After 12 years away from the wrestling industry, former world champion Bill Goldberg made a triumphant return to the WWE to accept a challenge from superstar Brock Lesnar. Although the date has not been set, it looks as though it will take place at Survivor Series on Nov 20th and it will be Goldberg’s first match in the WWE since Wrestlemania XX in 2004. His opponent that night? Brock Lesnar.
The challenge was laid down on last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw by Paul Heyman on behalf of his long-time client Lesnar, stating that Goldberg was still one-up on The Beast Incarnate. Goldberg responded this week in front of an emphatic crowd in Denver, Colorado, who were clearly stoked to see the ass-kicker back in a WWE ring. As always, the chants of ‘GOLD-BERG’ rained all over the arena during his entrance, while fans also yelled ‘HOLY S—‘ and ‘THIS IS AWESOME’ before the man could even speak.
Goldberg spoke about promoting WWE 2K17 and how he was a superhero to the kids, before questioning whether he could have one last match at the age of 49. Those concerns quickly became motivation as the former WCW champion accepted Lesnar’s challenge to a fight, saying “Maybe I have one more ass-kicking left in me.” Goldberg ended his promo by saying, “So, Brock Lesnar, not only does that mean that you’re next…but most importantly, it means Brock Lesnar, you’re last!”
So how does Goldberg’s return impact the WWE? Rumours first began circulating when Goldberg was announced as a playable character on pre-order editions of WWE 2K17. Many thought he would follow suit after Ultimate Warrior and Sting in previous years, who returned after being involved in the wrestling video game. The rumours then grew when Goldberg appeared on Sportscenter and said he would fight Brock Lesnar if he ever had one more wrestling match. It’s now led to one of the biggest marquee matchups of the year. The irresistible force against the immovable object. Two men who have dominated wrestling in their careers going head to head.
But it’s not the first time these two have fought. As mentioned earlier, the two squared off at Wrestlemania XX, which was the last match for both men before leaving the WWE back in 2004. That match was overshadowed by boos from the audience at Madison Square Garden as they knew both men were leaving the company and the match itself was sloppy – only saved by the fact that Stone Cold Steve Austin was the referee and he gave both men the Stunner at the end of the contest.
This time round things are a little different. Goldberg’s return brought nostalgia for many childhood fans from the late 90s in WCW and the early 2000s in WWE. Despite his controversial exit from the company, the audience in Denver clearly missed seeing Goldberg and the fact that he’s wrestling one last match will be a momentous occasion for fans of this generation who never got to witness the former WCW star compete, including yours truly. As for Lesnar, he’s been the force to be reckoned with ever since he returned to the company in 2012 and Goldberg possesses a great challenge in the eyes of fans. Bringing these two together creates a main-event level match that can draw a lot of money and outside interest for the WWE.
However, can Goldberg carry a match at the age of 49? He made appearances at a couple of Legends of Wrestling events in 2015-16, but has not had a full match in 12 years. We know Lesnar has had his fair share of matches since 2012, so he seems to be fine on his end. Many wrestlers are still able to compete at an age older then Goldberg for example, The Undertaker and Ric Flair, but there’s a lot of rust when you consider how long Goldberg’s been away from the business. Regardless, fans should be excited about Goldberg being back in a ring and going out the right way rather than the way he left a sour taste in people’s mouths in 2004.
For those who have made it this far in the article and still don’t know who Goldberg is, The Myth started out in WCW with a 173-match unbeaten streak and captured the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, WCW United States Championship, WCW World Tag Team Championships and the World Heavyweight Championship in WWE. He captivated audiences with his devastating finishers – the Spear and the Jackhammer – and fans will be hoping he will unleash his arsenal on Brock Lesnar once again.