“Never say never” is a phrase that the WWE has basically been built on. The WWE has had record crowds in some of the biggest arenas possible, put some of the biggest wrestlers ever in matches against each other, and have signed people nobody would ever think would step foot in a WWE ring.
One example of this “never say never” mentality is the main event of March 5’s WWE Network event Fast Lane that has one of the biggest stars in WCW history Goldberg challenging for WWE Universal Championship against champion Kevin Owens. There is no way anybody who is familiar these two would have ever imagined them in the a match with each other, me included.
In 2014 my friends and I took a road trip from Houston to New Orleans for Wrestlemania 30 and all of the surrounding events such as Wrestlecon. Wrestlecon brings in well over a hundred wrestlers of the past and stars of the future for meet and greets and even a wrestling show. One of the main attractions for Wrestlecon was the opportunity to meet Goldberg. I was never the biggest fan of him and the prices he was charging were too much for me. I was more excited about seeing a man named Kevin Steen.
I had been watching Kevin Steen for many years in a smaller promotions such Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. He won me over with his ability to talk trash and back it up in the ring. That weekend I saw him wrestle in ROH on Friday and again on Saturday night at the Wrestlecon show. Both were great matches that were highlights of my weekend. However, the real Kevin Steen highlight of the weekend came Saturday night as me and my friends were hanging out in front of the hotel. As my friends and I stood there Kevin Steen and another wrestler came out from the lobby and asked us where the IHOP was. We sadly did not know but were happy to have had such a random interaction with a wrestler we were a fan of.
Later that same year Kevin Steen was signed by WWE changed his last name to Owens and took the WWE by storm. He started in WWE’s developmental group NXT won the championship in two months, was promoted to the main roster a few months later, and picked up a win over John Cena on his first night. From there he won the Intercontinental Championship twice and solidified his name as a top star by winning the WWE Universal Championship on Raw this past August. After years over a decade of hard work Owens won a title many thought he never would.
The next month another “Never say never” moment occurred. In August WWE announced Goldberg as the exclusive downloadable character in their WWE 2K17 video game. In the past video game deals such as this have led to legends such as Sting and The Ultimate Warrior to coming into the WWE. The same ended up happening as Goldberg returned on the October 17 edition of Raw after a 12 year absence. That night he challenged Brock Lesnar to a match at Survivor Series where he went on to defeat the former UFC and WWE champion in only 1:26. The next night would enter himself into the 2017 Royal Rumble where he threw out a few wrestlers before again running through Lesnar eliminating in a matter of seconds. Goldberg would not go on to win the match but it was clear he was still one of the most dominant forces in wresting.
Kevin Owens since winning the title has held it for over six months but has not been quite as dominating a his Fast Lane opponent Goldberg. Owens’ title defense have been tainted by comedy, disqualifications, and assistance from Braun Strowman and his former best friend Chris Jericho. Since the Goldberg match has been made official there seems to have been a change in Owens. The next week he turned his back on his friend Jericho viciously attacking him to the point he had to be taken out on a stretcher. Since then Owens has been focussed on Goldberg but is not showing fear. Owens made sure to note that he was not impressed by the WCW Legend as a kid and is not impressed by him now. Whatever threats have been thrown at him have been deflected by his brash fearlessness. Going into his March 5 title defense against Goldberg Owens seems to be looking the best he during his entire title reign but he is facing the toughest opponent of his career.
Goldberg has been on one of the most impressive runs in recent WWE history while WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens is the most successful he has been in his whole career. On March 5 at WWE Fast Lane a match that most people would not ever think would happen is gonna decide who goes into Wrestlemania 33 as WWE Universal Champion.