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08th May 2016

“When you’re out, you start to doubt if the fans still care” – JOE interviews WWE icon Triple H

We talked to the 14 time world champion about the upcoming NXT tour.

Colm Boohig

We played WWE’s most famous Game…

JOE recently got time talking to WWE living legend Triple H.

The era-transcending ‘Cerebral Assassin’ and  Attitude Era icon had plenty to say about the upcoming NXT UK tour and was happy to talk about the rapid growth of the development segement of WWE.

We even got time to talk about his favourite ever WWE match, that unforgettable return in 2002 and his thoughts on one of the hottest prospects in the WWE – Ireland’s very own Finn Bálor.

NXT is WWE’s developmental programme, which has created stars like Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dublin’s Becky Lynch and, of course, Finn Bálor.

NXT is coming to the UK and Ireland this June following a stop off at Download Festival.

As The Game himself said, “Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss it!”


Finn Bálor (pictured) held the NXT Championship for the record number of days – 272.

The impact of NXT

In a few short years, NXT has gone from a training ground for those with potential, to a must-watch wrestling spectacle of its own that regularly cultivates stars.

Triple H can take a lot of credit for this evolution.


NXT has a reputation for thrilling matches by wrestlers out to make a name for themselves.

NXT airs on the WWE Network on Wednesdays, with pay-per-view event NXT TakeOver occurring every three months.

But, fans want more regularly viewings. We asked Triple H if there was any chance of that happening?

“We’re really happy with the success of NXT”, said the man himself.

“The shows are absolutely crazy, unmissable and the atmosphere is electric.

“As for adding more events, it’s kind of a case of leaving the fans wanting more, for the time being.”

The big tease!

Finn Bálor’s rapid rise

Clip via TheusBRHighlightsV5

For those of you who followed WWE growing up, but have lost track over the years, Ireland’s  Finn Bálor is seriously worth keeping an eye on.

The Bray native is already an icon of sorts from his wrestling days in Japan as Prince Devitt (check out this excellent RTÉ documentary on the star) and since debuting on NXT, Bálor has become one of the brand’s major draws.


Bálor isn’t afraid to try the unorthodox.

Surely this means that it’s only a matter of time before he makes his WWE bow, Triple H?

“The guy is a unique, special talent. At this stage, it’s really up to where Finn Bálor wants to go.

“There’s no doubt though that the guy is a star.”

It’s certainly a case of “watch this space” for when “The Demon” breaks into the main roster.



WWE fans may soon be seeing a lot of the Irish superstar.

Meanwhile, HHH praised the success so far of Ireland’s WWE trio – Bálor, Sheamus and Becky Lynch (who has graduated from NXT all the way to Wrestlemania in no time), paying particular tribute to their humble attitude and strong work ethic.

This could well inspire more future stars from this country, with Ireland’s own CCW organisation growing in strength with each event.


JOE couldn’t end the conversation without mentioning the incredible in-ring career of our interviewee, and the man himself was only too happy to oblige.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 08: WWE personalities Triple H (L) and Shawn Michaels throw glow sticks into the crowd at a news conference announcing the WWE Network at the 2014 International CES at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on January 8, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The network will launch on February 24, 2014 as the first-ever 24/7 streaming network, offering both scheduled programs and video on demand. The USD 9.99 per month subscription will include access to all 12 live WWE pay-per-view events each year. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 10 and is expected to feature 3,200 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Right before we talked to Triple H, we re-watched this remarkable return from January 2002 – one of the greatest WWE comebacks in history.

Naturally, we asked him about it.

Clip via WWE

We wanted to know what was going through his mind at the time…

“Oh, man, that was an incredible moment”, he enthusiastically responded.

“There were so many thoughts and emotions going through my head in that ring (HHH previously talked about crying his eyes out backstage after the cameras stopped rolling).”

“I had picked up a serious injury in a match and, when you’re out, you start to doubt if the fans still care. It’s only human.”

(skip to 6:30 to see the injury)

Clip via Jordon Beheler

“But, that (comeback) night was amazing.”

It really was one of the great moments toward the end of the Attitude Era.

Finally, speaking of great moments, we wanted to know what his favourite ever match was…

“There are so many throughout the years, but one that definitely springs to mind is Hell In a Cell against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 28.

“With Shawn Michaels as referee, it made the whole experience extra special.”

Clip via AndrewBlueRiffle28

“Our embrace at the end of the match just happened naturally. It was just a great match.”

Clip via WWE

We can’t argue with that choice, anyway.


Image via wrestlearena

If you fancy heading along to the NXT tour (including the Download Festival) of Ireland and the UK, here are the dates:

Friday, June 10 – Sunday June 12 – Download Festival, Donington Park, Derby

Tuesday, June 13 – SSE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Monday, June 14 – 3Arena, Dublin, Ireland
Wednesday, June 15 – Echo Arena, Liverpool
Thursday, June 16 – Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth
Friday, June 17 – Plymouth Pavilion, Plymouth
For more information, head here.
Cover image via YouTube/WWE.