-- Ahead of NXT TakeOver, Paul "HHH" Levesque held a conference call with members of the wrestling media this afternoon. Here's a recap courtesy of pwinsider.com:
Paul Levesque met with reporters via a conference call today in advance of Sunday’s NXT Takeover In Your House event. After he ran down the card, and mentioned that Todd Pettengill would be back, he mentioned that Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated will be joining the pre-show panel and he said they won’t to open that spot up to other reporters, unless Justin screws it up. He then took calls from reporters.
He was asked about the Cameron Grimes/LA Knight vignettes and what the process is to get them done. Also will there be more of that as opposed to have everything in-ring driven. Paul said he likes a mix of things because he doesn’t want to get pigeon holed. Paul mentioned it was interesting that he mentioned Jeremy Borash because his influence is all over the show. It’s a process with a lot of input from other people. He said that he likes the vignettes too. Mike said he can never get enough Todd Pettengill. Paul said he hopes he feels that way after the show.
The next questioner asked what Paul sees in MSK. Do they remind him of any other tag teams? Paul said they bring an energy and excitement to the division he really likes. They are new and exciting. He said in some ways they are your old school babyface team. He said maybe you could compare them to the Rock and Roll Express or The Midnight Rockers but he doesn’t like to do that. He wants them to be the first MSK. He said he tells talent that, be you. He said that all wrestlers take things from other people but the goal is to make yourself the first you. He said that they have knocked everything out of the park and they bring so much to the company he wants to support them.
He was asked about the segment where the wrestlers on Tuesday echoed the online criticisms of Karrion Kross. Paul said that it’s reality based. They are bringing up things that people say about him. He said that he laughs at some of the things that the internet coins. Everyone brings strengths to the table. Some of what they says has some truth to it, the rest is having people what they would say in character. He said he doesn’t want to tear anyone down, it’s where you go with it. It’s the same in other sports when people talk trash, how do they react when the game is on. He said he likes blurring the line and make people wonder if it was a shoot or not. He said you can go too far, and they know that. He said you can’t be thin skinned in this business.
He was asked about whether if any of the NXT women will appear for the NWA women’s only PPV and if not, will NXT do a women only show? He asked haven’t we already done them? He then made the point I did, if people are equal there shouldn’t be a woman or men only show. He also laughed about Mickie James saying that they want the best women despite contractual status. Well, that’s why there are contracts. If you want the best, come to NXT. He said who knows, they may do a women’s only PPV down the road but he feels they present the women well and the best performers are in NXT/WWE.
He was asked if upward mobility from NXT to WWE has lost its excitement. Paul said you can look at it like they don’t pan out or the company misused them. He said there can be a million reasons why things don’t work. He said sometimes the talent don’t fit. Sometimes they hit their bar before they got to WWE. He said the question is what is NXT, just developmental or is it its own brand. He said that early on, it was knock on NXT. Back then people said they hated getting into talents there because they moved on. Then it changed and now it’s a place where you will have some talents stay in NXT. Some don’t fit, some don’t want to leave. So there are a lot of options. He said that a lot of people get hung up on where will it go instead of just enjoy it in the moment. He said fans ruin their own enjoyment at times because they are worried about where it’s going rather than enjoying the ride. Paul is happy where the brand is. It’s a marathon not a sprint. He wants to create a long term brand. He needs to keep growing.
He was asked about Ted DiBiase being involved, how did it happen and is he helping behind the scenes. He said that talent go to him and pick his brain and he is glad to help. He said not everyone is helpful but Ted is and wants to work with them. Paul and the talent love having him around. He also talked about how cool it was to gave the Million Dollar Belt and how people were excited to see it.
He was asked about whether there would be a Takeover SummerSlam weekend, and whether NXT would be staying in Orlando. It’s a work in progress. They are still feeling things out. They have Vegas booked and they hope it will be full. The talent can’t wait to get back in front of crowds at arenas. He said once you go through having no fans, you realize how important it is to get back in front of them. They can’t wait. It’s an ongoing process.
He was asked how the Million Dollar Title will be used in NXT. Sunday, we will find out who the champ is and from there, we shall see. Only four people have held the Title. The winner will join the group and it will be a big moment. Grimes and Knight, when they saw the Title, he could see them break character and kind of pop for seeing the Title.
Our final questioner asked if NXT plans on going back to Full Sail. For now, the Capitol Center is home. They still have a strong relationship with Full Sail. When students get back in classes on campus, he can’t wait to get them back to the CWC. He loves the young talent on both sides of the camera. The partnership is strong but for now, the CWC is their home. They are also open to all ideas with Full Sail.
Paul mentioned that there will be a press conference with talents at 11 AM Saturday. He thanked us for coming and said we will talk again after the show.