January 22, 2017
Triple H spoke with IGN to promote WWE Studios new animated movie Surfs Up 2: WaveMania. During the interview he talks about the Royal Rumble and Kurt Angle, You can read the full article here. Highlights below:
On the Royal Rumble
This year’s Royal Rumble is one of the biggest, most star-studded Rumbles that I can recall. Just look at the people who have thrown their name into the Rumble so far. You’ve got Goldberg and Lesnar and the Undertaker. When you start to look at that level of talent and then also see the Bray Wyatts and the Randy Ortons and everyone else that’s going to be a part of it, it really is one of the biggest Rumbles I can think of. Sometimes there’s a year in the Rumble where you think “Okay, I can see this or that happening. This seems like where the Rumble might be headed.” But this year, it’s really tough to call. And I think that’s when the Rumble’s at its best, when you can’t really put your finger on what’s going to happen. I can see this year going a lot of different ways and I think it’s going to go in a way that nobody expects.
On Kurt Angle
I think it’s a very well deserved induction into the Hall of Fame. We’ve had an association with Kurt for a long time but when Kurt was here in the WWE, he was one of the most impactful and memorable and iconic characters probably ever. One of the things that always stands out for me is that I was here when Kurt was coming out of the Olympics and training. And having never done this before, he went from zero knowledge of our industry to being one of the most incredible performers in the ring in the time frame of the Attitude Era where, you know, he was in there with some of the best in the world. And he very quickly went from walking to the ring for the first time to being one of the best in the world himself. It happened faster than anyone else. And that’s what I do now mostly in my day to day job. Most of my day is focused on talent and recruiting and training and talent development. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen someone pick it up as fast as Kurt. Just on that basis alone, he should be inducted. But then you throw in all that he’s accomplished, that he’s accomplished since leaving WWE even, and will continue to accomplish. I’m really happy for Kurt as a human being. I’m also happy that he’s a really good place in his life right now.
January 21, 2017
January 20, 2017
Triple H on Winning the Title at Last Year’s Royal Rumble, Carrying the Load Into WrestleMania, Working as a Talent & Exec Simultaneously
Triple H recently spoke with WZ Live Tweeter Joshua Caudill of CraveOnline.com, to promote the new WWE animated movie “Surf’s Up 2”, and below are some interview highlights:
CraveOnline: We’re a little over a week away until WWE’s Royal Rumble, which you won last year and won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the process. What did it mean to you to win the title at that stage of your career and did you feel a responsibility to carry the load leading into WrestleMania?
Triple H: It was a completely different experience. Last year was kind of out of the blue and given the circumstances of where we were talent wise, we had a lot of injuries and a lot of people moved positions, which changed a lot of things about the show.
Any time you’re put in that position, you put a lot of pressure on yourself. The pressure is less for me from a physical standpoint because I’m still in decent shape and I’m in this business every day so my mind is still fresh.
The pressure for me was trying to do my job and that job at the same time. With the things I operate on like live events, talent and creative, there’s so much to do on a day-to-day basis that it’s hard to get it done regularly.
In addition to that, it’s one thing to look decent, it’s another thing to be able to get in the ring and physically perform especially with an athlete like Roman Reigns. So you have to get back into the gym and train twice a day.
CraveOnline: How difficult was it to work as an executive and then be a performer during that title run last year?
Triple H: The common belief is that for myself and other guys are that we can’t step away from it or can’t let it go but I’d love to [laughs]. As much as I enjoyed last year, when the company asks if you want to go out and compete in front of 100,000 people, it’s hard to say no because it’s a piece of who you are. But at the same time, the workload it creates for you is so massive that it’s hard for you to enjoy it.
Even the WrestleMania experience, I spent my time going from a business partner meeting to trying to produce NXT Takeover to trying to oversee the television and if talent have an issue, my match is up in two or three matches and there’s a talent issue I have to deal with, I’m not out of the pocket. It becomes an intense workplace.
"It's funny because the two guys who really make the decisions, which is Vince [McMahon] and Hunter [Paul 'Triple H' Levesque], in seven years have never even approached me. I guess I'm semi-amused that people think 'Vince is saying this' and whatnot because those are the two people that understand why and respect why I retired and understood it."
January 18, 2017
Triple H made an appearance on the FOX Sports Wrestling Compadres Slamcast this week and confirmed WWE does have plans for a Women’s Tournament similar to the UK Title tournament. Below is an excerpt from the show:
DALE RUTLEDGE: “Last time on the show, [Stephanie McMahon] mentioned an idea for the women’s talent that you were working on. Has there been any further development on that?”
TRIPLE H: “So, that’s another one of my big, big kind of passions, is to go do that, a women’s tournament. And we’re down the road a bit of — the harder thing now, in a changing landscape, I feel like sometimes in WWE, like, you know, Tuesday, I’m like, “Okay, so this is where we’re going, right? No changing it? Yes!” On Wednesday morning, you have to call, it’s like, “We’re not doing that anymore.”
