If not for Shane McMahon interrupting Vince’s presentation of the Legacy of Excellence Award to Stephanie last February, the WWE’s most memorable return in 2016 would have unanimously belonged to Goldberg. And what was only supposed to be a couple appearances on RAW and a one-off match at Survivor Series progressed into an extended run at least through WrestleMania in April.
Goldberg may have flubbed his lines during his promo in the final segment of this week’s RAW, but his return has been widely considered a success. His shocking squash of Brock Lesnar was the perfect water-cooler conversation piece, but his night-after declaration, claiming that he’d be sticking around for a while, was, perhaps, just as effective.
It was soon revealed that Goldberg’s extension included wrestling at the Royal Rumble, Fastlane, and WrestleMania. The night after Survivor Series, he boasted that he felt like he had one more title run in him. And despite that very notion seeming preposterous as recently as last October, it hasn’t been ruled out completely by any stretch. His road to WrestleMania appears to be planned out already, but it remains to be seen if any gold will be involved.
The odds on the winner of the Royal Rumble match have changed daily, but Goldberg has hovered around the top since they were first posted. Other names that are among the favorites include Lesnar, the Undertaker, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, and Finn Balor. If Goldberg wins the match, he’s guaranteed a title shot at WrestleMania, but the fact that he’s competing in the main event at Fastlane could lend credence to the idea that the championship could be involved there somehow as well.
If his contract does, in fact, expire after WrestleMania 33, it’d be very likely that he’d lose and/or drop the belt to his presumed opponent in Orlando, Brock Lesnar. However, if the rumors of him agreeing to another year-long extension are true, could he possibly have an extended, full-time run as Universal Champion? Goldberg answered that very question posed to him by CBS, as transcribed by Daily Wrestling News.
“If that were to happen, it depends on your definition of full time. If you have the strap, the WWE title, you gotta be on TV to defend it. I guess we’ll cross that bridge if we get there.”
In order to convey full transparency, the question was would he consider a full-time role if Goldberg won the title at WrestleMania. He could certainly win it before then and perhaps drop it in April, considering he’s booked for a semi-regular schedule in February and March.
The WWE hasn’t shied away from putting their top title on a part-time superstar in recent memory. The Rock, Brock Lesnar, and Triple H have all been champion while working a part-time schedule, so there’s certainly precedence if they decided to give Goldberg a run. The Rock won the belt at the Royal Rumble in 2013 over CM Punk, successfully defended it against Punk at the Elimination Chamber, and then relinquished it to John Cena at that year’s WrestleMania. The majority of his television appearances came during the WrestleMania build with Cena.
The Rock’s 70-day reign matched Triple H’s in 2015 after The Game won the Royal Rumble match to become the new WWE Champion. Hunter’s appearances were more regular, but that’s to be expected considering his executive role backstage. However, despite putting the title on the line at Roadblock (a glorified house show on the WWE Network last March), he was not on the Fastlane pay-per-view card. That show’s main event featured a triple threat number one contender’s match between Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Brock Lesnar.
It is Goldberg’s current main nemesis, Lesnar, who held the championship the longest during his part-time schedule. Brock won the belt over Cena at SummerSlam in 2014 and held onto it for 224 days before Seth Rollins memorably cashed-in during the main event of WrestleMania 31.
Would you like to see Goldberg have one last run with a world championship? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by WWE]