You can make a case for both Goldberg and Shane McMahon as far as which star’s return to the WWE had the bigger impact. From a shock-and-awe standpoint, Shane’s surprise comeback is only rivaled by a select few. Goldberg loses points in that department because his return was advertised, but both certainly made a major dent from the moment they walked back through that curtain.
Shane’s return stemmed from some out-of-the-box thinking from his father, while Goldberg was brought back due to an overwhelming groundswell of support, first to the video game and then to the real thing. Similarly, though, both were brought in with original plans that were not supposed to last longer than a month. But as witnessed, those plans were scrapped and both extended their welcomes in the WWE.
As previously noted, Goldberg was only supposed to come in for a one-off match with Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. The plan was for Lesnar to go over in the match, avenging his loss to Goldberg 12 years earlier in their infamous encounter at WrestleMania XX. The plan was to do the rematch at Survivor Series because Vince McMahon was planning on a Brock and Shane feud that would have culminated at WrestleMania.
Instead, Vince and other WWE officials were so impressed with Goldberg’s return that they quickly agreed to an extension beyond the one match in November. We recently reported that Goldberg agreed to three additional matches (beyond appearances on RAW) that would see him compete at the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, and another unconfirmed date. It’s now been confirmed that he’ll be appearing on the RAW-exclusive pay-per-view Fastlane in March, according to a recent report from the Daily Wrestling News.
Cards in the WWE, as fans know, are always subject to change, but as of now that appears to be the time that Goldberg will wrestle in another match. He will compete in the Royal Rumble match and is currently slated to face Lesnar at WrestleMania in Orlando, but it’s Fastlane that the WWE creative staff will also have to factor into their storytelling.
This past Monday on RAW, fans got a glimpse into what WWE officials may be thinking for Goldberg’s Fastlane match as he worked an angle with someone other than Lesnar for the first time since returning to the WWE. He made an appearance on the first edition of the “Kevin Owens Show” segment, as Owens, Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman, and Braun Strowman all occupied one of the more compelling final segments of RAW in recent memory.
The WWE teased a multitude of matches during the segment, which closed out when Goldberg and Reigns hit a double spear on Strowman in the ring. It’s not clear as of yet if Brock Lesnar will participate in Fastlane, but he was in the main event of last year’s show that featured a triple threat match with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.
Reigns is expected to take the WWE Universal Championship away from Owens leading into WrestleMania, likely at the Royal Rumble. Those two could always have another rematch at Fastlane, or Goldberg may team up with Roman to face Owens and Jericho. Jeri-KO is expected to implode to set up their one-on-one showdown in Orlando and that match could be the tipping point.
That would leave Strowman without a clear direction, however, and the company is certainly pushing him to the top of the card. There has been some discussion about putting Strowman in the title picture, perhaps even facing Reigns at WrestleMania. He would certainly benefit from a program with Goldberg, but neither could afford a loss heading into WrestleMania.
That could leave a multi-man match for the Fastlane main event, pitting Owens, Jericho, Strowman, Reigns, and Goldberg in a fatal-five-way for the Universal Championship. If you recall, Goldberg cost Lesnar the WWE Championship during the 2004 No Way Out pay-per-view, the show in between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 13 years ago. There has been some discussion about mirroring their program from back then, and Lesnar returning the favor at the 2017 Fastlane is being considered.
[Featured Image by WWE]