For roughly a year, the WWE Universe rallied to get Goldberg back on WWE programming in some fashion, so his return to WWE was a landscape changing event that was over 12 years in the making. Obviously, there were a lot of expectations about what Goldberg could or couldn't do in a WWE ring after being away for so long. However, his match with Brock Lesnar at WWE Survivor Series surprised just about everyone.
In one of the most shocking moments of the year, Goldberg defeated Lesnar clean in a fight that didn't even last two minutes. Most people were expecting a war between the two heavyweights that would result in a retirement match for Goldberg. It was reported shortly after WWE Survivor Series that Vince McMahon felt a shocking win for Goldberg would create the most buzz and get the strongest reaction from the WWE fans.
The next night on Monday Night Raw, Goldberg declared himself as the first entrant into the 2017 Royal Rumble match for next month's WWE Royal Rumble PPV. It wasn't long before Lesnar declared himself the second entrant into the match. There is a lot of speculation about how WWE will be booking Goldberg and Brock Lesnar heading into their next encounter, which has been answered a little earlier than expected.
Bill Goldberg hasn't been featured on WWE television since the post-Survivor Series edition of Raw. Brock Lesnar hasn't been seen on WWE TV since the devastating loss to Goldberg at WWE Survivor Series, but he did rebound with a win over Rusev a few weeks back. More recently, his fine and suspension finally came through from his failed drug tests after fighting at UFC 200. On WWE television, all has been quiet since.
It's been reported that Goldberg will be returning to WWE programming during the first edition of Monday Night Raw of 2017 from Tampa, Florida. He has also been added to the January 23 edition of Raw, which will serve as the go-home show for WWE heading into WWE Royal Rumble. As of this writing, Brock Lesnar has not been confirmed for those shows, but the expectation is both men will be seen plenty in January.
According to a new report, both the next confrontation between Goldberg and Lesnar is going to be a major selling point for the WWE Royal Rumble. Both men will be featured on multiple episodes of Raw, but the expectation is there won't be much fighting booked between them until the PPV. There will be at least one face to face confrontation, but WWE wants to build the tension between them rather than trading blows.
Since Goldberg and Brock Lesnar will be in the ring during the WWE Royal Rumble match, their next fight isn't expected to be the blow-off of the feud. Instead, it will most likely be a launching pad to conclude their rivalry once and for all at Wrestlemania 33 a few months later. That seems to be what WWE has planned until something new breaks or WWE decides to go in a different direction for the grandest stage of them all.
When Goldberg announced his spot in the Royal Rumble match, his focus was specifically on becoming the WWE Champion again. On paper, he'd likely go after the WWE Universal Championship. That has lead to a lot of speculation about Goldberg potentially winning the WWE Royal Rumble and going on to face Roman Reigns or Kevin Owens at Wrestlemania. Of course, a match with John Cena has been rumored as well.
For now, Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar remains as hot a feud as ever, and WWE officials are going to push it for as long as it continues to draw significant interest from the WWE Universe. The long game is for Lesnar to get his victory and for Goldberg to hang up the boots on a more positive note than he did in 2004, but heading into the WWE Royal Rumble, there will be a lot more of both men on WWE programming.
[Featured Image by WWE]