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Exclusive: Triple H Backstage At NXT Takeover; Talks Ciampa Vs Gargano, Cross & Sullivan Earning Their Spots, Facing Undertaker In Australia

Triple H spoke with Wrestlezone Executive Editor Nick Hausman backstage at NXT Takeover: Chicago; you can read a few transcribed highlights and watch the full interview below:

(Transcription credit to Bill Pritchard for 

What do you say to a roster after a show like that tonight?

I just go in there and tell them how great it was, and how proud I am of them. There’s a lot of people here that worked the show tonight, a lot of people that didn’t work the show tonight, but to me, all of this is being part of a big team. So, I’m kind of addressing the people—Kassius Ohno’s in that room, he wasn’t on the show tonight—but he was here for everybody, supporting everybody, helping somebody if they needed it. It’s a big team atmosphere and a big team environment, and I try to stress that with everybody even if they’re doing their own thing. I really like that team environment where it’s not—I’ve been in a main event in my career too many times where you get done with the show where you walk in the back and everyone’s gone. There’s no water in the [cooler], and everything’s a mess and you’re just by yourself like ‘oh, great…’ But to have everyone be a part of it, that’s a team environment.

Does HHH think Nikki Cross and Lars Sullivan performed at a main event level, and they can stay in the title picture?

I do think they performed—I think you take every opportunity you’re giving—tonight we gave an opportunity to Nikki Cross, we gave it to everybody, but yeah, both of them knocked it out of the park. Every talent, every time you go to the ring—you mentioned Lars Sullivan and Nikki Cross—definitely went above and beyond, and to me impressed and earned their spot where they’re at. Lars Sullivan certainly looked like he belonged in there with Aleister Black, and Nikki Cross. I don’t think either one of them lost tonight.

Why does HHH think the Johnny Gargano versus Tommaso Ciampa feud has resonated with fans and continued for so long?

It’s real, it’s visceral, and you can feel it. You have two guys that really spent a lot of time together and liked each other, and you can feel that. They were very close in real life, and as you move forward, that closeness allows you to be better enemies; Shawn [Michaels] and I did that at some point. I think it just—when you’re that close to somebody—you’re on the same wavelength and it allows you to take things to another level in the ring… and they’re just really good. It’s just one of those stories where you can hit it on all cylinders all the way through this, and every time they’ve had the opportunity to capture the ‘climactic chapter’ of it and deliver to a point where you just want to see the next big event storyline; you don’t feel like you got enough and you want more. As long as they keep doing that, we’ll keep going.

Does HHH see a little bit of HBK vs HHH in Ciampa vs Gargano?

Yeah, I think there’s just something to that with guys being that close. Shawn and I had such a close relationship on and off camera where people knew it was real. Even in the time where the internet wasn’t as big—the ‘Curtain Call’ and all of this stuff that wasn’t as big—it was two buddies and to see that break apart, but yet we were so on the same wavelength. We could just go out there and do it, and I think it just makes it that much better. It’s organic and works.

Triple H vs. The Undertaker Announced For WWE’s ‘Super Show-Down’ Event in Australia

Triple H comments on today’s news about his match with The Undertaker at WWE Super Show-Down in Australia this October:

Yeah, I’m very excited. Australia is one of my favorite places outside of the [United States]; the fanbase there is so wonderful. Going back to 2002 there for [WWE Global Warning] with The Rock, Brock Lesnar and myself in a stadium show—this is like going back home there. At this point in time, any matches for me are bonus matches for me, and to get in the ring with [Undertaker], it doesn’t get any better than that.

So far the chapters [in the feud with the Undertaker] haven’t gone in my favor very often, but I’m hoping to pick up one on the way out.