When word got out that Bill Goldberg was returning to WWE to answer Paul Heyman’s challenge from Brock Lesnar, fans were both excited and scared. Yes, his comeback on Monday Night Raw would mean the return of an icon, but many also had flashbacks to one of the worst matches in wrestling history. Some thought it might be a bad idea, and wrestling legend Ric Flair is one of those people. When it comes to the match between Goldberg and Lesnar, Flair has a rather strong opinion about it.
This week on Monday Night Raw, Goldberg came through the smoke and the sparks to return to the ring and accept Paul Heyman’s challenge for a match with Lesnar. Now, Goldberg did say his usual catchphrase of “You’re Next,” but he also blasted out a new one to Lesnar with “You’re Last!’
Maybe this is a one-off deal that will culminate at Survivor Series, and Goldberg could truly retire from the ring for good. If he is back for just one match, though, was it really a good idea to come back and face off with the “Beast Incarnate?”
Everyone has an opinion on Goldberg’s return, and that includes a lot of wrestling personalities. One of those is the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, who has spoken out quite bluntly regarding his feelings on the big man’s comeback to face Lesnar.
On the recent episode of The Ric Flair Show, the former world champion stated he is fond of Goldberg and always has been. He did continue on to say that even though he likes him, he doesn’t believe this return to face Lesnar is really the smartest move.
“The truth is…I think Bill would be a nice addition, but, I mean…when you’ve been out of the business as long as he has… Here’s the same deal: you’re wrestling Brock Lesnar, brother. That’s not a way to start out. It just isn’t. Do you know what I’m saying?”
“Not that Bill’s fragile by any means, but when you’ve been away that long, your body hasn’t been in the ring. That’s why I say all the time, ‘time off is a wrestler’s worst enemy,’ and he’s been off a long time and to jump in there against Brock who is in peak condition all the time, because of his dual roles, either MMA or professional wrestling…he stays in top shape and I don’t know that Bill has. Bill looks great, but I haven’t seen him in the ring, so it’s a tough call. I think it’ll be interesting for the fans, but I’m glad it’s not me getting in there with Brock. I’ve been there and done that, man.”
Let’s face it, Goldberg is no spring chicken at the age of 49, and he hasn’t wrestled a match since WrestleMania XX back in 2004. Sure, he showed up at a couple of “Legends of Wrestling” events in the last year, but all he did was perform a spear twice and a jackhammer once.
His last full match happened to be against none other than…Brock Lesnar.
It is one of the most talked about matches of all time, but also one of the most hated. Lesnar and Goldberg’s contracts were at an end, and each man was wrestling his final match for the company. They basically mailed it in, and the crowd reacted by booing non-stop from the opening bell until the dismal finish, which was a victorious Goldberg spear.
Fast-forward to 2016 and Lesnar is one of the most popular superstars in all of WWE and has been for years. On Monday Night Raw, “The Man” returned after an incredibly long absence and received an ovation to blow the roof off as reported by WWE‘s official website.
Maybe Ric Flair has a point in saying that Goldberg’s first match back in more than a decade shouldn’t be against one of the most dominating forces in wrestling. Then again, what higher profile match could there really be than a WrestleMania XX rematch for WWE to make it right?
It’s hard not to hear Flair’s opinion on anything wrestling related and not think there is some merit to it.
Bill Goldberg’s return to WWE is something that many hoped for but never really thought would happen. After years of failed negotiations, he is back for at least one more match, and no one can say that he isn’t going all in by taking on Brock Lesnar. Triple H wouldn’t put this match on if it was going to be a sham or if both men weren’t ready, but one has to think that Ric Flair may honestly be onto something with his thoughts on the big comeback.
[Featured Image by WWE]