Paul “Triple H” Levesque dropped by the FS1 (Fox Sports 1) morning show on Friday, where he announced that the cable channel will launch a new weekly WWE studio show this fall.
Airing on Tuesday nights, the studio show will cover “Raw,” “SmackDown” and minor-league system, NXT. It will also “feature some very faces familiar to the WWE Universe, both from the past and the present,” according to a rundown provided by “First Things First” moderator Jenna Wolfe.
Triple H, who has been the executive vice president of talent, live events and creative for WWE since 2013 and is considered NXT’s biggest champion, told Wolfe, Cris Carter and Nick Wright that a studio show is something he’s “wanted to happen for a very long time.”
.@TripleH announces the launch of an all new weekly WWE studio show on FS1 this fall:
“To take people deeper into what goes on behind the scenes to being a WWE superstar… I can’t wait for this. If you're a WWE fan, across the board, this is the show that will be a can't miss." pic.twitter.com/81wBHkOG09
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) April 5, 2019
Early in Triple H’s segment, which kicked off the 9 a.m. ET hour, Levesque took a moment to plug the company’s Wellness Policy, likely a direct response to “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver’s recent premium-cable criticism of how WWE treats its wrestlers. The HBO host went so far as to call WWE chairman Vince McMahon an “asshole.”
“While the ‘character’ Vince is an asshole, it’s important to note that the real Vince is also an asshole,” Oliver had said on Sunday, when he also referred to McMahon, who is also Triple H’s father-in-law, as a “weird, weird man.”
Oliver was worked up over wrestlers being classified as independent contractors and not company employees. That distinction allows WWE to not provide longterm healthcare solutions and other benefits to the men and women putting their bodies on the line 200 nights a year.
In response to the segment, WWE invited Oliver to this coming weekend’s WrestleMania 35. No word yet on if the “Daily Show” alum is taking them up on the offer.
Oliver or no Oliver, Levesque will take on former squared-circle ally Batista (Dave Bautista of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” to the acting world) Sunday at ‘Mania. That battle is of the no-holds barred variety.
WrestleMania 35 will take place at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. It begins streaming live on WWE Network at 7/6c.
“SmackDown Live” debuts Oct. 4 on Fox’s broadcast network, hence the FS1 fall synergy. That series currently airs Tuesdays on USA Network, which will remain the longterm home of WWE’s flagship series “Monday Night Raw.”