Triple H is WWE’s Head of Talent Relations and not the COO like storylines may say, but Triple H does have a huge role in developing and finding talent and decided to talk about the process and more recently. Triple H has hired some of WWE’s top names today such as Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, and more. He also had a role in the development of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose.
Truly, Triple H is shaping how the WWE will be for years to come, which does not seem to be a bad thing due to all the impressive wrestlers we see today. WWE has a very good problem in that they have too many amazing wrestlers on their roster right now, which is most likely why WWE NXT seems to be so well. WWE brings in amazing wrestlers and many of them may deserve to be on WWE RAW or WWE SmackDown Live, but they need to learn the WWE style beforehand.
On top of this, many do not need to learn much, but Triple H keeps them down on NXT because he feels they deserve to be given a good chance to show what they can be before Vince McMahon puts them on a brand for them to try to do well. Some do very well when they are called up, such as Kevin Owens who beat John Cena in his first official main roster match and has been noted as being a champion in WWE for over half his career so far, which is incredible.
Others come up and not do as well, such as Emma, who ended up going back down to NXT, She would develop into a cool badass type of girl, which fans and management seemed to like. Sadly she was hurt soon into her return and that cut her chances short, but she is set to come back and do well. NXT has produced a lot of great people for the main roster, especially due to the trainers and the WWE Performance Center being there for them to learn with.
Triple H opened up about the process of how WWE recruits, along with the needed diversity for WWE when it comes to hiring talent. He also spoke about how people learn in WWE NXT and much much more with FOX Sports. He was asked about how he noted the importance of people learning how to perform on television, and referenced Finn Balor in his answer.
“I’ll give you an example. Finn Balor had come from Japan, he was a big star in Japan with a massive following, had wrestled all over the globe. A lot of television coverage in Japan and everywhere else. There was a day when he came in, we were at the PC and then we had gone over to Full Sail, and we were putting together his entrance. He hadn’t yet debuted on TV and we were putting his entrance together. Later that day we were outside Full Sail, and he was leaning against the wall, he looked like he had been shot out of a cannon. He was just kind of frazzled.
“I said, ‘Are you alright?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, this is just overwhelming … I have never once thought in my career about where a camera is, and now I realize that’s why they sometimes miss the cool stuff I would do. And now I’m realizing that if the camera doesn’t see it, people don’t see it. I’ve got to work the camera and I’ve got to manipulate this, but it’s overwhelming to me.’ And he picked it up really fast, but that’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about. No place else teaches that. No place else in our environment, the sports entertainment world. There’s nobody else working with it that way. For most other places, they just put camera there and cover it like a sporting event.”
A lot of independent wrestlers do not know much about how to work on camera, as they’re really just working to the crowd most of the time. Camera angles and shots do not mean much when they are rarely there to be seen. WWE NXT does a great job at giving talent the camera angles and looks they will see on the main roster, which prepares them quite well for their transition, unlike before in FCW and OVW, when that had to be taught when they were called up. Triple H noted that “we’re not covering a sporting event, we’re making television,” in reference to the importance of talent knowing how to work in front of cameras.
Obviously WWE does not bring people up right off from NXT, and with the success of the show Triple H has claimed, WWE NXT is a brand as much as SmackDown Live and RAW. He was asked about the health of the brand, such as keeping some down on NXT.
“I would be very hesitant to say for anybody, ‘I don’t want them to go to the main roster because it’s better for NXT if he or she is here.’ That wouldn’t be the right thing to do for anyone. People stay in NXT because it’s not the right time or the right fit to bring them in. People being impatient that there’s somebody they want to see, ‘Oh this guy would be great on Raw or this girl would be great here, I want to see them there.’ I understand that feeling, but if we have a plan that six months from now we have an idea to do this that’s going to debut this person in a bigger way … that six months might seem like forever to a fan who doesn’t know what the plan is. To us, it’s just around the corner.
