After Elimination Chamber, I had hopes for WWE. I really did. John Cena was eliminated early, and the match came down to AJ Styles and Bray Wyatt. And for once, I was surprised by an outcome–WWE put the strap on the Eater of Worlds and it felt like there was a definite shift in direction. But last night, as Monday Night Raw put on the most useless pay-per-view of the year a mere four weeks from WrestleMania, Vince McMahon took a gold-plated dump in our collective mouths.
On paper, having Bill Goldberg come back seems like a fairy tale dream. Right up there with Chris Benoit being tossed into the WWE Hall of Fame. But upon closer scrutiny you see the endless laundry list of problems with this sort of thing. Goldberg is 50 years old and he just won the biggest title in the company. And he’s headed to WrestleMania to face Brock Lesnar, whom is almost 40 years old. Why on earth have these two old men hijacked the biggest wrestling event of the year?
The booking at Fastlane was terrible. Owens came in and out of the ring, walked around the apron, talked trash and delayed the bell ring. When the previous match of Bayley and Charlotte was still going on at 10:50, we all knew some sort of bullshit was coming. When Owens finally got in the ring after wasting our time for five minutes, Chris Jericho’s music hit, the bell rung and then one spear and a jackhammer later, Owens had lost his title.
There was no reason for Goldberg to have a title when facing Lesnar. There was no reason why the inevitable Owens vs Jericho match at Mania couldn’t have been for a title. Instead, Owens vs Jericho is a mostly useless fight, and we now have two old-timers fighting for the Universal Title. One thing for certain that Fastlane did set up was leaving no doubt that Smackdown Live is the better brand, hands down.
Granted, maybe ten or eleven years ago, this might have worked. When Goldberg came to WWE from WCW, this might have been the angle they should have used. But he hasn’t wrestled in 12 years. Then he comes back and “beats” the biggest monster in the company in less than two minutes. Then goes on to “beat” Kevin Owens in less than 30 seconds. Professional wrestling constantly asks us to suspend disbelief, but come on. This is getting a little ridiculous now.
It’s the same formula WWE always desperately goes back to. They recruit gladiators from the Attitude Era and Monday Night Wars and neuter them, parading them around on a leash, and continue watering down our memories of days gone by. Let’s bring back The Undertaker for another year to be embarrassed on live TV as he’s carried through a match gasping for air and spending half the match on his back. Let’s bring back Ric Flair to put over his daughter’s opponent while standing in the middle of the ring red-faced and crying. Let’s bring back The Rock to put over his cousin only to have them both get booed out of the Royal Rumble. Rinse and repeat. And let’s not even mention the epic tragedy of Sting’s WWE “career.”
It is utterly baffling why Vince McMahon and the WWE are so terrified of their young talent. They aren’t prepared to take a chance or push younger guys. It has been that way for a very long time. There are guys (and girls) on the roster that other promotions would kill to have as their champion just being squandered and wasting away into obscurity. We could have a fresh, revitalized WrestleMania with amazing young talent. But instead, valuable ring time is going to be stolen by HHH, Goldberg, Lesnar, and The Undertaker. These guys all had their heydays. They’ve been in the spotlight. News flash, Vince: you aren’t “Showcasing Immortals.” You are cramming the same tired crap down our throats, risking the life and limb of the athletes who should have long since retired from active competition.
They used to call WrestleMania “The Granddaddy of Them All” and that’s never been more true than it is now. Most of these guys are old enough to have grandchildren and frankly, it’s getting a little hard to tune in every year to the same old tripe. I mean, Goldberg has a solid white goatee and white chest hair for crying out loud. Sad times.
Jamie Curtis Baker
Disclaimer: I was in a bad mood when I wrote this so reader discretion advised. Read at your own risk.
Our constant readers may have noticed that the F2H family failed to post their usual live review articles about Smackdown Live’s No Mercy and last night’s Monday Night Raw. Have we lost faith in Vince McMahon’s promotion? Are we bored with the product? I’ll answer your question with a question: does a bear shit in the woods? In this instance, the bear is Sean Waltman and the woods is Rena Lesnar’s luggage; and the answer is an emphatic yes.
