10 Things We Learned From Triple H's WWE NXT TakeOver: Chicago Media Call

Is Ricochet fit for Sunday's event?

Triple H held an NXT TakeOver: Chicago media call this afternoon where he talked about issues surrounding the event, the NXT roster, and WWE's third brand as a whole.

The yellow brand are looking to continue their impressive run of usurping main roster shows a mere 24 hours before they happen. TakeOver: Chicago takes place this Saturday, with a stacked line up already announced which undoubtedly has Money in the Bank quaking in its boots.

Topping the card is NXT Champion Aleister Black defending his title against a newcomer to the upper echelons of the brand, Lars Sullivan. The King will take on The Prince when high-flying Ricochet meets The Velveteen Dream. Shayna Baszler will be looking to keep hold of her Women's Championship when she takes on former sAnitY member, Nikki Cross. The Undisputed Era duo of Roddy Strong and Kyle O'Reilly put their tag titles on the line against Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. And last but certainly not least, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano will be looking to steal the show once again - and top their match of the year candidate from New Orleans - when they go at it in a Chicago Street Fight.

And breathe... it's going to be one hell of a show and I certainly wouldn't want to be Money in the Bank on Sunday - a show tasked with following TakeOver. Ouch.

10. Bobby Roode Was Wrong About WWE Looking For A Bigger Performance Center


Here's what Bobby Roode said to Pro Wrestling Sheet earlier in the week: "From what I hear, it’s [Performance Center] going to continue to grow. I heard that they’re looking to build a new facility — a larger facility."

Triple H revealed that Roode's sentiments were along the right lines, but WWE haven't openly started looking for a developmental base. The company aren't looking to build a larger premises right now, but it's an idea The Game is open to in the future - they just haven't moved on it yet. 

9. Why EC3 Isn't On The TakeOver: Chicago Card


There isn't room. Because there's so much talent in NXT right now, Triple H revealed it's harder for Superstars to find a spot on a TakeOver card.

He ended this point by saying 'UFC doesn't put every fighter on every UFC card.' All hope is certainly not lost for EC3 in NXT just yet.

8. Lars Sullivan's Placing On Top Of The Card


Triple H wants his performers 'working up' rather than working down. The means the likes of Lars Sullivan being placed in lofty positions like the NXT Championship match on Saturday are decisions made with the talent improving in mind. The thinking here is you work with people who are better and more experienced than you are, you get up to their level.

Adam Cole's name was also mentioned here because he's a man who 'is great, but there are small things he's learning now.'  Lars, on the other hand, is learning in large leaps.

So there you have it - NXT is giving even their most inexperienced stars a massive chance to flourish.

7. John Cena Learned Mandarin At The Performance Center


You maybe thought that when a wrestler arrives at the Performance Center, they're thrown in a ring, they work their way up through the system before being kicked out of the door and onto the main roster.

However, there's more than meets the eye when you're a student (is that the right word?) at WWE's in-house developmental school (of sorts). The Game revealed that NXT talents are also trained in the arts of social media, finances, and media - I'll let you make your mind up as to what each facet of that trifecta incorporates.

On top of that, language classes are on offer to those who need to learn English, or show a desire to learn another language. Apparently, John Cena took advantage of these classes and started to learn Mandarin in the WWE Performance Center - that's unexpected, but lovely to hear.

6. Ricochet 'Tweaked' A Shoulder In Paris, But Will Be Fit For TakeOver


The internet was whipped up into a frenzy this week when it was revealed that Ricochet had been pulled from an NXT live event in Belgium. Fans were wondering if this meant his match against The Velveteen Dream at TakeOver: Chicago was in doubt, but Hunter eased our minds by letting us know the withdrawal was merely a precaution.

Yes, Ricochet did tweak a shoulder during a match in Paris while teaming with Johnny Gargano against The Prince and Tommaso Ciampa, but it isn't too serious.

5. Why The UK Championship Tournament Isn't Airing Live


The rest of the second WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament is set to take place on June 18 and 19 at London’s Royal Albert Hall, but fans who aren't at the event will have to wait until it's streamed on the WWE Network on June 25 and 26 to see it.

WWE took this decision due to the times they could book the Royal Albert Hall. Triple H was waiting for the hall to confirm the booking and once they caught a whiff of what NXT does, he said they were all for it going ahead. The Game said he had his heart set on having the building, and it merely worked out better to tape and air at a later date.

Also, airing another live special around a TakeOver and main roster PPV weekend proved problematic for NXT, which is obviously fair enough when you consider the logistics behind it all.

4. HHH Was Not Part Of The Decision To Separate Paul Ellering From AOP


Have you seen the two brutes to the left and right of that image? If so, call the police because we're all worried and haven't heard from them in ages.

It feels like AOP's call-up to the main roster was made on a whim with no plans for them whatsoever in the offing. Their run started with a massive statement, of course, as they ditched the man who led them through their time in NXT - Paul Ellering. HHH revealed during this call that he was not part of that decision.

The Game did reveal that Paul could be paired with another NXT talent in the not too distant future and that's something that has been discussed. We'll have to wait and see on this one.

3. The Reason Why The Likes Of The Revival Showed Up In NXT Recently


"THEY'VE BEEN DEMOTED HAHAHA," the internet said. The internet was wrong.

Triple H said there have been numerous examples where former NXT talent have offered to come back and do some 'fun' things at developmental live events. He followed that up by saying it's generally the talents that enjoyed their time in the yellow brand who offer their services to come back.

Hunter said it was 'cool' to have The Revival back recently and over time fans will see more main roster talents making surprise NXT appearances. You never know what is going to happen.

2. He Wasn't Actually At The Trump Kim Summit

You may laugh - but believe it or not there was a large chunk of fans who were fooled by this image, which took Twitter by storm this week.

Of course HHH wasn't there, but he did appreciate the 'artwork' that showed him rubbing shoulders with two of the most powerful men on earth. Also, he popped for it - which is nice to hear, I guess.

1. Only Shawn Michaels Knows If He's Going To Have One More Match Or Not


Of course the issue of Shawn Micahels was brought up after HBK said that if he was going to have one more WWE match, realistically, it would have to be a tag with Triple H by his side.

HHH replied to a question about Michaels' future by saying 'he's the only one that knows and there's always smoke and fire around a HBK in-ring return.'

So that's not a definitive no then... I guess we'll have to wait for the next conference call with Shawn Michaels to find out the real answer.

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Ross Tweddell

Written by Ross Tweddell

Presenter over on the Cultaholic Wrestling YouTube channel. Email: [email protected]