I will man up and admit that I was wrong…dead wrong. I mocked the idea of the WWE rematching one of the worst matches in WrestleMania history yet Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar had the last laugh at WrestleMania 33.
When news broke last year that Goldberg was returning to the WWE to feud with Brock Lesnar, I mocked it. The idea that anyone would care about two guys who are remembered for having one of the worst matches in WrestleMania history doing it again 13-years later seemed asinine. Aside from that, one of these guys is near 50 and hasn’t wrestled a match in over a decade. Yep, this one had disaster written all over it…or so I thought.
I was wrong and Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, Goldberg particularly deserves a ton of credit for pulling off one of the greatest WWE comebacks this decade. I can’t think of a guy who had more odds stacked against him than Goldberg. Even bigger than the WrestleMania 20 debacle was the fact that Goldberg’s last major run is remembered as a flop. While Goldberg has always had his supporters, his reputation was severely damaged during his last run to the point where he became a bit of a punchline in recent years. Those days are over and Goldberg’s legacy will no longer be that punch line.
You could say that Goldberg only has two moves you could say that Goldberg went out and had a safe match at WrestleMania, and you could say that he was burning out and all of those things would be true. However, none of those criticisms matter because an objective look at this most recent run of Goldberg’s will validate him as the megastar he wanted to be remembered for.
Goldberg and Lesnar did the unthinkable at WrestleMania 33. They not only had a decent match, they had a great match. It was what it was but it worked and the fans ate it up by the time it was over. While their WrestleMania 20 match will always be remembered for a stinker, their match at 33 will be remembered as a classic by younger fans of this generation.
Goldberg is getting out at the right time. The boo birds were starting to come out at WrestleMania and there probably isn’t much more left for the big guy to do. I would hope that history will reflect a blue-print here on how to maximize a guy like Goldberg as opposed to mucking it up with corny writing and settling old scores with a fictitious feud that died over 20 years ago like they did with Sting at WrestleMania 31.
Bill Goldberg is gone and so are the days of mocking his WCW run and poking fun at his previous WWE run. Winning the WWE Universal title is nice but the bigger win for Goldberg was winning back his legacy. Few ever have that second opportunity and yet Goldberg maximized and capitalized on it and for that, he deserves a ton of credit and all of our respect.