In the last year or so, many stars have moved on…and now we hear what Triple H has to say on NXT talent now in AEW. Plus, while it may have looked awkward, turns out the Raquel Rodriguez debut went as planned.
Triple H On NXT Talent Now In AEW
The promotion was effectively his baby, so losing people had to hurt. Now, we here from Triple H on the NXT talent now in AEW. 
It has to be tough, what has transpired over the last year or so.
Any one thing would be bad enough…but the future WWE Hall of Famer has dealt with all of these things.
NXT failed against  AEW-even though we can debate if it ever should have been a head to head battle.
Vince McMahon laid the blame for the defeat on Triple H…even though it was Hunter, and the NXT roster, who made the NXT TakeOver specials “Can’t miss”.
McMahon pulled control  of NXT from Hunter, and went ahead with a reboot that has not always gone so well.
So, seeing so much former NXT talent now in AEW, such as Adam Cole and the rest of the original Undisputed Era…how does Triple H feel?
Hunter spoke with The Athletic, and was rather honest about his feelings.
Specifically, he noted that he stays in touch with many of the former  NXT talents. And, more important, he is happy for them if they have found a good place to be.
Hunter noted that the decisions aren’t his, or aren’t only his. Vince made some decisions, about certain talent not being a fit for the main roster, and it is what it is.
However, he also made a point that, while many talents have moved on, they were vital to getting NXT to where it was. Maybe most of them wouldn’t ever be key parts of RAW or SmackDown, but it doesn’t diminish what they meant to NXT.
And, it underscores what a lot of departed talent said about Triple H and those who were running NXT-there is a lot of respect from the talent for Hunter and others.
Raquel Rodriguez Debut As Planned
While it seemed awkward, reports indicate that the Raquel Rodriguez SmackDown debut went exactly as planned.
Now, to fully understand the debut and how it went, actually relies on fans watching (and recalling) some NXT footage.
Rodriguez (formerly Gonzalez , but that’s a whole different gripe) had interacted with Natalya in NXT 2.0, as Neidhart was just one of many main roster fixtures to show up on Tuesday nights.
So, having Nattie now sort of pretend to not know who Raquel is, even though they’ve met before, is what was intended.
Per the Wrestling Observer , the intent in this program is for Nattie to come off as a phony heel. Like, she knows who Raquel is, but she’s fake and pretending she doesn’t know her.
It’s an interesting way to go about it, and while it presented a bit clunky…the story notes that it went according to plan.
In my mind, it could have just been a little tongue in cheek joke. As in Nattie didn’t know Raquel Rodriguez…because she had only previously met Raquel Gonzalez.
Such gags have been done in movies and TV shows, when actors are replaced for a variety of reasons.
Hopefully, Raquel gets to impress in the ring and continue to build on her NXT successes.