Sami Zayn Questions Whether Goldberg Would Be A Success If He Debuted Today

Sami Zayn

Sami Zayn has questioned whether Goldberg would enjoy the same level of success if he debuted today, compared to when he broke through in the Attitude Era.

On September 22nd, 1997, Goldberg made his television debut. On WCW Monday Nitro, the former Atlanta Falcon defeated Hugh Morrus in little under three minutes to launch arguably the most famous undefeated streak in professional wrestling history.

It was a run that cemented Goldberg’s place as one of the top performers of the Attitude Era, not only in WCW.

Appearing on a recent episode of WWE After The Bell, Sami Zayn discussed the differences between the much-loved Attitude Era and today’s wrestling product.

Due to how the wrestling scene has changed, what was successful in the late 1990s would not be successful now, and vice versa, according to the former Intercontinental Champion.

Sami Zayn used the career of Goldberg to demonstrate his point. Someone who, he claims, would not have had the same success in today’s wrestling environment because of the increasing emphasis on work rate.

“Goldberg debuts today in NXT, is he going to be [the same] Bill Goldberg?” Zayn said. “My guess is probably not. Bill Goldberg had to fill a very specific vacuum that only existed at that exact time for him to be in the spot that he’s in. I hope I’m not taking a shot at Bill here by saying I’m pretty sure he’d be the first to acknowledge that this guy isn’t exactly known for his 5 star matches or anything, he’d steam roll through guys.

If he came around at a slightly different time when work rate was far more important, he might have been left in the dust or people might not have taken a second look at him. It’s so circumstantial.”

Zayn went on to say that a lot of success, both personally and as an industry, is based on chance. With that stated, he believes that SmackDown is as open and unpredictable as ever.

“It’s a lot of luck, and recognition of that luck is important when you talk about everything,”

“Your own individual success and the success of something like the Attitude Era. It was a lot of luck, a lot of things lining up at just the right place at just the right time. Regardless if you take the rose-coloured glasses away, the one thing that they really had going for them at that time was this unpredictability.

You didn’t know what they were going to do next week and I think that was a big part of the intrigue. That’s something that I feel like now, with a wide-open playing field right now and all these new characters and not knowing where things are going to line up, I find that exciting.

“That’s what I like as a fan and I don’t want to be able to predict what’s going to happen. Even with Roman who’s firing on all cylinders, I don’t want to be able to look at Roman and go, ‘I know he’s going to be champion for another six months.’ I want to be kept on my toes. I think there’s a great opportunity right now on SmackDown, even with RAW, they have amazing talent, but with SmackDown, I feel like it’s wide open and reminds me of what SmackDown was years and years ago when they first did the brand split, where it almost became this opportunity for a lot of guys to become stars.”

Goldberg most recently competed at WWE Crown Jewel, defeating Bobby Lashley and putting an end to their long-running rivalry. In 2018, the former WCW star was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and stands as a four-time World Champion.

Sami Zayn was supposed to appear at Survivor Series as part of Team SmackDown, however he was substituted after losing to Jeff Hardy. Instead, he participated in a 25-man Battle Royal to mark The Rock’s 25th anniversary. Omos finally triumphed in the match.

H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.

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