So you look at the landscape and how much it’s changed in the last year. NXT Takeovers now are attached to our “Big Four” pay-per-views. Raw and SmackDown have split brands and have pay-per-views of their own, but there’s more pay-per-views. When you look at the big calendar of where do you stick an event, that’s changed. And you have to look for the space where you go like, “Do it here! … no, that’s not good, you have a holiday.” Right?
So it’s really just been a process with the women of us finding the right time and space. This one worked out great with the little gap before Rumble here, to fit this tournament in and doing it in a shorter time frame, doing it live.
The women, we’re probably going to do this summer, is what I’m hoping, and a lot of women performers just [reacted] when I said that, but that’s the plan anyway. And you know, again, much like cruisers, it’s to go scour the globe and maybe find the girls that are out there doing this that no one’s heard of, that no one has seen, that are like these diamonds waiting, and bring them up. And let’s see what they can do, and entertain people with the tournament, and let them be exposed to this new talent. And at the same time, just massively increase the opportunity and the talent pool for us, and for everyone, really.”
January 17, 2017
William Regal Comments On What Chris Hero’s Return Means To NXT, The Key To Hero Achieving Success With WWE
William Regal recently spoke with Nicolas Atkin for ESPN.com, talking about what Chris Hero’s return to NXT (as Kassius Ohno) means for WWE. You can read a few excerpts below:
William Regal comments on Chris Hero’s return:
“This generation look up to him, so to have him back is great. Now he’s gone away and basically reinvented his style. When you get somebody as good as him and taking notice of him, it’s no different than Bryan. Daniel Bryan influenced a generation, and now Chris is doing it. It’s great to have him back, and I’m happy for him.”
Regal says the key to success for Hero is for him to stay healthy:
“It’s entirely up to him. He’s just got to stay healthy, that’s the No. 1 thing, the hardest thing. It’s the great thing that people have no idea about, because of the way we are now, that injuries stop you doing what you do.”
“Chris needs to take care of his health and make sure he’s doing all of his therapy in his knees and whatever else. If he does that, and he looks after himself, he can go all the way. He’s got the height, he’s incredibly talented, he carries himself well, and talks well. I hope it works out.”
January 16, 2017
It’s true, it’s true! Kurt Angle will be taking his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 just two days before WrestleMania 34, as first reported by ESPN.com.
“Kurt Angle’s accomplishments both in the Olympics and WWE were extraordinary,” said WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul Levesque. “He was one of the most gifted athletes to ever enter the ring, and we are honored to welcome him into the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Before becoming a legend of the squared circle, the proud Pittsburgh native was a world-class amateur competitor, becoming a two-time All-American and a two-time NCAA Champion while wrestling for Clarion University in his home state of Pennsylvania. His incredible amateur career culminated at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, where he fought off the incredible pain of a “broken freakin’ neck” to win the gold medal for the United States of America.
In 1998, Angle made the jump from amateur to professional wrestling by signing with WWE. One year later, the gold medal grappler made his debut at Survivor Series 1999, picking up the first win of an undefeated streak that saw Angle capture the European and Intercontinental Championships. His unbelievable rookie campaign culminated at WWE No Mercy in October 2000, where he defeated The Rock to capture his first WWE Championship.
Though his wrestling ability was unparalleled, Angle adapted to the entertainment side of sports-entertainment better than anyone could have expected. Whether it was preaching his “three Is” – intensity, integrity and intelligence – taking part in a five-second pose with Edge & Christian or joining “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for a backstage sing-along, The Olympic Hero was able to make the WWE Universe laugh when he wasn’t wowing them with his athleticism.
By the time he left WWE in 2006, Angle had become one of the company’s most decorated stars in a short period of time. His resume includes four reigns as WWE Champion, a World Heavyweight Championship, the WCW, United States, Hardcore, Intercontinental and World Tag Team Championships. In addition, Angle was the 2000 King of the Ring and even served as General Manager of SmackDown.
In honor of these accomplishments, along with his incredible contributions to the WWE Universe during his storied career, Angle will be enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame.
At the news conference that took place last month in London to announce this tournament, Levesque quipped to ESPN that Regal knows almost every person in the world who laces up a pair of boots. The bond and the trust between the two men was clear to see when they stepped out in front of the gathered media in a backstage corridor of the Empress Ballroom following the last of Saturday's eight first-round matches.
"It's a weird thing," Regal told ESPN. "Jan. 23 is exactly 24 years since I left to go to America. I debuted on Jan. 25, 1993. Eight months later, he [Levesque] turned up, and we've been together ever since, in one form or another. We've always been close, but we barely talk to each other, as funny as that sounds. He'll just look at me and he knows what I want. We've known each other so long and we've had the same mindset of the way to carry yourself as a professional and the aggression people should have. Everything about it , we saw little things we should tweak.
