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Paul “Triple H” Levesque held a media call earlier today, as is the usual just before and after TakeOver shows. Full audio will be provided in Wade Keller’s Thursday Flagship. Here are some of the talking points that were discussed…
A caller asked if NXT was considering running shows due to phase two of the reopen happening in Florida. Levesque said they were considering everything but would be continuing to be sure they were abiding by what could and could not be done. He said people need entertainment now, so as long as it was safe, the faster, the better.
Levesque offered particulars on the ongoing saga of Drake Maverick. He confirmed that Maverick’s release was legitimate, and he was genuinely given the option of whether or not he wanted to work the tournament. He wanted to prove he could still be there. Levesque said Maverick is one of the most passionate guys and this is his dream. He said the storyline happened due to Maverick’s work, and Levesque said he was thrilled that they were able to get where they did.
Levesque was asked about In Your House and whether there would be other “cinematic” matches. He confirmed that the Velveteen Dream-Adam Cole match had already been shot, but all other matches on the show will be live.
When asked about the state of the women’s division, Levesque gushed about the division and praised its depth, calling out several by name.
A caller asked about cinematic matches, specifically the Boneyard match and Jeremy Borash’s involvement. He asked if Borash, and by extension Matt Hardy, deserved credit. Levesque said while this isn’t a new phenomenon – Mankind-Rock and Halftime Heat and Austin-Booker in the grocery store, for instance – he acknowledged that what’s happening now is on another level. Levesque said that while Borash is a great asset to the team (as expected, he didn’t refer back to Matt Hardy) – the editors should never be overlooked. Interestingly, he said the planning process for the match was very short and done somewhat quickly, which made its success all the more impressive.
Levesque talked about the element of surprise being used more often recently to elevate the weekly TV show. He said one of the benefits of TV now is that it’s easy to do things and not have it get out there before it airs.
A caller asked what Levesque thought about Charlotte’s run as Women’s Champion. He said he wished the match with Rhea could have been in a stadium in front of fans. He said the loss helped Rhea a lot from a character standpoint, and Charlotte carries an aura of being unbeatable. He said Charlotte likes it when she’s told she’s been “given something” and she proves them how good she is when she gets in the ring.
A caller asked if there was a possibility of opening Performance Centers elsewhere around the world, whether in the caller’s home of Latin America or elsewhere. Levesque didn’t hesitate at all to say it’s still a goal, though the global pandemic has put some of that work on hold.
Jason Powell asked if there was COVID testing now, and if not, why not? Levesque called out his doctors by name and said they determine the best way to keep his wrestlers healthy. He said they need to do what they’re told to do, but says the accuracy has to be there for them to do it on a large scale.
A caller asked about the Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher Fight Pit. Levesque was open to future matches of this type, but the right kind of wrestler has to be in the match. He said it was the right environment for these two specifically. He said it had a chance to become a signature match in NXT and he looked forward to seeing more of it. The caller joked that he hoped In Your House didn’t bring up bad memories of the Hog Pen Match. Triple H had a good laugh and said “Those pigs were big. They poop a lot.”
Call host Adam Hopkins confirmed that there would be another media call after TakeOver, as is usual. I’ll represent the Torch on that call as well, and will report any interesting tidbits later that night. Greg Parks will be taking live calls about In Your House on Sunday night, and the PWT Talks NXT crew and I will be recording at the same time and you can check out that VIP podcast the next morning.