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WrestleMania 36 match breakdown: Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg

Maybe the most popular champion in WCW history is now one of the biggest heels in WWE, and he’ll attempt to get The Big Dog over

Bill Goldberg attends WWE 20th Anniversary Celebration Marking Premiere of WWE Friday Night SmackDown on FOX at Staples Center on October 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images

UPDATE 4/4: Due to a health condition, Roman Reigns was unable to compete at WrestleMania. He was replaced by Braun Strowman.

Though Goldberg dialed up four spears, Strowman found four power slams, finished it with a running power slam, and got the very quick 1-2-3 for the win.

The history of Roman Reigns in singles matches at WrestleMania shows a bias towards age. First it was Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 (he’s currently 42), then Triple H at WrestleMania 32 (age 50), then The Undertaker at 33 (now age 55), and Lesnar again at 34. But for last year’s 35, an upcoming Drew McIntyre was his victim, and it showed the future and promise of competitive Reigns matches against people that could be his peers.

But everything old at WrestleMania is eventually new again, including the “Roman Reigns beats up quinquagenarian in Orange County, Florida” storyline. This time it’s Bill Goldberg, also in Orlando like it was with The Undertaker, but this time with 80,000 less people watching live.

Why are we doing this again? Because the WWE decided to hot shot the belt on Bill because he agreed to go to Saudi Arabia under dubious circumstances when a lot of other superstars decided to stay home, and took it off one of their most popular champions to do it. This is just the intro and I’m already angry typing it.

Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg (C, Universal Champion)

How did this feud develop

It hasn’t! Once Goldberg won the title off The Fiend Bray Wyatt in Saudi Arabia in February, he came back to Smackdown the next day with the WWE Universe pretty upset a 53-year-old part-time wrestler just beat a massively popular champion.

And that lead to this. Here’s literally the entire build to the feud. You can see it all in two minutes:

Where this feud stands now

Well because Goldberg is just an on-call employee, literally nothing happened until last week when they signed a contract to have a match.

We do love that Roman, Georgia Tech grad, got in a good dig at the Georgia Bulldog Goldberg before putting pen to paper. The clean, old-fashioned hate rivalry works great in a WWE ring!

The pick

Look, let’s not bury Goldberg too hard. His streak was one of the best-booked things WCW ever did, his entrance remains in the canon, and his spears and jackknife powerbombs were the most feared moves from sports entertainers and child care providers supervising recess in the late 1990’s. He wanted to get back in the ring, and Vince McMahon ponied up to have him. That’s fine.

But taking the belt off Wyatt meant Goldberg was instantly going to be a heel. And having Roman Reigns line up to face him makes this about our 784th attempt to get Roman all the way over with the fans.

We’ll take Roman here because he always wins in this spot. But with no crowd in the Performance Center to boo this match (which they very well might have at Raymond James Stadium), maybe they swerve us all?

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