While on the surface the No Mercy pay-per-view seemed like a solid venture, when you scrutinize it even a little bit, the entire show folds like a wet house of cards. Here is a short list of some of the more cringe-worthy moments of the show. The pre-show featured Jerry Lawler awkwardly flirting and eye-fucking Nikki Bella, a 4-team tag match (overkill in any scenario) that included The Acesnsion, and Curt Hawkins big debut that was only a declaration by him that he would have a match on Tuesday.
Prior to the show, WWE announced the “main event” triple-threat would go on first to start the show, essentially confirming WWE’s lack of confidence in their own product, being fearful that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would pull viewers and bomb their PPV. Although the triple-threat was a decent match, it still featured yet another John Cena title attempt, grasping for the coveted Ric Flair record; and Dean Ambrose in the main event picture, a man with no charism, character evolution, or ability to carry a promotion as either a heel or babyface. And while AJ Styles put on a great outing, I am still watching him on NJPW every week on AXS-TV and his crimped style with WWE is nowhere near his best work in a ring.
No Mercy also featured Nikki Bella utilizing the antiquated 50/50 booking style of WWE in order to beat Carmella. Speaking of the women, Becky Lynch was suddenly injured and not competing. So we saw Naomi not only wrestle but defeat Alexa Bliss. Both finishes were weak and did nothing at all for the losers while barely giving a boost to the winners. The third women’s match of the night was between Jack Swagger and Baron Corbin. Yeah, I said it. Why is this on a pay-per-view? Nobody cares!
The highlight of the night was Dolph Ziggler and The Miz. This was an excellent match and the best on the entire card. Nothing to complain about here. The main event was Randy Orton taking on Bray Wyatt. Oh great, two of the weakest in-between heel/face chimeras in the entire company. Wyatt has strewn together infinitely more losses than wins. And Orton has been a watered down version of himself ever since returning from injury. The build to this match was terribly dis-interesting. And the big “twist” finish was a Luke Harper run in. This ended a pay-per-view in 2016.
Skip ahead to Monday Night Raw and now we’re really swimming out to the deep end with no life preservers. We’re talking about a show that surprisingly opened with Sasha Banks and Charlotte declaring they were having a rematch INSIDE Hell in a Cell. This was a groundbreaking moment…that was immediately cut short by Rusev interrupting. He insults both of them, along with all women’s wrestling (as does Lana) and hijacks what should have been an epic segment. Then Roman Reigns comes out and further buries the angle. Then, in all of Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley’s jaded wisdom, they put Charlotte on a team with Rusev against the team of Banks and Reigns. Despite Rusev belittling Charlotte, she now gets the “honor” of being his tag team partner.
Do you know why this segment happened? Because Kevin Dunn (a guy that probably has twenty Donald Trump signs in his yard) objectifies women and probably doesn’t think they can carry a moment on their own. They needed big, strong men to come out and bolster their credibility. “Nobody is going to buy women in the Cell! We need men to put it over!” Nevermind the fact that when you have a match with Roman Reigns, Rusev, Charlotte, Lana, and Sasha Banks, the only goddamn babyface in the entire thing is Banks. Reigns is not a face! But WWE continues to try and pair him with any one in order to try and persuade the crowd to oh and ah over him.
Then we have a match between Kofi Kingston and Cesaro. The big angle here is Sheamus sits ringside and tweets during the match. Oh, just brilliant fucking television. Really helps sell Cesaro and Sheamus as a team and absolutely helps make New Day look strong. *vomits in mouth, down onto Ultimate Warrior t-shirt*
Bayley comes out and wrestles Cami Fields. Who? Exactly. She beats a jobber and then gets attacked from behind by Dana Brooke (wearing a way-too-tight outfit) and then Brooke just stands there awkwardly like Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights when he doesn’t know what to do with his hands. Brilliant. There were four horsewomen in NXT. Becky has the Smackdown Women’s Title. Sasha and Charlotte are breaking new ground fighting for the Raw Women’s Title. Meanwhile, Bayley is given about two minutes against someone named Cami Fields. Just a real career booster for her. Good job, Vince!
