ORLANDO, FL -- The expectations for the Universal championship match between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar were all over the map, but one thing was fairly certain: It was going to be fast, it was going to be violent, and it was going to be a test of the endurance of both men.
In just four minutes and 45 seconds, far longer than Goldberg's previous singles matches in this run combined, Goldberg and Lesnar squeezed every last ounce of potential, with 10 suplexes, four spears, a jackhammer and eventually an F5, in giving Lesnar his most hard-fought and well-earned victory in a long, long time.
The build to this match set up everything that followed -- and worked so well that somehow, defying everything we've seen to this point in his WWE career, Lesnar seemed like the underdog on his way to becoming the Universal champion.
As the introductions got underway, Paul Heyman grabbed the microphone from JoJo to do a personalized introduction of his client, calling him "the superhero-conquering beast of WrestleMania, Brock Lesnar."
And then it was on.
For a moment, it seemed like Lesnar's revenge would be swift, with three consecutive German Suplexes, but Goldberg popped right back up and hit a spear -- and then another spear, which sent Lesnar rolling out of the ring.
It would be a brief respite, however, as Goldberg speared Lesnar a third time, sending them both through the barricade and cutting Lesnar's arm open.
After they rolled back into the ring, Goldberg positioned Lesnar for a jackhammer, Lesnar flipped it over into an F5, and then Goldberg rolled it through and hit a fourth spear. When Goldberg got Lesnar up for the jackhammer -- and hit it -- for a moment the crowd collectively held its breath until Lesnar kicked out at the very last moment.
With the move made to look like the absolute killer, it made the kick-out special unexpected. Lesnar leapfrogged Goldberg as he attempted his fifth spear, leaving him to crash into the turnbuckle. Lesnar then hit six German suplexes in a row, and as he stood poised to hit double digits, the crowd reflexively chanted "10" as he obliged with a seventh suplex in the series.
Lesnar lifted Goldberg up for the F5, nailed it and got the three-count, and with that, there was a new Universal champion.
This would be a perfectly respectable exit for Goldberg, who was, in the end, booked to near-perfection. For Lesnar, Monday night will dictate his new path -- and there's a world of opportunity lying ahead.