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Samoa Joe-NXT Rumor; Bret Hart-AEW Rumor; Meltzer Talks Reigns, Omega Face Turns

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 14, 2021

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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news in the WWE Universe. 


Samoa Joe to Be Next GM of WWE NXT?

It was a surprise when Samoa Joe was released by WWE in April, but he could be back with NXT in a new role. One possibility could be replacing William Regal as general manager of the company.

Regal hinted that he could be done with WWE NXT at the end of NXT TakeOver: In Your House on Sunday:

WWE @WWE

"It's been seven years since I became the GM of #WWENXT and I've never seen so much bedlam. It's complete madness. I think it's time for a change." - @RealKingRegal #NXTTakeOver pic.twitter.com/sH995Ch8jA

Dave Meltzer argued on Wrestling Observer Radio that if Regal does leave, Joe could be an option to replace him (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News):

"I think that’s the cue for Samoa Joe. I don’t know that 100%. I was told today that Samoa Joe was gonna be in a Regal-like role, then all of a sudden Regal’s talking like he’s stepping down, so maybe the Regal-like role is Regal’s role. But if he’s leaving, based on what I was told, Samoa Joe was definitely the favorite to be the new Commissioner. But Joe is in, and he’s in as a non-wrestler, so I think that tells you that he’s not cleared."

Meltzer added that Samoa Joe has already taken a job at WWE NXT, but it's yet to be revealed what his role will be going forward. 

After the initial reported interest, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com said it could be in a "variety of roles."

Samoa Joe was a star in the ring during his time at NXT, winning the title twice before signing with Raw. He eventually captured the United States Championship with WWE.

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The 42-year-old could now be looking to succeed in more of a behind-the-scenes role with the company.


Bret Hart Not a Long-Term Option for AEW

Fans were certainly excited when WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart presented the belt at AEW: Double or Nothing in 2019:

This was enough to fuel speculation that The Hitman would be the next big name to jump from WWE to AEW. As one of the biggest stars in the sport during the 1990s, the addition would certainly turn heads.

However, Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that Hart wasn't close to actually signing with the company due to possible backlash from Vince McMahon (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News):

"I never heard of anything in that realm of them signing him. It was a last minute thing. They asked him to present the title and said ‘sure’. He knew he would get heat with Vince, but you know Bret. He didn’t have a contract saying he couldn’t do it, and he didn’t worry that much about getting heat from Vince. So, he worries to a degree, because Nattie is still there and you don’t want them to take out reprisals against her."

Hart's niece, Natalya, remains employed by WWE and continues to thrive with the company. She and Tamina are the current Women's tag team champions after taking the title from Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in May.

Bret Hart might have angered McMahon with his appearance at AEW, but he likely doesn't want to do anything that would jeopardize his family's career.


Kenny Omega and Roman Reigns Primed for Face Turns

Brandon Wade/AP Images for WWE

WWE and AEW are currently dealing with similar storylines: one of the biggest names in the company is holding a belt during a heel turn. Fans of both could expect a change as Kenny Omega and Roman Reigns return to babyfaces in the future.

Meltzer provided the latest breakdown (h/t Louis Dangoor of WrestleTalk):

"Roman Reigns and Kenny Omega are essentially the same character in the sense that they are heels who are being groomed to be the top babyface star down the line of the promotion. AEW is at least trying to book in a way to make the matches exciting and WWE is trying to book Roman Reigns and tell you 'eh it doesn't matter, he's gonna kill the guy.'"

Omega is an executive vice president at AEW, but he is not a fan favorite after cheating his way to wins, including against Jon Moxley. He remains the AEW world champion and is 5-0 in singles matches in 2021.

As Meltzer explained, this strategy is temporary as Omega will "come back and turn and be a big babyface."

Reigns has become a heel as the Tribal Chief, winning the WWE Universal Championship in the process. As he explained in April, he has enjoyed the turn in the new character.

"It feels good," Reigns told Jason Duaine Hahn of People. "There's a lot of truth to what we put into the Tribal Chief character, the burden of the crown, of being the face of the company."

The former WWE champion will still make his return as a face with McMahon having big plans for the superstar.

"He's the guy who will carry the company for the next few years and Vince sees him as his top priority," Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co reported. "Protect Roman at all costs."

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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