Bill Goldberg is back in WWE, and Brock Lesnar is next
- Mike Mooneyham
Bill Goldberg, one of the most dominant performers of the Monday Night War era, made it official last week on Raw when he accepted Paul Heyman’s challenge to come back for one more match.
It’s against the same opponent he defeated more than 12 years ago in his final WWE bout. The high-profile match has been signed for the Survivor Series pay-per-view on Nov. 20 in Toronto, Canada.
No doubt crowds will chant “Gold-berg … Gold-berg” as their hero spears his adversary and finishes him off with his aptly named jackhammer.
Only one problem. That formidable foe will be Brock Lesnar, the most intimidating competitor in not only the wrestling business, but in combat sports in general. And while Goldberg holds a 1-0 edge in their series, he has been out of the business for nearly 13 years and at age 49 is 10 years older than Lesnar.
But the overriding factor is that this match is bound to draw big money for a company that is in need of a fresh, high-profile collision between two of pro wrestling’s biggest names over the past two decades.
Heyman, Lesnar’s advocate, did his usual stellar job in putting over the bout as a dream match. Calling out Goldberg two weeks ago on Raw, he mocked him with his own catchphrase and said, “In Suplex City, You are not Goldberg. You’re next!”
While Goldberg’s return came as a surprise to some, many insiders have long speculated that it was a matter of when, not if, the former WCW and WWE champion came back for one more run. Goldberg has been teasing a return to WWE ever since he left the company more than a decade ago. Not so much for the fame or fortune, which he has enjoyed plenty of both, or even to bring a sense of closure to his wrestling career after ending it on a sour note.
What drove him to finally come back for a final match was his long-standing desire for his 10-year-old son to see his dad wrestle live for the very first time on a big stage.
“I got a generation of kids who don’t know who the hell I am except for looking online,” Goldberg told ESPN. “The biggest thing about being a wrestler, and being Goldberg, gave me was the ability to be a superhero to kids.”
That sentiment isn’t just for public relations purposes, as Goldberg took his role as a hero in the wrestling business quite seriously. He has always contended that his favorite part of wrestling was his interaction with the younger fans. Part of the reason he soured near the end of his incredible run in WCW was an ill-advised heel turn. It proved to be a temporary blow to his enormous fan base, and Goldberg never forgot.
“I should have never been turned heel — ever. It was disgusting. The reality is that a lot of these bad things that happen in the wrestling business, 90 percent are because of certain people’s egos. There’s no question about that.”
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