There are reportedly no plans for WWE Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy & Development Paul “Triple H” Levesque to return to running the WWE NXT brand.
As we’ve noted, Triple H suffered what was said to be a very serious cardiac event last fall, and has been away from the job since then. WWE announced on September 8 that he underwent successful heart surgery the week before that at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT. It was stated that the operation was needed after Triple H suffered the cardiac event, caused by a genetic heart issue. WWE’s statement noted how Triple H is expected to make a full recovery, and since then it’s been reported that he is doing well.
In an update, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that there are no current plans for Triple H to return to running NXT, or to do any creative work in the company due to his health issues.
It was noted that if his health improves and if he wants to, things could change, but word is that his return to his previous duties is not anything that is happening imminently. We know that Triple H has done at least some minor work in recent months, such as tour the new WWE HQ facilities in Stamford along with other executives back in November, but his work has been limited since the cardiac event, and word now is that will not be changing any time soon.
WWE Hall of Famer and Vice President of Talent Development Shawn Michaels has stepped up in a major way while his best friend has been away. Michaels is seen as the main person in charge of NXT 2.0 right now, and WWE officials are very high on his work.
There’s a feeling that Michaels has been under pressure to make new stars fast with the recent changes in the show, and he is credited with quickly making people like Grayson Waller, Tony D’Angelo, LA Knight, NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes, and NXT Champion Bron Breakker into stars very quickly. It was noted that this was not Michaels’ job when he was hired to work as a NXT Producer/Coach, but the workload fell upon him when Triple H took time off last year, and higher-ups feel like he has great aptitude for the creative process, and the understanding of how to make stars, and to make key talent stand out.
While Michaels is the main person in charge at NXT right now, he still has to answer to the top of the company, which includes WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon and Senior Vice President Bruce Prichard. The Observer notes that even with the perception that McMahon and Prichard are running NXT, that’s not really the case as Michaels is in charge but McMahon has the final say.
Regarding NXT creative, McMahon is more hands-on these days, as far as looking at the run sheets and creative scripts, but he does not make the widespread late changes like he does with RAW and SmackDown. There is said to be direction that Michaels takes from the top, as far as wrestlers they want to push and things like that, but most of the creative work is left up to the writing team put in place. It was revealed earlier this month that NXT creative is no longer totally separate from the main roster, and that the team now falls under the direction of Prichard and Senior Vice President of Creative Writing Operations Christine Lubrano.
It was recently reported that WWE officials were unhappy with the NXT 2.0 and how the first few months of the reboot have gone, with most of the blame being put on the abruptness of how everything was changed. With that said, it was also said that the NXT system was “broken”, at least according to many in the company, and they knew that changed were needed to fix the problems and move forward. This new report on Michaels indicates that officials feel like he is the one who can get the brand where they want it to be.
Stay tuned for more.