Triple H Stephanie

Triple H Talks About What WWE Looks For When Scouting Talent

WWE COO Paul “Triple H” Levesque appeared as a guest on ESPN First Take this week to promote next Sunday’s WrestleMania 33 mega-event. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.

On balancing being a businessman and a performer at the same time: “I’m a business man but I’m also a 14 time World Champion. I peel off this suit and it’s all over. 240 pounds, you can do the laundry on the abs, it’s all there. I’m ready to go. The difficult part for me is I do this once a year now at Wrestlemania, so there’s a little bit less prep time, but I’m ready. If these young guys think they can beat down these old guys real easy then they got another thing coming.”

On his method for talent scouting internationally: “You know I was always fascinated in the other side of what we did, the production side, the behind the scenes, the story creation, how the athletes train. I saw this big gap, we relied on athletes to come find us and it was difficult. When I tried to break into the business it was hard to find an avenue in and I wanted to change that. Five years ago or so we started a plan to do that, we built a Performance Center in Orlando, Florida which is a 30,000 square foot facility comparable to anything in the NFL. Then we go around the globe and we recruit everywhere, I mean China – I just signed 10 Chinese nationals off our tryout there last year, we’re in Dubai at the end of April, whether that’s Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, it doesn’t matter. We go all over the globe and we find talent. You know the NFL is a big talent source for us. There’s hundreds and hundreds of guys that are amongst the elite athletes in the world, that top one percent of athletes pick up because they have larger than life personalities, they’re great athletes, and they’re huge fans of this. Their NFL, or their dreams of being in the NFL are over and are looking to continue in that athletic environment and we’re the perfect fit for a lot of them.”

On charisma being the most important trait when scouting talent: “It always is. Charisma is king and that’s what I’m looking for more than anything. When we’re looking for talent we bring in a lot of great athletes. Sometimes they’re in phenomenal shape, sometimes they kill the tryout environment, but we’re looking for charisma. We’re looking for the person that walks in the room and everyone turns around and goes wow who is that? We’re looking for that natural leader. When they’re exhausted in the tryout they’re there picking everyone up, they’re the leader, and that’s emergent just naturally. Those are the people we’re looking for cause at the end of the day those are the people that can captivate a crowd and they can get you involved. And this is not a knock but in the kind of exact opposite way that the NFL wants things to be about the teams and not about the individual players, we’re the opposite. We want you to be as large as you can be, captivate that crowd, make your brand, be who you can be. Because when you’re successful at that you make the WWE successful at that. If you become the John Cena, The Rock, great for everyone.”

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