Inside Pulse 12

Triple H Gets Defensive Over Poor WWE Creative, 50/50 Booking, Vince McMahon’s Bizarre Notions of Wins/Losses

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Triple H spoke with ESPN for a new interview on the site’s dedicated subsite to WWE. Some highlights are below:

On bringing back enhancement matches: “Anytime you do a match, you’re trying to get personalities over. Because for the most part, people appreciate great wrestling, but if they don’t care about the performers and they don’t care about the story between the two performers, they don’t care about the match. They just don’t. They’ll get to the end of it and they’ll go, ‘Wow, that was really exciting and they did some crazy stuff when the one guy did the thing, you know, like I don’t remember his name, but he did the crazy move.’ The moves and the matches only are great when they’re with great stories; when those stories are rich, and the characters are rich and you can get involved in them. And when the matches deliver that and you’re invested in those characters — that’s when it’s magic…Enhancement matches on the shows, to me, are designed to get personalities over. It’s designed for one guy to go out there — yeah, he beats up another guy, but what was he doing while he was doing that? He was establishing his moves, so I see what this guy does and see the kind of a style in which he wrestles? But if he just goes out there and just does a few moves with no personality and no charisma, I still don’t care about him. I just know he’s better than the other guy, who didn’t look like he was very good in the first place.”

On Braun Strowman’s push: “We’re resetting Braun Strowman. We’re resetting who he is, and resetting his character and his personality so that you can learn more about him and feel for him. It’s the same thing with Nia Jax and any of these characters that we do those things with. When I write NXT, I never go, ‘I just need to get so and so a match,’ and give them an enhancement match. It’s not what I want to do. I give it to them so I can see a different part of his personality. If I give [Shinsuke] Nakamura an enhancement match in NXT at this point, it’s so I can get the entertainment side of him out that I can’t get if he’s out there and he’s going to wrestle Samoa Joe. I want to see a different side of him, so I give him something that he can do that different side in and show me that personality.”

on 50/50 booking: “It’s just a term somebody came up with. It’s just terms that people throw out there. When somebody goes, ‘Well, you just can’t get people over with 50/50 booking,’ [I’ll always say] ‘Oh, I’m sorry, how’s your territory coming? Because this one seems to be doing pretty good over here.’ We just had the largest WrestleMania in history. People talk a lot of smack about ratings and things, but they don’t understand all of the dynamics of everything we do…Do I keep track of the exact wins and losses of talent? No. To me, all of this stuff is a feel. All of it is a feel. Sometimes you’re beating a talent because you want to beat them and that’s the sympathetic reaction you’re trying to elicit. There are some talents that, when you beat them, they get more popular, but as soon as they start on a winning path, their popularity begins to wane. … People want that underdog to strive to succeed and then get a little bit of success and then get knocked back off that perch and be the underdog again.”

On Vince McMahon’s standpoint on wins and losses: “People don’t understand it when Vince [McMahon] will say it’s not about wins and losses or those things. Do they matter? Sure. Are they the be all, end all? Absolutely not. I suppose there’s a stone somewhere that it’s written on that says, ‘Thou shalt not book 50/50 because it won’t lead to success for your promotion.’ We’ll stand on that stone while we’re selling out Brooklyn three days in a row.”

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