As WrestleMania plans unfold, a nasty rumor is starting to run wild throughout the WWE Universe. Since Kevin Owens was able to retain his Universal Championship against Roman Reigns, and it looks like the latter will move on to either Braun Strowman or The Undertaker, nobody knows what the plans are for the WWE’s ugliest belt. Enter Goldberg.
The WWE Shouldn’t Give Goldberg the Universal Championship
The WWE has all but promised Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar at this year’s Wrestlemania, and despite the fact that WCW‘s biggest draw has demolished the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, it should be a decent bout. Neither man is going to bust out a shooting star press or anything (again), but as far as two huge men beating each other up, it doesn’t get much better… Or does it?
With Kevin Owens retaining at the Royal Rumble, nobody knows what the plans are for the big red belt. Owens will likely face Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania, but seeing as everyone knows Jericho is leaving immediately after, the stakes couldn’t be lower. Is it so inconceivable that Owens drops the big red belt at Fastlane and goes after Jericho’s United States Championship at ‘Mania?
So why not put the ugly red belt on Goldberg or Lesnar? Goldberg will be on Monday Night Raw next week to answer Lesnar’s challenge, so what if he said no? Lesnar could squash Owens at Fastlane, and use it as bait to get Goldberg to give him one last shot. Conversely, you could have Goldberg show up and destroy Owens the same way.
Giving one of the matches with the most hype in WWE a championship? That would be pretty exciting, right? Right?
What Does It Add?
How does it help? Goldberg and Brock Lesnar are already big enough names to draw in the casual audience, and it’s unlikely that either man will make regular Raw appearances after the show. The match is about a blood-feud that goes back over a decade, and would completely overshadow a belt that has already been terribly booked.
This belt doesn’t make the match any bigger. The Universal Championship has already been taking a backseat to Chris Jericho’s list, and neither man will help increase its prestige. The WWE has about two months to figure out who the champion going into Wrestlemania will be, but having a match for the belt instead of for “giant pride” and also a belt is ridiculous.
For The Love of Kayfabe
Why does Goldberg deserve a championship opportunity? He has wrestled exactly one singles match in the last decade. Sure, it was a dominant win over Brock Lesnar, but that doesn’t mean he deserves a shot at the Universal Championship. Braun Strowman has been the most dominant wrestler on Monday Night Raw, but he only received a shot at the title because Kevin Owens promised him one.
Goldberg has wrestled exactly twice since returning, and while he looked good in the Royal Rumble, he didn’t win. The big downside here is that kayfabe exists, and if Vince McMahon wants to put the belt on Goldberg, he’ll do so without thinking. It would just be a massive waste, especially if he’s already agreed to his match with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. Kevin Owens would be playing 2013 CM Punk, dropping the title to The Rock.
Doesn’t WWE remember how terrible it was when Brock Lesnar was WWE World Heavyweight Champion? If Goldberg or Lesnar were to work a full-time schedule, it would be one thing, but just to have them appear once every few months would be terrible. Especially when Smackdown Live will have guys like AJ Styles, John Cena, Randy Orton, or Bray Wyatt holding the real championship belt. WWE shouldn’t put the belt on someone that isn’t actually going to be on WWE TV frequently.
Beyond that, how do you take the belt off of them? Money in the Bank is Smackdown exclusive, and for the time being, no Raw equivalent has been announced. Maybe now is the time they’ll finally pull the trigger on giving someone the “Breaking the Streak” heat from Brock Lesnar, but after Survivor Series, that heat is pretty much gone.
Vince McMahon isn’t going to listen to what some mark writer on the internet says, because after all, that would require him listening to fans, but putting any strap on Goldberg or Brock Lesnar is a bad idea. He should just let the match between them be between them, and let someone else try to add some prestige to the ugliest belt in sport’s entertainment.
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