Recently on the Wrestling Inc. Podcast, former WWE Producer and MLW Network owner Court Bauer shared his thoughts about how WWE should build the feud between Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, leading to their WrestleMania 20 rematch at this year's WWE Survivor Series.
Bauer thought that the Brock Lesnar segment from this week's episode of WWE Monday Night RAW from Minneapolis, Minnesota missed the mark because getting the crowd to support Goldberg over Lesnar, the local product, would have been a tall order.
"Bill Goldberg gets a hero's welcoming last week. This week, 'Goldberg sucks' chants. Why? Because you had the homecoming, you had the hometown hero, Brock Lesnar, in his market. Why would you book him in Minnesota? Why? I would have just done nothing. I would have done video packaging to represent this. It's not like Survivor Series is next week, right? It's a month away! Why did you do this? Anybody in the business at any point should know you're set yourself up for disastrous situation, which is kind of what they had. I'm not saying the sky is falling, but it wasn't good for Bill Goldberg and it wasn't ideal for what they were building."
Also, Bauer said that Lesnar's mouthpiece, Paul Heyman, made the "curious" decision to lay out a lot during that promo, which made it possible for the crowd get more involved.
"It was very weird and it was a lesson to be learned though. You have to protect your guys. And looking at what they did on Monday night, it was really weird because you're in Brock's hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he lives now, essentially, where he made his name at the University of Minnesota. And you have Paul Heyman wearing a purple tie representing the [NFL's Minnesota] Vikings, Brock Lesnar wearing the 'Suplex City' shirt. They didn't heel in that crowd at all. They gave you an opportunity for the crowd to feed off of themselves and hijack the show and 'Goldberg sucks' chants. If Brock and, well, Paul, had spoken more, instead of laying out, I don't think that would have happened."
As for how he would book the feud, Bauer stated that he would present it like a UFC fight and that he would not even have Goldberg and Lesnar touch prior to their tussle in Toronto, Canada.
"For this match alone, I don't think they need to be doing conventional stuff. I would have built it like a UFC match, have them training, show Goldberg in San Diego [California]. He does a lot of muay thai training. Show Brock Lesnar, doing his feats of strength stuff he does in training for a match, and built it in a classic UFC way. I wouldn't have them touch, wouldn't get heat, and the other issue you're having is Paul is a great promo man, but if you've used him as a crutch for so long that everyone knows, it's so predictable, he's going to go out there and he's going to talk. And it's the same thing week after week, month after month. It's still great, but it's not the most original utilization of Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Put them in a different environment. Put them in a different situation. Shake it up a little bit because it is as autopilot as it gets. And, hey, maybe because we know Paul can always knock it out of the park, but you have to do Paul right and give him different environments, different creative, and they're not."
Bauer said, "make it feel epic. Make it feel different. Similar to what TNA did, actually, to segue to TNA, with Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. It was so different from anything TNA ever had done, and, frankly, afterwards, they never did anything like it. But it made it feel different. It made it feel major league. It made it feel big time. And Brock Lesnar, Bill Goldberg, feel like legit guys. Put them in that environment through that prism of looking at them as legit, bad ass fighters. Lets see that big prize fight."
Bauer warned that WWE must avoid the same mistakes they made with Batista's most recent return to professional wrestling's largest promotion.
"You don't want this to be a repeat of Dave Bautista. When he came back, huge, popped the ratings big and within a few weeks, you fumbled, and he gets rejected at the Royal Rumble because of how you've positioned him, where you positioned him, very similar. They wanted Daniel Bryan. They instead got Rey Mysterio who has never been booed in his whole career, he gets booed at the Royal Rumble. Dave Bautista, the homecoming, coming off of Guardians [Of The Galaxy], and he gets booed. And same thing here."
You can check out the show in the videos below. Also, you can check out MLW Radio MLWRadio.com. The MLW Radio Network features podcasts from the likes of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, Eric Bischoff, Bruce Prichard, Court Bauer, Kevin Sullivan, Mister Saint Laurent, Jim Cornette, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Conrad Thompson, former WWE writers and many others.