The WWE Universal Championship picture is shaping up to be very interesting. At WWE Fastlane, Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens in a little over 20 seconds after the bell to win his first world championship since 2003. Humbled at the achievement, Goldberg commented on winning the title after his match to WWE.
“To get this opportunity 13 years removed from my retirement. I’m a man who is never at a loss for words, but right now it’s kind of overwhelming. To have my family here, it’s all I ever dreamed of. Having them experience a little bit of what Goldberg used to be, I think [winning the title] helps a little bit.”
Although Owens lost the title after holding it for over six months, he immediately placed himself in another title picture, as he will be competing against Chris Jericho for the United States Championship to culminate their angle of best friends turned bitter enemies.
Holding the WWE Universal Championship for over six months, especially with it being a new title that needs credibility, is a feat that Owens can certainly be proud of. This achievement, along with quickly winning the NXT Championship, defeating John Cena in his main roster debut match, and winning the Intercontinental Championship, shows that the WWE thinks highly of Owens.
However, professional wrestling is ultimately about what names are a box office draw, and have the ability to cause a transcending anticipation when headlining an event. While Owens has been the top guy for Raw for the past six months, his character is still in need of some work to fill the “larger-than-life” personality that comes with a top star. As a result, Owens will be competing in a midcard title match – which should not be an insult, seeing that it is a championship match at WrestleMania – and Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar will be the headliner.
During his recent episode of The Ross Report, Jim Ross chimed in regarding the reason why Owens did not carry the title into WrestleMania.
“I think that Kevin Owens did a nice job as the Universal Champion, without question. I am a big fan of his work. If I had a territory, I would want him to be a part of it. But, the Universal Title needs more street cred. It needs more buzz. Not that Kevin Owens didn’t do it, it just hadn’t been around that long. I think having the title on Brock Lesnar, which will probably gonna happen at WrestleMania, helps the title for everyone that’s gonna hold it going forward.”
One key factor to consider in why Kevin Owens did not carry the title into WrestleMania 33 is simple. For those attending the event, WWE wants to present it as a spectacle, and the ultimate display of a grand showcase. To a fan paying thousands of dollars for a ticket to the event, it would be foolish for WWE to present something that someone can see the following Monday on Raw for a significant fraction of the cost. Moreover, not only are they most likely going to see it the day after, but they have seen it countless amount of times on Raw before.
One of the biggest critiques of wrestling fans when it comes to pay-per-views is that it looks too much like a Raw or SmackDown Live, and they cannot tell the difference. With WrestleMania, bringing out the part-timers gives fans the crucial element that they cannot see every week, which makes the event stand out beyond the rest. However, people still find a way to bicker, which is counterproductive to the complaint of pay-per-views looking like weekly shows.
[Featured Image by WWE]