Triple H promised on a media conference call earlier this week that NXT TakeOver 31 would have a completely different presentation compared to previous events. And thanks to a new interview with Sports Illustrated, we now know what he was talking about. "The Game" revealed that the studio inside the WWE Performance Center, where episodes of Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown and four pay-per-views were broadcast from mid-March to August, has been redesigned and given a new name — Capitol Wrestling Center. The name is a reference to Capitol Wrestling Corporation, the promotion founded by Vince McMahon's grandfather Jess McMahon in 1953.
"It's a historic callback to where this all began," Triple H said. "We gutted the Performance Center and it's now rebuilt, so it feels like we're going back to the beginning. To me, it feels like we're going back to 1953. Just like then, we're doing something different and new, taking the business to a whole new level.
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"The Capitol Wrestling Center captures the feel and the vibe of NXT," he added. "We will have all the bells and whistles of the ThunderDome, but we'll keep that NXT feel. It's edgier, darker and raw--you're walking into the ultimate heavy metal soundstage."
The venue will now feature virtual fans similar to WWE's ThunderDome setup at the Amway Center in Downtown Orlando, as well as approximately 100 live fans (who have been invited to the event).
"There will be a contingent of fans in attendance, some of which will be talent, others will be friends and family and some will be fans," he said. "We will take every safety precaution that there is. All of this was signed off by our medical staff. Everybody that walks in the building will be PCR tested, take a questionnaire and be medically screened. There will be plexiglass pods with fans that are in groups, and the groups will vary in size. Everyone will wear masks, and each group will never be near anyone else."
The look of the venue was not revealed in the interview. Triple H later explained that he pushed back against NXT appearing inside the ThunderDome, wanting the show to have its own "feel and vibe" compared to the rest of WWE's product. He also clarified the promotion's relationship with Full Sail University is far from over.0comments
"We are not severing our relationship with Full Sail," he said. "I'm very proud of all we've done there. This move is the right decision for us from a tech standpoint, but I look forward to returning there soon and the partnership remains strong."
Check out the full card for TakeOver 31 below:
- NXT Championship: Finn Balor vs. Kyle O'Reilly
- NXT North American Championship: Damian Priest vs. Johnny Gargano
- NXT Women's Championship: Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar vs. Swerve Scott
- Kushida vs. Velveteen Dream