By Troy Provost-Heron
The real winner on Sunday was Shane McMahon — and not because Team SmackDown defeated Team Raw in the five-on-five traditional Survivor Series match.
McMahon is the envy of the WWE Universe because he likely won’t remember the travesty that occurred to end the Survivor Series pay-per-view.
During his match, the SmackDown commissioner attempted to put away Roman Reigns by hitting his infamous Coast-to-Coast finisher. Instead, he got cut in half by a Reigns spear and appeared to suffer a concussion as a result of the impact.
While McMahon was cleaning out the cobwebs and wondering where he was in the back, the rest of us were forced to bear witness to one of the biggest travesties in WWE history.
Goldberg, who returned to professional wrestling after a 12-year hiatus, beat Brock Lesnar. More shocking, he did so by using only three moves. Spear, spear, jackhammer. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. Cue the house lights and let’s go home.
In the span of two-and-a-half minutes, the WWE used Goldberg as a nuclear warhead to dismantle everything it had built over the last few years.
Lesnar is a living legend of professional wrestling. He has been ever since he debuted in 2002. But over the past few years, he has reached heights much higher than the word “legend” describes.
He destroyed The Undertaker and shattered his Wrestlemania streak. He obliterated arguably the greatest WWE superstar of all-time in John Cena. A few months ago, he mutilated Randy Orton, leaving The Legend Killer pouring blood all over the mat.
With performances like those — and so many others — Lesnar had achieved a god-like status. He was invincible, immortal and, most importantly, unbeatable.
In the blink of an eye, Lesnar’s legacy was destroyed, and the legacies of those opponents he had beaten took a hit as well. A match that was a mistake from the get-go sparked a flame and set ablaze to it all.
To make matters worse, the travesty that was one of the worst moments in WWE history followed — and ultimately overshadowed — what was one of the best traditional Survivor Series matches of all-time.
Watching the team of Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman (RAW) battle AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton and McMahon (SmackDown Live) was an absolute treat. For the first time since the WWE brand split back in July, this match put me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. In short, it was a classic.
Moments later, Lesnar’s theme music hit and the wrestler who was larger than life walked down the ramp looking to avenge a loss to Goldberg that came at Wrestlemania 20 more than 12 years ago, oozing with the confidence that comes from being the best at what you do.
Goldberg’s iconic entrance followed. Cameras followed the man who once won began his career with 173 consecutive victories as he made his way to the ring. He breathed in the pyro smoke and exhaled it through his mouth. It was nostalgic, but this isn’t 2004. Dieties from the past have nothing on the current form of Lesnar.
Or should I say the past form.
The bell rang, Lesnar drove Goldberg into the corner and was then pushed to the ground. A look of disbelief and fear donned on the mayor of Suplex City. A pair of spears was parlayed into a jackhammer. A three-count followed and Lesnar was left in pain as his manager Paul Heyman knelt over him. Together, they watched along with the WWE Universe as everything involving Lesnar crumbled.
This isn’t the first time WWE has messed up, and it won’t be the last. In the past, it has sometimes been able to salvage the careers of the superstars it destroyed, but Lesnar’s is now beyond saving. The Beast Incarnate is dead.
Hopefully nobody tells Shane McMahon.