SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Today Paul “Triple H” Levesque talked to the media about a variety of topics leading into this Sunday’s WarGames show. Here are some of the highlights…
*Levesque opened with a tribute to Pat Patterson, and all he did for talent around the company, whether the talents in question even knew it or not. He said Patterson would regularly have tears in his eyes after a show simply because of his passion for the business. The first caller asked about Patterson’s direct influence on Levesque, who said it was hard to say, because while Vince McMahon was a business and big picture kind of guy, Patterson was there every day teaching talent little things that were invaluable. He said Patterson helped him more than anyone in the business, outside of maybe McMahon.
*A caller asked if Pat McAfee opened eyes with his TakeOver performance and whether to expect the faction to stick around. Levesque didn’t address the latter part of the question, but said McAfee has always wanted to be a WWE Superstar and left football specifically to work toward that goal. He said McAfee’s character is an extension of the man, who loves to gab and mess around with people.
*Levesque was asked when he expected house shows to return, and he said he wished anyone could answer that.
*A caller from the UK asked if there was any possibility we could see NXT: UK talents defending championships in the States, specifically asking if A-Kid would be defending his Heritage Cup. Levesque said travel is still the biggest stumbling block for now.
*Jason Powell asked about Rhea Ripley being frank about the WrestleMania loss derailing her a little, and mentioned that on a previous media call, Levesque said that Ripley’s loss at WrestleMania was part of a bigger picture that would all make sense. Powell asked if that moment was still coming, and Levesque laid out frankly that the pandemic changed all of the plans from that story, and indeed they weren’t able to work toward the goal. He said that the loss still helped Ripley in other ways, though, and he knew she’d be fine because of her passion for the business.
*A caller asked if Levesque was more willing these days to work with other promotions. Levesque said yes, specifically if the partnership was long-term. He added that long-term doesn’t mean three months here, it means more like ten years.
*A UK caller asked about Danny Burch, who’s been a role player who kind of flies under the radar in comparison to other stars from the UK. Levesque said that Burch’s professionalism and style make him extremely valuable and he’d take ten Danny Burches if he could get them. He said a guy like Burch will fly under the radar until he doesn’t.
*Levesque was asked about the decision to keep NXT out of Survivor Series this year. He acknowledged that he didn’t know all of what went into the decision, but said that at least part of it was driven by COVID and not wanting more wrestlers than necessary intermingling.
*A caller asked about the Women’s Division and how they’re often booked on top. Levesque said he loves their division and he doesn’t approach it like they have to put the women on top in order to check a box. He says they put their best story and talent on top and it doesn’t matter who that is.
*I asked about the palpable pacing changes in the last couple of months of NXT TV, and where those ideas came from and how the team was adapting. Levesque didn’t say specifically where the idea came from but did use the word “directive” at one point as one of the factors; he also said that sometimes, the need to cut a couple of segments into one another and ratchet up the pace might arise from a segment going long, and it comes off so good that it changes the approach to the show.
*Levesque ran through this Sunday’s card and thanked us all for coming, and sent us off with one last tribute to Pat Patterson. I’ll report on the post-Takeover call this Sunday as well.