The newly formed Cruiserweight Division continues to get its legs cut out from underneath it as WWE, despite having three hours of television, just keeps hitting us with Cruiserweight tag-team matches. We get Tony Nese and Drew Gulak against Sin Cara and Lince Dorado. Without fanfare, Sin Cara is now suddenly in the division. Dorado spends the whole match carrying Sin Cara before picking up the win. According to Kevin Dunn and Vince McMahon, there are only two Cruiserweights named T.J. Perkins and Brian Kendrick. Anybody who isn’t them will just be the bathroom break match on Raw.
Then we come back from commercial to find Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas in the ring. Oh boy! That’ll really boost the ratings! Luckily we are saved by Enzo Amore and Big Cass. But before we can even see them wrestle, they are attacked by The Club. So let me get this straight. Cesaro and Sheamus, a team thrown together two weeks ago get to face New Day, but two of the top three tag teams on Raw have a segment with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel? Then WWE hits us with a bullshit 4-team tag at a PPV the night before? Why not save the multi-team matches for actual talent? I’d definitely watch New Day vs Enzo and Cass vs The Club any day.
Oh, but that segment isn’t even over. After The Club and Enzo and Cass leave, Axel and Dallas are still competing! They demand a team! So we have to suffer through not only them in a match, but a hastily thrown together Sami Zayn and Neville tag-team. Is Teddy Long running creative all of a sudden? We’ve had five matches so far and four of them have featured tag teams! Brilliant! I’m just as baffled as Vince as to why the ratings continue to tank. Fuck you, McMahon.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, we then are “treated” to a match between R-Truth and Titus O’Neal thrown together, on the premise, and I shit you not, of Truth trying to give O’Neal’s favorite candy bar to another wrestler. Now, while I can appreciate both men as they have skill and could be great if pushed properly (yeah right, as if that would ever happen), they certainly should not be in a match facing each other. Why, you might ask? Because they have a combined age of fucking 83. R-Truth is in his mid-forties and Titus is 39. This is not a live-TV match. This is not something you expose people to and then try to laugh off the sliding ratings to the board of directors. In simple terms, this is not a match you put on TV if you want people to take what you do seriously.
Backstage segment with Perkins and Kendrick showcasing the 50/50 booking again. I won’t even elaborate on any of that. Braun Strowman then squashes the “Splash Brothers” (who look like a Sheamus and Xavier Woods cosplay couple) and then asks Foley for stronger competition. If only Braun could be what he’s asking for: better talent. He has become a spectacle much like Big Show, Kane, and The Great Kahli before him. Vince will take a giant, twist and contort them, and turn them into a traveling freakshow.
And then the inter-gender match. Holy shit what a waste of time. Rusev and Charlotte against Reigns and Banks. The big creative ending here was Sasha making Charlotte tap to the Bank Statement timed perfectly with Reigns hitting Rusev with a spear. Been there, done that, played all the way out. Then Reigns and Banks stand with their arms in the air, smiling. As if Reigns was suddenly a good guy. Then T.J. Perkins defeated Jinder Mahal. Oh wait, that was Ariya Daivari. Another useless squash match doing nothing for anybody, including the viewers.
The main event was Seth Rollins versus Chris Jericho. Alright, I really can’t complain about this if I’m being fair and unbiased. It was a great match, highlight of the night for me. My only real gripe is that Jericho has main-evented a shit ton of Raw’s this year and did so again last night. Yes, Jericho is awesome. And his work these past few weeks with Kevin Owens has really been the crutch that has saved Raw from swirling into a black hole from wince there is no return. That being said, Jericho is older than both R-Truth and Titus O’Neal. Is the best WWE can do is to have a 45-year-old in the main event? Does that sound bonkers to anyone else? It says a lot about how incredibly talented and what great shape Y2J is in; but it also speaks volumes about how weak WWE thinks their own product is.
They don’t trust their youngers guys to do the job. They don’t have faith or confidence in their roster. And this is true across the board. Both Raw and Smackdown suffer from this inability to pull the trigger on younger talent. The result is getting a 39-year-old John Cena in a main event trying to get another world title. When is WWE going to move on? They speak of a new era and yet continue hitting us with out-to-pasture talent. Now the big hyped up sell is a potential match between Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg, a match about fifteen years too late between two men with a combined age of 88. Granted, both men are genetic anomalies (Lesnar more so on the chemically enhanced side) and will probably look great. But the point being is that WWE continues to live in the past. And the WWE Universe seems nostalgic to days gone by.
