WWE SummerSlam saw the in-ring return of WCW legend Goldberg, who proceeded to utterly destroy Dolph Ziggler and leave him in a beaten heap. The consummate jerk heel, Ziggler had spent the last several weeks getting into confrontations with both frequent rival The Miz, and Shawn Michaels, a Hall of Famer who Ziggler has often been compared to. Yet, instead of facing either of them, Ziggler ended up going one-on-one with the master of the spear and jackhammer finishing combination at WWE’s big summer event.
Goldberg of course first returned to the ring at Survivor Series in 2016, squashing “The Beast” Brock Lesnar in an unexpected result. Goldberg hadn’t wrestled since a previous match with Lesnar at WrestleMania XX in 2004, coming out of retirement after over a decade off. Since then, Goldberg has competed in the 2017 Royal Rumble, won the Universal Championship from Kevin Owens, lost the title in a rematch to Lesnar at WrestleMania XXIII, and most recently, drop a match to The Undertaker at WWE’s June 2019 Saudi Arabia event Super Show-Down.
Unfortunately, Goldberg has never really looked that great athletically in any of his return matches, which is to be expected, as the man is now in his 50s, and far past his prime, despite still being in tremendous shape for his age. So thankfully, WWE did the logical thing at SummerSlam, and had Goldberg squash Ziggler in his old school WCW fashion via spear and jackhammer combo. Amusingly, Ziggler then demanded Goldberg come back to the ring twice, leading to two more vicious spears that left Ziggler turned inside out. It was far from a wrestling match, but the live crowd enjoyed it, as did many fans on social media. Check out of some gifs and a clip from the encounter below.
The enormous crowd response for Goldberg at SummerSlam illustrated just why WWE keeps trotting out stars from the Attitude and nWo eras to get fans excited. That said, while Goldberg still looks the part, even the short time he spent in the ring with Ziggler illustrated just how much he needs to call it quits, or risk damaging his legacy. Many fans would argue that The Undertaker has started to do just that with the terrible matches he’s had over the last few years, including against Goldberg himself.
Goldberg isn’t quite as physically broken down by injuries as Undertaker, but he was still clearly blown up and huffing and puffing after hitting Ziggler with that first spear, and barely got him over for the jackhammer. That said, how Goldberg was used at WWE SummerSlam was basically the best anyone could ask for. He got to come out, do his Hall of Fame-level entrance, soak up the fans’ adulation, hit his big moves, and get out.
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