Friday News Update: Returns, Rumbles & Roman Reigns
Welcome to your Friday Update, straight from the news desk. I'm your humble correspondent, The Artful Dodger.
Had enough of waiting in line at your local Target to obtain that doorbuster that sold out approximately five minutes after it went on sale? Frustrated at the length of time it takes for Amazon to remove that ridiculous pet bowl from the queue and put something way better in its place? No better way to spend your Black Friday (minus listening to that seminal Steely Dan tune) than diving right in to a hot cup of your weekend rumors, factoids and innuendo.
Let's pretend you are creating a superstar on your console of choice. You compile a heavily muscled, promo-spouting monolith with questionable wardrobe choices, an irritating wife/girlfriend, a desire to appear in horrendous cinema, and an extremely limited moveset. Despite these obvious drawbacks, every little thing he does is magic and he flattens all villains in his way while seemingly sustaining no mortal damage whatsoever. You might call him Hulk Hogan. You'd be correct. You might also call him John Cena. You'd be correct.
Now combine these two unnatural, super popular forces and you have...potentially half the main event of WrestleMania XXX. As has often been discussed in this corner of the Internet, WWE officials have been rumored to be having semi-serious conversations with the Hulkster about his umpteenth return during the company's biggest event. These rumors were given even more credence of late, when the John Kenneth Galbraith of Thuganomics gave his thought process on why the WWE "needed" to bring Hogan back. According to the latest rumors, there has been internal discussion of pairing Hogan with Cena at the big dance to square off against a team of Guys with No Chance Whatsoever to be named later. Friday News Update isn't sure whether it's more reminiscent of all the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers combining together or a fun house mirror where both reflections are exactly the same. (Rajah)
Regardless, the idea of Hogan and Cena posing down together garnered this reaction from everyone with a valid driver's license:
On the flip side, if WWE television seems, well, a little down lately, it may be because there are two pretty freaking awesome guys missing from the scene. Friday News Update speaks, of course, of Paul Heyman and Christian. Heyman has been (barring another CM Punk beatdown) mostly absent since the infamous cage match at Battleground. During that interim, he has separated from "clients" Ryback and Curtis Axel. It appears Heyman will not be seen again until Brock Lesnar's return, which has yet to be determined. One would assume a Royal Rumble appearance is more than a distinct possibility.
As to Christian, according to recent reports he has yet to be cleared following the concussion he sustained a few months ago. The latest word is that he should be returning to our screens sometime in early December, for which FNU will be eternally grateful. One can only hope that he can remain relatively injury-free, as he's dealt with no less than seven major injuries just since returning to the WWE. There's no question Christian is effective when he's healthy (22 championships are nothing to shake a stick at, even less when you consider he's one of the few NWA & WWF/E champions) and his absence leaves a large and talented hole in the active roster. They are both sorely needed. (INC)
One of the few truly interesting storylines arising from the latest incarnation of the Survivor Series was the clear push of The Shield's own Roman Reigns. Reigns was booked dominantly both at the event and on the next night's Raw (his spears on Rey Mysterio and CM Punk are still causing aftershocks somewhere), and the latest grist from the rumor mill is that we can look to the aforementioned Rumble as an opportunity to further Reigns's push. These reports state that Reigns will be booked in the way that monsters like Kane have in the past, racking up quite a few eliminations in short order to show their dominance.
The Rumble has always been a showcase for the hero of the day, allowing for powerful performances without having to hand those some folks the actual title shot. That's why the biggest guys (save Yokozuna) so rarely win. The booking of Reigns will be important, particularly for the next few weeks, as he's part of a unit that gets a very good reaction and in which he does very little talking. RR certainly would be a time to further the RR breakout party, as it were. Just don't expect him to win it. (INC)
As for other large men booked rather dominantly (for two minutes at least):
Friday News Update reported last week on the potential signings of ROH standouts Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards. That report indicated that William Regal was lobbying hard to get the two talents signed, and now apparently several other names can be added to that last. Word comes this week that NXT scribe Ryan Ward has also been pushing the idea heavily. Considering NXT has had some of the better creative ideas coming out of the WWE brand lately, that's not really a surprise.
Further names who appear to be impressed with Messrs. Richards & Edwards would include NXT trainers and former WWE superstars Billy Gunn and Bill DeMott. While WWE has apparently allowed the duo to finish out their existing Ring of Honor dates, they have reportedly informed them not to accept further bookings with the organization, further indicating that perhaps the hope has become the reality in this situation. Hopefully Richards's apparent neck injury will not negatively impact the situation. Speaking of impact, where was TNA in pursuing this team? These are two prime talents that would excel on anyone's roster. The sooner the better in our eyes. (Rajah)
Friday News Update can only assume the Triple H pitch sessions go like this:
Lastly this week, we also bring you an update on the possibility of Goldberg returning to a WWE ring. Chances already appear greater than ever with the recent DVD release and the frequent Ryback comments, but news has arisen that gives us even more information on this topic. That news comes from the biggest source of Goldberg information and biggest fan of the man, Bill Goldberg himself.
Goldberg recently appeared at the C4 Comic Con and was asked about the possibility of appearing at WrestleMania XXX. Goldberg responded that he is open to coming back (nice!), wants his son to get to see him wrestle once (aww!) and wants a boatload of cash to do it (umm). Goldberg further reported that he's spoken with Triple H on the subject but that there is no existing deal in place at this time. Goldberg additionally stated that he will "never call WWE and ask to come back" and that they know what they have to do in order to make that happen. Unsurprising sources within WWE suggest that BG's financial demands are quite steep indeed.
Interestingly, Goldberg also added that one of WWE's pitches to him to get him to return was suggesting to him to "think of the pop he'd get." In Goldberg's eyes, that was the wrong way to go about getting him to sign the dotted line. Friday News Update is certainly not a contract attorney, but judging from these comments I'd imagine a far better negotiating tactic would be to anoint Goldberg "He Who Is The Best" and have indy wrestlers available to roll out the red carpet wherever he travels and massage his ever-growing ego. I don't deny Goldberg had a few moments in the Monday Night War era, but he is seriously overvaluing his own ability to draw at this point. That said, with the potential Hogan/Cena duo already fantasy booked, perhaps Goldberg could appear in the same match. Freud would have a field day. (INC)
Naturally, FNU has exclusively obtained video of Trips's negotiating tactics:
That clears the news desk for this weekend, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to thank you from taking a timeout from the mall lines and megadeals to read the dirt of the day. As always, chime into the conversation roiling in the depths below or fire off basketweaving brochures and East Coast vs. West Coast Avengers predictions to me via Twitter @DharmanRockwell or via email at email@example.com. Have a great weekend and I'll see you Tuesday!