Goldberg's match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 20 was supposed to be an epic send-off bout for the two major superstars, but the unforgiving crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York thought otherwise.
Lesnar was about to leave the WWE so he could pursue a career in the NFL (it didn't go well, by the way), while Goldberg's contract was expiring after the match. The 18,500 fans knew this, and they constantly booed and heckled Lesnar and Goldberg throughout the match, chanting away "You sold out," "This Match Sucks," "Boring," among others.
In short, the match was a major disaster on what was an otherwise extremely successful WrestleMania event. Lesnar would return to the WWE in 2012 after retiring from the UFC, while Goldberg game back in late 2016 for a short-lived tenure.
So how did it lead to this, and what was chairman Vince McMahon thinking about this match backstage? Former WWE producer Bruce Prichard explained everything on his Something To Wrestle podcast. (h/t WrestlingInc.com).
Prichard explained that Goldberg didn't live up to expectations in the WWE, and it was evident that the fans weren't receiving him well. As such, officials decided to give him a nice send-off match against Lesnar.
Prichard also wouldn't deny how much the match disappointed, though he refused to call it "the worst match" in the history on the Grandest Stage of Them All:
"It was not the worst match in WrestleMania history for f**k's sake. There have been worse matches, but this stunk. Everybody knew it. I watched it in the audience. The air just came out of the Garden. It was just horrible, and both guys were just going through the motions as far as Brock and Goldberg.
The crowd had turned on both, and didn't give a s**t. They were pissed off at both guys," Prichard said. "They were pissed off that Brock and Goldberg weren't sticking around and they just wanted Steve Austin to kick both of their a**es. The only high spot was the stunners in the end. The decision to have Goldberg win was because of a babyface finish. Brock didn't give a s**t."
As for Vince's reaction? We know the man isn't always great at accepting fan criticism, but Prichard suggested that he was handling this WrestleMania disaster just fine.
"Vince's reaction was a non-reaction. He sat there and the next match going in, and just thanked them, and said next," said Prichard. "He didn't sit and have a conversation with them. It was over, and was moving on to the next match."
Luckily for Vicnce and WWE officials, there were five matches that followed after the Lesnar-Goldberg bout. Eddie Guerrero's defeat of Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship stole the show, while the Triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship also won the crowd over.
It's safe to say that Lesnar and Goldberg redeemed themselves with their short lived 2016-17 feud, but the match still burns in the back of the minds of the WWE fans who had to sit through this awful match.