WWE: Why Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar Might Get Booed Again


Knowing the reaction this match received at WrestleMania 20, is Goldberg vs. Lesnar the right move for WWE?

Goldberg was last seen 12 years ago in a WWE ring. In fact, his final match was his victory over Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 20. The lasting legacy of this match were boos that showered both men throughout the contest, one of the first examples of a WWE audience purposely disrupting a match to display their disapproval. In today’s wrestling landscape, crowds “hijacking” events has become a fairly common occurrence. But usually the motivations today will stem from frustration with the status quo. Whether it’s Cena winning again, or Batista going over in a Royal Rumble {in lieu of Daniel Bryan), the boos generally emanate from disapproval with creative decisions.

However, the booing of Goldberg vs. Lesnar was a different story. Both men were leaving the company after their match at WrestleMania 20. Goldberg never found his footing in WWE, resulting in him becoming disgruntled. While Lesnar had tired of the travel and schedule involved in life as a WWE superstar. The negative reaction they received at WrestleMania was a direct result of the crowd’s awareness of their impending departure. They were booed for leaving and this was a unique situation; two major stars booed during a top match at mania.

Now, it seems inevitable that Goldberg and Lesnar is a go. With Goldberg’s recent comments on ESPN, and Paul Heyman’s reply on Raw, the rematch looks to be coming as soon as WWE Survivor Series.. Obviously, the return of Goldberg is a huge deal for WWE. There are not many returns that could garner as much interest as his. But is a match with Lesnar the best way to capitalize on Goldberg?

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First off, they aren’t a good pairing stylistically. Since both men are monsters, they need someone to sell their high powered offense. Do we really envision Goldberg taking a German suplex 12 times over?  Do we really see Lesnar selling spears and jackhammers for the returning legend? Furthermore, another lasting legacy of their last match was that it wasn’t good. They didn’t mesh well together and it fueled the negativity expressed by the crowd. Added to that, they are both 12 years older now. It’s unrealistic to expect their work-rate to improve together while both are past their physical primes.

Another issue is that it has become cool to many “smart” fans to disrupt a show. It’s very possible that this match will get boos just to reference their previous contest. The Survivor Series is in Toronto and it is  a passionate and knowledgeable fan base. Not to mention, it’s Bret Hart country. Canadian fans are well aware of the history regarding Goldberg ending Bret’s career. With the match in Toronto, “You hurt Bret” chants are a possibility to go along with the other negativity. Not the ideal atmosphere for a returning legend.

There are better opponent options available for Goldberg’s return, Jericho would be the perfect foil for Goldberg in this situation. They could play off their history in WCW with Jericho being the weasel heel. This pairing would also make Goldberg look good physically by getting to throw around the smaller Y2J. Jericho knows how to make an opponent look strong, which would help the 49 year old Goldberg.

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WWE is in a tough situation with the booking of Goldberg and Lesnar. It will be interesting to see how they are able to keep both guys strong coming out of this assumed matchup. Goldberg needs to be protected for a possible Wrestlemania 33 appearance. While Lesnar needs to keep the monster status he has achieved over the last few years. Time will tell if this was the right choice.