More details have been revealed about the setting for tonight's NXT TakeOver 31 event.
It was announced via Sports Illustrated today that the "Capitol Wrestling Center" will be unveiled at tonight's TakeOver show. The Capitol Wrestling Center is the name for the newly remodeled television set at the WWE Performance Center. The name pays tribute to the Capitol Wrestling Corporation that was founded by Jess McMahon in 1953.
“It’s a historic callback to where this all began,” Paul "Triple H" Levesque told Sports Illustrated. “We gutted the Performance Center and it’s now rebuilt, so it feels like we’re going back to the beginning. To me, it feels like we’re going back to 1953. Just like then, we’re doing something different and new, taking the business to a whole new level.
“The Capitol Wrestling Center captures the feel and the vibe of NXT. We will have all the bells and whistles of the ThunderDome, but we’ll keep that NXT feel. It’s edgier, darker and raw -- you’re walking into the ultimate heavy metal soundstage.”
The Capitol Wrestling Center will have video walls with virtual fans, along with a limited live crowd of about 100 people for TakeOver 31. “There will be a contingent of fans in attendance, some of which will be talent, others will be friends and family and some will be fans,” Levesque said. “We will take every safety precaution that there is. All of this was signed off by our medical staff. Everybody that walks in the building will be PCR tested, take a questionnaire and be medically screened. There will be plexiglass pods with fans that are in groups, and the groups will vary in size. Everyone will wear masks, and each group will never be near anyone else.”
“We’re taking every single precaution we can, which needs to be done safely, and it’s important to us because fans are the lifeblood of what we do,” Levesque said. “The real core of this is the fans in those seats reacting to what we do. That gives us our energy and our drive. They dictate the story, and having them there makes all the difference in the world.”
Levesque said there was talk of NXT running at the Amway Center, but he was very resistant to that because making sure NXT has its own feel and vibe is one of his goals.
It was confirmed last week that NXT would be moving to the Performance Center starting with TakeOver 31. Levesque noted that NXT's partnership will Full Sail University remains strong and they look forward to returning there soon. "We are not severing our relationship with Full Sail,” Levesque said. “I’m very proud of all we’ve done there. This move is the right decision for us from a tech standpoint, but I look forward to returning there soon and the partnership remains strong.”
TakeOver 31 will begin at 7 p.m. Eastern time tonight. There will also be a 30-minute pre-show leading into the event. Here's the card for TakeOver:
- NXT Champion Finn Balor defends against Kyle O'Reilly
- NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai defends against Candice LeRae
- NXT North American Champion Damian Priest defends against Johnny Gargano
- Kushida vs. Velveteen Dream
- NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar defends against Isaiah "Swerve" Scott