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It’s all about The Game: Triple H on WWE, India and more

Triple H ‘can’t wait to come back to India’ after seeing the response to WWE from fans

Triple H ‘can’t wait to come back to India’ after seeing the response to WWE from fans   | Photo Credit: Twitter/ Triple H

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The pro-wrestling legend talks to us about the company’s evolution, his plans for the NXT brand, and his thoughts on India being a key player in the WWE market

HHH. The Game. The King of Kings.

Paul Michael Levesque goes by many names to fans across the world, but to those in India — the generation that truly embraced professional wrestling as a form of entertainment and watched the WWF evolve to WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) — he’ll forever be the anti-hero who faced off against the People’s Champion, The Rock (Dwayne Johnson), multiple times, and gave them some of the greatest matches in the history of the franchise.

Today, Triple H is many things apart from being a wrestler: Hollywood actor, the Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative for WWE, as well the founder and senior producer of NXT, via which they find young wrestling talent from across the world.

Why India matters to WWE in their long-term plans

Fans in India will only remember too well the wrestling legend’s last visit to India in 2017, at the WWE Live Supershow in New Delhi, where he defeated Jinder Mahal.

“That was an incredible experience. I really need to thank the people of India for their continued support of WWE, and it is such an amazing place. We keep sending our ambassadors there to visit — Charlotte Flair just came back after falling in love with India and the people — and they can’t stop raving about it. I can’t wait to come back!” remarks the 50-year-old, who is married to Stephanie McMahon, chief brand officer of the WWE.

On asked if India has a role in the brand’s future plans, Triple H is keen to state that talks are well underway. “India is a key place in our expansion, which comes with its own set of challenges and hurdles, logistically. However, we are excited to establish a base there. We might even set up a pool of localised WWE talent to take things forward,” he replies.

But the 14-time world champion is more keen to talk about NXT, the branch of the franchise that acts as a talent development system for the WWE main roster and now has developed into its own brand, housing even Indian names like Saurav Gurjar, Rinku Singh and Kavita Devi.

“I love that NXT has branched into its own unpredictable and epic universe, and many of the wrestlers there are superstars in their own right. NXT can stand its own against Raw and Smackdown (the other two flagship shows of the WWE), as was evident in the recent Survivor Series event. The plan is to promote NXT talent more and more in our coming spectacles and pay-per-view events,” he explains.

Evolving and going global

Having been in the wrestling business for close to three decades now, Triple has pretty much seen it all in the world of sporting entertainment. However, the veteran performer doesn’t agree with the recent inclination of athletes to take to social media to air their issues with the company or performance.

The 50-year-old has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and is widely credited with increasing the global popularity of the brand

The 50-year-old has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and is widely credited with increasing the global popularity of the brand   | Photo Credit: Twitter/ Triple H

“I don’t agree with it at all. Obviously in any organisation, there are arguments and disagreements. Athletes need to be professional about it and not take to viewing their opinions in public. If they want to see out their contracts or leave the company, they need to do it internally — not try to ‘break the internet’ as has become the norm these days!”

He is also eager to dispel the misconception that pro-wrestlers are always in danger of bodily harm and injuries due to the physical nature of their job. “I bet our medical team and rehab centre against any other sporting organisation in the world - we are that good. Having said that, wrestlers need to be certain about how they want to traverse through their demanding schedule. Everybody is different. At 25, I didn’t care to put my body through hell, I just wanted to keep travelling and opening sold-out arenas. Time off felt terrible for me. But now, things are different, lifestyles change, priorities change. You’ve gotta take responsibility for your career and actions.”

He concludes saying that the WWE will go more and more global in the years to come: “Our long-term plan is to have global events regularly. We are already in the UK, India is definitely on that list!”

WWE is telecast on Sony Ten in India.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 9:08:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/its-all-about-the-game-triple-h-on-wwe-india-and-more/article30123372.ece

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