"It's not hard work. This is a joy every day. The No. 1 motto in talent development, which Triple H runs, is 'make it work.' Whatever the idea is, let's figure it out as best as we possibly can."
Levesque and Regal have collaborated to huge success in WWE, working together on projects such as developmental brand NXT, the Cruiserweight Classic and 205 Live -- all programming shown on the WWE Network.
"When it comes to the talent industry in general globally, there's not an opinion I trust more than the one standing next to me now," Levesque said of Regal. "Whenever these ideas come up, whenever something wacky pops in, he's the guy I call first, and go, 'What do you think about this?' That's the first place it starts. The collaboration with talent and what we're thinking immediately starts here...More?
January 15, 2017
WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka has passed away.
Snuka is regarded by many as the pioneer of high-flying offense because of his Superfly Splash from the top turnbuckle. His dive off the top of the steel cage onto Don Muraco at Madison Square Garden as hundreds of flash bulbs went off will forever live as one of the most memorable moments in WWE history.
WWE extends its condolences to Snuka’s family, friends and fans.
January 14, 2017
World Wrestling Entertainment formally announced Tuesday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that New Orleans will host WrestleMania 34 on April 8, 2018.
And just as he has been for most live shows for the past 40-plus years, WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon was there in person and in charge of the proceedings.
He didn't make an appearance at the press conference spectacle, but he didn't have to, as speaker after speaker lauded his brainchild, WrestleMania, as the promised land of sports entertainment.
McMahon is well-known for being a commanding presence in any room, and that's immediately understandable as soon as you sit next to him.
At 71 years of age, there doesn't seem to be any end in sight for McMahon, who took time after the official announcement to sit down with NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune to discuss his age, WrestleMania in New Orleans, how he used logic to take over the wrestling world, and his grandmother.
At her Senate hearing to win confirmation as head of the Small Business Administration, World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon is to be introduced by her bitterest Democratic rivals, Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal.
“Politics can’t work if grudges never vanish,’’ Murphy said in a tweet Friday announcing he was “proud’’ to introduce McMahon at her so-far unscheduled hearing before the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.
McMahon visited Murphy in his Washington office Thursday, and met with Blumenthal, last week.
Murphy’s conciliatory words were a sharp contrast from the 2012 Senate campaign, when GOP candidate McMahon dismissed Murphy as an irresponsible deadbeat who missed mortgage and tax payments.
In a similar race in 2010, the guiding light of Stamford-based WWE (along with her husband, Vince McMahon) ridiculed Blumenthal as a career politician who never had to meet a payroll.
Both Murphy and Blumenthal gave as good they got. Murphy’s campaign criticized McMahon for late property tax payments on the couple’s Trump Parc condo in Stamford.
And Blumenthal slammed McMahon on WWE and its involvement in steroid abuse, glorification of violence and denigration of women.
“She has put profits ahead of people,’’ Blumenthal said.
McMahon lost both of her Senate races by 12 points after spending nearly $100 million of her wrestling fortune.
After President-elect Donald Trump picked her to head the SBA, McMahon embarked on the time-tested ritual of nominees needing to make the best presentation at confirmation hearings: visiting home-state senators to say kind words.
In early 2016, a delegation of New Orleans officials traveled to Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
Their mission: Convince the WWE brass, including ever-colorful Chairman Vince McMahon, to stage WrestleMania 34, professional wrestling’s marquee extravaganza, in New Orleans in 2018.
Their unconventional pitch included a video of Saints quarterback Drew Brees wrestling with his kids and a Krewe of Muses shoe custom-made for McMahon’s daughter Stephanie, who is WWE’s chief brand officer and a “villain” in wrestling storylines.
In honor of their audience, the New Orleanians also assumed wrestling nicknames.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu was, naturally, His Honor. Deputy mayor Ryan Berni was The Deputy. The team included “Funky” Fay Nedd of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sam “The Silent Assassin” Joffray of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, the nonprofit group that coordinates the city’s bids for major sporting events.
“We had a little fun with it, but this was a serious business pitch,” recalled Sports Foundation President/CEO Jay Cicero, who, as the presentation’s emcee, was exempt from a nickname.
Vince McMahon and his staff “are the masters of entertainment and nicknames,” Cicero said. “We wondered what they were thinking. But we got some chuckles.”
They got more than chuckles. Thanks in part to an incentive package that reportedly included no direct payments from the city or state, the WWE eventually selected New Orleans to host WrestleMania 34 on April 8, 2018, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome...More?
