He wasn’t supposed to win. Everyone said he didn’t have a chance, and that he had no business even being there. His mere presence was a gimmick, but while not everyone appreciated what he was capable of, a good number of people believed in him. No, his name is not Donald Trump.
Goldberg defied the critics and shocked the world when he defeated Brock Lesnar at WWE Survivor Series. The man that been out of the game for 12 years came back and honestly, he made it look easy. That’s no small feat, especially when considering the levels to which WWE went with Lesnar’s booking.
Brock was booked bigger than anyone in the history of the company. Period. Even Bruno Sammartino was human. Even Hulk Hogan made mistakes. Even John Cena could lose. But Lesnar was indestructible. No matter who stepped up to face him, Lesnar overcame.
In a company that’s filled with 50/50 booking, Lesnar won nearly every match he worked in the past four years. The Beast Incarnate is 19-8, but was only pinned three times. He was presented as unstoppable, and that’s exactly what he’s been.
The most important point about his run however is that he did indeed overcome. Everyone he faced eventually went down, as Lesnar ultimately beat every opponent put in front of him. That fact alone made him more successful than anyone else in the locker room, because he shut down anyone that ever challenged him.
John Cena, Triple H, The Big Show, CM Punk, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton and of course The Undertaker, all fell at the feet of Brock Lesnar. There was never any doubt as to who the better man was, as there was never any reason to revisit any of the rivalries.
Lesnar proved that none of them could measure up to him, and that point was driven home when he demolished Cena at SummerSlam in 2014. WWE’s top guy had never looked weaker, or more human, than he did on that night. Lesnar destroyed John, and then went back to his part-time status. It was unheard of to even imagine Cena in that position, because fans knew how WWE had protected him over the years.
But Lesnar changed all that. WWE wanted a monster, so it created one. Vince McMahon was good with Taker’s undefeated streak coming to an end, so it did. The Deadman had to definitively do the job to Brock, showing that Lesnar was indeed his conqueror. Ambrose had to fall in a match that otherwise would’ve been right down his alley. Orton had to be busted open the hard way to accentuate Lesnar’s ferocity.
All of that work was done to get Lesnar over. He’s been on another planet for four years now, as no one has been able to touch him. But by doing all that work to promote Lesnar as the Incredible Hulk come to life, WWE inevitably backed itself in a corner. The company soon became a victim of the very monster it created.
Lesnar has been a draw, but at what cost? While other WWE stars like Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins were working hard to establish their legacies, Lesnar was busy getting paid and helping no one but himself. He certainly shouldn’t be blamed for that of course, as he was only doing what WWE wanted him to do. He was the marquee star, the prizefighter, the conqueror. He was all that and much more.
But Lesnar’s booking became a problem, and the only way to address it was with a loss. While no one expected the 86 second shocker that took place at Survivor Series, the fact is that it’s an oddly fitting end to the monster run of a lifetime.
The truth is there are two WWEs, and there has been for quite some time. One WWE consists of The New Era, and the weekly dose of regular TV programming. Rollins, Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn, The New Day, and the rest of the crew, exist in this WWE. McMahon’s creative team runs this reality as if it’s the only reality, and that’s just not the case.
That’s because the other WWE is very much alive. This is the WWE that Lesnar exists in, the one that sees part-time Superstars battle for big money, all the while grabbing big headlines for the company. In this WWE, The New Era is there to feed younger Superstars to the veteran talents. Fans can see the difference, but can’t do anything about it.
So when something needs to happen in order to reconcile the two realities, those same fans should not be too upset. It’s an impossible situation to begin with, so no matter where the booking goes, chaos will always follow. This is what fans witnessed at Survivor Series, and it’s likely going to get a lot more surprising before it’s over.
Goldberg will compete in the Royal Rumble, and it’s quite possible he could win it. He could then go on to WrestleMania 33 and become either the new WWE or Universal champion. None of this seemed possible, or probable, before. But it does now. At this point, anything’s possible. Anything can happen in WWE; that mantra will perhaps never be forgotten again.
So fans can be upset. They can trash WWE on social media. They can complain and argue and do all the fun things that fans do. But at the end of the day the fact is that WWE made this mess, and now they’re trying to clean it up. Hopefully a bigger mess won’t be made in the process.
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr
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