Quick Takes on Reigns vs. Goldberg, Charlotte and Andrade, Shaq in AEW, and More

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2020

Quick Takes on Reigns vs. Goldberg, Charlotte and Andrade, Shaq in AEW, and More

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    It's more a matter of when than if Goldberg will challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship.
    It's more a matter of when than if Goldberg will challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship.Credit: WWE.com

    Based on what Goldberg had to say on this week's edition of WWE's The Bump, it looks like his long-awaited encounter with Roman Reigns over the Universal Championship will be coming to fruition sooner rather than later.

    During the interview, the former WCW World Heavyweight champion confirmed that Reigns is indeed "next," but when that marquee match will take place is another question entirely. The Grandest Stage of Them All would seem to be the most likely place for it to happen, even though there are several Superstars who would be better suited to face The Tribal Chief at WrestleMania than the WWE Hall of Famer.

    There's also uncertainty at the moment regarding the immediate WWE futures of Charlotte Flair and Andrade. WWE insider Twitter account WrestleVotes hinted at the possibility of the two becoming an on-air pairing this past week, though a report from Inside the Ropes indicated that WWE's plans for them upon their return to Raw will not involve each other.

    That same feeling of unpredictability can be felt in AEW's ongoing angle with Shaq, Jade Cargill, Cody and Brandi Rhodes. Despite a tag team match pitting the two pairings against one another being teased originally, AEW may be headed in a completely different direction with the storyline if what went down on Dynamite was any indication.

    This installment of Quick Takes will tackle what AEW could have in store for Shaq, why Kenny Omega and Don Callis have the potential to be the perfect pairing, Finn Balor's upcoming NXT Championship challengers, and more.

How Will Charlotte Flair and Andrade Return to Raw?

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    Prior to taking an extended absence from WWE TV, Charlotte Flair was last seen losing to Raw women's champion Asuka on a June episode of Raw. She was then ambushed backstage by Nia Jax as a way to be written off the show, so Jax being Flair's first foe back would make the most sense.

    Although both women are heels, at least it would be better than re-inserting her back into the Raw Women's Championship picture right away. Of course, Flair and Asuka never cease to work well together, but there's no reason to rush into that rivalry when there are plenty of other things Flair could be doing instead.

    Chasing the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship with a partner of her choosing is a possibility, but putting her with her soon-to-be real-life husband Andrade is an even better option. The two have never interacted on WWE TV before, but it's worth noting that the company was quick to acknowledge their engagement in the above video.

    Zelina Vega served as Andrade's manager and mouthpiece up until she was drafted to SmackDown in October and later released. It was asinine to break the two of them up, and Andrade will surely flounder upon his return to Raw unless he's paired with someone such as Flair.

    The latest report from Inside the Ropes indicated that the real-life couple will be kept separate when they're brought back to TV soon, which would be fine if there are actual plans in place for them. Otherwise, it wouldn't hurt giving Flair an on-screen love interest for the first time in her career while also putting Andrade in a position of prominence on Monday nights.

Kenny Omega and Don Callis Have the Potential to Be the Perfect Pairing

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    Already, turning heel and linking up with Don Callis has proved to be the best thing that could have happened to Kenny Omega.

    Moments removed from winning the AEW World Championship last week on AEW Dynamite, Omega vowed to take the title to Impact Wrestling and explain everything there. Their back-to-back appearances on Impact and Dynamite this past week were everything they needed to be and saw Omega do some of his best mic work in ages.

    The success of the segments can largely be attributed to his association with Don Callis, who has been an absolute revelation up to this point. The best part is that the duo has only begun to scratch the surface of what they can do together.

    As a top executive in Impact Wrestling, Callis can bring the two promotions together and give everyone involved additional exposure. For Omega specifically, he can be the mouthpiece the newly crowned champ has desperately needed so far in AEW.

    Omega's in-ring skills are second to none, but talking has never been his strong suit. Callis has excelled at being a tremendous talker during his time spent as a commentator in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and in Impact, so it should come as no surprise his heel promos have delivered.

    The history the two share makes their partnership all the more perfect. If booked correctly, Omega and Callis can continue to be among the most must-see acts in wrestling right now.

