Triple H post-Takeover Interview – What “The End” means to him, full rundown of the card, who’s next for Samoa Joe?, incoming women’s division talent, more

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Triple H (art credit Travis Beaven)


NXT Takeover Facebook Live
Interview with Triple H

After the NXT Takeover special concluded on WWE Network, WWE went to an interview/recap with Triple H on Facebook hosted by Cathy Kelley.

– Asked what “the end” meant to Hunter tonight, Hunter said the NXT Title steel cage match between Samoa Joe and Finn Balor was one way of looking at “the end.”

To him, though, the biggest meaning for “the end” was NXT advancing from where it started as a Developmental brand to its own, standalone brand. Hunter said tonight’s special marked the end of the first era of NXT, which they documented in the opening video package.

“NXT is its own brand in every single way,” Hunter said. “We are now full-blown NXT, the brand, and that’s where we’re going to take it from here.”

Hunter then broke down each match on the card.

Manny Andrade vs. Tye Dillinger: Hunter said he’s had his eye on Andrade for a long time. He joked that he doesn’t understand why Manny wore a mask his whole career. As for Dillinger, he called him the most under-rated guy on the roster. Hunter said when he finally flips the switch, it will be something special.

NXT Tag Title match: Hunter said The Revival vs. American Alpha is not done after The Revival re-captured the Tag Titles to become the first two-time NXT tag champions.

Hunter also officially labeled the tag team that attacked American Alpha after the match as “Authors of Pain,” which is the label used on house shows. As for Paul Ellering showing up as their manager, Hunter kayfabed that he’ll have to talk to NXT GM William Regal about that since Ellering was a surprise to him.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries: Hunter called it a dream match that delivered after people talked about that type of match not having a place to happen before NXT grew into the place to be. “Nakamura, to me, is proving why he is and was for a long time one of the most-sought-after talent in the world,” Hunter said. Later, Hunter said Nakamura will be strongly considered for the next NXT Title shot.

Bobby Roode: Hunter said Roode’s presence backstage shows the “whole world wants to be here right now.” He said when the current NXT roster brings the level of competition they bring to the ring, it’s the place where everyone wants to be.

Women’s Title match: Hunter played up the story of no one pushing Asuka like Nia Jax did in the ring. He said Bayley took Asuka to the limit at “NXT Takeover: Dallas,” but Asuka is a force. He said he doesn’t see Nia losing as a step back, but more reinforcement she is on the right track because no one has put Asuka in a defensive position like tonight. Hunter reinforced Asuka having 10-11 years experience to Jax’s one year.

As for what’s next for the division, Hunter said Jax isn’t going anywhere, Bayley is still in the mix, and things are “about to get really interesting” knowing what he knows about who’s about to walk through the door and enter the division. Now, Asuka gets to go home to Japan as NXT Women’s champion, presumably referring to WWE’s upcoming live event tour in Japan that Asuka is booked for.

NXT Title match: Hunter said it was “the end” with a definitive winner in Samoa Joe over Finn Balor. He said it took Joe a while to hit his stride in a new place, but now he is “firmly NXT champion.” Hunter said, “He is NXT,” and he feels sorry for anyone who disagrees.

Hunter played up the story of Balor experiencing the pressure of being champion. He said he thinks Balor started to wear down and the odds caught up to him in Lowell, Mass. when Joe captured the title from Balor in April, then Balor “put too much pressure on himself” to win the title back. Hunter said he’s looking hard at Nakamura for the next title shot against Joe.

– The interview closed with Hunter talking up NXT continuing on a “path of explosive growth.” He said they are a full tour going all over the globe, including the U.K. this coming week.

Hunter also plugged “NXT Takeover: Brooklyn” being part of Summerslam Weekend in August. He said he expects that it will not take long to sell out, like last year.

“This is the end of the beginning. We’re just getting started. Going to keep going higher and higher,” Hunter closed the interview.

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