Brock Lesnar and Goldberg are officially booked to face off at WrestleMania with the Universal Championship on the line in Orlando on April 2. Lesnar initially laid out the challenge all the way back on the January 30 episode of Monday Night RAW. Goldberg would accept a week later right before he challenged Kevin Owens to a title match at Fastlane. As we saw play out last Sunday, Goldberg beat Owens in 22 seconds to make the match with Brock Lesnar a mammoth Universal Championship bout.
As you recall, Goldberg originally agreed to a WWE return in which he was only scheduled to compete in one match. That match was to come against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series with Lesnar expected to win, avenging his loss to Goldberg from 12 years earlier when the two infamously squared off at WrestleMania XX before both quit the company.
But Goldberg’s return in 2016 was met with such acclaim that he and the WWE agreed to extend the reunion through WrestleMania 33. Creative plans were laid out for Goldberg’s current run back in November, and unlike many proposed plans these days, things have gone exactly as planned. Brock Lesnar agreed to lose to Goldberg at Survivor Series in under a minute, as well as get eliminated by the icon in the Royal Rumble match, leading up to the feud’s culmination at WrestleMania.
Vince McMahon and other top WWE officials have laid out long-term plans for the Universal Championship, and they’ve yet to stray off course. Goldberg captured the title at Fastlane, but he is expected to drop it to Brock Lesnar in Orlando. Lesnar will then carry the title (amid his part-time appearances) all the way to SummerSlam.
It’s a similar path to the one they outlined over two years ago. Vince had Brock Lesnar end the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania in order to build Lesnar up into this unstoppable monster, only for an up-and-coming star to dethrone Brock and become the next big thing in the company. Unfortunately for the WWE, fans rejected the notion of that superstar being Roman Reigns, so they detoured in the form of Seth Rollins.
This time around, Goldberg is the dominant force, having won his two singles matches since returning in a combined 1:48. By having Brock Lesnar defeat Goldberg next month, Lesnar will have avenged his defeats against his biggest adversary and come out of WrestleMania looking as strong as ever. But once again lurking in the shadows is Roman Reigns. This time, Reigns will go through the Undertaker on the grand stage, setting up a second go-around between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, likely as the main event of SummerSlam in August.
Before we get to SummerSlam, however, WWE officials are tasked with how to book Goldberg and Brock Lesnar’s match in just over three weeks inside Camping World Stadium. According to a new report, what has long been the assumption appears to be official backstage. For one, the Universal Championship match at WrestleMania between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar will go on last as the show’s true main event.
The WWE has long billed its WrestleManias as multi-main event cards, especially since the dawn of multiple world championships. SmackDown announcers have been selling the Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton match as the main event, but backstage, officials are planning to put Goldberg and Brock Lesnar in the final slot.
In addition, as noted, Goldberg’s two matches since his return have been extremely short. His Survivor Series win over Brock Lesnar was a shocker, but the victory over Kevin Owens last week was received negatively. So don’t expect the final encounter between Goldberg and Lesnar to be as short. The idea, as of now, is for the match to go somewhere between five and seven minutes long. The last time the two met at WrestleMania, they went more than 13 minutes with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the referee.
Expect the bout on April 2 to fall somewhere in between the match in 2004 and last November’s Survivor Series surprise. It’s also worth repeating that Goldberg’s contract expires after WrestleMania, but there had been talks about another extension, although that has cooled off in recent weeks.
[Featured Image by WWE]