NXT has always presented an "underground" vibe thanks to the vision on Triple H, who is a noted metal head.
The brand uses metal music as a soundtrack for events and keeps the lights low to create a more intimate "local club" setting when watching performances. NXT has also been the home of many live performances, including Poppy, who appeared on the most recent episode of NXT to bring back Io Shirai and drop her latest EP.
Speaking to Revolver, Triple H discussed NXT's relationship with Poppy.
"Poppy this week came on our show, and she's played before and done various stuff. We've got five tracks we have access to, she came in and did collaborative merch with us, released those tracks on live TV. What other platform or genre can do that? It doesn't feel forced or like you're sticking a square peg in a round hole. Our fans can smell that from a mile away, if it's not authentic. I can tell you, I don't think Poppy knew that much about us at first. When we met for the first time she came off her bus at Full Sail, as I was walking across she had full-body pajamas on as she's walking across the parking lot. Neil, our music guy said, "She might stay fully in character today, I'm not sure." We walked over, I introduced myself and she was like "Hi, I'm Poppy," in her voice. We walked away, I looked at Neil and was like, "Yeah she's perfect for us, this is gonna work out great," he said with a laugh.
Along with Poppy, NXT has had plenty of live performances over the years, including Code Orange performing at NXT TakeOver: In Your House in 2020. The performance was unique one due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"So we went to this warehouse and they played live for me, and I thought they were awesome, and they were just these kids! Now we've got this amazing relationship with them. For last year's In Your House, we reached out to see what they were doing, and they literally they rented a van when COVID was so big, they put all their gear in a U-Haul van and drove from Pittsburgh to Orlando. We did the performance when nobody was there earlier [in the day], so we spliced it together because we couldn't have that many people in the building. They set up all their own gear, they did their thing and they were gonna drive back, but were able to set up a room for them to stick around and see the show," recalled Triple H.
Triple H has always been a big proponent of Metallica, who have provided multiple tracks for WWE to use over the years, including at WrestleMania 36. Stephanie McMahon previously revealed that Metallica was supposed to perform The Undertaker's entrance at WrestleMania 36, but COVID prevent it.
Triple H still holds out hope that Metallica will grace the WWE stage at some point.
"If we can get Metallica, it's a dream come true, if they play Wrestlemania I'll be happy," he said. "I'm constantly throwing ideas at people at every level. The bigger they get, you'd be amazed at the level of people who are like, "I'd love to do something with you guys," it's just a matter of coordinating to make things work and to get them in place. When we're three or four months out from a pay-per-view, we'll have two or three ideas on the line, sometimes they work sometimes they don't. We've got a lot of epic things. If something doesn't work, there's always the next time."
NXT dropped the metal act for one night, going with nostalgia for NXT TakeOver: In Your House on Sunday and having Naomi Fox perform.
If you missed anything from NXT TakeOver: In Your House, check out Fightful's full report on the show by clicking here.