Goldberg defeats Kevin Owens to win WWE Universal Championship

Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens to become the WWE Universal champion at WWE Fastlane. Courtesy @WWEUniverse

Oftentimes in the world of wrestling, the simplest solution often ends up being the right one.

No matter what your feelings are about the result of Sunday's WWE Universal Championship match at Fastlane, there's no denying that keeping it simple was as effective a device for how things played out as the WWE could have conceived of.

Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens after a distraction from Chris Jericho, becoming the second-oldest WWE world champion in the company's history at age 50. This victory also sets the stage for Goldberg's scheduled match for WrestleMania 33 against Brock Lesnar to be the prohibitive favorite to occupy the traditional main event slot at the biggest show of the year.

With less than a minute left in the traditional broadcast window, there was very little hope that the match for the WWE Universal Championship match at Fastlane -- which started at 10:59 -- would amount to anything but spear, jackhammer, 1-2-3. As WWE stretched the broadcast beyond that traditional window, however, with Owens sliding out of the ring to waste time, several other possibilities seemed to be possible.

Owens teased getting back into the ring several times, playing mind games with his intense opponent by stepping back out and pacing on the outside of the ring. Even after fully stepping back into the ring once, Owens immediately dropped down and rolled under the bottom rope. The entire escapade lasted more than five minutes.

As Owens finally prepared himself for the match and beckoned Goldberg to the middle of the ring, thinking he'd already gotten through much of his opponent's stamina, Jericho's music hit just seconds before the bell finally rang to start the match. As Owens turned, incredulous that his long-time best friend had arrived, Goldberg promptly hit a spear.

Owens writhed on the ground in pain for several seconds before being picked up and dropped by a jackhammer. Three seconds later, Goldberg became the third ever WWE Universal champion.

This loss ends Owens' reign as Universal champion at 188 days. After Finn Balor relinquished the title one day after winning it against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam, Owens won a Fatal 4-Way elimination match on Monday Night Raw by pinning Rollins (with an assist from Triple H).