NXT Takeover: Toronto is fast approaching, which meant it was time for WWE executive Paul "Triple H" Levesque to hold another conference call for the wrestling media Friday afternoon.
Levesque opened the call by saying that he was very much looking forward to Takeover, which will emanate from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto Nov. 19. The event will also air live on the WWE Network, starting with a pre-show at 7:30 p.m.
"It's been kind of a big build for me with this Takeover given the shift in the talent roster with the draft and everything that we have had in the last year," Levesque said.
"We kind of had to start our women's division almost over with the exception of Asuka being the most dominant woman that we have, but also just kind of being what was still there on our roster from the active talent in NXT," he added.
It's kind of been a rebuilding process, but I'm really excited about this event."
Levesque then took time to preview each on the card, beginning with the NXT championship match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe. The match will be another chapter in what Levesque believes has turned into a classic rivalry.
He then went on to the NXT Women's title match between Asuka and former WWE Women's champion Mickie James.
He said that James was indeed NXT's first choice to face Asuka, which goes against recent reports that she was the second option behind WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus, who recently revealed that she was expecting her second child.
"As we got closer to Takeover, I wanted more time for some of our other women to percolate and to grow as performers and to build a reputation and their aura and that's what we're doing," he said.
"I look at Mickie James as somebody with a very high skill level that I knew could handle it, that I knew was in the shape to be able do this and she was somebody that I wanted to do this," he added. "I felt like she and Asuka would tear it up so that was where we went.
I want to reinforce that Mickie was not the consolation prize for us in any way. She is the person that we went at."
He then moved on to the NXT Tag Team championship match between The Revival and #DIY. He said that he believes that the match has the potential to steal the show under the two-out-of-three falls format, which he said has become a bit of a staple for NXT.
Levesque took time to praise the Authors of Pain, who will be taking on TM-61 in the finals of the second annual Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
He said it is amazing how far the Authors of Pain have come given that they have been training at the WWE Performance Center for less than two years with no prior professional wrestling experience.
He wrapped up his opening remarks by talking about the cruiserweight-only show, 205 Live. He said that 205 Live would be the platform the cruiserweight division needs.
"It is something that I have been very passionate about and working hard on," he added. "For them to have the exposure of a Monday Night Raw position is great, but to have their own platform, to have their own show I think is going to be phenomenal and I can't wait for this show to get started."
Levesque then opened the call to questions and was asked how tough will it be to make 205 Live standout from all of the other content WWE provides.
"First of all, I think the talent will make it distinctive," he said. "The cruiserweight talent that we have and will be getting are second to none and they're phenomenal talent and that's the place where you're going to get to see them showcase the best."
"We were very successful, in my opinion, in making the Cruiserweight Classic feel very different and have a different energy level," he added. "The thing at that point becomes trying to make that into an episodic show, but have that same feel and that same grit to it that I felt like Cruiserweight Classic had, but that's the challenge, right?"
He admitted that it is hard even for him to keep up with all of the content WWE has, but said that the great thing about the WWE Network is that fans can consume the content whenever they want.
"If we can just put great content out there with that show, people will find it and they'll enjoy and we'll try to make it as different as we possibly can," he added.
Later in the call, Levesque was asked about the possibility of NXT going live in the future.
He said that he is open to NXT going live more often one day, but that depends on if the fans want that to happen. As of right now, there are no plans for NXT to air live, according to Levesque.
"If the feedback comes back in a big way that's it is what people want, then we would begin to look how we could potentially make that happen if it's doable," he said.
Levesque was then asked about WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels and his role at the WWE Performance Center.
Despite what has been recently reported, Levesque said that Michaels is not the head coach at the WWE Performance Center. He then said that Matt Bloom is the head coach and is doing a "phenomenal job."
"Is there a plan for [Michaels] to be involved with the Performance Center and be a part of what we do? Yes. Is that fluid? Yes," Levesque said.
If Michaels were to accept a position at the WWE Performance Center, Levesque said that he thinks he would be best at putting the final touches on a wrestler, helping said wrestler go from good to great.