Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens at Fastlane on Sunday night to become WWE universal champion for the first time in his illustrious career.
He received an assist from Chris Jericho, who returned for the first time since his beatdown at the hands of Owens on Raw. WWE showed Y2J standing on the entrance ramp:
WAIT A MINUTE! IT'S @IAmJericho! #WWEFastlane #UniversalChampionship https://t.co/8hGVC3tq042017-3-6 04:02:55
With Owens distracted momentarily, Goldberg hit a Spear, which was the prelude to the Jackhammer. In roughly 20 seconds, Goldberg became champion, meaning his date with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33 will be for the Universal Championship.
See you in 28 DAYS, @BrockLesnar! #WWEFastlane #WrestleMania @Goldberg https://t.co/cjpff9jd8s2017-3-6 04:05:45
As WrestleZone.com noted, Goldberg doesn't get paid by the hour:
So come back after 12 years and wrestle two matches that don't last even two minutes & Goldberg wins the #UniversalChampionship #WWEFastlane2017-3-6 04:05:13
Pro Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin thought Fastlane did little to drive interest for WrestleMania:
Ryan Satin @ryansatin
Tonight someone decided that ending Braun's dominant run, Charlotte's PPV streak & Owens' Universal title reign was a good way to hype WM34.2017-3-6 04:04:18
The Miami Herald's Scott Fishman questioned what WWE has to gain by making Goldberg the universal champion:
Scott Fishman @smFISHMAN
Lesnar vs. Goldberg doesn't need title on line, but Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho could have used it given the build. #WWE #WWEFastlane2017-3-6 04:08:42
After retaining the universal title over Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble and surviving a championship match against Braun Strowman, KO was faced with perhaps his biggest obstacle yet when Goldberg challenged him on Raw.
Owens seemed reluctant, but Jericho accepted on his behalf, which set the stage for a huge showdown in the main event of Fastlane.
Jericho's meddling didn't sit well with Owens, and that led to a falling-out between them during the Festival of Friendship segment a few weeks ago.
The Prizefighter attacked his former best friend and sent him to the hospital after speaking with Triple H earlier in the night.
Owens didn't stop there, though, as it wasn't long before he got involved in a Twitter spat with Goldberg.
After Goldberg tweeted, "Morons...." in reference to Owens and Jericho, KO fired back:
Kevin Owens @FightOwensFight
Considering you almost knocked yourself out headbutting a door, you should probably reconsider calling other people morons. https://t.co/sI9ig1P5oN2017-2-14 03:48:28
Goldberg responded by tweeting, "Keep diggin' that hole kid....," and Owens once again responded with a defiant remark:
Kevin Owens @FightOwensFight
Ok, Bill. I've been digging holes for myself for 17 years and I'm doing pretty good. See you at Fastlane. https://t.co/vUqamkWP192017-2-14 04:40:56
While Owens talked tough on Twitter, there was little doubt that he entered Fastlane in significant danger of dropping the Universal Championship.
After 12 years, Goldberg returned to WWE at Survivor Series and defeated Brock Lesnar in just 86 seconds. He followed that up by eliminating Lesnar in the Royal Rumble match and running through several Superstars before The Undertaker tossed him out.
Along with challenging Owens, Goldberg accepted Lesnar's challenge for WrestleMania 33, which added an interesting dynamic to the bout at Fastlane.
A Goldberg vs. Lesnar match is huge, regardless of the venue or stakes associated with it, but throwing the Universal Championship into the mix takes it to another level.
Goldberg appeared to be a heavy favorite entering Sunday's tilt, due to the fact that placing the title on the line in WrestleMania's highest-profile match is a move that made sense from a bottom-line perspective.
Although it can be argued that Owens and Jericho deserved to compete for the title at WrestleMania after carrying Raw for several months, the dollars and cents of Goldberg against Lesnar won out.
Goldberg and Lesnar may not need the Universal Championship, and there are definite drawbacks to putting two part-timers in the title scene, but their match at The Showcase of Immortals will now unquestionably have the full attention of the WWE Universe.
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