Triple H says the influence of WWE chairman Vince McMahon on the success of NXT has been understated and that the brand has the boss’s “fingerprints on it”.
The company’s development territory, which has launched the careers of main rosters stars such as Charlotte Flair and Baron Corbin, made its debut on American network television on Wednesday night.
NXT has always been presented differently to Raw and SmackDown; it is filmed in the much smaller arena at Full Sail and relies on lots of ‘wrestling-based’ storylines in which the majority of the focus is on in-ring action.
Many fans feel the different tone is an indicator that McMahon is not involved at all, but Triple H – who runs NXT – says that the chairman’s influence is most definitely felt in the brand.
“You know, one thing that people don’t give Vince McMahon credit for is that none of this would happen without him,” he said during a conference call.
“The concept, the idea of it being an alternative brand, doesn’t exist without him and that is part of what makes it great, is his ability to make us do that and his ability to step back and say, ‘This is what it is and I am not going to change that because it moves to a different platform, it is successful for a reason and I want that reason to continue to grow.’
“Truth is, everything with WWE has his fingerprints on it, even NXT. I have sat under his learning tree for 25 plus years and a lot of things that I do were taught directly from him.