With Vince McMahon retiring and resigning from all positions he held in WWE, his daughter Stephanie McMahon and son-in-law Triple H, along with Nick Khan, have been promoted. Stephanie and Nick are now co-CEOs of WWE, and Triple H has taken control of the company’s creative direction. Less than two weeks after Vince retired, Triple H has already brought back a released talent in Dakota Kai, producing more in-ring content on “Raw”, and better positioned Ciampa, amongst other things.
“Just think about how many people were excited when [Triple H] was running [‘NXT’],” Two-time WWE Hall of Famer Booker T said on “The Hall of Fame” podcast. “Just think about the shows that were being produced when, you know, Hunter was at the helm of ‘NXT’. You know, they were competing [with] WrestleMania, you know, as far as excitement for the show. Those ‘NXT’ Takeover shows, man that stuff was getting so big it was getting out of hand, I thought … I think Hunter being able to see it from a different perspective, having a close relationship with a lot of younger guys that Vince didn’t ‘t have, you know, with these younger guys.”
“I don’t think [Stephanie is] going to be the new Vince, I think she’s just going to be the new Steph,” Booker T said. “I think she’s going to do things her way. Stephanie has always been someone that – she’s a stickler about things being right … Stephanie is going to have a really good team around her trying to make sure they put out the best product … We don’t have to worry about, you know, Vince Seeing something that he don’t like, which, you know, maybe, maybe something good.”
Triple H was once in charge of “NXT,” originally positioned as a developmental brand for WWE that turned into one of, if not the, most popular wrestling brands in the world. Triple H was responsible for the then “Black and Gold” brand putting on memorable stories, great matches, and iconic moments. A few of those iconic moments include Ciampa’s heel turn, Johnny Gargano’s “NXT” Championship win, and Bayley and Sasha Banks stealing the show at Takeover: Brooklyn.
Following a health scare in September that required Triple H to undergo heart surgery, “NXT” was rebranded as “NXT 2.0,” with more colorful and character-driven programming than the previous version of the brand. With Triple H out after having successful surgery, Shawn Michaels took control of the brand and still holds much power backstage, as he is part of the creative process and became the Vice President of Talent Development.
Stephanie left WWE in May 2022. However, she returned less than a month later as interim CEO and Chairwoman of the Board when Vince stepped down from the positions he held for decades. Vince exited the company in the wake of claims made against him regarding hush money payments made to former female employees.
Booker T commented on a possible way in which he can imagine the creative process might differ from the way it was when Vince was head of creative.
“I think things are going to be done a little bit differently,” Booker said. “I can imagine things are going to be looked at from a collaboration and saying, ‘Hey guys, let’s get the best d*mn product out there that we possibly can and beat the hell out of the competition.’”
WWE’s biggest competition since WCW, AEW, defeated “NXT” during the Wednesday Night Wars from late 2019 until early 2021, with “NXT” airing on the USA Network and “AEW Dynamite airing on TNT. The defeat led “NXT” to switch nights from Wednesday to Tuesday, where the brand currently resides.
If you use quotes from this article, please credit “The Hall of Fame” podcast with an h/t to Wrestling INC. for the transcription.
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