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Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg: Shock Value and Money

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goldberg brock lesnar
Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg 2. WWE dubbed it “fantasy warfare meets reality”. In fact, WWE, as they typically do, beat us over the head with that mantra for weeks upon weeks.

But before we get to that, let’s talk about the Survivor Series and the build up to the match.

Make Survivor Series Great Again

Survivor Series, a 30 year traditional WWE PPV has been more or less viewed as a “B” level PPV for years now. Once one of the “big 4” has become the bastard child of the quartet – arguably not as exciting to current fans as Money in the Bank or possibly even Hell in a Cell depending on who you ask.

survivor series goldberg brock lesnarBut the 2016 Survivor Series received a much-needed shot of adrenaline when the WWE decided that it wanted this show to be relevant once again.

Not only was there huge hype surrounding the Goldberg vs. Lesnar main event, but the WWE scattered brand warfare throughout the show. Titles (and divisions) were up for grabs amongst the two brands and traditional Survivor Series matches took place pitting the two brands against each other.

Unfortunately, I think anti-climactic would best describe most of the show, with the main event being no exception – I’ll get to that in a minute.

The Build Up

Goldberg and Brock Lesnar last faced off in 2004 in an incredibly underwhelming match at WrestleMania 20:

…so, why not have them face off again? This time with Goldberg being absent from the ring for the last 12 years and knocking on the door of age 50.

goldberg son gage

Goldberg with his son, Gage.

With these circumstances in mind, there was quite a bit of speculation on whether or not this would be a one-off deal for Goldberg…

His age being a big factor, as well as Goldberg himself being vocal about this being one last hurrah for the young wrestling fans who needed a hero again… and in order for his family to witness him in the ring for the first time. His 10 year old son, Gage, was not born prior to Goldberg’s hugely successful run with WCW in the late 90s.

But I was certainly not one that believed Goldberg was here for a one-off match; there’s money to be milked out of Goldberg, as has been evidenced by his crowd reactions since his return… notwithstanding that painfully awkward Raw promo where Heyman desperately (and very unsuccessfully) tried to get Lesnar’s home town Minneapolis crowd to boo him:

“The Fantasy Match”

Now we have the match itself. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the video below. And don’t bother going to grab a beer or a sandwich first, because by the time you get back from the kitchen, the match will be over.

At the conclusion of what was barely longer than a Vine video, the first thought that popped into my mind is that WWE was going for pure shock value.

This certainly wouldn’t be the first time the WWE booked something to be polarizing with intentions of it going viral…

In fact, you don’t have to go any further than Brock Lesnar’s last match… remember that one? That would be the one where he won by TKO after legitimately beating company stalwart Randy Orton to a bloody pulp at the conclusion of this years SummerSlam. Here, let me refresh your memory:

The Quick Finish

A lot of traditionalists are understandably not thrilled with the outcome of the Survivor Series main event. Many thought Brock Lesnar’s “rub” should go to someone of the new generation…

goldberg beats lesnar

Goldberg beats Lesnar at the 2016 Survivor Series… in under 2 minutes… clean. photo:

Instead, WWE decided that a 49 year old who has been away for over a decade should go over The Beast who has reigned supreme over their entire roster – in under 2 minutes. Clean.

A questionable move to say the very least, and you have to wonder if WWE had any concerns for how this makes the rest of their talent pool perceived.

But “the rub” from Lesnar in this match may not matter, because if you ask this blogger, this is all part of a larger plan…

Goldberg’s Not Going Away Anytime Soon

After viewing the 90 second dismantling of The Beast Incarnate at the Survivor Series, it’s obvious that WWE still sees value (i.e. money) in Goldberg.

wrestlemania 33

Strong rumors suggest that Goldberg is booked for both the 2017 Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 33 in Orlando.

Surfacing almost immediately after Sunday night’s show were reports that there is much more in store for both Goldberg and this feud. As of now it appears that Goldberg is booked for both the 2017 Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 33 in Orlando.

There is also much speculation that it was actually Brock Lesnar himself that pined for this result – believing that a third installment in this series would be best for business. If this is the case, it certainly makes sense to have Goldberg win the second match in convincing fashion. It prolongs the feud, it generates more hype, and that my friends, equals dollar signs… it is the wrestling business after all.

Business aside, many reports are also stating that WWE had legitimate fear of Goldberg being seriously injured if the match lasted longer than a few minutes. The guy is almost 50 after all, and hasn’t been in the ring in over a decade. It will be interesting to see how this gets factored into the equation if/when a third match takes place.

WWE taking a page out of the UFC’s Book

brock lesnar ufc

It’s been pretty obvious as of late, specifically with Brock, that WWE seems to be taking notes from the UFC. photo: Jason Bean / Las Vegas Review-Journal

Vince McMahon would likely pummel me worse than Lesnar did Orton for saying this, but one interesting take away from the Survivor Series main event is that it’s evident that the WWE is attempting to capitalize on the style of the more popular UFC.

And what better way to do this than with a former UFC star in his own right.

Some may disagree, but both the succinctness and capriciousness when it comes to Brock Lesnar’s matches is as unconventional of an element we’ve seen in WWE programming since the days of the Attitude era.

If you’re still not convinced, then just look at the Brock Vs. Orton match one more time and then come back here to admit that I’m right.

What’s Next?

Although it’s an interesting storyline amongst the mess that is current WWE programming, it’s difficult not to be underwhelmed with the two matches that these legends have had thus far.

brock lesnar paul heyman

WrestleMania 33 is very likely to feature Goldberg vs. Brock round 3. Does Goldberg stand a chance? photo: bleacher report

Taking everything into context, it’s easy to predict where WWE plans on going from here.

The ending of this trilogy being seemingly inevitable – Brock redeems himself at ‘Mania next year. What would be the advantage to the alternative? Brock Lesnar’s aura taking a hit with a loss against a guy who hasn’t been around in over a decade and is 50 years old? That doesn’t make sense from a business perspective.

Then again, was anyone really expecting the Survivor Series main event to last less than two minutes? Maybe we’re in for another swerve.

Call Goldberg vs. Brock part 2 what you will, call it a disappointment, or anti-climatic as I liked to put it. I will say that the unpredictable nature is certainly something that the WWE has been missing for several years now. Then again, maybe I would sing a different tune if I coughed up $100+ for a good seat to the Survivor Series.

What did you think of Goldberg Vs. Brock Lesnar at the Survivor Series? Sound off in the comments section below!

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