Cain A. Knight
Goldberg is back in WWE to challenge Drew McIntyre for the WWE championship this Sunday (Jan. 31) at Royal Rumble 2021. It’s at least possible that Goldberg will beat the top champion in WWE in consecutive years, right before WrestleMania, even though he only wrestles two matches per year.
But even if that happens, McIntyre should still be appreciative of the extra eyeballs that Goldberg will bring to the WWE product. At least that’s one conclusion I inferred from Goldberg’s appearance on Corey Graves’ After the Bell podcast, where he agreed that Undertaker was right about today’s wrestlers being too soft:
“I think so…yes, I believe comparatively the business is soft. But the business is in 2021, so things have to change and things have to be different. Mega superstars that are bigger than life, it’s hard in this generation seemingly to build those people.”
“…but people are soft. People take offense to things way too quickly. I mean, you know, get a little thicker skin, boys and girls. That’s all I can say. When legends came in when I was in the business, in the beginning, I was greatly appreciative of the eyes that they brought to our product. And one day, those young kids are gonna be in a position just like me, and I hope that karma comes back to bite them in the ass. That’s all I can say. Because at 54 years old, I don’t know one of ‘em that can be doing what I’m doing.”
Goldberg says that “in the beginning” he was appreciative of the extra eyes that past stars brought to WCW’s product, and he refers to karma coming back to bite today’s “young kids” in the ass. One problem with that, of course, is that WWE’s current roster isn’t young. Goldberg was 31 years old throughout most of his undefeated streak storyline that occurred in 1998. As I detailed when explaining why Undertaker’s comments about today’s soft wrestlers also missed the mark, many of today’s featured wrestlers on Raw and SmackDown are 35+ years old. Very few of them are under 32 years old, particularly on the men’s side. These aren’t a bunch of inexperienced and entitled young kids who don’t know any better.
They’ve been getting cast aside for part-timers for the better part of a decade now, so they know how this story plays out. The business won’t be transformed or elevated because part-timers like Goldberg, Shane McMahon, Kurt Angle, Undertaker, Triple H, John Cena, etc., are coming in to the product. The part-timers come in, take the highest paying spots away from the current roster on the biggest pay-per-view cards of the year, and it makes it that much harder for the current roster to become the “mega superstars” that Goldberg says is lacking today. Goldberg may have been appreciative of what legends added to WCW’s product in the late 90’s, but those legends did not dominate the WCW landscape the way they typically have done so in WWE over the last decade. It’s really not even comparable.
Any current wrestlers who express frustration about those circumstances aren’t being “soft.” They are just being realistic in assessing WWE’s over-reliance on part-time wrestlers, which has generally come at the expense of the current roster.
Goldberg also seems to agree with Undertaker about tougher locker rooms back in the day:
“There were a lot of badass dudes in that the locker room when I came in…things have changed exponentially, and I can’t say it’s for the better.”
Drew McIntyre has already explained why today’s stars are just as badass as previous generations of wrestlers. But hey, at least Goldberg refrained from mentioning video games as one reason for any perceived difference. I’d like to elaborate more, but if you’ll excuse me, I need to run outside and yell at these 35 year old kids who are on my lawn.
What do you think about Goldberg’s comments on today’s soft wrestlers?