Friday Morning News Update 2-14-20: Goldberg vs Fiend Plans, Undertakers Wrestlemania Opponent, Triple H Discusses NXT vs AEW

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Latest on Goldberg, Reigns and The Fiend.

According to a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the plan is to keep the Bray Wyatt vs. Goldberg match at WWE Super Showdown for the WWE Universal Championship short. Of course, Goldberg faced The Undertaker at last year’s Super ShowDown event. That match lasted around ten minutes and you all know how that went down like a lead balloon.

The concern with the Wyatt vs. Goldberg match is that Goldberg doesn’t do well in matches where he has to sell too much. Wyatt’s current “Fiend” gimmick is built around the idea of not selling big moves.

As previously reported, Goldberg has been a Paul Heyman project since he returned to WWE. Goldberg’s match with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 33 was supposed to be his retirement run but because it was so well-received, Heyman decided that he wanted to book Goldberg like Bruno Sammartino was during the late 1970s. During that time, Sammartino would return every now and then to “pop business” and pick up a win. When Heyman became the head of the RAW creative team, his idea was to keep Goldberg from losing until he got to the point where he couldn’t do the role anymore.

As of this writing, there is no word on who may go over at Super ShowDown but the plan when the match was announced was to have Wyatt go on to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. With that being said, Goldberg did draw ratings for SmackDown last Friday night and there seems to be some interest in a Goldberg vs. Reigns match at WrestleMania instead of Wyatt vs. Reigns.

The Phenom vs The Phenomenal One?

Wrestlemania 36 is set to go down on Sunday, April 5, 2020 in Tampa, Florida at the Raymond James Stadium, and with less than 2 months to go we find ourselves asking that familiar question of "Who will face The Undertaker?"..

Multiple sources are currently reporting that AJ Styles is slated to take on The Phenom on the Grandest Stage of Them All. This would be Taker’s first match at Mania since beating John Cena in a glorified squash match at Mania 34. WWE hasn’t officially announced the contest as of yet.

Taker hasn’t been seen in action since last July at the Extreme Rules PPV where he teamed up with Roman Reigns to defeat Drew McIntyre & Shane  McMahon.

HHH Discusses NXT Future at Full Sail University & AEW Rivalry

During a media call to promote NXT TakeOver Portland, Triple H addressed AEW in addition to NXT’s struggles to attract a younger demographic. Echoing WWE’s philosophy of it being a 'marathon not a sprint', Triple H also inferred that USA Network plays to an older demographic:

"I think it’s all about the long game. And what we have to do is get to the people in the younger demo. When you’re promoted in younger demos and you’re viewed in those younger demos, promotionaly, then those are the people that you attract. When you’re promoted in different demos… when you look at NXT on USA and you break down the numbers, it’s very similar to a RAW number, it’s very similar to a USA number, because that’s where we’re promoted, and that’s where we’re seen and that’s where everything else goes. The long game is building up the brand that you’ve built.”

NXT typically hovers near the bottom of the Top 40 when it comes to 18-49 demo, with the January 8 broadcast failing to make the top 50 for the first time since the show moved to cable. Through February 5, WWE NXT has averaged a .21 rating in the 18-49 demo while AEW, which is typically in the Top 10 among the demo, has averaged .36.

Triple H also addressed the possibility of WWE NXT moving out of Full Sail University, a small, dimly lit 400-seat venue which some believe makes NXT come off as minor league. In November 2019, PWInsider reported thay NXT’s deal with Full Sail University runs up until the end of March 2020, though Triple H suggested the two parties may not be bound to any contractual obligation:

“Full Sail is one of our most valued partners that we have in WWE. It’s a funny thing, almost more like a family relationship than it is just a strictly business relationship. To be honest, at this point I can’t even tell you if we have a contractual obligation to it at this point because we’re just at the point where we just have conversations.”

Triple H went on to note that a future NXT broadcast will emanate outside of Full Sail University due to a prior commitment for the venue. Given the infinite criticisms of NXT’s minimalist production values, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not a change of scenery can reinvigorate NXT’s viewership. AEW have branched out already by airing shows from Chris Jericho's cruise ship in addition to the Bash at the Beach broadcast. So far the upstart promotion’s production values are glaring in contrast to NXT’s small sound stage in Florida. Considering both shows are owned by billionaires, plus the constant criticism, it should only be a matter of time before Vince flexes his muscle and wallet to bring NXT on a level par with its new rival.

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