KARACHI: Most professional wrestling fans never thought they would get to see this day. However, Bill Goldberg, the star wrestler of the 90s, is set to return next Monday night on Raw, the WWE’s flagship show.
Goldberg’s return came in the wake of a challenge proposed by Brock Lesnar. This week’s Raw saw Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman come out to the ring and challenge Goldberg on behalf of his client. Calling out Goldberg, he mocked him with his own catchphrase and said, “In Suplex City, You are not Goldberg. You’re next!”
Goldberg immediately responded on Twitter that he will answer his challenge next week. “Booking my flight to answer that big mouth Paul Heyman’s challenge next week in person on Monday Night Raw,” he tweeted.
Now it is not a matter of “if” but rather “when” the match takes place as the challenge has been set and there is big money for all parties involved. The match already has a huge buildup because it has been 12 years in making. Goldberg and Lesnar’s only encounter took place at Wrestlemania 20 in 2004. Back then, Goldberg defeated Lesnar.
What should be noted is that the Wrestlemania 20 match was an interesting situation. Both competitors were leaving the WWE at the time and it was well known that this was their last match. Both Lesnar and Goldberg, knowing they were leaving, did not put much of a spectacle that the crowd expected of them, and thus, the match was severely booed. So much so that the guest referee Stone Cold Steven Austin gave both of them a stunner at the end to garner some cheers.
Eight years later, in 2012, Lesnar returned to the WWE after his stint in the UFC. Four years since then and Lesnar has established himself as the most dominant star in the company. On the other hand, Goldberg has not stepped in the WWE ring since, although he has often appeared on the independent wrestling circuit throughout the years.
The past 12 years have seen Goldberg publicly talk about bad blood between the WWE and him. He has previously spoken of how the world’s biggest wrestling promotion resents his success in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), which was the WWE’s rival promotion in the 1990s.
At the same time, the 49-year-old wrestler has often shown desire to fight one more time. Last year, in an interview with Sports Illustrated, he shared his conversation with Paul Levesque, better known by his ring-name Triple H. “I had a conversation with Paul recently and I said, ‘Listen, I’m willing to put everything aside. If you guys want to sit down and make some money and have some fun, then let’s do it. My son wants to see me wrestle, and I’m willing to put all the bad feelings aside.”
This year saw an astonishing development as Goldberg was announced to be part of WWE’s annual video game WWE 2k17. Many fans saw the deal coming through as a huge sign of the things to come. Goldberg’s return was now almost inevitable as this had been the case with other wrestlers who left on bitter terms in the past. One of the most popular wrestlers in the 90s, Ultimate Warrior, returned to the WWE after almost two decades due to the company signing a deal to feature him in the video game in 2014.
Goldberg, who gained popularity in WCW with his undefeated streak of 173 wins, now is set to challenge Lesnar. The bout will most likely take place at Survivor Series which is a dual brand show, with both Raw and Smackdown rosters featured.
Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar, billed as ‘The Beast vs The Myth’ is sure to be a big money match. Here’s hoping the match is better than their previous bout and lives up to the hype.
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