The Brock Lesnar-Goldberg Universal Championship main event at WrestleMania 33 has already garnered plenty of criticism.
So far, the two superstars have had two singles matches against each other. The first, which took place at WrestleMania 13 years ago, was booed out of Madison Square Garden, although that was largely due to the crowd’s knowledge of both competitors’ intention to leave the company.
Lesnar and Goldberg’s last singles match came at Survivor Series, when Goldberg shockingly defeated Lesnar in 90 seconds. The two also had a standoff during the Royal Rumble match, which saw Lesnar get eliminated seconds after Goldberg’s entrance.
So it’s no surprise that this year’s main event has left fans pessimistic, especially with a loaded roster of full-time superstars many believe should have the spotlight instead of the two part-timers. AJ Styles is among the current stars many would rather see in the main event spotlight at WrestleMania.
In fact, fans have complained that Styles’ match against Shane McMahon is a downgrade from the former champion’s lengthy WWE title run. But the “Phenomenal One” disagrees with the criticism of the main event, defending Lesnar and Goldberg in an interview with the Gorilla Position podcast with James Delow.
“I can tell you this: Goldberg, and what him and Brock have done together, have made sure that people are going to come and watch WrestleMania,” Styles said. “They want to see this match, and if they have to come see them they also have to come to see me. And now I have the opportunity to impress them, while they’re there and I’ll make AJ fans and Shane McMahon fans out of them. That’s my job, and so, am I mad at these guys for being Superstars like, the ultimate, that everybody knows? Absolutely not. When they [said], ‘Oh, part-timers, yeah, [they] come in and do that.’ You know what? Let them be part-timers, if they can do that, then they have earned it and to tell you the truth, when they’re not here that’s more money in my pocket. So that’s not a bad thing, ya know? Let’s work together. I don’t care who’s on top, just as long as we’re all able to pay our bills.”
It does make sense to have both Lesnar and Goldberg as headliners. Fans outside the WWE Universe recognize both superstars’ names, which should help WrestleMania‘s buy rate. Both Goldberg and Lesnar’s returns to the company have helped WWE get attention and media coverage.
Still, that doesn’t mean the full-time roster shouldn’t use their exclusion from the main event as motivation. Take WWE Champion Bray Wyatt, who told Sports Illustrated that he expects to raise the bar in his match against Randy Orton, which will put the pressure on Lesnar and Goldberg.
“If I were Goldberg or Brock Lesnar, I wouldn’t want to have to go on after me and Randy,” said Wyatt. “From their standpoint, I wouldn’t want to be them and have to go on after us.”
Still, perhaps fans are jumping to conclusions too early. For all we know, WWE could be saving huge plans for the WrestleMania Lesnar-Goldberg match, with their previous interactions serving as quick previews for the ultimate payoff.
During an appearance on the debut episode of “Edge and Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness” on Friday, Goldberg promised the WrestleMania main event would be a “knock down, drag out blood fest” and that both he and Lesnar would do things beyond the constraints of their previous matches, giving the impression that they were limited during their Survivor Series match and Royal Rumble spot.
Many also assume Lesnar and Goldberg aren’t capable of wrestling a long match against one another. However, with WrestleMania expected to run past seven hours, maybe a shorter main event is the best option.
This is WWE’s biggest show of the year and should live up to expectations. Lesnar and Goldberg will likely erase the fan criticism with a surprisingly great match at WrestleMania.
[Featured Image by WWE]