by Victor Parenza (@ParenzaBooks)
My lasting image of Wrestlemania 20 is the ending celebration- one that will never be shown on WWE television again. Thanks to a certain “fantasy warfare” bout coming up, I’m also reminded of a train wreck from that same show. One where the venom spewed from the New York City crowd, the likes of which the WWE had never seen before.
Let me preface all this by saying, with the exception of the random cruiserweight match, I never watched WCW. Goldberg was nothing to me. If anything he was the Stone Cold knock off. I remember vividly when they showed his debut vignette at Wrestlemania 19. I let out a big groan. My cousin, who was watching with me was excited. He of course watched WCW. I had just survived the Scott Steiner Royal Rumble ’03 fiasco, and didn’t need another washed-up WCW chump on my beloved (at the time) Monday Night Raw.
So throughout 2003 I was exposed for the first time to Goldberg. I remember him nearly killing Christian with a spear, and having an entertaining run in the Summerslam Elimination Chamber, before naturally losing to Triple H during his “reign of terror.” That was followed by a “if I don’t win the title, I’ll retire” rematch in September against The Game, which made it a lock he would indeed win the title. I’m not joking when I say, I would have rather Triple H retained at that point.
I was curious as to how they would book the original Lesnar vs. Goldberg match. I remember hearing at the time that it would be Goldberg’s last match, which obviously made me really excited. Like I said, with the exception of that Chamber match, Goldberg was nowhere near worth the hype in my eyes. Then I started hearing rumblings that Brock was leaving too. Not only leaving, but going to try out for the Minnesota Vikings?!?! What parallel universe were we living in here? Brock was the chosen one! (Remember kids, this was pre-Cena in the main events) So much for the battle of the behemoths at Wrestlemania XX where it all begins again!
Yes that match was atrocious. It was one of those car wrecks that you couldn’t take your eyes off of. But here’s the real question, why does anyone think this one will be any different? Goldberg is nearly 50 and hasn’t had a match since March 14, 2004. And it’s not like he was Ricky Steamboat when he was a full-time guy. This could be very ugly. And then there was Brock.
The worst thing to ever happen to Brock is his match with Cena at Summerslam ’14. If you don’t remember, that was the match that he dominated Cena bell to bell with his German suplexes. It was then solidified at the following Mania when he proclaimed to Roman, “Welcome to Suplex City bitch.”
Why was this so terrible? Since it worked so well, that’s all Brock does now. The only reason it worked the first time is because he squashed Cena at the tale-end of the “Super Cena” era. No one had done that. Not even came close. When he coined Suplex City, it worked because he was kicking Roman’s ass, and everyone loves that- and now it had a name. And I haven’t enjoyed a Brock match since.
I was moderately excited about the Ambrose vs. Lesnar bout at Wrestlemania this year, and we all know how well that turned out. It had a great build, and then “suplex city” happened and the damn match was over. Ambrose came out later and called Brock lazy. I thought that was amazing. He just insulted the poster boy, and didn’t even flinch. Guys like Ambrose, CM Punk, or RVD, they don’t care. They call it like it is. In a world full of bullshit, I find that so refreshing. It also added fuel to my anti-Lesnar fire.
Here’s where things get interesting. Regardless of how bad the match will be, I will watch it because I want to see Brock lose. Brock NEEDS to lose this. How amazing would it be if Goldberg is 2-0 against Brock, Goldberg retires and Brock can’t do anything to redeem himself? My hope is that it would add a new dimension, or at the very least, a wrinkle to the Lesnar act that desperately needs something besides being just “the conqueror, the beast” etc. If Brock wins, what does that accomplish? I’m sure it could lead to a Wrestlemania rematch (ugh). But maybe, just maybe, it could lead to some vulnerability for Brock, then when the time is right a new star could be solidified by knocking off the Beast. Because Brock as the part-time unbeatable monster has more than ran its course.