HHH Interview: His Role In WWE, Stephanie’s Role, Physical HOF Building, Internet Perception

The following are highlights from a recent Grantland.com interview with WWE’s Triple H:

On his role as head of talent relations for WWE: “Everything that has to do with talent, from the legends to the developmental system, to the live events and all of its operations and the towns we book, to where the pay-per-views are, all of it. Obviously I have a massive team that does all that, but they report to me.

“I started in the office full-time a few years ago. Vince had been bugging me for a while, saying ‘When are you going to stop messing around in the ring and come get a real job?’ So one time when I was injured, I shadowed him in the office for three months. I did everything he did. When I finally started full-time, he was like, ‘Take a few months. I want you to dig into everything. Have meetings with finance, dig into every part of this company and see what you think needs work.’

“And the thing I came back to him with was we have this huge global marketing juggernaut, but we’re a victim of our own success. We’ve shut down all the other territories. There’s almost no place for guys to go learn, and when they do, they’re learning how to work in a junior high in front of 50 people. It’s a completely different thing than working in front of 10,000 or a million on TV with a camera in your face.

“So I started this little division called talent development. It was basically to build a bridge between creative and the developmental wrestlers. Now, other than Vince saying, “OK, you can have that amount of money,” he doesn’t have anything to do with it. Honest to god, he hasn’t even seen the Performance Center yet. He’s supposed to go next week.

On Stephanie McMahon’s role in WWE: “Technically, creative reports to Steph, but Steph is kind of the aggregator. Her office does everything from the magazine to digital to the shows, so it’s funny when people will say, ‘Oh, Steph and the creatives.’ She really doesn’t have anything to do with the day-to-day. I mean, she’ll weigh in on something if Vince asks or if the writers ask her what she thinks before they bring something to Vince.”

On a physical WWE Hall Of Fame building: “Halls of fame are not a lucrative business. But here’s the bigger reason: If and when the time is right to do a Hall of Fame, it’s not just going to be a place where you walk in and say, “Oh, look, there’s a pair of trunks.” If we do it, it’ll be an immersive experience. With technology the way it is, a 4-D experience, whether it’s a ride, or, picture this: You walk into a locker room, lights go down, smoke comes out, and Andre the Giant walks out in a hologram and stands there and talks to you. That’s what it has to be. But is the Hall of Fame the priority? Absolutely not. It’s out there someplace in the stratosphere. But if we do it, it takes a lot of research because we want to do it right.”

On what is written about him on the internet: “I wish I had the brainpower and the wherewithal and the drive to be as maniacal and devious as people f—-ing think I am. I’d be f—ing Darth Vader. I’d run the Empire, and I guess maybe that’s how some people see it, right? They’d say ‘Oh, he went in there and he buried this guy,’ and it’s like, f—, I had nothing to do with that. I didn’t even know he was coming in until I saw him that day.”

Check out the complete interview online at Grantland.com.

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