It’s that time of year again, fellow ‘Crappers. Yes, March Madness is upon us. A time of NCAA men’s and women’s basketball brackets AND the good ol’ Wrestlemania weekend. I always thought it’d be fun to get together with your buddies for a weekend and watch some old Wrestlemanias to get in the festive spirit before splitting the cost of the pay-per-view.
Anyways, for this Wrestlecrappy Wrestlemania update, we have a frequently requested induction that I’m sure you’ll enjoy because to help me talk about this week’s write-up is a live eyewitness to this week’s induction, my good friend and fellow Atlantan, Wrestlecrap forum member “Godz”.
Hi all. Godz, (in)famous member of the WrestleCrap Forums here. Our pal Kelly has asked me to do a number of things for/to her (Note from Kelly: look, just because I asked you to pop that unreachable boil…), but the only one fit for print on this site is giving my own personal recap of the Goldberg/Lesnar debacle from WrestleMania XX.
You know, it’s funny even now thinking that a match pitting Bill Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar would wind up in the annals (or is that anals?) or WrestleCrap. I mean, these were two of the biggest stars of the early 2000’s; Goldberg in particular was such a huge name that he kept WCW alive a year or two before it should have died. And Brock? He was the epitome of what a pro wrestler should be, and WWE booked him pretty much to perfection using the same formula Bischoff and crew did for Goldberg: utter destruction of everything in his path.
Oh! And a wicked Mexican hat dance.
Can’t forget about that one.
Sadly, there were no sombreros in this feud.
And soon, the two men who looked to be in a can’t miss match at WrestleMania XX both wanted out of the company.
And they wanted out badly.
Long story short, Goldberg’s contract with the WWE was about to expire immediately after Wrestlemania XX. Lesnar, who was WWE’s star of the future, looked to be getting another boost up the ladder by squashing Goldberg. But there was just one issue: Lesnar was looking to leave as well, hoping to go to the NFL and become a Minnesota Viking. The feud was already moving along, so there was nothing much left to do but have them blow it off at the biggest stage of the year. It should have been an exciting match for the fans.
Just one problem: the fans knew both guys were leaving, and they wanted no part of it.
The feud started normally enough, as at the Royal Rumble Brock interrupted Goldberg’s interview with Marlena.
Wait, she was an interviewer? Really? I question her investigative journalism skills.
Of course, I do that for every floozy WWE puts behind a mic, and am ignored, so I should probably just put that in a balloon and let it go.
So anyway, yes, Brock interruped Goldberg’s interview. Why? Maybe he wanted more interview time. Maybe he wanted to know what happened to Golddust. Maybe he wanted to know what her investigative journalism skills she had.
Balloon. Must let go.
So yeah, Goldberg tells Brock to hit the bricks. In retaliation, Brock F-5’ed Goldberg into oblivion during the Rumble match, allowing Kurt Angle to pitch him.
Kinda like when Giant Gonzalez ran in the 1993 Rumble to beat up The Undertaker.
Only this time around it made slightly more sense.
So I guess it wasn’t much like that at all.
Goldberg decides to get his revenge at No Way Out, when Stone Cold Steve Austin gives him…a marijuana joint?
It sure looks like it! I bet RVD is gonna be pissed!
No, it’s a front row ticket to the event. What, the guy couldn’t pay for a ticket? How’s Vince going to get his $27,000,000 quartlery dividend check now?
Sure enough, possessing the Golden Front Row Ticket allows Goldberg to spear Brock and giving the WWE title to Eddie Guerrero.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, Goldberg is arrested and carted off.
We’d mention that this time it wasn’t for allegedly sexually harrassing a woman, but then we’d have to explain that horrible WCW storyline where he couldn’t get across the street to the arena and we just don’t have time for that.
Realizing that this insanity must end, Goldberg asks Vince for a match against Lesnar at Wrestlemania. For some reason (and please, don’t bother emailing me with a 4,500 word diatribe as to what the reason is), the “Sheriff of Raw” Stone Cold has a stake in this as he demands Vince give Brock and Goldberg their Mania match.
Vince finally agrees and names Austin as the special referee, only after proving his ability to perform such a duty during a McMahon-Eric Bischoff match that I mercifully overlooked when I wrote about their WCW “match” from 1998.
This leads to Brock running in and killing Austin for giving Goldberg the ticket that allowed his run-in that lead to him losing his belt to Eddie Guerrero.
Everybody Got That?
Ironically, Austin and Brock having their tiff allows us all to finally get the unofficial match-ups so many wanted when Austin walked out of the company in 2002, rumored that he did not want to put Brock over.
(Note from RD: Actually, the story as I got it is that Austin had no problem putting Brock over in that match…provided they actually built it up and didn’t just throw it out there for no reason. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have helped Brock or Austin. This is because Austin understands how the business works, you see.)
This is definitely a strangely put-together angle because the most over person in this feud….is Austin!
The special referee, mind you.
Definitely a harbinger of things to come.
So after all the confusing build up, Wrestlemania XX arrived. Godz, what did you think going into this match?
At the time I was still a fairly big WWE fan, and I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale, with the hopes of seeing a rumored (at the time) match between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. That….didn’t quite happen….but, I digress. I had a tradition of going to WWE shows dressed as Hulk Hogan at the time, the crowd got a kick out of it and it was just fun to represent my favorite wrestler of all time. So I brought the Red and Yellow all the way to NYC for ‘Mania.