Breaking Down Finn Balor's Next Few NXT Championship Challengers

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    Following a two-month layoff because of injury, Finn Balor finally returned to NXT TV in a regular role this past Wednesday night. He wasted no time in addressing his upcoming challengers to the NXT Championship including Kyle O'Reilly, Damian Priest, Pete Dunne and the returning Karrion Kross.

    Kross went on to attack Priest later in the show as retaliation for what Priest said to Scarlett at the start of the show, which leaves O'Reilly and Dunne as the two next Superstars in line for a crack at the title. WWE has already announced that the two will collide his coming Wednesday night with a title opportunity at New Year's Evil against Balor on the line.

    O'Reilly originally battled Balor at October's TakeOver 31 event and fell short after an incredibly hard-hitting affair. An eventual rematch would be stellar, but if Balor isn't primed for a lengthy title reign, then Balor vs. Dunne has to happen now with Dunne's stock the highest it's been since coming to NXT.

    As a first-time-ever encounter, Balor vs. Dunne would be an awesome attraction for the New Year's Evil edition of NXT in January. From there, Balor can shift his focus to Kross, another individual he has yet to cross paths with in NXT, likely at the next TakeOver special in early 2021.

    Kushida contending for the title sometime between those two bouts would be ideal as well given the roll he's been on recently. Either way, Balor vs. Kross with Kross regaining the gold he never technically lost in the first place should be the ultimate endgame for Balor's reign as champ.

What's Going on with Shaq in AEW?

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    Before Sting showed up in AEW and even Pac's shocking return, there was the tease that Shaquille O'Neal would soon be involved with the promotion in some form or fashion. Upon making her debut on Dynamite, Jade Cargill name-dropped Shaq to Cody Rhodes and noted that the two of them had a history.

    It was never explained what their relationship was beyond that, and Shaq wasn't acknowledged again until this week. His appearance on the program helped inch Dynamite closer to the one million viewer mark, but it didn't seem like anything was accomplished in his sit-down interview with Brandi Rhodes and Tony Schiavone.

    After denying that he had any interest in a match against Cody, he stirred the pot between Brandi and Cargill before getting a cup of water thrown in his face by Brandi. The segment ended with the idea of a Brandi vs. Cargill match happening at some point with Cody and Shaq in their respective corners.

    If that is indeed the direction AEW is going in with those two, then it makes matters slightly confusing with Cody currently busy with Sting, Darby Allin and Team Taz. Cody showed signs of a heel turn Wednesday night, so his involvement in the angle with Brandi, Shaq and Cargill feels insignificant in comparison.

    Shaq has no business wrestling at this stage, but he'd be fun as a recurring character on Dynamite if the storyline makes sense. All fans can hope for at this point is for the program to get back on track because Brandi vs. Cargill isn't interesting enough on its own, even with Shaq in Cargill's corner.

Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg Needs to Happen, but Not at WrestleMania 37

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    The back-and-forth between Roman Reigns and Goldberg on social media this week all but confirmed that the two will clash for the Universal Championship sometime soon. WWE insider Twitter account WrestleVotes later tweeted that Reigns vs. Goldberg is currently on the docket for WrestleMania 37.

    The two were originally supposed to go one-on-one for the title at WrestleMania 36 before circumstances caused Reigns to miss the show. Goldberg dropped the belt to Braun Strowman instead and hasn't been seen since on WWE TV.

    On paper, Reigns vs. Goldberg has the potential to be a blast, especially with Reigns in the heel role. While the match must happen at some point, there is no reason for it to be at WrestleMania next April.

    For months, fans have discussed The Rock being a prime opponent for Reigns on The Grandest Stage of Them All given their family ties. Even if Rock isn't able to return in time, Big E and Daniel Bryan would also be better options than Goldberg to be Reigns' opponent at the event.

    Rather, the Royal Rumble would be the perfect place for them to rekindle their rivalry. The Rumble match itself is obviously the biggest draw of the show, but Reigns vs. Goldberg would be a fine addition to the undercard and allow Reigns to keep building momentum en route to WrestleMania.


    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.


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