One of the most awkward WWE segments of the year happened back on October 24, when Raw took place in Brock Lesnar’s billed hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota (he actually resides in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada). While writing the episode, WWE chairman Vince McMahon believed that Lesnar would get booed in his billed hometown, simply because he was going up against Goldberg, who had returned to the company the previous week. But, Vince was wrong, and the crowd, as most people expected, decided to cheer Lesnar.
Paul Heyman, who is widely regarded as the best talker in WWE today, did his best to get the fans in Minneapolis to turn on Lesnar, but they just wouldn’t. However, Heyman went along with the script anyway, and he pretended that the crowd was chanting for Goldberg, even though they were clearly chanting for Lesnar. This led to Vince McMahon completely “blowing a gasket” backstage, according to Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, and he decided to abruptly end the segment because it didn’t end up going how he thought it would.
“So Goldberg does this great babyface promo on Raw last week, and everyone is talking about it. Now, Brock is going to do his rebuttal, and the show is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This whole thing was designed to get the fans to chant for Goldberg, and Paul is pretending that half of the building is chanting for Goldberg, when, at best five percent of the building is chanting for him. Then the fans started to chant ‘GOLDBERG SUCKS!’ and, what happened is, backstage, Vince McMahon blew a gasket, he played Brock’s music, and they just ended it.”
While speaking with Brian Fritz of Sporting News, Paul Heyman took full responsibility for not being able to get the fans to boo Lesnar, but he also said that he never would’ve booked Brock Lesnar in Minneapolis in the first place, because he would have known how the crowd was going to react.
Fritz: “What would you have done differently?”
Heyman: “I would not have accepted the booking for Minneapolis.”
Fritz: “Anything else?”
Heyman: “I would not have let Brock Lesnar appear in Minneapolis.”
Before October 24, the last time WWE ran a Raw show in Minneapolis was in August of last year, and on that show, Brock Lesnar was treated like a conquering hero coming home, as the main event segment of the show was pretty much a tribute to “The Beast.” So, it’s baffling to think that Vince McMahon believed that he could get Lesnar booed when they returned to “The Beast’s” billed hometown.
WWE is hoping that Goldberg will be cheered at this Sunday’s Survivor Series show, but the fans may not go along with the script, which will have the ex-WCW superstar as the hero of the match. Why? Well, the show is taking place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the Canadian wrestling fans aren’t big Goldberg supporters because he essentially ended the in-ring career of Canadian wrestling legend Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Also, as previously mentioned, Lesnar has adopted Canada as his new home country, so the fans in Toronto may look at “The Beast” as a hometown guy.
If the Toronto crowd does boo Goldberg in the Survivor Series main event, it’ll dampen what’s supposed to be a special moment for the once undefeated wrestling superstar, as his match with Lesnar is supposed to be his retirement match. On top of that, it’ll be the first time that his wife and his young son will have the opportunity to see him wrestle, so let’s hope that the Canadian fans will have a warm response to Mr. Goldberg.
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