This past week in kayfabe-driven WWE Magazine, rising star Ryback finally addressed the unavoidable similarities between he and Goldberg.
Speaking with the publication, in a seemingly mischievous mood, Ryback said the following of his similarly meteoric counterpart (via WrestleNewz.com):
People see a big guy with a shaved head who’s intense, and they draw those comparisons. I will say this: Goldberg did this for the money. He was never a fan of wrestling. I do this because I have a passion for it, and that’s the biggest difference between Goldberg and me. I’m not here to make five million dollars and then walk away. I’m here for life. And, I firmly believe that I’m much better than he was in the ring. He was great, and I was a fan of his when I was younger. But, I feel I’m a better athlete and wrestler than Goldberg ever was, and people are going to see that over time.
Based on booking, size, intensity and even those sarcastic "Goldberg" chants Ryback received early in his force-fed push, the Ryback-Goldberg comparisons had already taken on a life of their own before Ryback's unflattering public comments toward Goldberg.
Never one to back down from a good war of words, Goldberg responded in kind on Twitter:
Better athlete? Come on dude wake up.....
— Bill Goldberg (@Goldberg) October 14, 2012
With that, a dream matchup between the snarling superstars was born, at least verbally. And while the ego and pride that has fueled this rather entertaining weekend headline seem very real, my gut tells me that there may be some, even just a little, posturing for WrestleMania 29.
As unlikely as Goldberg coming out of retirement is, let alone a superfight between him and Ryback, there have been rumors that the former WCW Champion considered signing a legends deal with the WWE.
Who do you think is the better athlete?
These rumors were eventually shot down by Goldberg himself; however, the WWE has announced intentions of releasing a Goldberg DVD, making the possibility of Goldberg eventually signing some sort of promotional deal with the company far from unlikely.
The fact that this verbal sparring match was sparked by a WWE interview should tell you all you need to know about the intentions of manufacturing an otherwise unnecessary argument of athletic superiority.
Ryback's positioning come WrestleMania will be critical to the eventual success of Big Hungry supplanting John Cena as the guy.
With the triplet of the Rock, John Cena and CM Punk figuring to dominate the WWE title picture during WrestleMania season, Ryback will need to go over a high-profile opponent in a novel match to take the pivotal next step.
Regardless of how the WWE has propagated the irrelevance of Goldberg's historic winning streak over the years, there is still some big money to be made from a one-off program featuring Goldberg, who continues to keep himself in very good shape.
Feeding Goldberg to Ryback at WrestleMania would make Ryback into the bona fide star that he seems destined to be. And maybe, just maybe, the ongoing urinating contest between Goldberg and Ryback is the result of a shrewd feeler implemented and monitored from high above in Titan Towers.