OK, I’ll say it. We’re all thinking it.
We have all been thinking it since the moment that Brock Lesnar returned to WWE. When his music hit and he walked down the ramp to attack John Cena the night after WrestleMania XXVIII, it was the first thought in your mind. And, it was the first question you silently asked upon seeing "The Next Big Thing" systematically dismantle "Mr. Hustle, Loyalty and Respect" in a vicious match at Extreme Rules.
You know what I’m talking about.
Is Goldberg the only man who can stop Brock Lesnar?
OK, so maybe some of you weren’t thinking it. But, it was a good intro, right?
Right now, many of you are likely shaking your heads in painful disgust, wondering when WWE writers like myself are going to stop looking to the past for the company’s present. When will we abandon what once was, move on, in favor of what could be?
Something fresh, new and different?
OK, I get your point. But, hey, I wasn’t the one who re-signed Lesnar. I’m just rolling with the punches here.
The fact is, despite the many critics that WWE and, more specifically, Vince McMahon have, it’s not just about reaching back to sell tickets now. That’s a big part of it, to be sure, but it’s not all.
WWE is all about the moment. A championship change at WrestleMania following months of buildup. A heel turn that has been teased, but is somewhat in doubt until the second that it happens to the surprise of everyone.
A returning Superstar who has not been in a WWE ring since 2004, who delivers his finisher to the company’s top guy, leaving him lying flat on his back.
These are the moments that cause you to start texting all your friends within minutes, and these are the moments that you keep on the DVR for the next three months.
These are the moments that WWE builds its fan base around, the moments that are talked about and replayed for years to come.
So what if a WWE moment requires the presence of a guy who’s been there, done that? This is not about them, after all, it’s about the fans and generating excitement.
Lesnar, love him or hate him, has definitely generated excitement.
But what about the man he faced in his last WWE match eight years ago?
Bill Goldberg has more than enjoyed his retirement from pro wrestling, and has had a pretty full life since then. Though the return rumors to WWE, or possibly a jump to TNA, have constantly been talked about for years, he has seemed very content to keep his distance from the business that made him what he is today.
And, there is no reason to believe that he will change his mind now. So why ask the question?
Because I, for one, believe that it would be a perfect scenario.
Goldberg was always portrayed as invincible, as the guy who could not be stopped or even slowed down. No matter who he stepped into the ring with, fans were sure of the match’s outcome. He ultimately defeated nearly every man he was ever in a program with and there was no one who could hope to put him down for very long.
This includes Lesnar.
Their last match at WrestleMania XX is perhaps the most notorious of any match in the history of the event. Fans had become very aware that this was to be both men’s final WWE appearance, and they voiced their displeasure loudly and often.
Though it was not quite the WrestleMania moment that McMahon and company had hoped for, it did wrap up each man’s career, and gave Goldberg one last win before hanging up his boots.
Storyline-wise, this fact could be used to open the door for a possible Goldberg return. A bit of unfinished business on the part of Lesnar, perhaps.
Or, just another way for WWE to reach back, sell tickets and most importantly, create a moment.
On the May 14th edition of Monday Night RAW, Triple H referenced Brock's 2004 WrestleMania match, and though he did not mention Goldberg by name, to me it was obvious what he was talking about.
"But, when he got there, and he got challenged for the first time, when he actually had somebody step up to him, and he had to dig down inside himself to find that little bit of extra, to actually fight? Brock Lesnar quit."
For the majority of Goldberg fans out there, the hope of another WWE run, though extremely slim, is always in the back of their minds. Call it wishful thinking, call it a pipe dream.
Or, call it an unwillingness to let go and move on, accepting the fact that one of the biggest phenomenons the business has ever known is perfectly happy to be on the outside looking in. Call it what you will.
But, for me, despite how intense Brock’s match was with Cena, and despite how intriguing a bout against Triple H, or possibly The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXIX is, there is only match that I would be very interested to see.
The logistics of Lesnar versus Goldberg in 2012 are somewhat of a nightmare, to be sure. After all, Goldberg has expressed no obvious interest in a WWE return, and even if he did, the question of how quickly the fans could accept him as a babyface, considering that many of them likely feel he walked out on them, is one that is not easily answered.
Plus, there is the real possibility that Goldberg would steal a lot of Brock’s thunder, causing the spotlight to shift considerably, and that would likely not bode well with "The War Machine."
Then, there’s the rest of you. How would you feel about Lesnar vs. Goldberg II, eight years after both men walked away from WWE?
How many of you have really been thinking about it?