‘You can’t tell The Rock what to do’ – Triple H makes bold prediction for WWE’s future following $5 billion switch to Netflix

‘You can’t tell The Rock what to do’ – Triple H makes bold prediction for WWE’s future following $5 billion switch to Netflix

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Triple H predicts WWE could become an edgier product once its transition to Netflix is complete next year.

From January 2025, the streaming platform will be the home of Raw in the US, Canada, the UK and Latin America.

Paul 'Triple H' Levesque now heads up WWE's on-screen offering after a stellar career of his own

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Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque now heads up WWE’s on-screen offering after a stellar career of his ownCredit: WWE

It’s an even bigger development for wrestling fans outside of the States, where Netflix will also be the home of WWE Smackdown and NXT, as well as blockbuster events WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Royal Rumble which will all be available to view on Netflix.

The deal, reportedly worth a mammoth $5 billion [£3.93 billion], will end WWE’s run on linear television here in the UK, where its flagship programmes have featured on the likes of Sky Sports and BT Sports since the 1980s.

While details of exactly how the on-screen product will differ under the streaming giant aren’t yet clear, it’s likely the shows will continue to evolve under the stewardship of Head of Creative, Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque.

Levesque assumed that role from father-in-law Vince McMahon following his high-profile exit from WWE and TKO amid accusations of sexual misconduct while in office, which the former owner denies.

Since then, fans have enjoyed a greater focus on longer-term storyline and character development, and more than a couple of moments that have strayed away from the PG aligned product the company has been known for in recent years.

Levesque himself admitted that’s likely to continue going forward, WWE being free from the restrictions placed on them by television networks.

Speaking on the Pat McAfee Show, the multi-time former world champion said: “Netflix is a completely different animal.

“[On a] streaming service, how are commercials gonna work? How are breaks gonna work? What’s the length of time? What are the restrictions? What are not restrictions?

The Rock and Cody Rhodes traded insults and heavy blows in the lead up to WrestleMania

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The Rock and Cody Rhodes traded insults and heavy blows in the lead up to WrestleManiaCredit: WWE

“Right now, just as an example of us being on FOX, if the crowd chants ‘Holy s***’ or something much worse, they just take that audio.

“Sometimes they take the picture and the audio off, and it’s just black screen.”

A major player once again in WWE is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, the Hollywood star making his name with the wrestling company before his transition into the movie world.

Also a TKO Board member, he featured at length up to and including WrestleMania XL this year, famously leaving Cody Rhodes a bloodied mess in their feud, and regularly keeping censors with their finger on the button thanks to some choice language.

Unsurprisingly, Levesque hinted his former in-ring rival will be given more freedom to push those boundaries come 2025.

He added: “You sorta kinda can’t tell The Rock what to do. What are we gonna tell him?

“So he does what he does, [but] we won’t have those issues with Netflix.

“The ability to be live globally, the ability to have everything seen all at once everywhere, it’s a game-changing moment.

The Rock will be among the stars to benefit from more freedom in the Netflix era of WWE

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The Rock will be among the stars to benefit from more freedom in the Netflix era of WWECredit: WWE

“I think in many ways, not to disparage other partners because we want to be everywhere, but that’s sort of where the world is heading is streaming services.”

The Netflix deal is just one element of a huge development for WWE as a business following its acquisition alongside that of UFC by TKO last year.

“This deal is transformative,” said TKO’s president Mark Shapiro at the time of the Netflix announcement.

“It marries the can’t-miss WWE product with Netflix’s extraordinary global reach and locks in significant and predictable economics for many years.”

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