Not a bad question to ask? Hi everyone, I’m so behind this month. I have some cool things in the pipeline but I needed a subject to sink my teeth into and give you people something to read while I get them together.
One of the biggest questions I saw after Survivor Series was … “What about Undertaker’s Streak? Does that not matter to WWE?” The answer is that the importance of The Streak died the moment Undertaker wrestled Bray Wyatt at WM31. It told me that it doesn’t matter if he lost, he remains an attraction and people pay to see him; not a fictional streak. The Undertaker’s legacy .. while The Streak was certainly a big part of it, he was already a legend before anyone paid attention to it. Therefore, The Undertaker is and has always been a bigger legend than his own streak. To place so much emphasis and importance on it after The Undertaker himself said he’s more than a streak is disrespectful to the man behind the character.
Brock Lesnar beating the streak was a way to give him momentum, but it was never the key motivator for anyone to beat him. I don’t think anyone thought that .. if Cena beat Lesnar .. that would be like Cena beating the streak, or if Orton beat Lesnar it would be like Orton beating the streak. I cannot deny that Lesnar beating Undertaker at WMXXX gave him a major boost to his image and reputation as a monster. But Lesnar is more than that, Lesnar has always been more than a man who beat a fictional streak. You have to realize that Lesnar’s worth, his reputation, everything has been built up over years. Lesnar didn’t NEED to beat the streak to be who he is. WWE would have found other ways to garner him the same dominance, but it was easier to kill two birds with one stone and shock the world with a memorable moment.
Only Lesnar could realistically beat him without people saying, for example, “Yeah right, Daniel Bryan beating the streak! What a joke!”, and you could insert any other name in there aside from Lesnar and people would still call it a joke. Vince didn’t want The Undertaker to be about the streak anymore, he wanted Wrestlemania to focus on the talent instead of fans only tuning in to see the streak defended. Vince wanted to move on .. and just like anything in life things need to end.
And that’s what happened at Survivor Series. Take out Lesnar beating the streak, he’s had an amazing run. Even in matches he didn’t win (triple threats), no one dominated over him. Heyman has been pivotal in maintaining his image with promos. Heyman is very capable of saving his reputation while hyping the next fight for his client.
All of Lesnar’s years of dominance was used as a story device in the match itself. Watch his body language, Lesnar was brimming in confidence, he was cocky, he was taking liberties with his older opponent. In Lesnar’s mind, there was 0% chance Goldberg could beat him. While Lesnar has displayed these tendencies before, he’s always had a degree of focus against his opponents. He didn’t underestimate Undertaker, Cena, Triple H, or Randy Orton, and he beat them easily.
However, many didn’t see Lesnar in his first run in WWE. He wasn’t always a machine who ran over his opponents. Near the end of his run he lost Heyman as his manager and was nowhere near as dominant as before; he was just another big guy like Big Show or Mark Henry. The key thing is, Lesnar has, and will make mistakes because of his character. Once his confidence grows too much he takes opponents for granted, and in the case of Goldberg he saw an aging man with no chance of winning. He let his guard down.
In the story, Heyman will explain that they underestimated Goldberg and Lesnar made a pivotal mistake. Lesnar turned his back .. just for a second. Heyman will say Goldberg can only win matches by hitting someone from behind. Had Lesnar suspected Goldberg was physically capable of delivering the first spear as quickly as he did, he wouldn’t have turned his back. Lesnar is smart, but only when he’s focused, and had he taken Goldberg seriously the outcome may have been different.
This gives Lesnar motivation to target him in the future. Lesnar will feel embarrassed that he got beat by an “old man” who hasn’t wrestled in 12 years. Lesnar always accomplishes his goals, but at Survivor Series he didn’t. This means that when WWE gets around to Goldberg vs. Lesnar III, Lesnar will be deadly serious, and a focused Lesnar is dangerous. Lesnar has everything to lose, while Goldberg doesn’t. In their third encounter, it will be Goldberg with the confidence. But the thing about Goldberg is (and was back in the day in WCW) he’s always focused, and he doesn’t waste time.
People pay to see Goldberg dominate. Much like people paid to see Austin giving everything that moves a stunner, much like people paid to see Hogan do a leg drop and pose for the crowd, fans pay to see Goldberg dominate. They certainly do not pay to see Goldberg work a 60-minute Ironman match with mat wrestling, submissions, and a back-and-forth reminiscent of Japanese wrestling. Goldberg is not that man, he is not a “5-star match guy”, he’s a beast who finishes matches as quickly as possible. They pay to see his intensity, and any fan who pays should never expect him to work long. Back in WCW he didn’t have long matches. He could have worked longer matches .. but that’s not him. A long Goldberg match is not an exciting one, he wasn’t trained for that. The way he is booked sinks in more into the memory of fans.
It’s like … people who cry out for epic wrestling matches. Sure, I’m a wrestling fan too, I love a good 5-star match now and then. But I don’t expect that out of Lesnar, or Goldberg, or Strowman, or Henry, or any big guy for that matter. The Undertaker is the only exception, but even he needs the right opponent to make magic. Wrestling has many, many smaller wrestlers who are amazing athletes. NXT Takeover: Toronto we had a great tag team match between DIY and The Revivial. But guess what? People won’t remember it. When people look back at November 2016, they will say “Remember when Goldberg DESTROYED Lesnar in two minutes?”. As much as smarter fans want every match to be a back-and-forth competitive contest, casual fans simply do not care. This is cold hard truth.