-- Triple H joined SportsCenter's John Anderson where he chatted about his favorite WrestleMania moment, possible changes to the Goldberg/Roman Reigns match, moving forward with WrestleMania, wrestling in front of no fans and more. Below is what I transcribed from the interview and you can watch it on YouTube (embedded below).
On if he's a full-time front-office guy or could he be wrestling at WrestleMania
"Right now I am full-time office. It’s funny, ironically I wasn’t originally scheduled to be in this year’s WrestleMania anyways. Every year as time goes by this gets more and more hectic for me and getting in the ring just becomes an added...an added burden. Especially this year, the way things all turned out and what we had to accomplish, I was very thankful I wasn't scheduled to be in the ring this year because it would haven been almost virtually impossible for me to be able to do with everything else that was happening."
His favorite WrestleMania moments
“God you know, it’s so hard. WrestleMania, it’s the one thing, I mean, this year will be WrestleMania 36 but every year there are these epic moments. The events themselves just kind of transcend the actual event and become these just epic moments that last through generations and there’s these moments in time, pictures like Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant at WrestleMania 3 or Shawn Michaels descending from the rafters on a skyline. Different moments through time that resonate and stick with people, generationally. For me, I'll never forget my first WrestleMania ever, against the Ultimate Warrior. And he was just such an icon and a legend in the business and for me, it was such an incredible moment for me to walk into a WrestleMania and facing the Ultimate Warrior for my first time. Years later, I would have an end of an era match with the Undertaker with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee and it was listed as “The End of an Era” because we were sort of the last of our generation of talent and the last sort of epic clash of them that you would see and there’s a moment at the end of that match with the three of us - the Undertaker, myself, and Shawn Michaels are standing at the top of the ramp and I’ll never forget it, it’s burned into my brain of the, just that moment in time of the three of us, the respect level that we all had for each other are all standing out over that sea of people. It’ll last with me forever.”
On the decision to hold WrestleMania considering the ongoing pandemic
“Well you know in this time I think we believe - WWE - I think our talent, our staff, our crew that probably now more than ever, entertainment for people is a necessity. And them having something they can tune into, forget about everything that's going on or that they have happening in their lives, not being able to leave their house or whatever it is and just tune out for a few hours and tune into something that is fantastic and forget about it all. And we feel, not only the need to do that but sort of an obligation. Our fans are there for us year-round. They’ve been doing it for years and we have a message in the WWE that is - we say what our jobs are every day is to put smiles on people’s faces all over the globe and we truly believe that. And in this time, maybe more than any other in my memory, people need those smiles right now more than anything. So you know we choose to carry on and to try to be able to deliver those smiles. We've taken as much safety precaution as we can - certainly the health of our talent and staff is primary and the biggest focus for us. With medical screening and everything we've done, we've followed the CDC instructions and tried to be as careful as possible. As we've done matches through our various shows - whether it's Raw, Smackdown, NXT - we have sort of scheduled out talents so that there aren't so many of them there at the same time and sort of shifted the scheduling around. So we've done everything as possible and having these on closed sets without fans in attendance. It's not ideal, but it's worth it for us, the effort is worth for us, the stretch is worth for it to put those smiles on people's faces when they need it the most. "
On the rumored change in the Goldberg/Roman Reigns match
"You know, there are various talent and I don't want to get into the specifics of WrestleMania because that's a must watch and see event. We don't like to take precautions with our talent any more so than they need to and all of our talent are in this in a voluntary capacity. Right out of the get go, if they don't want to be a part of this, if they feel there is a risk - for whatever reason - be it themselves, or somebody around them, they don't have to be here and nothing is held against them for that. The same with our crew and everyone else. But we don't want to take chances on that, and with Roman having a pre-existing condition that would make him more susceptible to something, it's understandable. We've had very few talent that have had issues or chosen to not be here but where we we're at...I can tell you for us it's been amazing, at least for me, an amazing process to be able to go to these events. Everybody is under immense pressure, obviously there's a ton of work going into these and trying to do them. Even if the talent, performing in front of no one, it's not the easiest thing in the world. Yet everyone is here, they feel like, they feel a sense of purpose. They're all laughing and smiling and having a blast. These have been some of the most fun days of television, everyone just staying within the rules and trying to do it but happily going out there and trying performing a service. I don't think people should look at it as anything more than that. We're trying to put a smile on your face and if you enjoy it, hopefully you do and that's great.
On the challenge of competing in front of no fans
“It’s tough. I can tell you that that is very tough. The WWE Universe - our fanbase - is sort of the secret sauce of what we do. We’re actually one of the very first interactive television shows if you look at it that way or products out there. We encourage fans to bring signs, they make their own chants. There’s a sense of community in the WWE with our fanbase and that community, their energy, that’s what drives our performers to put on the show that they do and I can tell you that what we do is very physical and that physicality hurts a lot more more when there’s no one there egging you on and there’s no adrenaline from the the fans’ standpoint. But our talent have really, they have just stepped up to another level and it's been impressive for me to see their level of dedication and their level of passion to want to give back to fans. You can't come to the arenas but are at home watching and they know that they're watching. Their desire and passion to take those people out of what they're going through in every day life and give something more and something to enjoy, it's really meaningful to them. They're going the extra mile - it's not easy - but they're doing it, and doing it with a smile on their face and having a blast and doing it because they feel it's for the right reason.
On WrestleMania 36 being a two-day event
“WrestleMania is a mega-event and over the last few years, it has become the event that has gone from three to four to five plus hours and this year, there's so much to the card and so many people wanted to participate, especially as it got closer to this event and as the world started going through the situation that it's in. We felt like it was the right time for people to be able to sit back and enjoy this but let's give it to them on multiple days, there was too much here, too much excitement, too much content, too many great matches, too many great talent for it to be held within one night. It's just too big for one night. We're going to try and entertain people the best we can. It's going to be held from not only the Performance Center but from multiple locations actually. I’m telling you right now, it’ll be something special. Gronk’s the host - you know that’ll be special so it’s gonna get crazy, it’s gonna be fun and it’ll put a smile on your face.”