“Some of these guys come in the door and it’s not a question of ‘I’m just waiting to get to the main roster, I just want to move up.’ When [Samoa] Joe came in, Joe came in because he wanted to be a part of NXT, and that was the conversation we had. Is there an opportunity on the main roster maybe down the line? Yeah, but that wasn’t his intent walking in the door. It’s all kind of a work in progress of where it can go and what it can be. I think everybody in their mind at the end of the day wants to compete at WrestleMania and be on Raw or SmackDown, but there’s a lot of people right now clamoring to get in the door and just be on NXT. If you want to look at it as something different from Raw and SmackDown, it’s the second-hottest promotion there is. A lot of people want to just get there. And the money you can make and the living you can make here on NXT doing well is very, very, very good.”
Triple H was then asked about the way WWE scouts talent, and how they go after certain people.
“We scout the globe…. Even if you’re in the NFL now, or you’re coming out of college football or you play rugby in another country and for whatever reason you’re either thinking about leaving what you do, your career’s coming to an end, you know you’re not going to get picked up for another season — whatever that is — and you’ve been a huge fan. Maybe somewhere in your mind you’ve always said, ‘I’d love to do that’ or ‘I’ve seen that and it’s really cool.’
“But how do you go about becoming a WWE Superstar? That’s the trick. So us going to all these places and reaching out and going to career days for the NFL or going to all these different locations where we can see talent. They begin to ask us questions, we see who’s interested, we begin to put out feelers on that, we start to talk with them, we cultivate who is really interested and what kind of athletes they are, the kind of person they are, and it just sort of goes from there. And then other times somebody just makes a recommendation of somebody they think is a great athlete with a big personality that maybe knows nothing about what we do — but when they see it and they start to look into it, they start to fall in love with it. And then it’s a matter of if they have zero experience, getting them into one of our tryout camps.”
Triple H was also asked about what it takes to make a good WWE Superstar and what he looks for when he goes after certain men and women to hire for the WWE.
“The biggest thing for us is, at that point — you’re talking about amazing athletes. Did they come prepared? Are they leaders — when they get exhausted, how do they react to that, are they leaders or are they just falling by the wayside and not putting in the effort? And then the biggest thing I think that you look for across the board is charisma. Charisma in what we do is king. Building your own brand and being the person that when you walk into a room people stop to take notice of you. Being a person that can attract attention to yourself. Those are things we look for.
“It’s also something that’s a waiting game. We’re right now at capacity of around 100 talent in the Performance Center. In the three short years it’s been open we have quickly outgrown the facility we’re in, and we’re packed. So it becomes a, ‘Look, we’d love to have you, we just need to wait some time while we get some openings here to bring you into the system.'”
Triple H was also asked about the idea of branching into other territories in the future. WWE has been pretty vocal about the idea of growing more, despite how huge they are already in the world today. Triple H was specifically asked about the move-in situation like they did with the UK Championship tournament and the possible move into China. He was asked if there is more of that type of stuff coming soon, Triple H claimed the following.
“I do. I think there’s an interesting thing happening to me in the world, that the internet and social media and, for us, the WWE Network over-the-top going direct to consumers, creates a smaller planet — but it also creates an opportunity not only for a global product, but localization of that product. The U.K. Tournament’s a prime example of that, of us going in there. There’s a pocket of really talented guys in the U.K. that are sitting there that are really good. We know they’re there, we can’t use them all on Raw or SmackDown or NXT, but we’d like to do more with them, so we do this tournament, we test the waters, we see how it goes and work with these guys. We help cultivate their talent, and now we’re in the process of working towards turning that into its own weekly show in the U.K. And hopefully we’ll have something on that soon. That’s the opportunity for those guys.
“And then what you’re doing in those markets is creating a pathway. Trust me, for all those guys there … I mentioned Finn Balor before, a guy who came out of Ireland, worked all through the U.K., went to Japan. He never thought WWE would be an option for him. And five years ago, eight years ago, he was probably right. He never thought it was an option, it was just a pipe dream to him.”
Triple H went over a ton in the interview with FOX Sports, as he told them about a great deal of the process that goes into not only hiring people but helping them succeed. The important thing the WWE can do is hire people and make them better than when they first got signed, because at that point they’re creating literal superstars. WWE clearly has a bright future, especially with guys like Triple H at the helm to help scout, hire, and create what we’re seeing or going to be seeing.
[Featured Image By WWE]