Bill Goldberg, popularly known as “Goldberg” amongst WWE fans, accepted Brock Lesnar’s challenge for a rematch on Monday Night RAW. In an iconic moment, the wrestler who made a return to the ring after a span of 12 years said, “You’re not next, you’re LAST!”
The WWE fans are excited to watch the two beasts fight it again in the ring. But can the match live up to its hype? Much has changed since the last time the duo clashed back at Wrestlemania XX in 2004 with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee. It was Goldberg who won that night.
The match failed to live up to its expectation the first time around. Both heavyweight wrestlers cancelled each other’s strengths and were slow in the ring. The result was a 15-minute dull affair which ended with the WWE Universe booing. It is surprising to see the same fans excited to see the fight again. Both wrestlers left the WWE the very next day.
Brock Lesnar signed with Japan’s New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and became the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in 2005. He then signed with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In 2008, he defeated the three-time UFC heavyweight Champion, Randy Couture, to claim the title. He became one of the most dominant fighters of the Octagon, before an injury ended short his career in Mixed Martial Arts, which forced him to return to WWE in 2012. In last four years, the Beast Incarnate has won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, beaten The Undertaker at Wrestlemania (the only one to do so) and has been at the top of his game.
Meanwhile, Goldberg was making movies, doing reality TV shows.and working as a ringside commentator at MMA events, for last 12 years. It does not seem like a fair fight. WWE writers are likely to give Goldberg another victory again as it might be the last time he would be competing in the ring. But clearly, Goldberg, 49, who has been out of the ring for 12 years, seems no competition for the 39-year old Brock Lesnar. The fans will not be able to swallow Lesnar being defeated in a fight he cannot lose. On the other hand, if he wins, there would be nothing unpredictable about the fight. It is the unsolvable WWE scriptwriter’s conundrum.
Goldberg’s final fight against Brock Lesnar seems like yet another attempt by a forgotten wrestling superstar to end his career on a high note before going on to win the prestigious WWE Hall of Fame. The Sting did the same when he joined WWE. The former WCW wrestler who stayed away from WWE most of his career finally joined the sports entertainment industry in 2014 at the age of 57.
The result was a washed up, old man, trying to make it big in the ring once again. As much hype he was able to gather, The Sting failed to show his wrestling prowess and fans thanked him when he announced his retirement. He bagged his Hall of Fame trophy and left the ring forever. Goldberg might face the similar reactions as ‘The Icon’.
It is a high possibility that despite all the hype, Goldberg VS Brock Lesnar 2.0 turns out to be a total dud, just like the last time.