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WWE NXT TakeOver Respect Triple H conference call notes (updated with audio)

With NXT TakeOver: Respect scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, that means it's also time for Paul "Triple H" Levesque's routine of doing a media conference call the day before the event.

Apologies for the delay in audio (found below) and for some of the background noise as the wrong mic was muted. (At least you heard the debut of my dog.)

- They reiterated WWE Wrestlemania tickets are now on sale.

- HHH apologized for being late and said he had to stop and call Bruno Sammartino and wish him well on his 80th birthday.

- He mentioned the UK tour, put over the WWE 24/7-esque show on the Network, and the Nashville and Louder Than Live music festival events this past weekend.

- He said the 'Respect' name has a lot to do with Dusty Rhodes and his meaning to the business. He put over the Dusty Rhodes Classic tag tourney finals and everyone on the show wanted to do Dusty proud. He talked about the Bayley/Sasha match at length.

- He talked about Breaking Ground, a show that is being shot right now with all kinds of behind the scenes information that will be coming on the Network soon.

- He was asked about the makeup of the crowd being younger and the 'unique demographics' NXT has brought him. He said there's some crossover with WWE for young adults, but NXT is "more edgier, underground, niche." "We're feeding that niche, but that niche is huge." He said that if NXT is more punk and hip-hop, WWE is more pop music. "I know who my fanbase is with NXT, and that's who I'm trying to serve."

- He hopes to have a fully functioning third brand that is touring as much as WWE is now. They have interest in doing more things like the L.O.L. music festival. They are getting to the point now where they are running out of bandwidth and have to say 'maybe next year' to more things than they did before.

- He was asked about who took over for Dusty in teaching promos. He said it's a split right now. They are using a similar format to what Dusty had, but they are using people more geared toward what they are trying to accomplish. William Regal, some guests, and some staffers are filling in until they figure that out.

- He was asked about Jushin Liger and whether we'd see more like that. He said he's open to everything but there are "limitations due to business reasons" with WWE. He said he looks at NXT with an open slate and an open mind.

- He was asked about the rise of female wrestlers and Bayley vs. Sasha Wednesday. He said their Brooklyn match was one of the best he's ever seen and not just for women. He referenced Ronda Rousey and the U.S. women's soccer team. He put over their athleticism, passion, etc.

- He was asked about Bayley's desire to learn more about the backstage/TV process with recently doing some timekeeping and whether other talents were interested in learning more. He said some talents do, and others don't. At RAW, there isn't that much of an opportunity to do that while at NXT, there is more of a chance to do that. He says he encourages talent to learn as much as they can, and how much he was interested in that side of things. He especially mentioned Sami Zayn as wanting to do that as he recovered from injury.

- He talked about the recent Finn Balor tweets about TNA and with TNA talent, and whether he was concerned at all of that. He taked about how talents take a bus in certain areas and that when they passed the TNA offices, he wanted to stop and take a picture. HHH said Balor hit him up immediately about it, but HHH thought they were funny and didn't see it as a big deal at all. He thought they were fun.

- He talked about the difference in 'IronMan' match vs. 'IronWoman' match, and debating over the name. He referenced how people win the Ironman competition, and that people like Lita mentioned she liked IronMan more, saying she thought it was derogatory to call it otherwise.

- He was asked about whether it was hard to sell the idea of an IronMan match in NXT to Vince, but HHH said he doesn't make that final call in NXT. He said Vince "loved it" and takes a bad rap for some of the decisions he makes. He said Vince is all about the fans and that it may take him a while to come around. He said there might be a way that Vince likes to present things that are different. He talked about how Vince hesitated about coming to NXT Brooklyn because he would be just sitting and watching the show. HHH said he was able to sit at gorilla and just enjoy the show. He loved Sasha/Bayley and told HHH he can't wait for the IronMan match.

- He was asked about Asuka's debut against Dana Brooke, and what adjustments she'll have to make in order to make it in NXT. He brought up how everyone has to adjust including talents like Hideo Itami.

- He was asked about what the thought process was in having the Divas "Curtain Call" moment at NXT Brooklyn. He joked he wanted to see who would get fired out of the deal. He talked about Vince telling him that if you put yourselves in the seat of a fan, you'll never go wrong. He talked about the emotion involved in all of that.

- Final question was on Gabe Sapolsky and the relationship there between Dragon Gate USA & Evolve, specifically Johnny Gargano's recent appearance, and whether they are a feeder system for NXT. HHH says he sees all of it as a feeder system, he really like what they do, and wants to support their shows. He said if he didn't have room at the P.C. for talent and wanted them to get additional work, he'd send them to Gabe. He said the indie undercurrents are healthy for the business, and would do anything he could for them. 

- He said he's a big fan of Apollo Crews and laughs when he hears references to him being potentially the first black WWE Champion. "Guys like Rock, Booker T...I guess they don't count?"

Call ended at 3:17 PM EST.

Click here to listen to the whole call or just right click & save.