Triple H on Possible CM Punk Retun to WWE TV: 'Never Say Never' | SI Media Podcast
With the WWE embarking on a significant week in its history, as NXT makes its two-hour debut on USA Network Wednesday at 8 pm ET and SmackDown Live! debuts on FOX this Friday at 8 pm ET, the company's EVP of Talent, Live Events and Creative, Triple H/Paul Levesque joined the SI Media Podcast to discuss a variety of issues with host, Jimmy Traina.
One topic that came up was the recent audition that CM Punk had with FS1 for the network's new show which will cover all things WWE.
SI.com: Fox will also be doing a weekly studio show hosted by Renee Young on Tuesday nights on all things WWE on FS1. One of the people who tried out to be a co-host on that show is CM Punk. Would that be something you would sign off and be happy to see?
Triple H: Look, I've read about that as well and to be clear, Fox is doing this show and it's their show and it's something that they're doing to talk about the WWE Universe and everything going on it. They have a long list of people that they've been interviewing, but as far for us, one of the things this company has shown over and over again is "never say never." If the opportunity is right for everybody and it's right for our fans, then we are willing to put the past behind us and move forward. I would say never say never, but that's also probably a long way from coming true. I don't know. That's a little bit outside my purview at the moment, but like I said, never say never.
In addition to Punk, we also discussed the dynamic between Triple H and Vince McMahon when it comes to the NXT brand.
SI.com: Who has final say on NXT, you or Vince?
Triple: Well, look, at the end of the day, Vince is the Chairman and CEO of the company, so Vince has final say on everything we do and it's one of the things that people don't give him credit for. There is no NXT without Vince, there is no SmackDown, there is no Raw, all those things at some point are approved by him. As for as the day-to-day, the creative, the brand itself, what's happening with the talent the storylines, that's all me.
SI.com: How often does he ask you to change something?
Triple H: Very, very rare. It's one of those things where he understands the differences in the brands, what they need to be. First of all, there's only so much bandwidth in a day. And as much as Vince McMahon would like to add a 25th or 26th hour to the day or eighth day a week, he hasn't figured out how to do it yet, so there's only so much bandwidth to go around. And the fact that he is trusting of a team and a group that we have down here, and it's a large group -- this is a large-scale television show, two hours live every single week out of Full Sail University, and our partner down here is phenomenal, we couldn't do this show without Full Sail -- but his trust in that is exceptional and he lets us do what we do. There's not a lot of change that happens unless something needs to. But the great thing is that he's always there, too. You can't negate the fact that he's done this for 50 years -- the most successful promoter of this generation in anything. Anyting I do is from sitting under that learning tree. The gerat part is he's always there. You need something? You call him. You want an opinion on something? You call him. And he understands the differences between the brands, so it's phenomenal.
Other topics discussed during the podcast was the return of The Rock for SmackDown's debut on FOX, whether the "Monday Night Wars" can be repliacted, the biggest challenge facing the WWE, the Monreal Screwjob vs. Hulk Hogan joining the NWO and much more.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.