The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch
Original airdate 2/16/05 on CNBC
The interview begins with Deutsch talking about John Stossel’s infamous run in with Doctor D on whether wrestling is fake or not. Deutsch decides he will just refer to wrestling as entertainment. Triple H says that if he hits Deutsch it will be for entertainment purposes only.
Deutsch goes into Triple H’s marriage to Stephanie and being the son in law in a family business. Hunter makes sure to note that he was already well established in wrestling before he began dating Stephanie and the fact that both Vince and Linda originally looked upon their relationship badly. Deutsch makes a comment about turning this all in to a storyline, but Hunter lets him know that they were married in storyline terms before they were together in real life. Triple H also mentions that they are divorced on TV.
Deutsch asks about character development and who and what is behind it. Hunter goes into how most characters are extensions of themselves only to a higher degree. He also goes into greater detail saying that Vince, the creative team or the wrestlers create characters themselves.
Deutsch goes into the fact that WWE has a creative team and says that it sounds like they are no different than an advertising firm, sit-com or soap opera. Hunter says it’s similar, but the wrestlers get a little more say over characters than other entertainers because they are the characters. Ideas still go through channels just like anywhere else though and Vince has the final say.
Deutsch asks about Hunter’s earlier role with DX and what Hunter thinks about younger children watching the show with terms like “Suck it!” being thrown around. Triple H says while they used to go for more of a sensationalistic edge, they have gotten away from that and are keeping fans drawn in with more wrestling content, instead of the more risky material.
Deutsch asks what Triple H would say to someone who asked him about their child emulating what they see on the sows. Hunter claims they should be a responsible parent and watch the shows with their kids and explain to them that certain behaviors are not OK. To make sure a kid knows it’s not right to hit someone with a chair and so on.
Hunter is asked whom he has more in common with, football players or actors. Hunter says it’s a little bit of both. That they are like a theater production, that they have to learn lines and carry out storylines, but they also have to be athletic and deal with injuries.
Hunter is asked about where Stephanie stands if there is a problem between he and Vince. Hunter explains that sometimes it’s difficult because Hunter’s boss is his wife’s father and one of Vince’s employees is his daughters husband, but that they work it out in the long run.
Deutsch asks if things are always about business when Hunter gets together with the McMahons. Triple H says that’s an interesting question, because a lot of people think that he’s in Vince’s ear 24/7 when in actuality Vince hates to talk about business during his personal time.
Stephanie will be joining the interview for the next segment right after the break.
Back from break with footage of Stephanie facing Vince at No Mercy 2003.
Stephanie is asked by Deutsch where she stands when there is a disagreement between Hunter and Vince. She says she will act as a sounding board, offer counter points, but in the end tells them to talk it over with each other.
A few jokes are made about Steph falling for Hunter, because of how similar he is to Vince. Triple H jokingly responds that he is way bigger than Vince though.
Deutsch asks Stephanie if she has tried to change things in wrestling from the misogynistic ways it has had. Steph responds by saying that she doesn’t think anything WWE has really been misogynistic . She admits there have been times where they may have pushed the envelope, such as with DX. Hunter then breaks in and says “mostly stuff with me” and the three share a laugh. Steph goes on to say that they have scaled back the edginess of the product with the call of the times and that there is currently a call for a more conservative type of product.
Deutsch comments that he is a bit disappointed to hear than an industry known for being edgy and rebellious is toning things down because of things like who is currently in the White House. Stephanie rebuts that they are just going with what the audience wants. Hunter comments that they are going with what the fans want, there is also a rising level of censorship that he is against.
Deutsch then shows the Triple H Braveheart promo for WrestleMania 21. He then asks Hunter what the inspiration for it was. Hunter explains that WrestleMania is the biggest show of the year and that they try to do something different every year. So, this year since they are in LA they decided to do spoofs and commercials inspired by movies.
A plug for Hunter’s book leads to a comment about certain influences on wrestling. Stephanie notes that Hunter was “The Game” well before the rapper. Deutsch says he’s surprised that rap hasn’t made its way more into wrestling, and Hunter says they have many influences and fans of WWE are also metal, country, and hip hop fans. Hunter briefly mentions that John Cena’s Smackdown character is a hip hop guy, then corrects himself to say that Cena himself is a rapper.
Final plugs for WrestleMania 21, Making the Game and No Way Out end the interview.