After a month or so of buildup, Goldberg and Brock Lesnar finally came face-to-face on Monday night. Of course, because it’s WWE, a phalanx of hapless security guards lined across the ring to separate the two behemoths, an ineffective wall if there ever were one.
With the obvious caveat that pro wrestling is scripted, there were several important storytelling elements in Goldberg’s promo. This was the first time in his return to WWE that he removed his shirt, and revealed himself to be in absolute peak physical condition, which is no small detail considering he’s 49 years old and has been out of the business for over a decade.
Also, in that time off, he apparently learned how to craft a great promo. Who knew? Unlike Brock Lesnar, who, like always, stood there bouncing around while Paul Heyman went through his shtick, Goldberg sold this fight as meaningful. When Heyman tried to distinguish that Lesnar, by virtue of his UFC accomplishments, is a real fighter while Goldberg is “fantasy,” Goldberg ratcheted up the energy even more.
Last night, we saw signs that despite how the match is being sold it might not be a one-off for Goldberg. WWE could have a lot of use for him on other special occasions. Consequently, I like the Jim Ross idea of someone running in and costing Lesnar the match. They have built up Lesnar so strongly that beating him clean is something they’re saving for a performer WWE is really seeking to elevate; they can only wave that wand once, and it won’t be for Goldberg. However, Goldberg shouldn’t lose this match cleanly either if they want to preserve his mystique.
Whatever happens, this is far and away the most intriguing aspect of Survivor Series this Sunday. Your thoughts?