Last night at WWE Survivor Series, shock and awe flooded the Air Canada Centre as Goldberg not only defeated Brock Lesnar in the main event, but in astonishingly quick fashion at 1 minute and 25 seconds. A man pushing 50 years old, after not wrestling in a WWE ring in 12 years, defeated The Beast who beat The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak in less than 2 minutes. The same Beast who has been on a virtually unbeatable winning streak of his own for the past couple of years was squashed in just a couple minutes.
It hasn’t even been 24 hours since the match took place and it continues to stir heavy debate as to whether or not it was the right decision for Goldberg to end Lesnar’s streak. Not only that, but whether or not it was the right decision for Lesnar to lose in such a humiliating manner. Most detractors argue that Lesnar losing in this way wasted the push he sparked from beating The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX. Meanwhile, other fans loved seeing it because of how shocking it was. The WWE Universe has never been this utterly divided on a match’s finish since, well, Brock Lesnar became the 1 in 21-1. Now that Goldberg happened to be the 1 who beat the 1 in 21-1, that begs the question: what’s next? Or, more appropriately, who’s next?
However you ask the question, it is important to know that no matter how you feel about the decision, this was the best scenario that WWE Creative could have possibly devised for the match. To put it cheekily, Goldberg squashing Brock Lesnar was best for business. Seeing just how smart this booking decision was may be hard to see in hindsight, but if we consider the following reasons listed below, we will all understand why this actually was the perfect time and the perfect place for Brock Lesnar’s streak to end.
5. It Was Unpredictable
In an era where fans complain so often that WWE has become so predictable that it is boring, it’s pretty safe to say that no one saw this finish coming. It would’ve been a safe bet to predict a 10-15 minute match booked 50-50 between two powerhouses, but no one could have expected Goldberg to go over Lesnar within two minute’s time. It’s easy to complain when you don’t like the outcome, but you have to at least give WWE credit for booking one of the most shocking conclusions to a match in WWE’s history. It was certainly the most shocking ending to a match since Undertaker’s streak ended. More than anything else, the finish was unpredictable and no matter how you felt about the match’s conclusion, it was far from a boring one. With unpredictability comes excitement for the future and this win for Goldberg leaves the door open for a lot of storyline potential.
4. Played to Goldberg’s Strengths
The formula that made Goldberg such a huge success in WCW to begin with was the fact that he squashed all of his opponents. His schtick was simply this: ring the bell, spear, Jackhammer, Goldberg wins, and the crowd goes nuts. Lather, rinse, and repeat for a 173 match undefeated streak. WCW may have fibbed regarding how many matches he actually won during his streak, but that’s not the point. The point is that Goldberg is at his best when squashing people. His long-winded matches seldom entertained fans as much as his squash matches did. In fact, his previous match with Lesnar from WrestleMania XX stunk up the joint for almost 14 minutes. Last night’s sequel hardly lasted 2 minutes and received a raucous ovation. Plus, rumor has it that Goldberg went in the match injured. It’s better to have the injured guy squash Lesnar quickly instead of aggravating the injury further with a 20 minute contest.
3. Became a Major Talking Point
In today’s day and age, wrestling just isn’t as hot as it used to be. 10-15 years ago, WWE was quite a mainstream commodity that drew enormous crowds and generated global buzz every week. Nowadays, wrestling caters to an extremely niche audience. While still a successful brand, WWE has cooled down in the mainstream realm. However, the finish to last night’s main event helped make WWE the talk of the town for at least the time being. This finish has the entire sports world talking right now. Wrestling fans are talking. Casual fans are talking. Non-wrestling fans are talking about how a supposed UFC badass got decimated in record time by a 50 year old man in his first match in years. And of course, hardcore marks are arguing and losing their minds. For the short term at least, all eyes are on WWE. The question is what will WWE do with this attention? However, they can capitalize in a way that continues to bring in new fans every week from now on.
2. Makes Goldberg “The Man”
Most critics of the match have focused on how much the match made Brock Lesnar look weak, but lets focus instead on how much the match made Goldberg look strong. For 2 years, Lesnar was the big man on WWE’s campus. Now, Goldberg has taken that spot in a dominating upset. We should have enough faith in WWE to know that WWE wouldn’t give such a massive rub to Goldberg if they did not think they could benefit in some way. Surely, Goldberg has at least a couple more matches in him and hopefully, WWE uses one of those matches to catapult a young up-and-comer into superstardom. Imagine the kind of rub that a guy like Rusev, as one of example, could get from a win over Goldberg. Just like how Goldberg now looks like a million bucks following his win over Lesnar, whoever beats Goldberg now will instantly become WWE’s new big honcho.
1. Freshens Up Lesnar’s Career
For the last couple years or so, fans have complained that Brock Lesnar has started to become boring. Whether it’s due to the fact that Lesnar never loses or the fact that his Suplex City stunts have become too repetitive, fans have started to grow sour on Lesnar. Now is the perfect opportunity to freshen up Lesnar’s character. If you thought that Lesnar was scary as an overconfident and cocky monster, imagine his character as ravenous animal on a relentless rampage now that he’s been humbled. Not only has Lesnar been embarrassed, but this is the second time Goldberg has beaten Lesnar and Lesnar has never beaten Goldberg. Now, Lesnar has something to prove. He should be furious the next time we see him. He should be throwing bodies out of his way and wrecking equipment just to get another shot to prove himself against Goldberg. With a new mission and a redemption arc to achieve, this could be the first step in making Lesnar somebody worth watching again.
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