Andrade Cien Almas has found the thing that will take him to the next level, and Triple H has noticed.
He talked to NBC Sports about Almas' progress. When asked if he's seen the same thing with Almas, Triple H replied in the positive, pushing this new different side of him:
I’ve seen the same thing you have.
There’s a curve to doing what we do when you walk in the door for the first time, no matter where you’ve been. People talk about other promotions around the globe, but I haven’t seen anyone who doesn’t come in the door that doesn’t feel a difference when they walk in. That can lead to a lot of things. Intimidation, loss of confidence. You can take a step back.
It’s also a different style for him. There’s a lot of factors and I think when he first came in … and I’ve seen this with a lot of talent, whether that be Hideo Itami, Ember Moon, really, really talented people walk in the door and it takes them awhile to get their feet under them. It takes them awhile to get used to the style change. It takes them awhile to get used to how we shoot television. To have that confidence is really what it comes down to.
Triple H pointed out that from the start of his run a couple of years ago to where he is now, Almas is a drastically different performer. And he's found a new platform in Zelina Vega, who has added much to his overall package:
If you look back to where he started to where he is right now with us, it’s a completely different performer. As I saw that taking place over time I thought, now he’s starting to get it, how do I give him the platform to regroup?
It’s hard to have a guy all of a sudden go from being not good to being really good. So what’s that shift? What’s that platform that allows him to grow even more?
That was Zelina Vega. With the way we presented it, she came in, gave him the confidence and put him back on track. It all led him to changing who he is as a performer. I think you see that now. The swagger that he has. He comes off like the cocky, arrogant guy who knows he’s that good and he is
Almas defeated Drew McIntyre to win the NXT title at TakeOver: War Games. A tournament is currently taking place that will determine the next challenger for his title at TakeOver: Pittsburg.