A black South Africa captain holding aloft the Webb Ellis Cup at a packed stadium in Yokohama says rugby can bring hope.
A World Cup where Japan upstaged two Six Nations teams and sold more than 200,000 replica jerseys says rugby can grow in new frontiers.
A World Cup won by a side humiliated 57-0 by the All Blacks in 2017 says it's pointless trying to make predictions about what might happen in the next two years.
Some will believe South Africa's victory signals a tectonic shift in world rugby. They beat an England team, after all, that dispatched the All Blacks the week before.
But the World Cup didn't signal a shift in anything. It confirmed what has been apparent the past three years — there is little to nothing between the top five or six teams.
The so-called gap between the All Blacks and the rest of the world doesn't exist. It might have in 2015, when they were that little bit ahead of everyone, but it wasn't like that in 2016, even if the results said it was.
Most teams underestimated the All Blacks in 2016. Thought they were vulnerable because they had lost so much experience and ability. When everyone worked out that New Zealand were still trucking along quite nicely without Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith, they shifted their mindset and came at the All Blacks with everything and it became apparent they were vulnerable.
They still mostly won but weren't as far ahead as it seemed, even though they continued to occasionally post huge victories against quality teams.
A few anomalous results came out of the Six Nations as well; games where predictions of a nailbiter proved laughably wrong.
In the past three years, we have seen a global landscape where a result can turn crazy if one team is just a fraction off their best.
We had a sharp reminder of that before the tournament when the Wallabies posted a record score against the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup test, and the following week, the whole business reversed.
The World Cup has driven home how rugby between the best teams is a game of opportunity-taking. It comes down to micro-plays that have the ability to swing the momentum in thrilling and dramatic fashion.
Win enough of those, as England did against the All Blacks, and life looks easy. A week later and England were that fraction off.
They looked nervous, edgy and mentally flat in the final — and South Africa won the little moments.
The Boks are world champions and deservedly so because they are the team that took their opportunities. They won the micro-battles and made them count.
England and the All Blacks are probably their equal in terms of ability but they go home empty-handed because they didn't nail it when they needed to.
That's the story of the World Cup. Those three teams are leaving Japan having suffered one loss each but it was the Boks who ensured they won the games that mattered.
Come 2020, nothing will change. There will continue to be results that surprise and results that don't make sense because that's how international rugby is at the moment.
But while things won't change much on the field, there is a need for revolution off it.
The Pacific Islands were a sad sight a this tournament and they need a set-up that helps them get better, not worse.
Japan made it to the last eight but that doesn't seem repeatable if they don't have a team in Super Rugby, or access to decent test fixtures for the next four years.
The plight of the Pacific Island nations is hardly a new topic and while it is easy to be jaded and cynical about the chances of anything positive being done to help, seeing Siya Kolisi left the World Cup gives some hope it can happen.