Complex has a great new interview with Lana. Below are a couple of highlights:
Where the Ravishing Russian character came from:
"Well, there was a lot of different factors. My first day in developmental, Dusty Rhodes was in charge of creative. I would come up with literally about 15 different ideas because I'm an actor, I'm a storyteller. I have a creative mind. So I come in and start speaking Russian on my first promo ever. This is my first week in NXT. Eva Marie was put on the show, Jojo was put on the show, and then me and Alexa were sent to developmental, which I'm thankful for because I learned so much from Dusty Rhodes and Triple H. I started speaking Russian, switched over to English, and then Dusty Rhodes was like, 'Baby, I want you to work with Rusenov.' And I was like, 'Who's Rusenov? Who's that?' And then I figured he was the Bulgarian. We just started doing different promos, especially comedy promos. But I would come in every single day and would have meetings with Dusty, pitching different characters like nine-page character scripts and elaborate storyboards, everything. Using different people, putting on scenes. When Adam Rose shot all of his vignettes, he made me his first AD/PA because he was just like, 'Your mind is so creative.'
"But Triple H was the person. They were already in talks about bringing Rusev up. Triple H had seen a lot of our stuff, but it was more comedy stuff that we were doing, and he was like, 'I want you to try to do something serious.' Triple H told me to watch Rocky IV. He told me to try different hair things. So I showed him, I was in Pitch Perfect. And I was trying all these different things, and he told me to try an accent. I showed him a picture of me in Pitch Perfect as a Barden Bella where we were all buttoned up with our hair in a bun. And he said, 'That's the look.' And so that's where I started creating the suits and the buns. At first, he said I should just do Russian, and then I started playing around with a Russian accent because I had never really done much of that in English. But then in two weeks, like that, I was put on NXT TV. Three months later, we debuted at the Rumble."
Another night, another viral moment for Sixers rookie Joel Embiid.
A day after pro wrestling icon Triple H responded to Embiid's recent Twitter tribute to push the young center's All-Star campaign, "The Process" returned the favor by borrowing his intro routine for Friday's game against Charlotte.
Embiid, who is averaging 19.4 points and 7.5 rebounds, is currently fourth in Eastern Conference frontcourt voting. The top three players will start in this year's game, set for Feb. 19 at Smoothie King Arena in New Orleans.
UPDATE: Triple H offered up a critique to what has to be his tallest fan.
January 13, 2017
With the the tournament to crown the first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion taking place this Saturday and Sunday, WWE officials are already making long-term plans to use the same concept and do similar tournaments for other regions across the world. The plan is to crown the first WWE Asian Champion and the first Latin American Champion.
January 11, 2017
According to ESPN, Mark Hunt, who competed against and lost to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200, is filing a civil lawsuit against Lesnar, UFC and President Dana White stemming from Lesnar’s UFC 200 related anti-doping violations.
As noted, Hunt lost his UFC 200 fight to Brock Lesnar via decision, however, the result of the match has subsequently been overturned, and Lesnar was fined $250,000 and is currently serving a one year suspension from MMA by both USADA and UFC. Lesnar tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolite, 4-hydroxyclomiphene, in an out-of-competition drug test which took place on June 28th, and in-competition test on July 9th, the night of his UFC 200 fight.
42 year old Mark Hunt, who is scheduled to return to The Octagon against Alistair Overeem at UFC 209, filed the civil suit yesterday in a Nevada District Court, and offered the following statement to ESPN:
“I want the UFC to understand it’s not OK to keep doing what they’re doing. They’re allowing guys to do this. They had a chance to take all the money from this guy, because he’s a cheater, and they didn’t. What message is that sending to the boys and girls who want to be a fighter someday? The message is, ‘You just have to cheat like this and it’s OK.’ In society, if you commit a crime, you pay. Why is it different in MMA? It’s hurt the business, so it’s even worse. They need to be held accountable for this.”
Hunt’s lawsuit adds the defendants “affirmatively circumvented and obstructed fair competition for their own benefit.” He is also accusing the UFC and Lesnar of racketeering, fraud and several other allegations. He is seeking damages “in the millions.”
January 7, 2017
After a grueling eight-month rehab from a torn quadrciceps muscle, Triple H made a triumphant return at Madison Square Garden.
January 7, 2002
Five years later he would tear the right quad muscle during the New Year's Revolution pay per view.
January 7, 2007
January 6, 2017
WWE Removes Several Names From UK Championship Tournament, Former NXT Star Added, Updated 16 Man Roster
WWE has removed several names from the list of UK Championship Tournament competitors, and it appears the 16 man roster has now been finalized.
Tucker, Jack Starz, Chris Tyler, Ringo Ryan and Tiger Ali, were all originally announced as tournament competitors, but their names have been pulled from the list and former WWE NXT star Danny Burch has been added. Below is the updated list of competitors in the tournament which takes place on Saturday and Sunday January 14th and 15th.