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[2019-06-07-WWE-Super ShowDown] The Undertaker vs Goldberg

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I honestly thought this was really good. If it wasn't for those last minute botches, this wouldn't get nearly as much hate. In fact I'm not even sure those spots were actually botches. A drained, bloody Goldberg collapsing while going for a tombstone made sense as did the jackhammer not being perfectly executed (it turned into a Hashimoto style sheerdrop brainbuster which I would actually consider to be a bonus). I'll admit the finish was a little too anticlimactic though. Expecting a fluid, fast paced, flawlessly wrestled match was silly. This was exactly what it should have: a gritty, ugly heavyweight slugfest between two past their prime heavy hitters. The snake eyes to spear transition to get Goldberg back on offense was really good. Both threw some great strikes as well. ***1/2

 

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Goldberg hit two spears immediately, but couldn't get the pinfall. Undertaker did a sit-up which almost counts for a "high spot" for him nowadays. A few minutes later, Goldberg ran into the post and got busted open - supposedly hardway. Also, on Twitter, Goldberg said he was knocked out for a second. Taker hits a decent chokeslam and a decent Tombstone - but Goldberg kicks out. There's a collision that brings them both to the mat, but Undertaker maintains control soon after and delivers a Snake Eyes - only for Goldberg to counter with a third spear! Goldberg attempts a Jackhammer, but ends up having to settle for a Brainbuster. Taker kicks out, but is very slow getting to his feet. Goldberg tries to get Taker up in a powerslam but he can't and they both go to the mat. Taker then delivers an awful-looking chokeslam. After the match Taker looks pissed as Goldberg gets helped by a trainer

I did not like this match and I'm someone who liked Goldberg's last run against Lesnar (and Owens). I'm also probably a bigger fan of Taker than many here and feel like, for a long time, his "aura" really was enough to carry a bad match into something interesting or "important." 

This match, though, didn't have any "big fight feel" and I didn't get any sense of a story being told. It started off interestingly with Goldberg trying to "shock and awe" his way to victory, but from there, it was just bomb-throwing with a couple random moves thrown in. There was no escalation - it felt like Undertaker went to the Tombstone as his fourth or fifth move when, back in the day, he would progress there with some other signature moves (the Flying Clothesline, the Old School, even the Triangle Choke). 

There's an audience for matches like this - as the review above shows - but I'm not it. 

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People are underrating the fuck out of this. The narrative even from mainstream news outlets seems to be this happened a few years too late, but I'd argue it happening so late actually enhanced it. It has a different feel even from other dream matches by the fact that it is two of the most powerful characters in wrestling history finally meeting when both are in their 50's. Awesome entrances from both guys, especially Goldberg busting himself open by headbutting the door before coming out. The beginning of this is absolutely perfect: They do an epic staredown, Goldberg mocks Taker, Taker responds by rocking him with a stiff right hand, and Goldberg uses the rebound momentum from the ropes to his a surprise spear. How cool is it to see Goldberg not only establishing he doesn't fear Taker, but actually lulling him into leaving himself open for a spear? I love the rest of Goldberg's control segment between the second spear and the sloppy old man kneebar/heel hook as him trying to turn this into another squash match. Taker coming back and doing a nasty murder death tombstone early was fitting given how deep he was in the hole and the fact that he's in there with a guy known for finishing opponents early. The rest of Taker's control was him running through his standard offense (punches, Old School, Snake Eyes, chokeslam), but between the hot crowd, Taker working snug, and Goldberg's gassed out old man selling, it works pretty damn well. Goldberg later opens up the hardway cut he created during his entrance by hitting the ringpost, further adding to the carnage. I'd agree Goldberg botching the Jackhammer into a shoot brainbuster added to the match. I think I rewound that like 5 times, as it felt surreal seeing Taker get murdered like that. The tombstone botch didn't bother me, but I'll admit the sloppy chokeslam finish was a tad disappointing. Hindsight being 20/20 it probably would have worked better for Taker to just go for a Hell's Gate. Not sure how to feel about Taker looking pissed off during the post-match. I thought this was headed for **** territory before the ending botch. Even with it, it might still be **** as it's a pretty badass combination of legit first-time-ever dream match formula with old men maiming each other. 

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