Hitting our shores on December 5 in Auckland and December 6 in Wellington is the triumphant return of the globes most successful sports entertainment company, WWE. However this time in-ring and boardroom general Triple H AKA Paul Levesque (Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative at WWE) promises to deliver something that New Zealand audiences have yet to experience with WWE NXT and is pumped “to bring this exciting, hard hitting WWE action to Australia, New Zealand and Japan” for the first time.
Thanks to WWE, Dion and the team at Ringside Consulting; I was selected to listen in on an exclusive interview call with wrestling royalty, Levesque last week and got to hear all the inside details about the challenges The Game has faced in building WWE’s third global touring brand, as well as his advice in how to strive to be the best to beat the best in day-to-day life.
What is WWE NXT? It’s a unique group of Superstars coming from a variety of athletic disciplines like NFL, U.S. collegiate or amateur sports, competitive bodybuilding, international sports such as rugby or India based kushti and kabaddi.
Levesque feels that this mix of talent “really super serves our most hardest core fan base of the WWE [and] we do it at a bit more of an intimate level so you’re up close and personal with the talent…kind of like seeing your favourite band, only in a club setting”
Levesque goes on to say that NXT is “more than just a developmental group but into a third brand in and of itself within the WWE and its expanded rapidly…NXT being my baby…I think that once everybody goes to it and gets a feel for it, you know [NXT] events are very immersive, WWE is in general but NXT almost gives you that up close and personal that’s harder to get sometimes in those bigger arenas with the main WWE product and you’re in a 15, 20,000 seat venue. [NXT] is a little smaller and a lot more intimate, there’s a lot of excitement, it’s very hard hitting the action and our Superstars are the best in the world”.
Levesque guarantees that Kiwi audiences will be blown away by what they see in-ring and reminds that all of the talent in WWE’s top brands, RAW and Smackdown! got their start in NXT. Big names like “Seth Rollins™, Kevin Owens™, Dean Ambrose™, Bray Wyatt™; all those talent came out of NXT”.
So rest assured we’re in for some explosive events in December featuring “Shinsuke Nakamura™, you know you’re going to see the future, you’re going to see Bobby Roode™, Austin Aries™. When it comes to the women, you’re going to see incredible performers like you’ve never seen before like NXT Women’s Champion Asuka™ and Ember Moon™…its talent that we bring in from around the globe that makes NXT as spectacular as it is and as good as it is and long term, will make the WWE as good as it is. It’s truly a global product”.
On the call, Daniel Birchfield a journalist from Otago Daily Times asked what advice Levesque had for New Zealand’s up and coming wrestling talent looking for a break; The Cerebral Assassin was as always, straight to the point and in my opinion, this wisdom could be applied by anyone looking to strive forward in their professional or personal lives. Levesque offered:
“Just like I would to anybody else, anywhere in the world, just continue to train and work as hard as you can…try to learn as much as possible and do everything you can to get yourself out there…you’ve got to get your name out there some way, find some way by hook or by crook, no matter what you gotta do to get your face in front of the people that need to see you and eventually you’ll make it. You know, I’m a big believer in the ‘cream rises to the top’ and if you’re good and you believe in yourself and you won’t take no for an answer, you’ll find a way”.
Levesque capped off the call by enthusing that “talent is talent and you just gravitate towards that and [NXT] put out an amazing performance…these great characters that perform, they pour their heart and soul into it and you feel it man, I think that’s what’s really cool about all of it, but NXT is bringing that to the forefront and that’s one of the things about NXT I’m most proud of… I’m excited to bring the brand and everything it represents and everything it does. It’s hard hitting action that NXT brings like nobody else and I’m really excited to bring that to New Zealand…”.
Comment below and tell me which WWE NXT Superstar you are looking forward to getting up close and personal with in December?