That’s why Sasha Banks gets a pop for mentioning Eddie Guerrero. That’s why Charlotte gets a “Woooooooooo!” every single time she mentions her dad. WWE doesn’t do anything to make their current talent relevant. They are censored and limited and forced to get over by mentioning long since retired or dead Superstars. It’s a vicious cycle all the way around. Fear, uncertainty, doubt; it all mixes together to make WWE unsure of their talent, the talent unsure of their place, and the fans unsure of why they should even give two shits about any of it. There are so many problems to list but I’m just one man and this article is already absurdly long. I have a love/hate relationship with WWE. It’s a frustrating partnership because I see the potential of what this company could be. As a kid I watched wrestling. Then I grew up. But wrestling never did. It plateaued and in some instances took a step back.
You can blame the break of kayfabe. You can blame the dirt sheets. You can blame the internet. You can even blame Vince for bringing too many promotions together and “killing the biz.” It doesn’t matter what the cause was. The effect is what truly matters, and in this case the effect is mediocre, unfulfilling, lazy, and often boring professional wrestling. CM Punk said it best: “Vince McMahon is a millionaire who should be a billionaire.” The reason why he isn’t is that the wrestling experience he presents is no longer thrilling to a certain extent. We demand more but WWE keeps coming up short. Smackdown Live is on tonight and we won’t be doing a live review for that either. If they want us to write something, they need to give us something worthwhile to write about. Until then, let the onslaught begin.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
It was rumored for the past few months that we might see Brock Lesnar taking on Bill Goldberg at WrestleMania next year. It would seem now that the timetable on that has been drastically pushed forward and we might see the match-up before the end of this year.
Infamous Dave Meltzer recently said on Wrestling Observer Radio that Goldberg was in negotiations with WWE for an in-ring return, and that possibly the contract had already been drawn up. And former WWE Hall of Fame commentator Jim Ross stated on his own podcast that the idea of Lesnar versus Goldberg was being seriously discussed by WWE and was something they were very interested in accomplishing soon. He later tweeted: “Another source says that Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar is a done deal and that it will likely go down at Survivor Series. If true, bravo WWE.”
In August, Lesnar told What Culture, “If Bill Goldberg has the balls to step back in the ring with me…..where you at? Where are ya? Let’s go.” Of course, neither Lesnar or Goldberg are commenting. Goldberg teased on Twitter that you never know what rumors you can believe online with the hashtag Who’s Next. It should be noted that Goldberg had surgery on both knees a few months ago, so he may not even be physically ready for Survivor Series.
Whatever WWE has in store for the former undefeated (173-0) WCW mega star, it would seem inevitable that Goldberg would clash with Lesnar. That’s Vince McMahon’s wet dream. We will continue to monitor the story and provide further updates as more rumors and/or news comes in.
You can check out Goldberg on SportsCenter tonight with Jonathan Coachman on the “Off The Top Rope” segment. Maybe he will let some details slip or give us a teaser. Survivor Series will be next month in Toronto, Canada.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
The WWE recently Dr. Frankenstein-ed Hulk Hogan’s corpse to host Wrestlemania XXX. Last Monday, they called in all sorts of favors with Lucifer to get Ric Flair a reprieve so he could come out on RAW looking like a burnt red pepper husk. Creative, in an effort to always stay fresh by bringing back ancient wrestling relics–let’s face it, Batista looks old and winded every time a match is over–looked at their dusty yearbook and thought “Who’s next?” and decided to bring back someone for their ten year reunion. According to rumors and speculation (which by all accounts we can take mostly as facts since WWE can’t keep their mouth shut to save their life), Bill Goldberg is supposed to be back in action sometime in the near future.
It’s been a decade since we last saw this once unstoppable force, but let’s be honest here, he really hasn’t been relevant since December 1998 when he got his first lost to Kevin Nash and broke his official 173-0 streak. Once Goldberg encountered his first loss, we all sort of gave up interest. During the Invasion storyline, he tried to jumpstart his career again with WWE, but it never really came to fruition and he left the company in 2004. So why exactly should we care about a Goldberg return? Well, to put it bluntly, we probably shouldn’t. It seems like just another cheap ploy for WWE to rally the Universe into caring about their upcoming pay-per-views. For the past four years, Goldberg has been the host of Garage Mahal–a show about basically sprucing up people’s garages–on the DIY Network, so clearly he is ready to perform and shouldn’t have any problems with being slow and boring. (Did you all sense my eyes rolling when I typed that?)
