and the usage of Sean Maluta on tonight’s show. HHH said they like Sean a lot and he’s grown a lot and they’ve used him before. There’s opportunity for him and others where they can be connected with what NXT does. Imperium was here. There was a slightly different take with the Cruiserweights tonight. Lio Rush returned. NXT isn’t going to change how it’s presented. Having a few dark matches allows them to settle into a groove and make sure everything is working right and it’s content for whatever they decide to use those matches for. They are working out how it will be used.
HHH was told that he sounded really happy coming out of the first episode. He said he was very happy. It’s very rare at NXT that he doesn’t walk away happy. There are things they can do better and he wants to walk away and analyze it and be his own worst critic. It’s a work in progress and he wants to make it better every single time.
He was asked about the decision to format the show the way that it was, so that it was all action with very little in the way of promos and mic work or even vignettes – leaving the characterizations to play out in the ring as opposed to giving someone a promo to establish themselves. He said that they’ll approach things differently at all times. He said that he felt there was a lot of character development in the segments on USA but it had to be quick. You didn’t have the time to cut the promos. He felt there was more intrigue in Cameron Grimes after what he did tonight and now people will want to see what he has to say. HHH said that when they dive into the two hours, they will have those opportunities. You have to do that stuff to build storylines. You have to give out information, not just in the ring and not just physical. You have to do that stuff to make the matches mean something. You have to give him new, fresh information. People have short attention spans if it’s the same thing they’ve always seen. He wants things to be different and fresh and they are working on it. Tonight was a specific type of show and going forward, other shows will be presented as specific, different types of shows.
He was asked how different the second hour of tonight’s show would have looked if it was airing on USA or was against competition. He said that there were a lot of developmental types featured. HHH said you are developmental until the day you stop getting in the ring. Everyone is developmental. They would have had commercials. They were on their own network and they chose to go off a little early. It would have been a little different but not massively different. You can’t be pouring gas on the fire the entire time. If you watch Game of Thrones, you have those moments where you are building to something different. He wants to get new characters and new performers to have opportunity. He wants to have returning performers get chances. You have to rely on fans to realize this is someone new and that the fans want to give them a shot. He wants to keep people interested.
HHH was asked about the Lio Rush return. HHH said it was a return they had been talking about for a while, but with NXT on USA finally happening (HHH said they had been talking about it for 18 months to 2 years about happening). He said Lio is a money performer and spectacular. He and Oney Lorcan tore it up and that’s what it is all about.
HHH was asked about the video Tomasso Ciampa released. Has he been cleared to return? HHH said he’s close. He said when you get to the end of returning, that last few percentage points before you get to 100% are the most frustrating thing in the world as you feel like you can move the world. He’s waiting for the moment and he’ll tear things apart.
HHH was asked about remaining at Full Sail. HHH said the decision had many thoughts and components that went into it. Business-wise, their partnership with Full Sail. When they say, “We are NXT”, that is a part of it. The fans are a part of this and have been since the beginning. Fans travel to all the Florida events. Fans travel to Orlando and make NXT a part of their vacation. There is a part of him that doesn’t want to do the show anywhere else. The fans got it to where this is as much as everyone else and they were there for it and this is the thank you where the fans get to come on the ride on the USA Network and have their voices heard and be part of this. When the crowd is live and something is good, there’s a crazy vibe and there’s no better place.
They were asked about the WWE Network issues. He doesn’t believe it was as big as it’s been portrayed to be. The great thing was that once the issue was fixed, fans could log in and watch it on demand. The platform has some glitches and issues at times and he hopes it doesn’t happen again.
Triple H was asked about what input of feedback he received from Vince McMahon. He received a lot of texts over the course of the day including texts counting him down. Vince wants the entire show, probably while in a meeting and felt the talent knocked it out of the park. He was thrilled with the product and congratulated HHH for the show. He said Vince doesn’t get the credit for embracing the differences. It’s like enjoying different types of music. You can appreciate all of it and Vince appreciates it. He sent a congrats to the talents, crew and to him.
Triple H said they had a spectacular night. He appreciated all the conversation about the show and wants to make it the best show that you can make it. They want to have the best show on TV and that’s what they are working towards.
For videos and photos of all of the action from NXT TV On USA Network from hour one, as well as NXT TV On WWE Network from hour two, click here. For backstage photos and videos, including the production team working during the show in the control room, Triple H and Shawn Michaels hanging out backstage and more, click here.
If you missed the historic inaugural episode of NXT TV On USA Network from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida on Wednesday night, check out our detailed results at this link: NXT TV On USA Network Results From Winter Park, FL. (9/18/2019)
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