WWE Fastlane 2017: Reason behind Goldberg squashing Kevin Owens in 21 seconds
WWE had very good reasons for the way the Goldberg/Owens match was booked.
What’s the story?
Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer has discussed the reasons behind why Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens in 21 seconds at Fastlane 2017.
Meltzer believes that the quick finish had to do with WWE being cautious about Goldberg's physical condition and to extend several storylines forward.
In case you didn’t know...
Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens at Fastlane 2017 and won the WWE Universal Championship from him, a title that Owens had carried for 188 days.
Owens initially avoided getting into the ring, going by his strategy of tiring Goldberg out before the match could even begin. Owens then finally got into the ring after a few minutes and asked the referee to ring the bell.
Just as the referee was about to ring the bell, Chris Jericho's music hit and Owens' former best friend walked out.
The music and the entrance distracted Owens, who was quickly speared by Goldberg. Goldberg then hit Owens with a Jackhammer and pinned him to become the 3rd Universal Champion, after Finn Balor and Owens himself.
Here’s a video of the match:
The heart of the matter
Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer discussed the match and the finish on the Wrestling Observer radio and stated that the reason why WWE booked Owens to lose in 21 seconds was because of Goldberg's physical condition.
Goldberg is 50 years old, and according to Meltzer, the WWE are being cautious about not having him get injured prior to WrestleMania. Goldberg is believed to be one of the biggest selling points of WrestleMania 33 and is thus being protected by the company.
The short match not only makes Goldberg look strong going into his match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania but also helps him avoid being dulled out, as his ability to perform in long matches has often been questioned and has also been thoroughly documented.
Meltzer further discussed that the finish of the match could probably have implications on the ongoing storyline between Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley, which could lead to Foley being (kayfabe) fired from his job as the Raw General Manager.
Goldberg's victory over Kevin Owens has now made him the Universal Champion, meaning that his match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33 will have the Universal Championship on the line.
Here’s a video of Goldberg’s reaction to his victory:
Jericho's interference in the match sets him up for a US Title match at WrestleMania 33 against Kevin Owens as well. The match would conclude their friends-turned-enemies storyline.
Jericho teased the feud with a cheeky Instagram post, referencing his interference during the event:
Also, earlier in the show, Stephanie McMahon gave some instructions to Mick Foley about the Goldberg/Owens match, since Owens is a “Triple H guy”, so to speak. It appears that Foley didnt follow through on any of those instructions, and with the match ending the way it did, this could lead to implications within that storyline as well.
The match between Kevin Owens and Goldberg was short and has certainly caused a lot of Owens fans to be enraged with the way it was booked.
There was no better way, however, in which the match could have been executed by the WWE. The way in which Owens tried to go by his plan and was distracted by Jericho, is the only way that this match could have possibly ended where none of the competitors came out looking bad.
Goldberg gets his squash and his mystique continues to carry over to WrestleMania, while Owens seemingly lost due to the "distraction" and was thus protected from a "clean" defeat. Even though Owens didn’t come out of the match looking good, it didn’t damage his persona either.
The coming weeks should be interesting!
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