So it’s been a little while since I’ve written one of these up about wrestling, but to be honest…there really hasn’t been a whole lotta good stuff worth writing about lately. I mean WWE’s been doing an alright job at giving us some fresh matches like when they pulled AJ Styles off the South America tour to fill in for an ill Bray Wyatt at the last Pay Per View or reforming The Shield…but for whatever reason, I just haven’t had the motivation to write about the product — until now.
Monday night, after Raw went off the air, WWE aired another installment of their documentary series WWE 24 on the WWE Network. If you haven’t seen any of these pieces, please go out of your way to find them as they’re some of the best programming WWE puts out. This latest edition of the show revolves around last year’s return of Bill Goldberg to the world of professional wrestling.
The story told is of a now, almost 50 year old Bill Goldberg, who had last been seen in WWE defeating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX. A lot of back story is explained in how his contract was up following that year’s WrestleMania and he would be finishing up with the company following the show. Also, it had been leaked that his opponent, Brock Lesnar was also leaving the company as well, so the crowd at Madison Square Garden that night crapped all over the match — which, to be fair, wasn’t a very good one anyway. But now, after being contacted to be a featured character in the upcoming WWE 2K game, he’s being interviewed on ESPN about his inclusion in the game and being associated with WWE as a result. So the gears start turning, and Bill agrees to return for a single match against Lesnar at last year’s Survivor Series Pay Per View. It’s also explained here that since leaving the business, he’s now married and has a son, and his motivation in making this return is them…because they never got to see him wrestle. I mean I suppose they could’ve just broken out some old VHS tapes or DVDs to watch a younger Bill Goldberg do his thing, but it was important to him for them to see him do this now.
So then we get a window into his workout regimen and his psyche in preparing for this match. He explains how he’s trying to get himself to look as he did previously and not be an embarrassment in the ring. You also are told by Bill in no uncertain terms, that this won’t be fun for him. He’s not looking forward to this experience at all, but prides himself on being a sort of superhero for kids and wants the chance to be that superhero for his son. And as a father, I can totally relate to that. You always wanna be the best parent you possibly can be while also having the respect of your child. As it’s shown on screen, I don’t believe there to be any issues with any lack of love or respect between he & his son, but it’s still cool that his motivation is to do this for their enjoyment.
His arrival at the Survivor Series is really cool in seeing him interact backstage with Vince and Triple H — who is now in a much different place within the company than he was the last time Goldberg was with the company. You even get to see them going over Goldberg’s entrance with the pyro, the graphics on the tron, etc. all while Triple H explains his vision of Goldberg’s approach to the ring. It’s a lot of great behind-the-scenes stuff. They show us the surprisingly short main event with Brock Lesnar at the Survivor Series and then kind of gloss over the decision making process in deciding to come back for a short run, culminating in yet another match against Lesnar at WrestleMania 33.
As it turns out, he actually did have fun with this run…which I’m guessing was his reasoning in his decision to extend his stay in WWE. His Universal Title win over Kevin Owens is quickly glossed over to explain how he got the Universal Title, which he would eventually lose to Lesnar in their rematch at WrestleMania 33. However, I did really enjoy seeing him meeting Undertaker upon arriving at the Pay Per View & exchanging some pleasantries with him. It’s one of the very few moments that WWE has ever shown of Undertaker out of character like this. Likewise, it was also cool to see Goldberg interacting backstage with current stars like Big E from New Day.
In the end, Goldberg’s post-WrestleMania Raw appearance is explained as he entered the arena as this larger than life character, Goldberg, and left that night, after completing his final chapter in his pro wrestling life and walking out of the arena as Bill Goldberg, husband, father & family man. Again, this is a really terrific piece that should be sought out. My only gripe is that just like Goldberg’s matches, it’s too short. It clocks in at an hour, and while it touches on a lot of great points, I think there was so much more of the Goldberg story that could have been told and not glossed over.
As I’ve said in the past, I’m a fan of Goldberg. Always was and always will be, so this was right up my alley. I was glad to see him come back when he did and for what it’s worth, it was a fun little run. It was also a nice extra that they decided to use Eric Bischoff as the voice explaining a lot of Goldberg’s feelings and why things went the way that they did previously. His shortcomings weren’t exposed this time as they had been in his first run with the company and the fan reactions to his matches were terrific! The only thing about Goldberg that I’m not thrilled about is that his lack of experience in the ring cost us more years of Bret Hart’s career when that one errant superkick gave Bret the concussion that put him on the shelf for good. But for awhile again, it was nice to hear that music with the crowd chanting Gold-Berg!
Another great addition to the WWE Network, go check it out!