As it pertains to Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, the WWE is banking on history not repeating itself. WrestleMania XX featured one of the most-criticized matches in sports entertainment history when Goldberg and Lesnar collided inside Madison Square Garden. It should have been one of the biggest bouts of all time, but because they were both on their way out the door, it turned into an embarrassment.
A little less than 13 years later, the stars have aligned again in what most people thought wasn’t possible. Goldberg’s arrangement with 2K Sports opened the door for a return to the WWE and a rematch with Brock Lesnar, presumably set for November’s Survivor Series pay-per-view. It’s a chance to right the wrong the two men created the first time around.
Goldberg will follow the likes of the Ultimate Warrior, Lesnar himself, and Sting as those whose signing with the 2K video game led to their WWE returns or debuts. And as reported by Daily Wrestling News, the deal to return as an actual in-ring performer began to take shape several weeks ago, and only finalized during the first week of October. In essence, Goldberg had come to terms before his appearance on SportsCenter, but did not let the cat out of the bag on ESPN.
From the moment the conversations between WWE and Goldberg began, the only opponent both sides had in mind was Brock Lesnar. And leading all the way up to, and including his promo this past Monday night, Lesnar was the only opponent Goldberg was going to face in his short return to pro wrestling.
And from the moment those conversations started, the plan (if both sides could agree to a deal) was for Lesnar to win the match. That hasn’t changed one iota, nor is it likely to over the next month leading up to Survivor Series in Toronto. The only thing that could possibly change between now and then is whether or not Goldberg will extend the agreement past that November 20 date.
As heard on RAW on Monday, Goldberg proclaimed that not only is Lesnar next, but most importantly, he’s also last. That, of course, is an indication that the match with The Beast Incarnate is the only one on Goldberg’s schedule, putting the final bow on his legendary career. However, there had been discussions leading up to Monday within WWE that if Goldberg got over, they would have to try to convince him to stay on for a little while longer.
Michael Cole dubbed him “the greatest champion in WCW history,” and it was more clear than ever that Goldberg could get over more than 12 years after his last match. Whether WWE officials were unsure of the reception he’d receive going in is unclear. But if the goal was to lure him into more than just the one match based on the initial reaction, then it might be safe to assume that they’re working on capitalizing on the attention they’ve received since Monday.
Perhaps most notable among that attention was the spike in ratings RAW received, thanks mainly to Goldberg himself. And if he were to agree on wrestling beyond Survivor Series, WWE officials are hopeful that that second match would happen at WrestleMania 33.
We already know that the company has several marquee matches already penciled in for the biggest show of 2017, including Brock Lesnar against Shane McMahon, John Cena taking on the Undertaker, and Triple H colliding with Seth Rollins. Where Goldberg would fit in is uncertain, but you can rest assured that they’d find a suitable slot.
That talk may be entirely too premature less than six months out, but WWE officials are planning for both outcomes. They’ve recently invested quite a bit of resources into making the Royal Rumble a monumental event as well, so booking that show may also have a trickle down effect onto what they end up doing in Orlando at WrestleMania.
[Featured Image By WWE]