Thursday's pre-NXT TakeOver conference call featuring Paul "HHH" Levesque was one of his more newsworthy ones in quite some time with information on the whereabouts of Velveteen Dream, what he knew about Steve Cutler's release, Edge's work in NXT, and Pat McAfee.
Here are some of the highlights with full audio available below.
- Edge has been talking to Levesque about coming into NXT for well over a year, both on the mic and also as an in-ring worker, going so far as to give Levesque a list of who he wanted to work with. He thinks Edge's return has been done really well to this point.
- He said there nothing to add on Velveteen Dream and that "we've gone over this a million times". He had a "physical thing" but is still training and still at the PC.
- Asked about what they quantify as ratings success today, he thought Nick Khan put it best on the recent investors' call with eyeballs and how people are consuming the product. He said you have to take things like apps into consideration even though they don't show up in ratings. "Appointment television isn't the same conversation we had 15 years ago."
- He said he has no knowledge about the situation and circumstances around Steve Cutler's release.
- On Pat McAfee, he said he is a very busy guy, especially with the recent end of the NFL season. "His learning about his firing on the air was greatly exaggerated." McAfee asked for some time to breathe given his schedule and recent marriage and that the door's open for a return in the future. Levesque really likes him and also put over Bad Bunny's "respectful" attitude in coming into the WWE world. "He's just one of the guys."
- When asked about NXT being a regular fixture at WrestleMania, he would be all for it but it depends on how much you can fit into Mania weekend, the benefit of TakeOver that weekend, balance, etc.
- HHH said he wasn't involved in the women's Royal Rumble prior to the day of the event and even then, it was being involved in conversations that day only.
- When asked about the signing of Parker Boudreaux, he said "we'll see what he can do" and that with any talents coming in the door, a lot of it depends on them given all the tools they have at their disposal.
- Asked about creating more NXT titles for women, HHH said he's not a big believer in "38 titles in organizations" but there are always conversations around things like that.
- He mentioned Bronson Rechsteiner (son of Rick Steiner) as someone training at the PC.
- Levesque said the impending Performance Center class features the largest female class in the company's history.
- Noted wrestling fan Brandon Walker of Barstool Sports will be part of the TakeOver pre-show.