Triple H Talks WWE NXT’s Strengths, Shinsuke Nakamura & More!

World Wrestling Entertainment’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events & Creative, Triple H, recently sat down with ESPN for an interview. During their talk, Triple H discussed various topics, including: NXT being it’s own genre of wrestling, NXT’s strengths and Shinsuke Nakamura having that X factor you just need to see to believe.

The following are excerpts from that interview.

On booking NXT and comparing it to being its own genre of music.

“I think for me that was part of the goal when we were creating NXT, to not just recreate Raw or SmackDown and kind of have some variety and give them something different. To me, our industry is kind of like music. There are all different kinds of genres in music and with Raw and SmackDown you are trying to hit the most mainstream level of enjoyment of the product that you can, sort of like in pop music. NXT is a bit more of a style of music. It’s a bit more intimate; it’s a bit more designed to hit our hardest-core fans and give them something that they will enjoy.

“To me, at the end of the day, that’s the core of what we do. But it’s still understanding that Raw and SmackDown are completely different where you are trying to hit the biggest audience possible. I’m excited that people like NXT so much, obviously, but I’m excited that we have that variety. If it was all the same, I don’t know that the interest level would be the same, and that’s part of the magic of what [NXT] is. It’s different. One is not better; they are different.”

On how NXT’s changing roster is a strength of the brand, especially with the upcoming WWE Draft.

“It’s funny that when people talk about it to me, some will say, ‘Well, isn’t that the downfall of NXT because when a superstar becomes big enough that he’s immediately going to be taken away from you?’ I feel that’s the strength of the brand. If you look at the growth of NXT in the last couple years, there are points in time when people said, ‘Oh no, these characters are getting called up and [NXT] is doomed.’ We made somebody else the lead characters of the show and that’s the challenge and the beauty of it. It’s always fresh, it’s always different, it always feels like there is something new going on to me.

“With NXT being different, it complements Raw and SmackDown. You have the opportunity to see these guys come in and make a name for themselves on a bigger platform. They can grow themselves while helping to create NXT’s brand. Then, if you’re following NXT, you’re ahead of the curve when they come to Raw and SmackDown. You know everything about them and their backstories. It’s like being a fan of the band before they hit it big. You have that claim to fame. And to our most passionate fan base that’s an exciting vibe that we have. I think that’s why social media is so strong for us — it’s people that want to be ahead of the curve.”

On Shinsuke Nakamura being a rare athlete that you have to see to believe.

“I have watched a lot of guys over the years and there are certain talent that you’re just drawn to, and that’s charisma and X factor and all those things. Shinsuke brings something to the table that I haven’t seen for a long time. He brings a level of charisma, a level of showmanship, that you don’t see a lot of times with guys that have an aggressive style, with the striking and skill set, that he does. He’s an amazing athlete.

“I think he’s somebody I had my eye on for a long time as far as being part of WWE as a whole because I think he’s that different level of performer. He’s one of those guys that is harder to explain what he is because when you start to begin to say it, it doesn’t do it justice. You kind of just have to say, ‘You just have to see him.’ Once you see him, you want to watch him again. He’s that kind of performer.”

Triple H goes on to talk about Brock Lesnar, UFC 200, the brand split and more. You can read Triple H’s interview with ESPN in its entirety by clicking right here.

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