WWE kicked off the new year with the opening of its second Performance Center in London. The London-based complex, run alongside its existing facility in Orlando, is part of WWE’s expansion into localized markets and comes hot on the heels of the launch of NXT UK, a weekly television show shot on British soil, complete with its own TakeOver special events, much like the original NXT.
M & F stopped in for the official opening of the new London WWE Performance Center and also chatted with the King of Kings himself, Triple H, who shared some tips for younger talent.
WWE’s UK Power ‘House’
Future mat stars now have access to WWE’s first world-class training ground outside of the United States. This new Performance Center opens up the possibilities for stars in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Middle East to learn the ropes with WWE before ever travelling to the States. Now talent can also be swapped between PCs, making it possible for US NXT stars or trainees to visit the UK show and vice versa. This has already been trialed to great success with the introduction of current WWE United Kingdom Champion, Pete Dunne, who regularly travels from the UK to compete against NXT talent, resulting in some incredible matches.
“Wherever there is an interest in what we do, we are going to try and get there,” says the former 14-time World Champion, Triple H. The UK Performance Center is potentially the first of many that will be built outside of the United States, with Australia and other countries currently under consideration.
In addition to learning the holds and slams from wrestling royalty, such as UK legend Jonny Saint, or “Mr. WrestleMania” himself, Shawn Michaels, students are given media and promo classes, as well as strength and conditioning coaching, and advice on fitness and nutrition. To that end, WWE has recruited world-class coaches like Sean Hayes to provide individual plans for the grapplers, helping them to reach their fitness potential.
Dunne, who was also on hand at the UK PC opening, has found Sean Hayes to be a significant factor as he makes positive changes in body composition.“Sean has been a real help and even when I’m on the road, I can text him and he’s always there with help and support”, says Dunne.
No Pain, All Gain
Triple H’s impact on the WWE landscape has been enormous, first with NXT and now with its international expansion, which all follows his already storied career as a WWE Superstar. Having wrestled in multiple WrestleMania main events and surviving the rigors of the road himself, he shared some advice to the younger talent on how to stay fit, healthy, and injury free. He’s had his own share of injuries but said that in the current WWE Era, you don’t have to be a ‘freak of nature’ to succeed in pro wrestling.
“The thing with WWE is that it takes all kinds, shapes, sizes, and people from all walks of life to make it entertaining,” says Triple H. “What we try to teach here at the Performance Center isn’t to look a ‘certain way,’ it’s all about health and wellness. It’s about how to be healthy and how to stay injury free.”
A lot of that comes from doing the right things (with training and nutrition), and being well-rounded, acording to Triple H. “Don’t be so focused on one thing,” he says. “Don’t just be strong, be mobile. Don’t just be flexible, be agile. Having all of those components helps you to stay injury free.”
Triple H, who has had his share of injuries over the years said that it’s important to work hard to prevent injury but you can’t always avoid it. “This is a business where it is 100 percent certain that at some point you are going to get injured,” he says. “It’s a certainty, right? If you get into this thinking that you are never going to get hurt then you shouldn’t get into it. It’s a certainty, so the harder we can work to prevent it the better”
He adds, “Nutrition, hydration, and well-rounded fitness makes you healthier. The healthier you are, the more injury free you can stay.”
Great advice from The Game himself.