In a recent interview with Powerslam Magazine, WWE star Triple H spoke at length about a number of topics, including the downside of WWE’s success, retirement, his backstage power, WWE’s young talent and more. It’s a great read and we’ve got the highlights below.
Triple H says he could walk away from WWE at any time, but still feels that he’s popular with the fans and the next generation of stars aren’t ready to step up. “I’ve always said that I won’t be one of those guys still wrestling at 50 or 60. I look at the business now from the other side and, if I was Vince McMahon, I’d know when to tell me to step away. Right now, the talent’s not there: there is no depth. But, yeah, I do think about retiring: wrestling isn’t the only thing in my life, like it was when I broke in. If my family asked me to give up wrestling tomorrow, I’d do it in a heartbeat for them, and I’d never look back.”
Hunter is often criticized for having too much power backstage as a member of the McMahon family, but he says the power doesn’t go to his head. “People say the power I have puts me in a position of dominance but, if I lost that power, I’d be quite happy,” he said. “It’s all about what benefits the business for me. …The critics I listen to are the ones I can hear when I walk into the arena. When people aren’t caring about me anymore, I’ll know.”
He acknowledged that one of the negative aspects of WWE’s incredible success is that aspiring wrestlers don’t really have many places to learn their craft.Â “When I was coming up, there were lots of places to work and learn your craft and, by the time you got called up to the WWE, you already had plenty of ability – whereas now, you achieve a bit of success and you come in before you’ve learned,” Hunter told boxing writer Danny Flexon in an interview for Powerslam Magazine. “There’s fewer places to send wrestlers where you can let them make mistakes. Guys used to say that WWE wouldn’t even look at you until you’ve had five years’ experience. But, now, we’re looking at guys who’ve had between six months and a year.”
Hunter was asked which younger wrestlers currently on the WWE roster he sees as having the most potential. “C.M. Punk is obviously already on his way to becoming a big star. Jack Swagger, I like. Sheamus. Evan Bourne is very good. Kofi Kingston,” Hunter said. “They are all moving up, but slowly, which is the right way.” He used the example of Steve Austin making himself a star at the 1996 King of the Ring and against Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 to show how a good wrestler becomes a star. He said younger talent need to find a way to stand out.
At the end of the interview, Hunter singled out Sheamus as somebody with a ton of potential. “The closest (younger star) to me is probably Sheamus, because we always train together on the road. But I try to watch all the young guys’ matches and give them advice, if they want to hear it,” he said, almost if he had to defend himself for giving advice. “If they take advice to heart and really want to improve, them I am wanting to help. As for seeing some of myself in someone? That’s tough. Sheamus just the other day showed up at a show he didn’t have to be at. He does whatever he’s asked to do without complaining, he goes to every show and is always wanting to work: he does it all, goes above and beyond. That’s what I was like.”