NEW YORK— Paul “Triple H” Levesque gave a glimpse into WWE’s future on Friday night.
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn delivered a phenomenal card, providing five matches that each captured the attention of the crowd, particularly the main event that saw Johnny Gargano defeat Adam Cole to become the new NXT champion.
“This is an epic week, and we started it off by putting on a show that will be tough to follow,” said Levesque. “Anything that takes place after this has their work cut out for them.”
Levesque, who is WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events, and Creative, as well as the creator behind the NXT brand, has found the formula to consistently create new stars.
“I remember the first big series of people leaving [NXT] and hearing everyone say, ‘You had a nice run, but it’s over,’” said Levesque. “But that’s not the problem, that’s the secret. That constantly causes us to create, to evolve, and grow.”
Levesque was especially pleased with the performances of Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle. Austrian giant Walter beat Dunne to win the NXT UK title, ending his 685-day title reign, while former UFC star Riddle also excelled in defeat during his match against the Velveteen Dream.
“Pete Dunne is only 23, and he’s only getting started,” said Levesque. “It’s amazing how good he’s become. And Matt Riddle is just getting started. Think of how good he’ll be a year from now with all the tools he has in front of him.”
Longtime New Japan star Kushida added even more of an international flavor to the show, as his signing with the company became official when he was broadcast sitting in the crowd at TakeOver.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have Kushida here, and I expect him to be everything he’s been everywhere else,” said Levesque. “His reaction from the crowd was massive. He’s a star with a massive international following, and he’s someone we’ve had our eye on for a long time. We’ll give him an opportunity here like he’s never had before.”
Levesque is in the midst of a busy stretch, overseeing Friday’s TakeOver, entering the WWE Hall of Fame with the DX faction on Saturday, and wrestling Batista with his wrestling career on the line in a no holds barred match this Sunday at WrestleMania.
“There’s only two or three matches on the card that don’t have an NXT performer on them,” said Levesque. “That’s the magic of it. At a certain point in time, you’re going to see people drift back and forth. We’re creating this wealth of stars and putting them this global platform. The level of performer you are when you come in, and the level you are when you leave, is an entirely different ball game.”
NXT alums will also play a role at WrestleMania. Fourteen former NXT champions will perform at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, and the brand continues to build new talent for the main roster.
“We set a hell of a template and a pace for the rest of the week,” said Levesque. “Good luck to everybody trying to follow it.”