Don’t get me wrong, I love as much as anyone when the Superstars I grew up with come back to fire me up. When Stone Cold’s glass broke at WM30, I about lost my mind. And when that was followed up with ‘If Ya Smellllllll…’ it was like being fourteen again. But the truth is, some of these guys look old, they feel old, and worst of all, they stick to the same tired gimmicks that were old when we last saw them. The WWE has too much young talent to keep pimping these dinosaurs onto us. I get it, the past is supposed to pass the torch, essentially allowing the younger generation to get the hype they deserve. That’s all fine and well, but it should only happen once. Hogan did his torch passing with The Rock at Wrestlemania 18. We didn’t need to see him come out twelve years later and try to be a crutch for John Cena against Bray Wyatt. (Side note: Cena can’t be helped when it comes to pitting him against Wyatt because Bray owns the mic, the ring, the world.) This whole “Once In A Lifetime!” gimmick is a great pitch, but the old guys never stick to just one appearance. They come back year after year after year. It’s like the grandmother dying of cancer that you don’t want to visit in the hospital because you don’t want that to be the last image you have of her. I will be haunted forever at the mention of Ultimate Warrior because I had to see him literally hanging on for dear life on his last Raw appearance. My point is this: leave the past in the past. I thought surely with the Undertaker being nailed to a cross and laid to rest, the WWE had turned a corner and could, perhaps, move on into a younger, more energetic future. It seems I was wrong.
But I can’t be the bad guy who just bitches about how little it matters that Goldberg returns. A lot of people are excited by this, and I’m sure some of the other writers on this site are as well. So in the spirit of being a good sport, I will now contemplate what angle Goldberg should use when he comes back and who his potential opponents should be. Despite what my wife says, I can, in fact, be fair and unbiased. (See, I can be diplomatic, honey.) Here is my take on the potential Goldberg return…
First order of business, WHEN should he return? Well, I can genuinely say I don’t think it really matters. He can bust out at SummerSlam if he wants to. The rumors, of course, are that he will possibly return for Wrestlemania 31…eleven months from now. Womp Womp, says the Bakerman. Goldberg is forty-seven years old. He turns forty-eight this year. Should we sit around another year waiting for him to return? The answer is only yes if you want to see Lesnar vs Undertaker all over again. The Undertaker, may he rest in peace, showed us what being old and worn down looks like. I don’t care how in-shape Goldberg is, the body falls apart when the body falls apart. The Rock came back for ONE MATCH last year and suffered a hernia and torn abdominal muscles. And he’s an action star that does most of his own stunts! Bill Goldberg hosts a garage remodeling show. Granted, he does “star” in movies, but nothing that would indicate he isn’t going to look his age in the ring. I say the sooner, the better for Goldberg’s return. Really, I just want to get this over with so we can move on to more exciting storylines. Speaking of that…
Second order of business, WHO should Goldberg fight? Let’s just get this first candidate out of the way as it’s the most obvious. Goldberg should fight Ryback. Don’t back away from this! Stay with me, I beg of you! First of all, Goldberg hasn’t been a big blockbuster name since his undefeated streak came to an end. He shouldn’t come back and just be in the main event, at any pay-per-view, but especially not at Wrestlemania. If he is coming back to only wrestle pay-per-views, then it would make more sense to give him a beef with someone higher up on the card. However, if he is coming back to be a regular performer–and I have to commend Batista for competing week in and week out–then Goldberg’s first angle should clearly be with Ryback. Here’s why. Right off the bat, Ryback and Curtis Axel are a horrible tag-team. Disagree if you want, but I am of the opinion that Axel is a weak wrestler and a stale gimmick. Ryback, love him or not, was put through the ringer last year fighting John Cena and CM Punk. He fought for the world title several times. He was unfairly judged by the WWE Universe from day one. The “Gold-berg!” chants started almost immediately and didn’t give Ryback a chance from the get-go. Having Goldberg acknowledge this and even jumpstart his beef using this would be ideal for the WWE. It would be even more of a benefit to Ryback in the long run if they had Goldberg put him over in a convincing way. If Ryback broke away from Axel and then scored a victory over Goldberg, it would go a long way towards putting him back into the Universe’s good. Ryback is a monster and deserves a shot. But instead he stands in Goldberg’s shadow and his career won’t advance if he can’t turn the “Gold-berg!” chants into “Ry-back!” chants. Taking this approach would keep Creative from over-thinking Goldberg’s return by shoving him somewhere he doesn’t belong–like, say, immediately sticking him in a WWE World Heavyweight title match (ahem, BATISTA).
