The takeaways I’ve seen from this article about NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool and the new WWE Performance Center opened in a London suburb yesterday (Jan. 11) for Australia’s news.com.au have focused on Triple H’s quotes about WWE being able to train talent anywhere in the world, but needing a passionate fan base to consider doing what they’ve done in the United Kingdom. Some have run with the pull quote about hoping to expand to “Australia and a lot of places” within “four to five years”.
What I noticed is that writer Ben Graham seems to be a little upset with Haitch’s decision.
First he describes the location of the UK PC as “a cold, dreary industrial park”. He then says he “confronted” Trips about when Australia would have similar facilities and promotion for its wrestling scene. Graham paraphrases an answer from the WWE Executive Vice-President to say the company finds it “easier to scalp the hottest talent from Australia and train them up to be superstars in Orlando or at the newly opened centre in London.”
Considering the NXT UK Women’s title match features a pair of Aussies, I guess Graham has a legitimate gripe. Still, did his self-professed confrontational style lead to answers like this one? Or is pitting regional talent pools and fanbases against one another part of The Game’s strategy?
“It depends on the passion as to where we go first. The passion was so strong here in the UK and there was a massive base. Australia has a good scene happening there right now. We’re obviously keeping an eye on it and working with it.
But, these are large commitments, so it’s about when we have the level of interest and the belief that there are enough people there for it to succeed. We can train people anywhere. But once that boils up to enough passion, enough people and enough interest in the marketplace, then we will go there and reward that passion.
Once that happens in Australia, we can start what we’re doing here — which is train 30-50 talents. We get to put a brand on the ground. We get to put an NXT Australia there. We get to make that scene happen there. I do think that’s a strong possibility.”
Maybe this is just Graham, or new.com.au (owned by Ruport Murdoch’s News Corp)’s style. But it reads as slightly more aggressive than you’d expect from what would usually be a fluff piece on developing pro wrestlers, and might have put Hunter on the defensive a bit.
Either way, don’t get too upset Australians. Sounds like your time will come.
Maybe you’ll get a New Japan dojo in the interim?