After plenty of speculation, WWE Hall Of Famer and former World Champion Goldberg made his return to the company on Friday Night SmackDown, and instantly set his sights on a top-level match in the coming weeks.
Having retained his Universal Championship against Seth Rollins at the Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns opened the 4th February edition of the blue brand accompanied by his Bloodline cohorts The Usos and his recently returned special counsel, Paul Heyman.
Heyman had returned to the side of ‘The Head Of The Table’ during the Royal Rumble match between his charge at the time, WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, and Bobby Lashley. When the referee got knocked down during the title contest, Reigns stormed the ring to hit ‘The Beast Incarnate’ with a spear, before Heyman handed him the title belt to clock Lesnar and help get ‘The All Mighty’ the victory.
Making his actions clear, Heyman commented at the opening of SmackDown that he had made a mistake in aligning with Lesnar again, and realised when Lesnar was insistent on challenging Roman Reigns for a title against title match at WrestleMania when he appeared on the episode of SmackDown after Day 1, when he had won the WWE Championship in a fatal five-way contest.
Paul Heyman went on to make it clear that he acknowledges Roman Reigns as his Tribal Chief, and gave the crowd to do the same – but instead a different but familiar sound rang out.
WWE Hall Of Famer Goldberg’s music played, and he made his way out to the ring through his usual pyrotechnics.
— WWE (@WWE) February 5, 2022
Goldberg’s statement was fairly short and sweet, although he did acknowledge Roman Reigns… as his next victim.
This led to Goldberg issuing a challenge to ‘The Needle Mover’ to put his Universal Championship on the line at Elimination Chamber against Goldberg.
Although the challenge wasn’t officially accepted at the time, it was confirmed later and can be added to the card alongside matches including Bobby Lashley’s first WWE Championship defence as he competes inside the chamber against Brock Lesnar, AJ Styles, Austin Theory, Seth Rollins and Riddle.