My second possible matchup is the Bulgarian Brute, Alexander Rusev only because, well, why not? Rusev is massive. He’s strong and fast, just like Goldberg. . .is? (we know he was, but it’s yet to be seen what sort of impact he has) I can picture Goldberg going for his legendary–and arguably the best ever–spear only to have Rusev block it with a barefoot kick. These two could have a big-time heavyweight bout where they just go at each other. This may not be possible however due to Rusev being still very much a rookie. Good luck even selling that matchup to Goldberg. Plus Rusev’s recent beef with Xavier Woods and R-Truth seems to be an angle nobody is interested in seeing (or is that just me?) and is honestly an unbelievable storyline that has sort of killed the big man’s momentum. It could be done though, especially if Rusev feigns ignorance at knowing who Goldberg is or what he’s accomplished. If they approach it as Rusev just wants to fight this big guy, he could hold his own while still giving Goldberg a win. They could even go the rout of Goldberg trying to get with Lana and telling her, “Don’t you know who I am?” only to have her order Rusev to crush him. This is not the most appealing matchup though, so let’s move on.
There is always the possibility of Triple H pulling Goldberg into Evolution. (Oh…did you hear that collective hiss from the WWE Universe when I said that?) Bear in mind, the original Evolution was four members. Recently, Flair sided with The Shield in their beef with Evolution. If Goldberg came back–and he’d have to come back immediately, not wait until next year’s ‘mania–Triple H could snatch him up. This would give Goldberg the credit he possibly deserves from past accolades, but could still put him on the back burner just enough to not have him crammed down our throats. Then they could possibly have Batista and Goldberg win the Tag Team titles. Think about that possibility….I smell dollar signs. Let’s not kid ourselves, the current Tag Team Division is mid-carders at best. And before you all start sending me hate mail, keep in mind that WWE recently gave the titles to the New Age Outlaws, aka the Old Age Oudated. Adding a fourth member to Evolution gives all the babyface characters another obstacle to overcome and it makes the prospect of the inevitable breakup of Evolution even that much sweeter. If Triple H eventually has to square off against Orton, Batista, AND Goldberg in a fatal four-way, well that makes for a bigger pay-per-view payday. The Shield has seen it all and done it all, but can they match their muscle against Goldberg and his new friends? This angle is somewhat problematic though as Triple H has had altercations with Goldberg in the past, both in fictional storylines and real life as well. Could Triple H swallow his pride and bury the hatchet? He’d have to ask his wife first, but I don’t think so. However, if Triple H keeps on with the trend of being the ultimate heel asshole–a role he plays flawlessly unapologetic–then it would not surprise me in the least bit if he snatched up the next cash cow simply because he can.
I should do an honorable mention at this point. That being, of course, Goldberg versus The Undertaker. Sadly, Brock Lesnar made this an impossible matchup. If Goldberg had retired from wrestling with his undefeated streak intact, I get goosebumps imagining a Streak vs Streak matchup for the end all, be all. One last match for both men with Goldberg ending The Streak while keeping his streak intact. Unfortunately for all of us, this is some alternate universe, what-if type shit that will never be possible. Fun to think about though. As my esteemed colleague, Ross Huggins, pointed out to me, Goldberg was a very serious character while he was with WCW and the staff at WWE has shown in the past that they are unable to handle such a straight-forward, no non-sense type of character. The similarities between Goldberg and Lesnar–especially if Goldberg comes back to just do part-time work–are close enough to make a Goldberg return seemingly pointless; and not to mention a Goldberg vs Lesnar angle frustratingly pointless. WWE is really going to have to yank something out of their ass to make this comeback interesting and relevant. Any takers on whether or not they can pull it off? My money is leaning towards probably not. Time will tell. But speaking of Paul Heyman guys, we have another candidate to consider.
