Steve Cook keeps things simply for you. Goldberg is fun, and that’s why he had his SummerSlam match. This is wrestling…enjoy the ride!
Us wrestling fans can be a picky bunch.
We’re very particular about the programming we watch every week. Once we turn our remote control on a certain channel, we expect all kinds of entertainment. We want to be surprised by winners and losers. We don’t want to know what will happen when a wrestler steps out behind the curtain every single week.
One thing that annoys us: Predictability.
As angry as we might get when something we expect to happen doesn’t, we like to be surprised. If the show was the same thing every single week, why would we watch?
We all knew what was going to happen on Sunday night when Goldberg stepped into the ring with Dolph Ziggler. No matter what Dolph tried to do, it was going to end with a spear, a jackhammer & a 1-2-3. It was as predictable as things ever get in WWE.
It was still a hell of a lot of fun.
— WWE SummerSlam (@SummerSlam) August 11, 2019
I’ll be honest right now: Dolph Ziggler did more to impress me in that match (and post-match) than he has in the past five years. We could probably go even further back than that. Sure, he’s had some rock solid matches and the occasional really good promo here & there, but when has he gotten a reaction for anything similar to the one his match with Goldberg got?
Goldberg’s always been an interesting case. We’re not talking about a guy with a ton of years spent inside a wrestling ring. He started in 1997 & wrestled pretty regularly for the most part until WCW’s closing. He had three matches in Japan in 2002, then spent a year in WWE. WrestleMania XX was his last match until his return in 2016.
Basically, the dude’s spent five years as a professional wrestler. Probably less than that depending on how many matches you think wrestlers should work per year. The Internet Wrestling Database lists him as having 297 career matches, and I doubt they’ve missed all that much.
For comparison’s sake, Matt Riddle has worked approximately 315 matches in his five years in pro wrestling. Riddle has been very outspoken about his views about his fellow wrestlers, including Goldberg. I try to avoid most of this stuff because it’s complete nonsense, but apparently Riddle accused Goldberg of being on steroids and made a big show of being blocked by Goldberg on the Twitter, then crapped all over his match with Undertaker at Jam in the Sand 3. Apparently it was pretty bad, I only watched the clips that appeared in my column at another website.
My take at the time on that whole business: what else did you expect? Undertaker’s at the point in his career where he has to be protected by opponents or tag team partners, and you put him in a singles match with a guy that’s had three singles matches in the last fifteen years? Of course it was going to be a disaster! Expecting anything else would have been pure idiocy. Apparently the bookerman MbS was trafficking in pure idiocy, so both men looked like shit and needed to wash that stink off of them.
Undertaker got it off of him at Extreme Rules by having a kickass tag team match. Now he’s good to go for the next one. Goldberg came out at SummerSlam to destroy Dolph Ziggler, and now he’s good for whatever may come next.
And that pisses some people off.
The success that Bill Goldberg has had in professional wrestling has really made some people angry. He had the luck of being the right person in the right place at the right time. Very few people have that kind of luck. A guy like Matt Riddle with all of the shoot fighting knowledge that he has might have done well in the same spot Goldberg came into…but little Matt was in middle school at that point. And let’s be honest…a long-haired bare-footed easy-going fella wouldn’t have had the same success as a bald-headed monster in the role.
One guy says “Brooooooo”, the other guy says “WHO’S NEXT?”. Who do you think people are more afraid of, regardless of actual fighting background?
Then we got Jack Swagger trying to get over on Goldberg on the social media too. I kind of feel bad for the guy, because he worked over 1,000 matches and was really quite talented, but never got over to the degree that Bill Goldberg did. Even though he could do more moves & stuff, and got a random World title run after getting the MITB briefcase, nobody really cared. I did care at the time, because I saw a lot of potential in the guy.
I was in the minority. That happens pretty often.
As it turned out, Swagger didn’t have that drawing power that kept people interested. Was it all his fault? Probably not. WWE booked him initially as a dude in a Jericho starter-kit, then gave him Bunkhouse Buck as a father for an audience that had no idea who Bunkhouse Buck was. He had a Big Show feud, which was the equivalent of a Baron Corbin feud at the time. I guess, theoretically, more people cared about Big Show, but it led to the same dead end.
The fact of the matter is that Seth Rollins needs a heel to conquer. We don’t have that man at our disposal, but they can’t be that far away. Once we get him, they can draw that house. Hopefully sooner rather than later.