Lining up waiting to get into MSG, I talked with quite a few fans. Most of them were wise to the internet and knew that Brock was leaving, since this was leaked a week or two before Mania. Goldberg’s departure became known….I wanna say a couple of days before the event as well. Most of the fans were pissed and were planning on booing the both of them, but I don’t think any of them were prepared for the steaming hot Poo-Poo Platter they were about to be served.
You said a mouthful, my friend.
So Austin comes out for the match on the ATV.
You know, I like Austin but when he rides out to the ring on the ATV, I can’t help but think of the Philly Phanatic.
Now I want to see Stone Cold dance to YMCA with some poor schlub in a Spongebob Squarepants outfit then give him a stunner.
Brock is universally booed upon his entrance while Goldberg gets a bit of a bigger pop from the crowd. I’m sorry but Goldberg’s entrances have been forever ruined by Jericho’s parody in WCW.
For that, I thank you, Mistah J. 🙂
(Note from RD: the Goldberg entrances were ruined for me that one time in WWE when he came out of what appeared to be a janitor’s closet. How he squeezed in there with the mops and buckets is still a noodle scratcher for this ol’ boy.)
And as soon as both guys are in the ring, one thing becomes immediately clear: every single fan in the building knows both guys are leaving, and are going to let them know their displeasure.
Before the match even get a chance to lock up, we’re treated to a bunch of delightful chants such as, “You sold out!” which is imediately followed up by the fans singing, “Na na na na, na na na na, HEY HEY HEY, GOODBYYYYE!”
Oh well, at least Austin is amused.
Or maybe he just saw this guy’s sign.
(Note from RD: Cut the guy some slack – Sharpie’s don’t have spell check, you know!)
And the two of them stand around….for quite awhile. Godz, what’s going on?
We got ten minutes of posing, pushing, shoving, and grunting before anything remotely interesting.
I swear, he’s telling the truth, folks.
Then FINALLY we get a 10 minute collar-and-elbow tie-ups while both guys are getting booed out of MSG.
See that shot there to your left? That’s an animated GIF of this match.
Then they take a break to stand around and look at each other.
For MORE collar and elbow tying up! Meanwhile Jim Ross is off the scale on the Bulls*** Meter and has to make “Bulls on the farm in Oklahoma” analogies.
Meanwhile, the crowd is going nuclear, as what they thought was going to happen is this match is actually happening: positively nothing.
Then some MORE standing around while the crowd boos loudly and heartily. I’d love to see this crowd’s reaction to Hulk and Andre at WM3. Godz: At this point, I finished my $8 hot dog and got bored, stood up and yelled “I could put on a better match than these assholes!” which got some laughs.My neighbor’s 6 year old son could have a better match with an Ultimate Warrior wrestling buddy.
Out of nowhere, this thing really takes a turn for the bizarre, as the crowd starts chanting “Hogan”.
Godz, do you have anything to do with this?
I heard someone taunting me from behind “Hey Hogaannnn…” I turn around, and there’s someone decked out as a 1980’s Macho Man Randy Savage.
So we’re taunting each other back and forth (He’s a few rows behind me), and the crowd starts really getting into it, as I get in “Macho’s” face, taunt him with my replica WWF title belt, we’re cutting promos on each other, etc. A small “Hogan” chant starts up, and even people at ringside can be seen looking up at us.
The biggest pop of the night (hush, I’m the one telling this) comes when I rip my shirt off and do all the classic Hogan poses. Someone tells me that the commentators are even watching at this point, I look down and see that its true. Big Hogan chant continues until a security guard comes over and is like “Man that’s funny as hell, but they told me to make you sit down.”
You managed to get yourself over better than Brock and Goldberg got this match over. Why hasn’t the WWE hired you, Godz?
So the match plods along for at least another 10 minutes (though it felt like 10 friggin’ years) and everyone in the place totally s***s on it until Goldberg finally and mercifully pins Brock to end his WWE run.
But Brock stays around in the ring to give the Stone Cold Salute to the crowd…
…and to Austin.
And yeah, you know what that leads to.
See ya, Brock!
Goldberg re-enters the ring to celebrate with Austin…
…and yeah, you know what that leads to too.
See you, Bill!
High Sheriff Austin gets back on his ATV and goes up the ramp to give this match the salute it deserves as MSG bows to him.
Ultimately, Brock did not get to play for the Minnesota Vikings but did go on to become a UFC champion and Goldberg went on to play a murderous Santa Claus that kicks Chris Kattan into a glass china cabinet.
In the end, EVERYONE is a winner here. Anything else you wanna say, Godz?
After the match was over, on his way out, Brock looked right up at me and gave the finger. I don’t know if he was doing it to me or not, but, hey….it beats when I went to December to Dismember dressed as the Blue Meanie, and Bobby Lashley blew kisses directly at me. Ask Kelly. She was there. (TK: To be honest, I was in stunned horror at the abortion of a pay-per-view I was just live witness to, that I didn’t catch Lashley making googly eyes at you).
So, basically what I’m saying is….I brought joy to a rabid, angry crowd of NYC wrestling fans, who likely would’ve rioted and torn Madison Square Garden down to the ground. So, yes, I think it is fair to say that I single handedly saved WrestleMania. You’re welcome, Vince.
On one final note, that was a rather uncomfortable cab ride back to the hotel, shirtless, wearing bright yellow pants, with a blonde wig and a painted on mustache.
Oh well. It’s New York. Doubt anyone noticed.
Enjoy Wrestlemania XXVI, folks!