The idea of Cesaro versus Goldberg is very appealing to me. Cesaro has shown that pound for pound he might be the strongest guy in the WWE. He has picked up Big Show and Mark Henry with relative ease. That is not something very many Superstars have on their resume. As I mentioned with Rusev, Cesaro is new and could take the approach of being unimpressed with what Goldberg has done in the past. And Cesaro is riding the well placed arrogance of winning the inaugural Andre the Giant Battle Royale. Plus you throw in Paul Heyman utterly destroying Goldberg on the mic and maybe even possibly involving this current Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter (and for whatever reason RVD) beef to the mix, it makes for a hell of a matchup. If the powers-that-be allow us the greatness that is CM Punk to return, then this whole thing gets taken to another level. This might seem like a disappointing idea, but after seeing Cesaro throw the Big Show out at Wrestlemania 30, I for one am anxious to see what the future holds for this young wrestler. Cesaro is constantly billed as a throwback wrestler, so why not have him tangle with a hero of the past?
My last nomination(s) for this Goldberg return would have to be Big E Langston and Roman Reigns, respectively. I am clumping them together because they are similar wrestlers. Both are big and incredible fast for their size. Reigns is an obvious choice as he utilizes the spear as one of his big moves. Imagine a scene where he goes in for the Superman Punch and Goldberg does something similar and they just collide in the middle of the ring. This might be problematic though if they try to give us Goldberg in a babyface package. The Shield’s recent turn will probably last for quite a long time as it seems to be getting a huge pop from the fans (as most everything The Shield does usually will). Although a babyface versus babyface angle could be done, I speak for most of us when I say no thanks. And I don’t want Reigns breaking away from Shield to face Goldberg alone. So I’ll just table that idea without further discussion. Big E has proven that he can do some fine in-ring work. He is massive and extremely powerful. He would make for a compelling opponent to Goldberg. But he’d have to vanquish the IC Title merely for the simple fact that Vince McMahon would never in a million years have Goldberg come back just to go after the IC Title. It’s possible Big E is dropping the title at Extreme Rules this Sunday anyway, as it’s been rumored that Vince has always had big aspirations for Wade Barrett. Big E isn’t great on mic work and neither was Goldberg from what I can recall. So just let these two behemoths keep their traps shut and battle with their fists in the ring.
There’s my list, or at least, that’s all I really care to discuss on the possibility. Goldberg coming back just really isn’t all that “groundbreaking” to me. I’d rather see a Dolph Ziggler push or unification of the IC Title and the US Title, or even a segment where Damien Sandow dresses as Mystique. (How horrible was that Magneto segment with Hugh Jackman? Oy vey!) I’d rather see The Golbergs come back for season two on ABC than to see Bill Golberg return to the ring. One quick note, lest we forget, Kevin Nash did make a somewhat awkward appearance at the Royal Rumble this year. If he could get into better shape, Goldberg versus Big Sexy in a rematch for breaking his streak could be sort of interesting, albeit recycled, but WWE loves to beat a dead horse into the ground. I can only hope that if Goldberg returns, we see a hilarious moment with Gillberg. That was honestly one of my favorite comedy shticks that WWE has ever done. I just don’t want to see Goldberg come back to fight John Cena. Or go one-on-one with Randy “The Legends Killer” Orton. And most definitely not get thrown in a match with Daniel Bryan who will hopefully still be the champ by then. A Goldberg return, although unnecessary, could be done in the right light and with due respect without compromising Goldberg’s legacy with WCW.
Before I go, I would like to issue a warning to Goldberg: don’t come back and be an asshole. Batista on his first night back made the WWE Universe hate him by being a prick. Come back as an aggressive bad ass, but do not for one second think you are coming back to the same WWE you left. The Universe has a voice and they will cut you down and make you irrelevant with the slightest provocation. Come back, do your thing, and allow us to embrace you. Then quickly fade away and go back to making movies with Jean-Claude van Damme and wait on your Hall of Fame nomination (which if you know Triple H will probably never come) before we see you again.