Nick Khan on Rock vs. Reigns; Kofi Kingston Rumors; Samoa Joe Talks Vince McMahon-NXT

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 24, 2021

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

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

Nick Khan Talks Reigns vs. The Rock

Fans have long craved a dream match between Roman Reigns and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and WWE President Nick Khan is hopeful the company will be able to deliver it.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani of BT Sports (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Drew Rice), Khan was asked about the possibility of Reigns vs. The Rock happening sometime in the future.

Khan didn't guarantee anything but suggested WWE will try to make it happen if the stars align:

"Listen, from your mouth to God's ear, let's see. I think it's something everyone would like to see is any of our big Superstars, like Roman, against any of our other big Superstars who can still do it. We know [John] Cena can still do it at an A+ level, we know The Rock can still do it at an A+ level. But ultimately it comes down to all the boring business things: scheduling, when does it work, how long do we need him, how long does it take, what other commitments does he have. So, we'll see."

To Khan's point, The Rock is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, so prying him away from Hollywood for enough time to put together a proper program for a match can be a challenge.

The Rock did it before, though, leading to matches against Cena at both WrestleMania 28 and 29. Given his familial ties with his cousin Reigns, it is fair to assume The Rock may want to similarly clear his schedule to a storyline with The Tribal Chief.

Since The Rock has always been open to a WWE return and Reigns has been vocal about wanting a match against The Rock, there is seemingly a good chance it will happen.

WWE hasn't announced anything officially, but Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Podcast (h/t Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com) reported last month that The Rock is expected to appear at WWE Survivor Series in November.

Zarian (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News) also reported that the plan is to have Reigns vs. The Rock headline WrestleMania 38 next year.

Reigns already faced Cena and is building toward a match against Lesnar, but there may be no bigger opponent for him than The Rock, making that the most natural progression.

Kofi Reportedly Not Cleared to Wrestle

New Day member Kofi Kingston was absent from SummerSlam and Monday night's episode of Raw without explanation.

According to PWInsider (h/t Middleton), Kingston wasn't on either show because he is not cleared to perform. No further specifics were given regarding his condition.

On last week's Raw, Kingston and tag team partner Xavier Woods were seen in the background of a backstage segment involving The Miz and John Morrison, which suggested a feud between the two teams could be in the cards.

At SummerSlam, Woods interrupted Miz and Morrison during an in-ring segment and soaked them with a water gun. Kofi was conspicuous by his absence at the show.

Then, on Monday's Raw, Woods faced and defeated Miz in a singles match. Morrison was in Miz's corner, but Kingston was once again nowhere to be found.

After Miz lost the match, he turned on Morrison by attacking him, setting up a match for next week's Raw.

It is unclear what the immediate plans are for New Day since they no longer seem to be part of the Miz and Morrison storyline.

Samoa Joe Talks Vince's Involvement with NXT

New NXT champion Samoa Joe gave some insight into WWE Chairman Vince McMahon's involvement with the brand in a recent interview.

Speaking to So Catch by Hal 2 (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Eric Mutter), Joe said McMahon is invested in NXT and its success:

"I think he perceives [NXT] as the future of his company. I think he's heavily invested in it. You know it's funny, I read all this stuff that I hear from people. At the same time, he's probably the biggest proponent of its existence and much of what has happened in it thus far.

"NXT is the future of WWE, and it's a big reason why I'm excited to be associated with it. Because I get to delve into the future. I get to work on new things and new projects and new stars in the world. At this point in my career I'm very excited to be involved with it."

NXT has long been a multifaceted brand for WWE in terms of playing host to established performers in the wrestling business as well as the stars of the future.

Joe was released from WWE earlier this year, but he quickly re-signed on a deal that will see him be a big part of NXT moving forward both in terms of being an in-ring performer and a talent scout behind the scenes.

At 42 years of age, Joe beat Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver 36 on Sunday, making him the first ever three-time NXT champion.

A 42-year-old winning the NXT title doesn't necessarily jive with recent speculation that NXT is set to undergo a huge overhaul that will see WWE focus primarily on signing young talent that doesn't necessarily have wrestling experience.

In his interview with Helwani, Khan confirmed NXT will be revamped and rebranded in the coming weeks.

There has been speculation that McMahon isn't hands on with NXT or isn't happy with what it has brought to the table in WWE, but Joe's comments seem to contradict that school of thought.

Regardless of what the future holds for NXT, it is clear that many of WWE's future stars will go through NXT and the WWE Performance Center, which is why McMahon figures to continue having a vested interest in the black and yellow brand.

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