WWE executive Triple H spoke to Sports Illustrated recently to talk all things pro-wrestling. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
When Adam Cole proved he could be NXT champion:
You see it on camera, but Adam Cole is so good, so consistently good, that it is easy to look past him as our cornerstone. He never seems to have a down moment, even backstage. He’s just consistently a professional, and there is never is doubt in my mind who he is and the level of performance he’s going to give. He makes it look so easy and so smooth. He’s also a locker room leader, but he’s not the guy saying, ‘I want to be a locker room leader.’ He leads without even trying to assume the role. People look at him for his consistency.
Says he can feel when a title change is right:
So much of this business comes down to guts and feel. There are a lot of people I trust, like Shawn [Michaels], that have experience and a feel for this. When it’s time for a change, you can feel that momentum. There is no math behind it or science to it. The best in our business, they know that feel. That’s always been the art of what we do, which is a little harder right now without 15,000 people in the building giving us their feedback. But that’s what it comes down to for me, the feel.
Gives his thoughts on Keith Lee:
Keith brings a big presence, and he carries such enormous respect with him. He is a moment-maker and a reason to watch, and he knows that, but he’s also super open to a different manner of doing things. When he first came in, there were some frustrating points. He wanted more, but I saw that ability. There were little gaps in his game, and the goal was for us to help him to be even more huge. He has limitless, pun intended, talent, with all the tools and ability, but we wanted to sharpen him up first before we let him loose. The second you let him go, as you see now, no one can take their eyes off him, everyone is watching.
NXT running Great American Bash against AEW’s Fyter Fest:
It absolutely is part of healthy of competition. Anyone that thinks it isn’t, to a degree, is being naive to the situation. You saw that back in the day when Clash of Champions was counter-programming [to WrestleMania IV ]. At the same point, it can’t drive your booking decisions. Obviously there are counter-programming decisions, but I can tell you exactly how this came about. Almost all of these storylines were headed where they are now. There was a gap, timing wise, between In Your House and what will become the SummerSlam TakeOver, and you need a halfway point and a build. This is that halfway point. So it doesn’t change our decision-making process. I don’t counter-book, I book what’s right for NXT.