KARACHI: Shock is the only word that could describe the WWE fans’ reaction when Goldberg pinned Brock Lesnar in mere 85 seconds at Survivor Series. The match, which was in the making for 12 years, ended in what was, by no means, a spectacle that the fans wanted or needed.
It’s not that the shock factor has never been done before. It is that when one does it, it needs to be justified and in line with the narrative one is producing. Kane defeated Chavo Guerrero at Wrestlemania XXIV in 11 seconds to win the now-defunct ECW Championship. That did not enrage people because the match was not in the main event and the buildup to the match was not 12 years long so one did not expect a lot from it.
The rivalry of Goldberg and Lesnar called for a redemption storyline for the latter. However, what the audience got was an 85 second squash match, interestingly mirroring Goldberg’s peak days in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), when he squashed tens of opponents in seconds.
While the WWE Universe recovers from the shock and disbelief, it is still not early to say that they were robbed. They were robbed of a match that promised to deliver on all fronts and be a spectacle of violence and quality storytelling.
It has only been a few hours but the outcome has set the internet on fire. Many argue that the WWE got what they wanted: surprise the audience by being unpredictable and get people talking. If so, they succeeded. But not all the attention is a positive thing.
WCW attracted a ton of attention when they put the title on Hollywood actor David Arquette in the 90s. But that move is cited as pivotal in their demise. Although WWE is here to stay long, this one-and-a-half minute match is not to be considered a high note, but rather a disappointment.
It also leaves a stain in Lesnar’s legacy. It is unbelievable for an average fan that the man who ended the Undertaker’s 21 year undefeated Wrestlemania streak, bloodied John Cena and Randy Orton single-handedly, and could not be beaten for over two years, was beaten by a 49-year-old wrestler, who hasn’t wrestled in 12 years, in less than two minutes. All it took to down the Beast was two Spears and a Jackhammer.
It is funny to note that in a special show of NXT, WWE’s developmental ground, four guys in a tag team match – The Revival vs Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa – delivered a five-star match, while the match between the top two guys closing the 30th annual Survivor Series match left people in a disappointment.
Interestingly, in an update, Pro Wrestling Sheet, an online wrestling dirt sheet, has learned that Goldberg has inked a deal to appear at the upcoming Royal Rumble in January 2017. That makes it clear the rivalry is set to continue.
If Goldberg participates in the annual Royal Rumble match, it drags the redemption storyline until Wrestlemania 33. And in a classic WWE move, Lesnar will likely cost Goldberg the Rumble match and then go on to defeat him at the Grandest Stage of Them All, which is a rehash of the exact same 2004 story line between the two, except a tweaked result.
It must be said that the two heavyweights weren’t expected to deliver a technical masterpiece but no one expected a two-minute long demolition of Lesnar. Their last bout at Wrestlemania 20 left a bad taste in people’s mouth; this wasn’t any different.
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