Triple H

Triple H Pre-NXT TakeOver: WarGames Media Call Highlights: Pat Patterson’s Death, More

Ahead of this weekend’s NXT TakeOver: WarGames PPV, Paul “HHH” Levesque held a conference call with members of the wrestling media yesterday. Below is a recap of the question and answer, written by Dave Scherer of pwinsider.com:

Paul Levesque met with reporters on a conference call today in advance of Sunday’s War Games Takeover event. After Adam Hopkins welcomed us to the call, and thanked us all for the support throughout the year. Levesque echoed the sentiment and wished us the best and hoped for a safer and better 2021. He talked about the passing of Pat Patterson. He said that he doesn’t know that there is anyone outside of Vince who has had as big an influence on WWE and wrestling than Pat. He said he doesn’t know that he has ever run across a better mind for the business, in all aspects of the business. He said that when they say everyone has been affected by him, it was the truth. It was great to be around him, his energy and the love of the business. He said Pat would come to Takeovers and Pat was one of the last ones to leave. He would be so happy he was crying. His passion was infectious. Yesterday was a rough day and we could see that in the open of NXT last night (which was awesome, you should go watch it). He said that yesterday they watched the Alley Fight between Pat and Sgt. Slaughter in the CWC and everyone was screaming and cheering. He said it was a fitting tribute. He said Pat would have loved watching all of the wrestlers watching him. He ran down the card. He said that the build to the card has been great in his opinion.

After that, he took calls from reporters.

The first caller passed on his condolences on the passing of Pat. He asked what Paul learned from Pat when it comes to grooming and growing talent. Paul said all of them! He said that he learned every day the day to day aspects of the business. He said that there are so many things that he either learned from Pat directly or be riding with Shawn and Razor and they told him about things they learned from Pat. He was a great teacher and he spoke in the wrestler shorthand language they all understood. He said it’s hard to say what the lessons were because he learned constantly from him. He was a performer so he could speak from experience. He has learned to do that with talent today. He has been lucky to learn from great minds in the business, Pat is chief among them. He may not have learned more from anyone more than Pat.

He was asked about Pat McAfee. Was it supposed to be a one time thing or was he so good that they brought him back. He was also asked if Pat’s group would stay together. Yes, it will. It’s special. Pat is a unique character. He said that people sometimes criticize people who come in from the outside. Yes he played football, but he has always loved WWE. He went to the NFL and made a lot of money, but always loved the business. HHH didn’t know all of these things about when he met him, but he does now. H said he’s a gifted athlete who gets it and loves doing this. H loves working with people who have that passion for the business. If you listen to him talk, he is a natural heat seeking missile. He has the gift of gab and loves to mess with people.

The next question asked what he has planned for 2021 and we will see fans at shows soon? H was tactful and says it’s barren without fans. He can’t wait to get them back. Why wrestling reporters think HHH can tell when the pandemic will end is beyond me. H looks forward to the first show they can do in front of fans. They will go crazy (he’s right).

The next caller asked about A Kid winning The Heritage Cup (I think). He asked if Kid will defend the Cup on another brand. HHH said Kid is a phenomenal talent. That is part of the NXT system, to recruit talent from all over the world. He is a great example of that. He loved the Heritage Cup tournament. H is a huge fan of the brand and what they are doing and encouraged people who aren’t to watch it. If you know me, you know I agree 1000%. NXT UK is awesome. With COVID we have to wait until we can bring talent here and send talent over there.

He was asked about Rhea Ripley’s loss at Mania and how he said earlier it would make more sense later. Did something change? Yep, the pandemic caused a ton of changes. If you go back to March and still thought we would be in lockdown, well everything changes day to day. It’s hard to plan next week, let along next year. He said when you are young in the business, you can get your confidence rattled. He mentioned seeing his own kids playing sports and how when they score, they get confidence. He believes that long term the lessons are valuable. He said that the setbacks are what make you grow as a performer. If everything is easy, you don’t grow. Setbacks are part of the journey. When you are young, it’s harder to think long term. The creative from then was going somewhere but the whole world changed. He said that the Rhea now is better than she was earlier this year. The process has made her better. Jason said she’s a keeper and Paul agreed.

H asked about how they are working with other promotions. The caller referenced Impact and AEW last night and said would WWE be open to that. Paul said that they are open for business. People often have a bad perception as to what WWE would do. They are open to the right opportunity. They have to be right for WWE and in the long term. They are worried about minutes, they think long term. If it’s good for business, they will consider it.

He was asked about Danny Burch rising of late. What does he offer? H said Danny has always been a guy that looks the role and is the role. Sometimes a talent is flashier and jumps out but Danny is consistent and can do it all. That leads to people like him sometimes floating under the radar. Danny is a valuable performer, a guy they can count on. He can’t say enough good things about him.

He was asked why NXT wasn’t involved in Survivor Series. He said it was creative related but also COVID related. They try to keep brands separated due to exposure issues. That was a big factor. It would have taken a lot of criss crossing to make it happen.

He was asked about the great women in NXT. H said when something is that good, you put it out there. That is what he does with the women in NXT because they are great. He said last night when they came through gorilla that no one can touch our women and they are bad asses. The women coming up are learning from the top women. He said look over to the UK and they are strong there as well. To him, if they end up in the main event it’s because that’s what’s there and they earn that spot.

The last question asked about the pacing of NXT. He said that the show has been go go go since October. What went into that decision and are there any growing pains? He said no pains. It’s just evolving. He likes to constantly look at what they are doing and evolve from it. What is working, what isn’t. How do you make it better? They are constantly doing that and talking about it. Everyone that is a part of it has input. He loves the way the show is being presented right now. They are focusing on the now and the future. It’s about long term, keeping it fresh and moving it forward.

Paul then said he was excited about this weekend. He said that there are 16 people in the two War Games matches that are the best of the best. He then previewed the rest of the show. He said it will be great and thanked us all for joining the call.

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