Triple H Says WWE Needs to Give People an Escape During the Coronavirus Pandemic
WWE executive Triple H recently appeared on The Pat McAfee Show. Triple H discussed how quickly things changed during the coronavirus and WWE had to scramble to move their events to the Performance Center. Below are some highlights and a video of the segment.
Triple H on the thought process for WWE’s decisions during the coronavirus pandemic: “I think it’s been just like everybody else. We’ve been kind of just seeing what’s gonna happen, and this stuff is all changing so rapidly that it was almost tough to make a decision. I can’t speak for the XFL because I really don’t — it’s a separate thing from us, but for us, it’s hard for me to even think about it. On the 11th, we were doing an NXT show out of the Performance Center that we had a scheduling conflict with Full Fail and we’re doing it out of the Performance Center and had set it up to do it, and it was with a crowd and everything. And on the night before, or the afternoon before, I was heading in there, I called Vince McMahon and said, ‘Man, with all this stuff going on, should I just leave all this up, the seats, everything, just on the off-chance that something cancels, we can get everybody into Florida. We can some quick calls, fill this place with people.’”
Triple H on how quickly everything changes: “At that point, it wasn’t even a thought that they wouldn’t allow fans in there. But within 24 hours, everybody was heading to Florida. It was so quick and rapid, that everybody was just making decision as it happened and went forward. And one of the things that is beautiful for us, you can take a live event aspect of it and traveling, But if we have TV cameras, a facility, in this case, you’re not having fans there, you can still do this. You can still put on a show, unlike a team where you’re traveling mass amounts of people to multiple locations and having them play a lot of people on another team. And they’re people are traveling. You know, all those things become riskier and riskier and riskier. We can do what we’re doing right now, which is go into one location. Luckily for us, we have the Performance Center and what it was designed to do. We can have our medical staff working with the government officials and CDC and everything else to follow the proper guidelines and make sure we do this in the best, safest way possible, the screening, checking people out, keeping them apart from each other, having talent only come in in waves and do what they do and leave and limiting the amount of people that are there, even from a production staff standpoint, much like what you’re doing right now.”
Triple On the importance of WWE giving people an escape: “There’s a way to do it, and there’s a way to make this happen in our business. And we can work around it. We can change it. We can script it how we want it to be and really continue to do what I feel like right now is probably one of the most important things other than people’s health and safety is giving them something to be entertained by, giving them an escape. Giving them a conversation that isn’t about this virus or all the things that are going badly, the economy, their jobs, forget about it for a minute and watch something else and get lost in it.”
“That’s when I feel WWE is at its best is when — like anything, you can criticize, you can sit there and over-analyze. You can break it down. … If you’re in the pinch of you can sit back, turn on your TV, sit by yourself, or at least six feet from somebody else, make some popcorn and just relax and enjoy it. And hopefully be entertained and we can put a smile on your face. And to me, that’s one of the most important things right now is giving people that escape.”