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The WWE has had a big year, with SmackDown moving to Fox and its up-and-coming NXT brand shifting its TV show to USA. The latter effort is championed by WWE icon Paul "Triple H" Levesque, who has transitioned over the years from being a primarily on-screen wrestler to Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events & Creative. With WWE NXT becoming a more powerful presence on top of Levesque's behind-the-scenes workload elsewhere, one has to wonder if Triple H's in-ring retirement may be on the horizon.
CinemaBlend recently had the pleasure of talking to Paul Levesque about NXT and the state of his career, and whether or not he had a road map for what will be Triple H's in-ring retirement. The WWE legend, who averages a couple matches a year these days, told me how he's feeling about moving away from the squared circle, saying:
I don't really think about it in the terms of 'Hey, I want to do the one big last match and then call it. I'm done.' I haven't really thought about it in that manner. To me, if something comes up on the horizon that is the right thing, and it's meaningful and it presents itself, I'll know. But if it doesn't, I'm okay with that, too. I'm having a blast doing what I'm doing right now...I enjoy what I'm doing now behind the scenes as much as I ever did any aspect of my career. So this is just as meaningful to me. But if, if the right opportunity comes along I'm not going to say no, but it's not in my focus right now at all.
It doesn't sound like Triple H has set a date for an in-ring retirement, which isn't surprising. He's only 50 years old, and while some wrestlers have walked away from the ring earlier than that, some WWE legends like Ric Flair had retirement matches into their 60s. It's possible we could see another decade of Paul Levesque in the ring.
Just look to Levesque's fellow execs behind the scenes. WWE head Vince McMahon has been a presence both on and off the screen well into his 70s, While his official matches have ended, McMahon will still take the occasional "bump" much to the delight of the crowd. With Triple H billed as a successor of sorts to take over leadership of the WWE (at least from a fictional perspective), it would make sense for his wrestling career to continue in its current part-time capacity to give the brand another creative outlet for storylines.
It's not like the athlete is lacking for things to do within the industry, and he is excited to keep building the brands up to be bigger than ever. According to Triple H:
My focus is the WWE. My focus is on that next generation of stars, be that Raw, be that SmackDown. But especially in NXT, it's creating that brand and making it what it's become now, which is a third brand for WWE, and continuing to improve that and make it better and better.
While SmackDown's run on Fox hasn't been the overwhelming success that some might have hoped, WWE NXT has already had some success since moving to USA, so here's hoping that exciting roster of talented athletes will continue to draw more eyes into 2020 and beyond.
Monday Night Raw airs on USA Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET, and WWE NXT is at the same time and place on Wednesdays. As for Smackdown Live!, it's on Fox Fridays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for more on the latest happening in the world of television and movies.