Triple H responds to rumors that the philosophy of NXT is changing.
NXT has been under the helm of Paul “Triple H” Levesque for nearly a decade now and in that time, the brand has shifted from a developmental show of Florida Championship Wrestling call-ups and main roster castaways to one of the premier brands in all of wrestling. Largely, they utilized many of the top names from the impending to help grow their brand and ultimately changed the WWE style to resemble more of what was happening on present-day independent wrestling shows.
Speaking during the Las Vegas tryouts, Triple H told Denise Salcedo that roughly 13 to 16 people were hired during the trash out on Thursday, August 19, and explained Vince McMahon's philosophy of looking for Superstars instead of professional wrestlers.
“You'll hear Vince say it a lot. This will sound wrong to a lot of people, but it's right. ‘I am not looking for professional wrestlers, I’m looking for superstars. I'm looking for somebody that can break through that and the rest of it takes care of itself. You're looking for the diamond in the rough, you're looking for the one in a million, you're looking for those things. That's the difficult part. The other part takes care of itself, and it happens, and you go about that process. So to me, right now, it's about giving opportunities. There were a lot of people here that have the tools to break through, that stood out when they walked in the room. They had some type of 'it factor' and then proved it to us here that how much they wanted it. I think at this moment in time to be able to go a little bit beyond and bring in some people and give them that chance, are they all going to make it? No, it's a long, hard journey. But if everybody made it, it wouldn't be that special when you got there, right?”
Triple H would then be asked by Nick Hausman of WrestlingInc about reports that the current philosophy of NXT is shifting away from hiring talent with prior independent wrestling experience. Triple H responded to this by saying that the hiring process has never changed and that it has always been about who can have the most potential to become a breakout WWE Superstar.
“It's funny that people talk about the shifting of what it is, it never really shifted,” Triple H began. “If you go back, and you look at the hiring process, it's not the hiring process of a television show. It's the hiring process of who we are looking to train and make WWE Superstars, long term. If you go back [in history], that hasn't shifted. It's been the same process. I don't negate anybody. From a standpoint of like, Well, ’I wrestled some independent stuff,’ that's not a factor to me. But it's also not the factor that makes me go, ‘Okay, you're in.’
“When they get here today, If somebody hits the ropes perfectly every time, does every role perfectly, does all the stuff look cheesy because they've been training? They should be able to. If you've been training, working indies, you should be able to do all that. It's, to me, ‘what is the potential long term? Are they willing to do the work to live up to that potential? Again, not saying we haven't hired people for different reasons. Vince has always said, we're a variety show, right? We are in some manner, you need a little bit of everything. I think that's the key to all of this. It's all of it. It always has been.”
The next era of NXT will kick off with this Sunday's NXT TakeOver 36 which will be headlined by Samoa Joe returning to the ring against current Monday Night Raw Superstar and NXT Champion, Karrion Kross.
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