Backstage politics are a big factor in professional wrestling, and what goes on every year leading up to the biggest wrestling show of them all, WrestleMania, is a prime example of that.
The main event of the 33rd installment of WrestleMania will feature Goldberg taking on Brock Lesnar with the WWE Universal championship on the line. That wasn't always the plan, though.
Lesnar was in talks to take on another legend of sorts, who also has a fight lined up for WrestleMania. Pitting Lesnar against Shane McMahon was reportedly on the table, though a little angling from Brock may have saved him from having to sell a match against Shane-O.
"Brock was able to get himself out of that match [against Shane], which he certainly didn't want to do, Shane was gonna work with somebody, so he's gonna pick the best guy in the company," Dave Meltzer of F4Wonline said in the latest "Wrestling Observer Radio" podcast.
How did Brock manage that? By making sure his match against Goldberg would have the highest draw possib, making it a clear-cut booking win for the WWE creative team.
Lesnar was one of the people pushing for Goldberg to come out on top over him at Survivor Series last year, wanting to give Goldberg the a 2-0 lead in their series and setting up an eventual trilogy, according to Meltzer.
Goldberg went on to beat Lesnar at Survivor Series, and now the two are set for their second WrestleMania bout. Shane, meanwhile, is booked for a match against A.J. Styles instead.
It makes sense that Lesnar would rather have a marquee fight against Goldberg instead of "working down" to work a much harder-to-sell match against Shane. The size difference alone is a huge obstacle to overcome.
McMahon is known for taking incredible risks when he fights, but his lack of traditional wrestling chops make for a tough match. Styles is currently far-better equipped to help create a memorable match with Shane through virtue of his great in-ring talent.
Considering how poorly the Lesnar-Goldberg matches have gone over in the past, though, this isn't exactly projected to be a fantastic main event. There's the off-chance that the third time is the charm for the leviathans, but another report indicates the WWE is unsure Goldberg can put on a quality match with any significant running time.
There's no arguing a Lesnar-Goldberg 3.0 has serious name power behind it, but as both men have aged and wrestling has evolved, the shine this on-paper dream match has dulled.
We'll have to see how both WrestleMania matches play out before there are any final verdicts.