This past week, WWE very quietly revealed that they would be returning to Saudi Arabia for another big show after the huge, financially beneficial shows of The Greatest Royal Rumble and Crown Jewel last year. On top of this, they also announced that The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, and perhaps most shockingly, Goldberg, would all be appearing at the show.
Considering Goldberg had retired from in-ring competition and been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, you wouldn’t be crazy for thinking he actually wouldn’t wrestle again. But, it seems like retirements are just temporary these days as the former Universal Champion is set to return at the Saudi show.
The announcement certainly raised some eyebrows, and now the reason for his sudden return has been revealed. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported in the latest edition of the Newsletter that it wasn’t really due to pulling big names for the Saudi Arabian crowd as first thought, but instead a much more tactical choice.
“Those in WWE say the company approached Goldberg, figuring he was the one guy left who could go to AEW and perhaps bring back lapsed fans, similar to how Vince McMahon, without the benefit of hindsight, left the door open to WCW for Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper and Randy Savage in the 90s.”
Goldberg had been rumoured to be a name linked with All Elite Wrestling ever since Tony Khan, the President of AEW, claimed he wanted him on board. It seems this move was made to ensure Goldberg didn’t jump ship to a rival promotion and to quell the rumours of his departure.
This comes after WWE denied the releases of several of their stars, including The Revival, Luke Harper and Sasha Banks, for the fear of them joining AEW shortly after. Jim Ross also stated recently that an undercard talent that is barely featured on TV was offered a new contract of $500,000 per year, which they accepted, just so WWE could stop them joining AEW. Conversely, the same contract was offered to The Revival, however they actually turned the offer down, and are instead waiting for their contracts to expire.
AEW really does seem to have WWE worried as of late, and this is just the latest story to indicate this. The wrestling landscape sure is about to change, and with AEW’s first show Double or Nothing taking place in just over three weeks, we could very well be on the verge of another wrestling war.