Rumours abound of the impending return of one Bill Goldberg to the WWE, here is my two cents on this movement.
Many journalists, sports, wrestling or otherwise seem to have some form of bias one way or another so I want to go a different route and offer the Pros and Cons of Goldberg returning to the main event picture.
Let’s get this one out of the way, Bill Goldberg is overrated as an actual wrestler. As a wrestler Goldberg doesn’t pretend to be someone he’s not, let’s face it, he has never pushed himself to be a technician the likes of say Bret Hart or Curt Henning to name just some of the guys he first started with at WCW. He was a former NFL defensive tackle who had power and aggression, which was his game.
Many smarks complain about the likes of Reigns or Cena having their Five-Moves-Of-Doom but love Goldberg, even though his matches often lasted less than a minute, which consisted of Spear, Jackknife, intense scream at the camera, pin.
He started off as a monster who’d squash every wrestler in his way and created an undefeated record that seemed to skip several numbers, somehow defeating over 150 people within only a few months. He did develop some form of skill as a wrestler and managed to go a bit longer than one minute matches but did struggle and often hurt those who he did work with.
He was dangerous when he first started, often criticised by many of his peers as being too stiff and very green, often injuring those he competed against. Most famously, he ended Bret Hart’s career in one match by kicking him in the head (I must comment though that Bret’s career ending head injury also started when he attempted a Figure-Four-Leg-Lock hanging from the ring post, hitting his head on the floor).
During the peak of his career Goldberg was, to put it in simple terms, an egotistical asshat, who achieved a Hogan-esque ego 10% of the time, his popularity with the masses, power and strength allowed him to join the “Boys Club” (Nash, Hogan, and Hall) and he started to call the shots forcing the likes of Jericho, Eddie, and Dean Malenko to name a few to jump ship to WWE.
That was then, this is now. The biggest questions that need to be raised in regards to Goldberg are as follows:
One, Goldberg is now 49 years of age, a full ten years older than WWE’s biggest monster Brock Lesnar. He is not young anymore and the product has gotten much quicker and more technical, can he still swing it, and more importantly, can he still swing it without hurting anyone?
Two, Goldberg’s last official match was in 2004 at WrestleMania XX against Brock Lesnar himself. It is a constant blemish of a match in WrestleMania history. It was blighted with the news that both Lesnar and Goldberg were leaving the company after the match, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of many. It was also a terrible match with little to no effort from both competitors and had zero technical work.
Thirdly, with the lack of depth in the roster and the fact that the WWE have had a number of high profile stars leaving (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow), is Goldberg really able to develop the product’s talent. The situation is very similar to the criticism that was levelled at Batista during his return.
Finally, with Brock Lesnar currently squashing everyone and everything and with Braun Strowman and the Big Show still somewhere, is there really a need for another monster?
After all the cons lets end with some more positive comments on why Goldberg will be good for the product.
As mentioned before, whilst the roster is thin, and Goldberg’s return could reduce the time that could be used for a number of other talented wrestlers (i’m looking at Zayn, Cesaro, Rusev and Neville), it is also agonisingly thin. Too many high profiles have left and with the Brand Split they now have to fill more time on Raw, which is still 3 hours long. Goldberg coming into the show will add some much needed star-power.
He is a star, that is a definite. People took notice of Goldberg when he started, people jumped on the fan-train right at the beginning and he looks utterly dominating as an athlete. He has the intensity that many can only wish to want and fans love it and get into it. His introduction into the WWE back in 2003 caused many to go into a frenzy. Lets face it his short run in WWE was 100 times better than his entire run in WCW. Including the amazing Elimination Chamber 2, where he speared Jericho through a door.
With the dominance and also now irrelevancy of Brock Lesnar, Goldberg is the ideal opponent who could viably defeat Lesnar (kayfabe of course). This is the rumour that seems to be sticking most, and likely the storyline that will be played out if Goldberg were to return. Two things that stand out with this storyline is that one, both Goldberg and Lesnar will be wanting to right the wrong that was their WrestleMania XX match and two, who doesn’t want to see Godzilla go one-on-one with King Kong.
Finally, watching, reading and listening to the latest interviews with Goldberg he seems to have lost a lot of ego that crippled him. He seems much more humble and realistic in his worldview now and hearing him speak on how he knew he wasn’t that much of a wrestler and perhaps went to the top too quickly, allows this writer more of an appreciation of him now.
I’d like to see Goldberg return. Do I think he’s the best option? No. In fact, I actually prefer someone like Batista to return who is ten times the wrestler and personality, BUT Goldberg is a genuine superstar, and a nostalgic twinge will go up spines of millions who would watch him return.
If the roster was bigger and a bit better, I would be dead set against it, however, he will inject a lot of needed intensity to the product and will be a great asset to the company.
At the end of the day, the return of Goldberg is out of my hands and the hands of every other commentator, except the WWE board who may, or may not offer him a contract; lets just go with the flow and see what happens.