Fastlane is over, and we have a new WWE Universal Champion going into Wrestlemania 33, and his name is Goldberg.
Goldberg. The 50 year old part-time wrestler who had, before this match began, about 5 minutes of ring time in the last 13 years, and most of that was in the Royal Rumble.
Based on that, the general assumption was that we were going to get another very quick match, and Goldberg would emerge victorious.
And we weren’t wrong.
22 seconds. That’s how long tonight’s main event went for, bell to bell. Sure, there were a few minutes of shenanigans with Kevin Owens jumping out of the ring multiple times, and the entrances took 5 minutes, so the match FELT longer, but in terms of an actual wrestling match, we got 22 seconds. Owens yelled at the referee to ring the bell, Chris Jericho’s music hit, the bell rings, Spear/Jackhammer, pin.
AND NEW WWE Universal Champion, Goldberg!
Cue the outrage.
Now, I’m on board with some of the negative opinions. I don’t like that yet again we have part time wrestlers main eventing Wrestlemania, and this year it’s in fact both participants in the Universal Championship match, not just one putting over a younger full time wrestler. I think it’s got to get under the full time wrestlers’ skin. They work so hard for the entire year, live events, weekly shows, media, interational tours, and then when it comes to the biggest stage WWE has, someone who has had 5 minutes actual wrestling in 13 years has the biggest spotlight shone on them. I get that. I agree with that.
But, I’ve given the match some thought (after all, 22 seconds doesn’t take long to process), and I absolutely understand the decision.
Goldberg vs Lesnar is now a bigger match with the Universal title on the line. Not only is it a rematch, not only is it seemingly Lesnar’s last chance for retribution, but now if he does finally beat Goldberg, he becomes “the” champion once again. And like it or not, Brock Lesnar as champion is about as legitimate as the WWE gets.
If Goldberg hadn’t won in the fashion that he did, let alone won at all, imagine how deflating that would be. Brock Lesnar, former UFC champion, former WWE champion, destroyer of “the streak” gets decimated by Goldberg in 90 seconds, but Goldberg can’t beat Kevin Owens? Who, is great, but, let’s face it, he’s not Brock Lesnar. If the squash didn’t happen, it makes both Goldberg and Brock Lesnar look way worse than Goldberg squashing Owens (with Jericho’s help) makes Owens look.
Chris Jericho distracting Kevin Owens also perfectly sets up what will probably be the show-stealing match at Wrestlemania this year. Now, not only does Jericho want revenge for Kevin Owens turning on him, but Owens now has the added motivation of Jericho costing him his championship. I’m guessing they’ll also put the United States Championship on the line, because, why not right?
You may not like the way things are going, you might not like yet another part timer heading into Wrestlemania as champion, and I’m right there with you, but hopefully you can understand the booking, and see that now we have two HUGE matches coming out of this one disappointment.
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