Hulk Hogan is often mocked by his critics for being out of touch yet recent comments on the upcoming Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar match may have you thinking differently. The Hulkster was asked about the match and offered some fascinating insights on how he would have booked the angle.
Goldberg vs. Lesnar at WWE Survivor Series is dominating the pro wrestling talk of late. Universally it is regarded as one of the most exciting angles in recent memory. While nobody can deny the buzz that it has created, the most successful pro wrestler of all-time believes it could have been even bigger.
Hogan was a recent guest on Eric Bischoff’s podcast, Bischoff on Wrestling. While the interview is making headlines for what Hulk said about a recent report regarding a return to the WWE, I found his commentary on Brock vs. Goldberg to be more noteworthy. Bischoff asked Hulk his thoughts on the angle as Hulk begins to scratch the surface a bit about how this angle could have been even better.
Between legal business and elections I haven’t been dialed in so my normal one dimensional train of thought is as far as the wrestling and the way it should be set up is, I wasn’t even thinking anything like that (Goldberg coming back) and then all of the sudden I heard that Goldberg was coming back and it just hit me. Nice surprise, big, main-event, good for the business, people can’t wait for him to come back so I really didn’t think too much about it and then it caught me off guard cause I was flipping through the channels and I heard Goldberg say, “Oh I’ve already beaten him before. I think I can do it again.” One ear in, one out the other, I wasn’t paying attention and I forgot about that. I forgot that he had wrestled Brock, not that that’s bad but if I would have been in my wrestling mode I would have been telling Goldberg, “Hey man when you do the interview say you’ve been out of the game for a while, he’s a monster, he’s a beast, you don’t know if you can do it, just hope that I can survive but I have to test myself, etc., etc., etc.” But when I heard that it kind of gave me a different look at it. And then the few times that I have really been dialed in on it they kind of went with that angle in a way. They kind of threaded those original words to the storyline with Brock in some of the packages that Kevin Dunn and those guys put together. I saw where the original statement was threaded through like, “Is it going to be 1-1. Can he beat him“? So I kind of get it. But it kind of caught me off guard. I still think it’s huge, it’s main-event, it’s really, really good. I know Bill’s going to come back in really great shape and now I want to see it, just to see those two back in the ring together. I forgot they had even wrestled before.
Bischoff then suggests that Goldberg should have come into the angle more humble, questioned himself and set himself up as the underdog. Bischoff asks whether that set up would be better.
Well then you have to rewind even farther and say, “Did anyone talk to him (Goldberg) before he did the (ESPN) interview and did they okay saying, “Hey I’ve already beaten him.” Was that put in his head?” If that was put in his head before well then it is all still part of the storyline and it is what it is. I think Brock right now is the good guy because Bill sounds like he is a little overconfident for some reason everyone has respect for him (Brock), UFC back and forth and all that stuff. Now if Bill did it on his own and they built it into the storyline it is what it is. But, if they would have done the Kevin Sullivan, old school, got in Goldberg’s ear, “Make an appearance on ESPN buy have your son there and your wife there and just out of nowhere Brock is in the building to hear the announcement and then they did a mercy killing with Goldberg and did the coast-to-coast like Albano cutting from ear to ear and dragging him around the ESPN studio bleeding like a pig, then they’d be booing the heck out of Brock. Probably, who knows at this point? Maybe another N.W.O. angle? It’s hard to detect but right now no matter which way you slice it I think that Brock is the babyface man. From Suplex City chants to him bouncing back and forth, I heard the Goldberg chants and it just sounds to me like Brock’s the babyface.
I think it’s hard to argue with anything that the Hulkster and Bischoff are saying here. When you peel back the onion, the angle is kind of odd with Goldberg coming in after 12 years without any concerns about getting back in the ring against a guy who has ran through everyone. I started thinking about this and immediately I went back to Shawn Michaels’ return in 2002 against Triple H at SummerSlam and Ric Flair’s match with the Undertaker at WrestleMania 18. I am sure there are more examples, but both played off the humble, once-great legend returning to the ring against insurmountable odds.
Maybe they go that way tonight on RAW but thus far, the Hulkster seems to be on point.