Most of us fans could see this coming from a mile away, but like a train barreling to its destination, could not stop its momentum. Once the WWE has decided on something, as a WWE fan, you just have to go with the flow.
Last night, I enjoyed Wrestlemania 33. The Hardy Boyz return and win of RAW’s Tag Team Championships was amazing, the women of RAW killed it in their fatal four-way match, Seth Rollins’ had his redemption moment in the spotlight, and The Undertaker’s retirement match told a compelling ‘passing of the torch’ story. However, the Brock Lesnar versus Goldberg match disappointed on so many levels.
I respect Bill Goldberg for coming back to the WWE and having a successful run … on paper. I may not be his biggest fan, but I cannot deny his accomplishments in this business. However, I truly believe that he and the WWE powers that be should have had him come back for only one match to hype up the 2K17 game: whether that be for Survivor Series or Wrestlemania – and no title should have been on the line.
Now, the reason (I feel) that fans like Brock Lesnar so much, is because of his power, dominance, and the ability to squash competitors. Maybe Goldberg fits in that grouping too; but last night’s match was not wrestling (nor sports entertainment), not only in moves executed in the ring, but also the story being told.
What exactly was the story about? A few spears, a dozen or so German Suplexes, a Jackhammer, and an F-5? The match itself was ridiculous, but what was even more ridiculous was the fact that Goldberg could barely last more than the few minutes he was scheduled in the ring.
What makes me feel the need to rant so much about this, is the fact that high-level Wrestlemania matches are coveted as it is. The Intercontinental and Cruiserweight Championship matches were shoved in the pre-show to make way for larger scale bouts such as Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar, when the IC and 205 Live matches that could have easily stolen the show and may have been missed by audiences. Not to mention the air time this program received on RAW hyping up the match could have been given to help elevate a superstar (or tag team) that needs it. Further insult to injury, was the fact that the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, The Usos, were placed in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal, and not given a championship match on the card; further lowering the prestige of these titles.
Still, the argument here is that Goldberg versus Lesnar was placed to draw in the casual fan, or perhaps older fans that have fallen off the WWE radar and current storylines. Could this match have drawn them back to television shows? Perhaps, it’s hard to say. The quality of the match itself was terrible, so if I’m a casual fan, would I have thought, “Wow, that Goldberg/Lesnar match makes me want to be a WWE fan again” or perhaps it makes one think, “This is the same crap the WWE fed me years ago, and I’m sick of it”. The company may have hustled some causal fans to tune in with the match, potentially garner numbers for a quarterly report, but might not have achieved anything else when it comes to long-term strategy.
Regardless, I’m not a casual a fan. I’m a loyal fan. And sadly, the Goldberg/Lesnar match left a very poor taste on my mouth. Only silver lining? At 11 p.m. at night, with six hours of Wrestlemania 33 under my belt at that point in time, there was a small part of me that was glad it ended quick and we all could move on.