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WWE relives the '90s as Goldberg defeats Lesnar at Survivor Series

For The Baltimore Sun
WWE relives the '90s as Goldberg defeats Lesnar at Survivor Series.

Normally I can't give you a full play-by-play of a match, so I give you a few highlights. However, for the Brock Lesnar-Goldberg match at the WWE's Survivor Series on Sunday, I can give you the whole thing.

The match started with a staredown, with Lesnar almost having a bemused look on his face. Lesnar struck first, picking up Goldberg and driving him back into the corner. Goldberg, while moved, was unfazed, and shoved Lesnar to the mat with authority. Lesnar looked shocked, with his eyes darting between Goldberg and Paul Heyman. After a few seconds though, the shock turned to amusement, as he smiled and seemed to laugh as he got up. As he rose from the mat, he turned his back to Goldberg, and that was his downfall.

As he turned back around he was hit with a spear. Goldberg immediately moved to the corner, and when Lesnar eventually rose again, holding his ribs, Goldberg struck again with another spear. Lesnar was down and hurt, and Heyman began to beg Lesnar not to attack again. Instead, he didn't even wait for Lesnar to fully get up again, and hit him with a Jackhammer for a 1, 2, 3.

In a bubble, you can almost understand this result. Wrestling is made up of moments, and this was undoubtedly a huge moment. It was shocking, it was decisive, and it made for a great picture. No matter what the opinion, people are talking about it, and that's a good thing.

The story that was told even made sense. Lesnar was overconfident, and even turned his back on his opponent as he got up. His overconfidence was his downfall, and it was a swift one. We knew that Goldberg was capable of quick wins. After all, in his prime he would routinely beat the best of the best in minutes. In a bubble, everything that happened, while surprising, was not just understandable, but the best possible outcome.

Yet, matches do not exist in a bubble, and the overarching story is an odd one. Thirty-one months ago, Brock Lesnar beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania and beat the streak. Since that moment, Brock Lesnar has been an unstoppable force, running through the best that WWE had to offer. The idea was that whoever beat the monster that could conquer the streak must truly be something special.

John Cena wasn't that special person. Nor was Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins or Dean Ambrose. Instead, it was a man who hadn't wrestled in 12 years. This was what WWE had been waiting for over the past 31 months? It doesn't seem to make much sense for the long-term. Just like people questioned Undertaker losing to a part-timer who didn't necessarily need the rub, to pass that torch to someone who may not have another match left (though I would bet big money that he will) feels wrong.

Of all things, this match might be best-explained by the show "South Park." This season of "South Park" has dealt with many topics, but much of it has revolved around the idea of nostalgia being a driving force in society these days. When it comes to wrestling in particular, it's hard to argue with that idea. After all, much of the WWE Network is based around the fact that people want to relive the past eras of wrestling. One of those eras is of course WCW during the Monday Night Wars, and that includes Goldberg's run. We wanted to see Goldberg run through people in two minutes like he did in his prime. We wanted to chant "Goldberg" and see his fantastic entrance. And that's exactly what we got. Is it shocking that he did that against someone like Brock Lesnar? Yes. But we remember, and now we've relived it.

So, similar to what Goldberg says, the question now is “What's next?” If this is the end for Goldberg, it's completely baffling. My guess is we're going to see Goldberg again, probably twice, at Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. Will it be against Lesnar again? There would be some logic to that, but Goldberg is now 2-0 against Lesnar. What would be in it for him to take another match? We'll have to wait and see, but hopefully WWE has a clear plan for him. Because if not, and this was nostalgia simply for nostalgia's sake, that could lead to issues once we get out of this bubble.

The rest of Survivor Series:

-The surprises didn't only come from the main event. Instead, the Survivor Series style matches also contained surprises. First off, it has to be considered a bit of an upset that in the main 5 on 5 match, Team Smackdown won. Not just that, but if Smackdown won, people would have expected AJ Styles or Dean Ambrose to be involved. Nope. At the end of the match, it was Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton standing over Roman Reigns, the final member of Team RAW. It seems like that push that we've been wanting for Bray Wyatt may actually be happening. It's not a lock, after all; it seemed like Survivor Series 2014 was going to promise a push for Dolph Ziggler. But this is a good sign. Also, this match had its share of nostalgia as well, as The Shield, including Dean Ambrose, reunited to send AJ Styles through a table. The match was great overall, though Shane McMahon's inclusion put a slight damper on it for a few reasons. First off, the members of Team RAW all had to sell for Shane's offense, which felt wrong. Then, when Shane was eliminated, there was a question on if he was actually hurt or not, as the ref stopped the count midway through and called for the elimination before Shane was helped to the back.

The women's match ended with Team RAW winning. A few things on this match. First off, Nia Jax came off looking like a star. I hope they have big things in store for her, even if she has to wait for a little bit for the title picture to clear. Secondly, I need to state that I'm not on the “WWE is ruining Bayley” train. However, they're not doing her any favors. The end of the match featured Charlotte and Bayley working together over a wounded Becky. While it's doesn't go against Bayley's character, it's certainly not an ideal situation for her to be in. And coming off of a Smackdown where she took part in a 5-on-1 beatdown is crazy. I know she's new and not in the best position to get things changed, but at some point she needs to step up and explain her character, or she could be in some trouble with the fans.

The tag match also, surprisingly, ended up with RAW winning. The final team was Cesaro and Sheamus, and Cesaro forced Jey Uso to tap to the Sharpshooter in Canada. The match was largely forgettable, though it started in a pretty shocking way as The New Day became the first RAW team to be eliminated. Overall, it seems like the show was set up so both sides could claim victory. RAW can say they won two of the three Survivor Series matches, and Smackdown can say they won the main one.

-The Miz retained the IC title, keeping it on Smackdown. This was another great match for both Sami Zayn and Miz, who worked very well together. The ending was a classic Miz ending, as Sami had Miz in a submission. All of a sudden, the ring bell started ringing thanks to Maryse. Sami thought he had won the match, released the hold, and started to celebrate. The match continued though, and Miz quickly rolled Sami up for the pin.

-The Cruiserweight title is also staying put, as The Brian Kendrick ended up winning his match. However, it wasn't without controversy. The match ended with Baron Corbin coming out to get his hands on Kalisto, but first he made sure to hit Kendrick, drawing the DQ. While this wasn't the best match, or the best finish, it does open up some great possibilities, including having Baron Corbin feud with Daniel Bryan, who was furious with Corbin for making sure Smackdown didn't get the cruiserweight division.

-On the preshow, TJ Perkins, Rich Swann and Noam Dar beat Tony Nese, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari. Also, Kane beat Luke Harper.

Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout

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