WWE's "The Game", Triple H, answered some questions on a media call that Wrestling Inc. was a part of. Hunter took some time during the discussion to talk about the added competition that WWE's flagship shows, RAW and SmackDown, will be seeing this Fall.
"I know there's a lot of conversation about competition and everything else," Triple H said. "But the truth is, we compete with ourselves. I want to put the best show possible on each week now. I want to put the best show possible against RAW, against SmackDown, against anybody. I want to compete against ourselves to have the best show that we can. That competition - that's what leads to the best stuff in the business. From a product standpoint, when you have competition, it makes everything good. So we create our own."
Triple H commented on the upcoming draft that will take place in October to establish separate rosters between RAW and SmackDown, explaining that he doesn't foresee NXT having much involvement in the draft. He believes that NXT has proved themselves as their own third brand, well on their way to competing alongside RAW and SmackDown's TV ratings.
"I think everybody is going to have to wait and see. I don't foresee that being something," Triple H said. "I think that right now, the main focus of the draft itself is RAW and SmackDown as October 4th comes along and moves forward. With FOX broadcast taking SmackDown and staying with our partners at USA and NBCU, those become two very competitive landscapes. I'm of the opinion that the NXT brand will continue to grow and I think that down the line, you will see. As much as I will say right now, NXT has grown to where it shouldn't be referred to as a developmental brand even though we tend to debut newer stars.
"I think that over the years, people lose perspective of the stars that are absolutely homegrown, that never stepped into the ring before, that walked in the performance center and made their mark in NXT, and then moved up the line, and are now on RAW and SmackDown and everything else," Hunter continued. "I still think it needs more time to be considered in that same breath. And I think that over the next few months, hopefully we're going to get there very quickly as this show does well. But I think the draft is much more about creating the brand split, that having two distinct rosters between RAW and SmackDown. You're going to see that happening and I think that's what this draft is about."
Triple H wants to take the best stars from NXT, NXT UK, and 205 Live and use them effectively during NXT on USA so that the world can see what these shows have to showcase. He still sees the process as a work in progress, but Hunter is looking forward to NXT's Wednesday premiere on USA.
"You'll see some different scheduling opportunities in the upcoming 2020 calendar that are really scheduling changes... The talent that are in the UK, the talent that are here, the 205 talent or however you want to look at the cruiserweight talent, [I want them] to have as many eyeballs on them as often as possible," Triple H said. "So whether that's on any of those three shows, I think that if you look at that all as sitting under an NXT banner, and then RAW having his own, and then SmackDown having it's own. I think that in this year, clearly as we move into a draft period with SmackDown moving to FOX broadcast at the beginning of October, on October 4, I think as that draft hits, that's going to be focused more on RAW and SmackDown and where those brands lay out.
"But going forward, who knows? I think this is a work in progress, and as NXT continues to do what it's done for the last 5 years and grow by leaps and bounds, my intent is to create - and I think it's there and we'll see as we move forward - where there are three very distinct brands: RAW, SmackDown, NXT," Hunter continued. "They all have a different feel and flavor to them but they're all WWE products, and they all represent something slightly different, and all have their own meaning and everything. And there's no up/down, it's all lateral movements."
NXT makes it's debut on USA this Wednesday at 8/7 pm CST. If you use any quotes in this article, please include a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription