Triple H Talks Up Growth Of UK Brand Ahead Of NXT Takeover Blackpool II
Paul "Triple H" Levesque has hailed the growth of the NXT UK brand and it's performers since its inception.
WWE popularised on the thriving independent wrestling scene in the UK back in January 2017 with the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament, which saw 16 of the best talents tussle it for the right to become the top dog in British wrestling.
That helped spawn a fourth brand which now stages regular pay-per-view events and tapings up and down the country, with a TV deal with BT Sport recently announced.
It all started at Blackpool's Empress Ballroom, the venue for tonight's third live NXT UK Takeover and Levesque is more than pleased with the incredible progress made.
"I can look at all the people here in the beginning of NXT UK and it's not even the same performers," the executive vice president of WWE's talent, live events and creative said during a media conference.
"Same charisma, same talent level but what I see is a completely different performer that now understands the hows and the whys.
"When I look at Pete Dunne, we give him opportunities to be an agent and help produce because then he's taking that and putting it to others and he's seen differently. It just creates a different environment for him.
"For me the challenge is being patient. If you have something kinda hot, you're like, 'We're going all in'! - but you can if you go too far, too fast, you limit your chances on the other side of it being long-term. You burn that fire too fast and it burns out; it's done.
"I'm not interested in creating a spectacle brand that's hot for a moment and then two years later, people are like, 'Remember when that was cool?'.
"I want something that consistently grows and that is what this has done. It seems like it's taken a long time at some point but when you look at the beginning to now, it really kind of happened fast in a way.
"NXT has done the same thing and over time that's the way to do it. You see it in everything, the band that hits hard and fast doesn't usually last long, the performers that become overnight sensations are back to not being sensations.
"It's about longevity. I say the term 'Marathon not a sprint' a lot and I truly believe it."
Through NXT UK, wrestlers have been able to live their dream as WWE superstars, travelling to the United states to compete on the big stages like Raw and Smackdown.
But for Levesque, the most satisfying thing for him is seeing people make a living from the business full-time.
He added: "There's a few people that are in the business over here where when we give them that next chance to grow, talking about coming over to train in the States at a different level and doing some bigger stuff - and they're like, 'Oh, I just bought a house over here'.
"On one hand you go, 'That's a tough spot because that's the dream' but at the same time you're like, 'Good for you!'.
"Two years ago there were guys travelling all over the place and they had a job in a hardware store or something to support their habit of wanting to be a professional wrestler.
"Now, this is what they do full-time, dedicated to the point where you can buy a house and there's security. That's a really cool thing."
NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool II will be shown live on the WWE Network from 5pm on Sunday 13 January. Find all the details to watch here: