Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Triple H on the Stone Cold Podcast

This Monday WWE Network aired a live "Stone Cold Podcast," with Steve Austin interviewing Triple H.  It's worth noting that the actual show is called "The Steve Austin Show" which is hosted by Podcast One.  Anyway this interview got a lot of great buzz and I can completely see why.  When it was over I realized that I could listen to those two talk for hours.  It was a fascinating look at Triple H's thoughts on the business.  The high points for me was the discussion centering around kayfabe in 2015, Chyna and the WWE Hall of Fame, and NXT.
  • Kayfabe in 2015--Triple H and Austin both agreed that it was dead and buried.  I have often read that the death of kayfabe has hurt the business and that WWE needs to try to work back in that direction.  The way I look at is that the horse has left the barn.  It's not going back.  In 2015 you cannot pretend that this is "real" for lack of a better term.  Now what you can do is come up with more compelling storylines and angles to get your audience to emotionally invest in your product.  It's also important that the tone on the show is that everyone on camera is completely invested and that they aren't out there "playing wrestling."  The thought that wrestling has to act like this is a legitimate sporting competition to succeed is baffling to me.  I will not drop any spoilers here, but look at a show like The Walking Dead for example.  I live where they film that and where it is set.  We don't have any walkers there.  It's not real, but people emotionally invest in those people to the point that I know there were many people who wept over the death of a character recently.  I got smartened up when I was in 2nd - 4th grade I would imagine.  That didn't stop me from caring about Ron Simmons' WCW World Title win.  It didn't make the WCW vs nWo feud any less impactful.  As a matter of fact I recall being really upset when I found out wrestling wasn't real, but guess what I did?  I was back that very next weekend enjoying the show.  Kayfabe is dead and gone and that's fine.  I was glad to hear Triple H and Austin both acknowledge that as well.
  • Chyna and the WWE Hall of Fame--This was a little dicey and I completely see both sides of this argument.  The primary argument against her inclusion is the adult film career she pursued after wrestling.  The argument against her exclusion is that the WWE Hall of Fame has already honored a guy like "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka who has been accused of killing his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino.  For me, I have to side with Triple H on this one.  I just don't see the benefit of a company like WWE honoring Chyna considering her post-wrestling career.  At least I don't see it right now.  You leave this alone for another 10-15 years and then I think it might be more appropriate.  It is a shame because The 9th Wonder of the World certainly deserves an induction, but I just don't think it makes sense for WWE to go out on that limb right now.
  • NXT--The subject of Triple H's baby, NXT, came up.  He discussed how it has become an alternative brand aimed at a more hardcore wrestling fan.  Triple H wants to take it on the road too which would be interesting.  He pointed out how they have a little more latitude down there because you don't have the higher stakes you have on the main roster.  I don't think he specifically said this, but I would imagine that not having to worry about Vince or USA probably helps too.  One thing that I thought was really cool was the idea that Triple H has a feed in his office in Stamford, CT directly to NXT down in Florida.  Even when he's not there he can keep his eye on it. 
There was a lot of interesting conversation here including talking about making amends with Ultimate Warrior and Bruno Sammartino, Vince's brass ring comment, Triple H's exit strategy from the business if he had not moved into his current spot, whether the nWo or DX was more influential, CM Punk, and many other things.  If you didn't get to listen and are curious about any of those other items I recommend you head over to DOT NET and read their recap of the interview.  It really was excellent and I hope they do a follow-up at some point.  Links to Austin's actual podcast are below.  He has a clean one and one with adult language and topics.