Paul 'Triple H' Levesque on 'holding my breath' through death-defying spot at the end of NXT TakeOver

Sporting News

ROSEMONT, Ill. — The main event of Saturday's WWE NXT TakeOver: WarGames show at Allstate Arena featured Team Ciampa (Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Donovan Dijakovic and Kevin Owens) defeating The Undisputed Era (NXT heavyweight champion Adam Cole, North American champ Roderick Strong and tag team champions Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly).

The end of the match had Ciampa and Cole at the top corner of the first cage fighting for position. Ciampa, the former NXT champion, gained the advantage and executed the Air Raid with him and Cole crashing through a table. Ciampa then obtained the pinfall victory.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a year

The ending was one of the most dangerous spots in WWE in some time. Two wrestlers were at the top of a cage about 15 to 20 feet in the air, and all you can hope for as a spectator is that, whatever happens, both men will be OK. Ciampa and Cole ended up being OK.

The moment wasn't lost on Paul "Triple H" Levesque, the founder and senior producer of NXT and WWE's executive vice president of talent, live events and creative, as he watched his top acts putting it all on the line.

"Those are the moments where I’m just holding my breath," Levesque told Sporting News during a media session following the event. "The truth is in this business, I’ve seen more people get injured, including myself, on dumb little things. The stuff, the big, giant spectacle spots that you really put so much care and thought into — yes, they are extremely dangerous, yes, they are extremely impactful.

"It’s funny, (but) more often than not, it's the guy running across the ring and just turns his ankle and he's out six months."

Even though Ciampa and Cole safely executed the maneuver, some will question why such a move would be needed in an already physical affair among eight participants inside two steel cages with tables at their disposal.

Levesque admits he approved the ending, but that doesn't mean he was going to allow his talent to do everything under the sun.

"You know they are coming," Levesque said. "You know what’s happening and especially in big ones like that because that is stuff I absolutely know and I absolutely sign off on it. There’s certain things where I believe they can do safely and I believe the risk-to-reward ratio is reasonable.

"But there are also things that were brought up tonight where I was like, 'Absolutely not' (laughs). 'No, you’re not doing that guys. As much as I love you guys and want you to tear it up like you were going to tear it up with all the other stuff, you don’t need that.'

"But that’s when you hold your breath and you just wait for the landing and you're just waiting for the referee to tell you that everybody is OK."

What to read next