With the three-way battle between NXT, SmackDown and Raw at Survivor Series looming, WWE's Black and Gold brand has still yet to announce which five male wrestlers will compete in the 5-on-5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match. Given that he's been popping up alongside many NXT wrestlers since the brand first invaded SmackDown several weeks ago, fans have been wondering if Triple H might step in and lead a five-man team against the like of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Ricochet. And according to wrestling insider @WrestleVotes, that idea was on the table at one point.
"Hearing that over the past few weeks there has been a push from creative to have Triple H as a member of Team NXT in the men's elimination match," the account wrote on Monday. "That idea has been met w/ mixed reactions, including that of The Game. I'm told he does NOT want to be part of the match this Sunday."
Though he's the brains behind the brand and has popped up at the start of various NXT events from time to time, "The Game" has made a conscious effort not to get directly involved in storylines on NXT over the years.
During a recent appearance on the After The Bell podcast, he explained how NXT has shed its title as WWE's "developmental brand" and won't have the "call-up" system used in years past.
It was before where it was just like, 'Hey this is what we need, this is the moment we needed it.' When Vince [McMahon] called and basically said, 'I need your entire women's division from NXT,' and I was like 'Oh my god, the whole thing?' And he goes, 'Well not the whole thing,' and he listed the talent. I'm like, 'Well, that's everyone!'" he said.
And what I had said then was, 'Can you leave me Asuka? I can tent pole her and build the rest of it around her, no problem.' All those women kind of went at the same time, and there was a plan for more to come right after that where I was like, 'Man that's tough,'" he added. "But now you put yourself in a position where you sort of can't do that. You have to give some considerations to the other brand, so there needs to be longer-term plans laid out."
He then said Finn Balor's recent jump back to NXT will be the new norm going forward.
"I think this is sort of the template of whatever is on the table," he said. "If you look at the roster, there's going to be times where they're like, 'Look until the next draft this talent is here but they've kind of worked with everybody. And we're going to finish up this program with them,' and then we almost inherently need to sit them down for three months, six months, whatever that is just to clear this up, so we can get to the other side. Then when we do the switch it's all new again.
"I'll take them," Hunter added. "Here's the window and here's what I'm going to do with you in that window, barring all the other things that can happen. It's a cool opportunity."