Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Lashley vs. Goldberg, Full Gear and NXT

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2021

Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Lashley vs. Goldberg, Full Gear and NXT

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    Credit: WWE

    If the idea of a new-look NXT wasn't appealing, the latest speculation surrounding the brand will certainly infuriate fans who have devoted time and energy to it since its inception.

    Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard producing the show headlines this week's collection of rumors, which also feature the latest on Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley II and a potential date switch for AEW Full Gear.

    Dive deeper into each of those topics now. 

Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard Now Producing NXT?

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    A full-on rebranding of NXT is coming and, according to Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live, Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard will be producing the show moving forward.

    Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful reported the roster has yet to be informed of the decision but producer Jamie Noble has spent more time at the Performance Center in recent weeks and Prichard will be there this weekend.

    The idea of a McMahon and Prichard-produced NXT is a nightmare for longtime fans of NXT who appreciated the fact that it felt different than the rest of the WWE product. Raw is mediocre, at best, most weeks and while SmackDown is vastly superior, its repetition is often criticized.

    Taking a show that was supposed to be the company's own alternative to itself and glossing it over to be like every other show is counterproductive.

    Did NXT get soundly defeated by AEW Dynamite in the brief Wednesday night wrestling war? Sure. Could it have used a bit of freshening up? Absolutely. But putting the same creative forces behind it that have been at the root of WWE's shortcomings from a writing perspective hardly feels like the best way to improve things. 

Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley II: The Rematch No One Asked For

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    If it wasn't obvious based on the booking of their SummerSlam match and the veteran's threats to the WWE champion on Monday's Raw, Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley II is expected to take place in Saudi Arabia at Crown Jewel, per WrestleVotes

    It will be the least desired sequel since Caddyshack II...and probably just as bad.

    The two showed little in the way of in-ring chemistry at SummerSlam, and the fans' response to that contest was not at all what WWE was going for, with Goldberg being soundly booed at the idea of another part-timer capturing gold.

    His performance didn't necessarily inspire a ton of support, either.

    Throw in the idea of the contest taking place at a universally disliked PPV event like Crown Jewel, and you have a recipe for utter disdain. Not that it has ever stopped McMahon and Co. before.

AEW Full Gear to Move Dates?

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    A loaded UFC 268 card at Madison Square Garden and Canelo Alvarez's latest boxing match in Las Vegas have led to speculation that All Elite Wrestling may be forced to move its Full Gear PPV this November to prevent competing for viewers, per Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats.

    It makes sense that the company would want to optimize its audience, and programming opposite two other major sporting events does the exact opposite of that.

    It's never easy to shift dates for a major show, but it would be right for the promotion, which has been red-hot and made a ton of great, fan-friendly booking decisions, to have the spotlight to itself.

    The alternative would do a disservice to its momentum and to the performers who have helped make AEW the hottest product in the industry.

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