Breaking Down Perfect Opponent for Goldberg's WWE Return at Saudi Arabia Show

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

WWE will be returning to King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on June 7 with an event that is being advertised with next to no information, including its name.

However, one notable thing to look forward to for this event will apparently be Bill Goldberg's return to action in some fashion.

His opponent has not yet been revealed or even hinted at, nor have any stipulations or details regarding his match. That opens the WWE Universe up to speculation on who will stand opposite him in the ring.

Who would be the perfect opponent to face Goldberg at this show? Let's take a look at the circumstances and options and figure out who's next.

The Foundation: What We Know

Given Goldberg's age, track record and previous work, it's clear he won't be wrestling a long match.

Since 2004, he's had only three singles matches, and the grand total of time for those fights was just six minutes and 32 seconds.

Booking him in anything longer than five minutes or so would be a pipe dream, so rather than looking for match quality, WWE will be going for pure spectacle and nothing more.

Since he has won 86 percent of his matches—and most of his losses have been in things like Royal Rumbles or through some kind of shenanigans to protect him—it can be assumed Goldberg will absolutely squash his opponent in the process.

The spectacle will be seeing his entrance, feeling his presence and watching him hit his trademark spear and jackhammer, and nothing more.

Saudi Arabia is looking for a bombastic entertainment show, not a sports-oriented clinic of technical athleticism.
Saudi Arabia is looking for a bombastic entertainment show, not a sports-oriented clinic of technical athleticism.Credit: WWE.com

This rules out babyface opponents, as humiliating them would do nothing for WWE's future. His victim must be a heel.

As it will be a squash, this rules out Lars Sullivan and Brock Lesnar, as they would be the two Superstars WWE would most likely book to actually defeat Goldberg, rather than the other way around.

While some fans would love to see Sullivan get a win, it's unrealistic. This is a paid show, and if Goldberg was requested, it certainly wasn't so he could show up and lose.

It's also assumed that this is a one-off appearance and not the start of an actual run, which renders any championship wins questionable, as Goldberg would make the champion look weak just to vacate the title.

This means no Samoa Joe, even though he would be a fantastic opponent for Goldberg if they were both in their primes.

With these qualifiers in mind, the selection process must boil the roster down to a heel who is not a champion, but high-profile enough to justify putting against Goldberg in a match where he can take a loss and bounce back from it in some fashion.

So who fits the bill?

It would do Drew McIntyre no benefit to lose to Goldberg, and in doing so, Raw would be deprived of arguably its top heel option to take the Universal Championship from Seth Rollins.

Under other circumstances, Bobby Lashley would make a fine candidate on paper, but he's in the process of being rebuilt and cannot afford to be jobbed in this way.

Randy Orton is a top heel on SmackDown who shouldn't be taken down a peg. Likewise, Kevin Owens has already lost to Goldberg and shouldn't do that again.

Sami Zayn isn't likely to appear on this event, it would be a shame to see Shinsuke Nakamura or Rusev be sent to their doom, and Jinder Mahal, Robert Roode and Cesaro aren't likely viewed as on the same level to challenge Goldberg.

This leaves only one true man who can pull off this job, and his name is Baron Corbin.

Credit: WWE.com

Corbin is in a unique position in WWE wherein he is perpetually booked as both successful and completely unworthy of that success.

He's the type of Superstar who is always hovering the main event and will get enough big spots to keep him in that picture, even if he ultimately comes up short in the biggest matches.

Corbin can ride the wave of beating Kurt Angle in his final match and having that and his other accomplishments touted on a weekly basis by being the one to challenge Goldberg out of a cocky assurance that he can upset that legend, too.

Since Goldberg likely won't do more than one or two appearances before this event, at most, Corbin has the ability to promote the feud ahead of time without needing Goldberg to be there, just by cutting promos.

He can get the heat necessary to make fans want to see Goldberg spear him out of his shoes and jackhammer him into the mat to shut him up. Also, now that Corbin beat Angle when it seemed unlikely, there will even be those who go into this match thinking he has a chance to upset Goldberg, too.

Even in a loss, Corbin still benefits by being chosen to work this spot. He'll have faced another legendary Superstar in what will undoubtedly be one of the most advertised and spotlighted matches of the night.

Losing quickly to Goldberg won't hinder his spot on the roster, either. He's the type of heel who can spin this as a positive that he accomplished something amazing by fighting in this key match, which proves his value to WWE.

Despite coming up short with Goldberg, Corbin can still challenge Rollins down the line and be just as much of a bother to The Beast Slayer, especially if he has something to prove out of anger that he was humiliated in Saudi Arabia.

Goldberg is being brought in to play the greatest hits, and his opponent has to be someone who is worth advertising as a big deal but can take the hit of jobbing out to the Hall of Famer, and nobody will be better at pulling off that feat than Corbin.

      

Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.

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