Goldberg made his second appearance in WWE in the last 12 years when he kicked off the most recent episode of Monday Night RAW this week. To WWE’s credit, the segment was vastly different than the one that closed out RAW in Denver two weeks ago. This time, Goldberg kicked off the show, let his adversaries do the talking and delivered a nostalgic beat-down to prove he’s still got it.
Rusev was on the receiving end of the iconic jackhammer while Paul Heyman felt the wrath of Goldberg’s spear. This, after Heyman interrupted the legend before his promo could really begin, an indication that WWE officials may not have felt as confident in his mic skills the second time around. This time, they let his actions do the talking for him. From a storyline perspective, the spear ended up landing Heyman in the hospital.
However, before the jackhammer and spear were delivered, Goldberg slipped while trying to inflict knees to Rusev, prompting some measure of criticism, however fair or unfair. Goldberg attributed the botch to ring rust on social media afterward. But the jackhammer was delivered with near perfection, though some were hoping Goldberg would have held Rusev up in the air longer like he did with his opponents in his heyday.
Rusev also took to social media after the segment, blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality by actually praising Goldberg in the tweet that can be seen below.
Ha! @Goldberg knows that SPEARS don't faze me! That JACKHAMMER though .......hats off to him. He still got it. Btw I can still crush him.— Rusev MACHKA (@RusevBUL) November 1, 2016
As noted, Goldberg blamed ring rust for the brief slip up during the segment. During a recent appearance on Heated Conversations: Hosted By Booker T, Goldberg revealed that while he has amped up his training for his Survivor Series match with Brock Lesnar, he has yet to incorporate actual in-ring training to his regiment, a possible reason for the slip on Monday (Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription).
“I haven’t been in the ring yet. That’s the one thing after those 12 years that is probably the most important to reacquaint yourself with, but I’m going in for one match. I’m not going to get into the ring for 20 days straight to re-acclimate myself to hitting the ropes because, hopefully, the only thing that will be hitting is my fist hitting Brock’s face and him hitting the mat, so the reality is I’m going to be taken to Suplex City. I’m going to take some suplexes in this thing. Yeah, but it is what it is. It ain’t like I didn’t play in the NFL, dude. I may be old, but I know what I’m getting myself into.”
When Goldberg and the WWE finally agreed to terms for a return, there was some discussion that they would have him get physical during his first appearance on RAW back on October 17. That was obviously delayed until this week in what turned out to be a rather smart move.
The plan remains for Goldberg and Lesnar not to get physical with each other at all until the match at Survivor Series. The only time we’ll see the two on the same show together will be the pay-per-view go-home show, November 14 on RAW. The two are expected to come face-to-face but leave the physicality for six days later. The future Hall of Famer made it clear what his main goal is going into that highly anticipated showdown.
“The last time they saw me, I was 290 [lbs.], and I was blowing fire out of my ears. And I was able to press a 290 lbs. Brock Lesnar over my head. Well, my goal is to do the same damn thing when I walk in there. I won’t be 280 [lbs.] like I used to be, but what I bring into the cage or what I bring into the ring will be a completely different package than before, but it will still be the same guy. I’m doing a lot of muay thai kickboxing. I’m doing a lot of cross-training, a lot of footwork, a lot of boxing work.”
We’ll all find out whether that type of training pays off when Goldberg steps in the ring with Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. What type of match are you expecting?
[Featured Image by WWE]