Well, at least Bill Goldberg didn't tear a quad. The former WCW and WWE champion got physical during Monday Night Raw. He jackhammer-suplexed Rusev, then speared Paul Heyman in an exciting, surprise segment to open the Halloween edition of the show.
Goldberg is looking to return to the #WWE after a 12-year absence. The 49-year-old will wrestle Brock Lesnar November 20 at the Survivor Series.
It will be a rematch of one of the most infamous rumbles in WWE history--when Goldberg fought Lesnar at #Wrestlemania 22. Both guys were leaving the company after the match, and the fans in Madison Square Garden turned on them, booing both out of the building. The wrestlers let the crowd reaction hurt their performance inside the ring, and what should have been a great match, flopped worse than CM Punk inside the Octagon.
But, this is 2016, and the WWE appears to be attempting to right its wrongs.
Goldberg kept his mic talk to a minimum Monday night, which is the best way to book him. He is actually a charismatic guy, but inside the WWE ring, his charisma doesn't transfer. Golberg grunted a few words before getting abruptly interrupted by Paul Heyman, Lesnar's "advocate."
Heyman, on the other hand, oozes charm and charisma on the microphone, and has been working marvelously to sell this match. Knowing full well that the current WWE crowd may not be rapid Goldberg marks, Heyman has been using reverse psychology on them, telling them not to chant "Goldberg." In his prime, the WCW crowds would chant "Goldberg" when he was in the ring. It was his gimmick, and when he was popular, it worked.
So far, the crowd appears to be 100 percent behind Goldberg when he's inside the ring. Last week, when Lesnar was there, the crowd chanted "Goldberg sucks," despite Heyman's effort to get them to shout otherwise. Part of that was because , was in Minnesota, Lesnar's hometown, last week.
Heyman is the meat of this program. Since Lesnar works a limited schedule, Heyman must sell the fight on his behalf.
Heyman interrupted Goldberg this week,then teased that his "client," Lesnar, was an "impatient beast," and that he wanted to fight tonight. Heyman announced him, his music hit, and, of course, Lesnar was not there. He then got personal with Goldberg, saying that Lesnar was going to disappoint Goldberg's 10-year-old son when he thrashes him at the Survivor Series (Goldberg said he wants to return so that his son can see him wrestle).
Then, Rusev, fresh off a loss to Roman Reigns at WWE Hell in a Cell, came out and accused Goldberg of being too old, too small, and essentially washed up. Rusev threw a terrible-looking right hand that Goldberg brushed off without even taking a step backwards (the dude never could sell).
Goldberg just got mad and punched him back before grabbing him. In his attempt to knee Rusev and then put him in the Jackhammer, Goldberg actually slipped to one knee, botching the set-up -- not a good sign, considering Rusev is a better worker than Lesnar, and it won't get any easier against the former UFC champion.
Goldberg recovered, scooped him up and slapped him, but it wasn't his best jackhammer. He appeared to struggle to get Rusev up. Then, as Heyman hovered over Rusev to check on him, Goldberg speared Heyman, in another awkward move (although Goldberg purposely had to pull back on Heyman, who isn't a wrestler). Heyman was later taken to the hospital.
Goldberg's music hit and the angle continued. No doubt #brocklesnar will be looking for revenge.
One of the problems with the first match, is that Golberg and Lesnar simply have clashing wrestling styles. Styles make fights. Lesnar is best when he is smashing people inside the ring. Goldberg is best when he is smashing people inside the ring. They both can't smash each other inside the ring because neither one is a great seller. Their first match was a bit dull.
If booked correctly, their rematch could be great. Somehow, the WWE was able to book two similar wrestlers, Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania 6 -- and that match was a classic, full of drama, intrigue and excitement.
Now, we're headed to Survivor Series. So far, mostly good, but this is professional wrestling, and anything can happen between now and then when these two finally hit the ring.