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Steve Austin says he is happy for Goldberg because his match next weekend against Brock Lesnar means a lot to him that his wife and kids get to see him perform live and in person.
“I’m excited to see Bill back,” Steve Austin told me on last week’s PWTorch Livecast (download or stream full episode HERE). I know he wanted to go back so his son could see him perform one or two more times, whatever Goldbeg’s deal is. I don’t know what his deal is.”
Austin said he didn’t know Goldberg was coming back, even though he spent time with him at his house. “I was at his house a few months ago,” Austin said. “I knew he was going to be on the back of the 2K17 game, but didn’t know any of this stuff was going to transpire into what it has. Maybe he didn’t either, but he totally kayfabed me.”
Austin had the best seat in the house for the prior Lesnar vs. Goldberg match at WrestleMania 20 as special referee, and he thinks it’s got a better chance to be a good match now than it did back them
“Seeing him get out there and step in the ring with Brock in two weeks is going to be interesting,” he said. “I was right there front and center at Madison Square Garden back 12 years ago. And both of those guys were leaving the company. The match just wasn’t that good… Certainly there’s pressure on him [this time] because of what happened years ago. Both guys are very good friends of mine, so I want them to have a classic… I wish them all the luck in the world. Brock Lesnar can have a good match with anybody. So can Goldberg. I mean, that match he had with Diamond Dallas Page was a damn classic. If you get the right people helping these guys out, it could be a knock down, drag out affair. I think that’s what people expected 12 years ago.”
He does acknowledge that Goldberg is older and that could make it more of a challenge this time. However, he has seen first-hand Goldberg is keeping himself in shape. “The fact is Bill Goldberg is 12 years older, but hell I was at his house, I’ve seen him punch kick do all that Muay Thai stuff. He’s still strong as a bull, probably not as strong as Brock. At one time I would consider those guys almost equally explosive to the strongest guys in the history of the business. Brock is a freak athlete. Brock’s gotta be Brock. I don’t know how dinged up Bill is. He was getting along pretty good when I saw him.”
What kind of match does he expect? “You know, when you go in there and you work a match with Brock Lesnar and you were and still are Bill Goldberg, there’s got to be some drastic physicality to this. This is not going to be Brock taking powders out of the ring because he’s worried about Bill Goldberg. This is going to be two big bulls in there fighting. We’ll just see how they lay it out. I’m not nervous, I’m hopeful that they just kick ass and blow the roof off the place. That remains to be seen… It can be a brutal, brief ten minute classic. I don’t care how long it is, as long as it’s good and suits both guy’s character and it’s good for both guys. You can look there and say, ‘Okay, what’s the finish going to be?’ Let’s just forget about the finish. We’ll see what happens when the finish goes down.’ Both guys need to go out there and be who and what they are.”
Keller’s Analysis: There is pressure to have a good match, but on the bright side, the bar was set so low last time, it won’t be as difficult to top their first effort 12 years ago. I think everything Austin said here is why people are looking forward to this match. The curiosity to see Goldberg perform after 12 years away, the historical context of how rough the first match was, and just intrigue over seeing bulls go at it and try to put on a main event worthy performance for the fans. The fact that Austin testifies to Goldberg being in great shape even before this match was announced is a good sign, and no surprise.