This week’s Friday Night SmackDown opened with Paul Heyman accompanying SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos and Universal Champion Roman Reigns to the ring. Heyman addressed the crowd in attendance, explaining his actions at the Royal Rumble event the weekend prior. He made his allegiance to The Bloodline, and specifically Reigns, clear. Just as the segment was about to come to a close, the familiar theme music of Goldberg played. The WWE Hall of Famer, Goldberg, made his return to SmackDown, confronting “The Tribal Chief. ” Goldberg stated that he acknowledged Reigns, following up by stating that he acknowledged Reigns as his next victim. From there, Goldberg challenged Reigns for the Universal Championship at the Elimination Chamber event on February 19.
— WWE (@WWE) February 5, 2022
Goldberg Returns on SmackDown to Challenge Reigns
What to Know Heading into Elimination Chamber Event
The SmackDown return of Goldberg marks the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion’s first WWE appearance since October. He previously appeared at last year’s Crown Jewel event, where he bested Bobby Lashley in a No Holds Barred Falls Count Anywhere Match. Since making his return to the company in 2016, Goldberg captured the Universal Championship on 2 occasions and picked up victories over such notable names as Kevin Owens, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, and former WWE Champion Brock Lesnar.
As stated by Michael Cole on commentary, Goldberg was originally scheduled to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 36 in 2020. At this point, Goldberg was the Universal Champion. However, due to concerns related to COVID-19, Reigns was pulled from the event, Braun Strowman serving as his substitute.
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