Can Bill Goldberg win at Royal Rumble 2017, beating 29 other men in the pay-per-view’s titular main event match? If you ask the man himself, he’s confident he can do it. And when it comes to the wrestler he may potentially be facing at WrestleMania 33 should both men win their respective matches, Goldberg has nothing but good things to say about Roman Reigns once the veil of kayfabe is off.
Many have pointed out that this year’s Royal Rumble match is one of the most unpredictable ever, if not the most unpredictable. SB Nation wrote about how fans aren’t quite sure who’s going to be winning, and how the lack of an effectively anointed winner, e.g. Roman Reigns in 2015, or obvious storyline choice, e.g. Triple H in 2016, has gotten fans excited about the event. And the presence of three high-profile part-timers – The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, and Bill Goldberg – all of whom can win the Royal Rumble match in theory, adds to the intrigue for casual fans.
— 411 Wrestling (@411wrestling) January 26, 2017
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Bill Goldberg showed confidence in potentially winning it all at Royal Rumble 2017, despite being 50-years-old and having just recently returned from a 12-year hiatus from both WWE and pro wrestling itself. In his words, he’s in it to “chase that title,” referring to the WWE Universal Championship which reigning champ Kevin Owens and Reigns will be contesting ahead of the Royal Rumble match.
“I’m going to rip 29 guys up this Sunday at the Alamodome on the WWE Network. Whether it’s Roman Reigns or anyone else, I’d really like to show them what it’s like to be in the ring with me. They may look at me as an older guy, but I’ll rip their face off just like I used to.”
Talking about what may be in store for him after Royal Rumble 2017, Goldberg said that since he’s n ever faced The Undertaker, it would be nice to have a match against WWE’s “Phenom” at some point in the future. And with Reigns heavily favored to beat Owens for the Universal Championship, Goldberg said that he’s also looking forward to facing Reigns in the future. It was there where the comparisons with Roman began, as Goldberg talked about the parallels between his enormous push in WCW in 1998, and Reigns’ own big-time push that started in 2015.
Sports Illustrated‘s Justin Barrasso pointed out that Goldberg’s big push was “far more organic” than that of Reigns, whom many fans consider someone whom WWE is forcing them to like as the number one babyface in the company. In the light of this, Goldberg told Barrasso that he acknowledges how fans don’t like to be told whom they should be cheering for, and suggested that Roman Reigns doesn’t deserve the boos he regularly receives from the WWE Universe.
“I wasn’t privy to (Reigns’ ascent to main event stardom) in real time, I didn’t see everything, but I think Roman is a great kid. I feel really bad that anyone would go out there and boo him based not off of not liking him or his ability, but just based upon the situation. His look, his work, his enthusiasm, and what he puts into his craft—Roman is a professional.”
Years before his WCW debut in 1997, Bill Goldberg was a college football star for the Georgia Bulldogs, and had briefly suited up in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons. Reigns was also a defensive tackle in college, where he played for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Georgia’s cross-state rivals. And as an aside, Goldberg joked that that’s the one thing he dislikes about Roman.
“The only thing I don’t like about him is he went to Georgia Tech.”
As the Inquisitr had recently reported, there seems to be a mutual respect between present-day star Roman Reigns and comebacking legend Bill Goldberg. But can Goldberg win the Royal Rumble match and earn a right to face Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 33, provided Reigns beats Owens on Sunday? There are myriad other possibilities due to the Rumble match’s unpredictability, and Roman has been rumored to be in line for a match versus The Undertaker at ‘Mania, but it just might happen.
[Featured Image by WWE]