A little more than a month ago, the thought of WrestleMania taking place at the WWE Performance Center seemed ludicrous and even Triple H couldn’t believe it.
However, that ended up becoming a reality as WrestleMania 36 took place across two nights on April 4 and 5 from the Performance Center as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In an interview with Corey Graves on “After The Bell,” Triple H spoke on the process of getting the WWE Performance Center ready for Raw and SmackDown, starting with the March 11 episode of SmackDown.
Before Raw and SmackDown moved to the Performance Center, NXT was set to have a special episode from the venue and Triple H said he proposed to Vince McMahon to actually keep the ring and setup at the Performance Center just in case things go awry and the roster was forced to go to Florida for SmackDown.
“As I’m flying down there in the morning, I call Vince and I said, ‘I haven’t seen the Performance Center yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it is spectacular. Maybe when we’re done doing this live show, maybe we should leave the setup. I know it’s costly, but maybe in case something happens and stuff gets canceled and we can’t go into a town, we could at least get everybody to Florida.’ At that point, I wasn’t thinking about no fans. We could pick up the phone and call the local fans here and fill up the place and at least put on a show. Vince said it was smart,” Triple H said.
Once McMahon was starting to think about the possibility of WWE programming taking place at the Performance Center, he told Triple H that there is a chance that WrestleMania 36 will also end up at that location.
“By the morning, Vince said, ‘Yeah, we’re likely going to be coming there.’ By the time we do that live show, Vince is not only saying that the trucks that were headed to Detroit are turning around, SmackDown is probably [taking place there]. For the first time, he goes, ‘We might be doing WrestleMania.’ I was like, ‘Holy cow,’” Triple H said.
Triple H was then asked by Graves whether or not he ever envisioned the Performance Center would ever host such a major event and the former WWE Champion never thought that was possible.
“The moment in time when I walked in there and they had now transferred it from the Raw and SmackDown set and repositioning everything and I got in there and the giant WrestleMania sign that [Kevin] Owens would end up jumping off and stuff, it was surreal. It’s a crazy experience. I remember the moment walking in the building for the first time when [I] was scouting locations. It was like a knick knack store from an importer in Korea. It was all these shelves of these knick knacks as far as I can see and I remember walking in there and rows and rows of stuff. If you would have said to me, ‘It’s a nice building. We’ll have WrestleMania in a few years,’ you were out of your mind,” Triple H said.
You can check out Triple H’s comments in the video at the top of the page. If you use any of the quotes above, please credit “After The Bell” with an H/T to Fightful.