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Ask 411 Wrestling: How Many Tag Matches Did Goldberg Have?

August 29, 2022 | Posted by Ryan Byers
Goldberg WWE Raw Image Credit: WWE

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Keith has terrible taste in cinema, but at least it lead to an interesting question:

I decided to run it back and watch Ready To Rumble . Goldberg had a line in the movie saying “sorry guys, I work alone”.

That actually had me wondering; How many tag matches has he had in his career?

As a former WCW Tag Team Champion, you know that Bill Goldberg has to have had at least a handful of tag matches, but the total number is larger than I would have guessed. It’s 33.

Interestingly, though Goldberg had his first WCW match on June 23, 1997 (with his first match airing on September 22), he did not have a tag match until almost two years later. His first bout in that format occurred on March 1, 1999 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for Monday Nitro, as he teamed with Rick Steiner against Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell. Two weeks later, he would have his second tag match, teaming with Ric Flair against Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash on the March 15 Nitro in Cincinnati.

It would be several months before “The Man” (as Mike Tenay called him) would have his next bout, actually having a series of three in August 1999. On 8/2’s episode of Nitro, Goldberg wrestled against his first-ever tag team partner, as Goldberg & Sting faced Rick Steiner & Sid Vicious in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. On the next episode of Nitro on 8/9 in Boise, Idaho, that match was turned into a six man, as Hulk Hogan joined Goldberg & Sting while Kevin Nash joined Rick Steiner & Sid Vicious. Finally, on 8/30, Goldberg & Hogan teamed again, this time facing the Jersey Triad of Bam Bam Bigelow, Diamond Dallas Page, & Chris Kanyon in a three-on-two handicap match at the Nassau Coliseum for Nitro.

The Hulkster and Goldberg would partner up one last time on the September 6, 1999 on Nitro in Miami, where they would again be involved in a handicap match, this time against DDP, Rick Steiner, & Sid Vicious.

In November and December 1999, Goldberg would find himself feuding with the Outsiders, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, which resulted in multiple tag matches for the former Atlanta Falcon.

The first of those was on the November 22 Nitro in Auburn Hills, Michigan, with the Outsiders facing Goldberg & Sid Vicious. A week later, Goldberg & Vicious teamed on Nitro again, this time in a triple threat steel cage match that involved not just the Outsiders but also the team of Bret Hart & Chris Benoit.

Then, on the December 7 episode of Thunder, shortly before the two men would face each other at Starrcade 1999 with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the line, Goldberg & Bret Hart paired up and, in their first match as a team, defeated Creative Control (a.k.a. Ron and Don Harris) to become the WCW World Tag Team Champions. It was the first time that Hart had been a tag team champion of any kind since 1991 and the first time ever for Goldberg. However, the reign was short-lived, as the Outsiders defeated them for the straps on Monday Nitro on December 13 in New Orleans, followed by a rematch taped for Thunder on December 14 in Mobile, Alabama. The rematch ended in a no contest, and it was a “House of Pain” match, which was one of the lamest stipulation matches that Vince Russo tried to get over during his time heading WCW creative. It was a cage match, but, in order to win, you had to handcuff your opponents to the cage wall.

Ultimately, Bret Hart would turn on Goldberg and reform the nWo with the Outsiders, and it probably soured Bill on teaming up with anybody for a while, because he didn’t again until the September 4, 2000 Nitro in Dallas Texas, where he participated in another idiotic Russo gimmick match, the Triple-Decker “War Games” cage match that wasn’t really a War Games match. That debacle saw Goldberg teaming with Booker T., Sting, and Kronik against Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrrett, Scott Steiner, and Russo himself . . . and, yes, if you’re counting the babyface side of the match has a one-man advantage, because THAT makes sense.

We got a rare Goldberg six man tag taped on October 23, 2000 for that week’s episode of Thunder, featuring Goldberg, Booker T., and Sting doing battle with Jeff Jarrett and Kronik in Little Rock, Arkansas.

In January 2001, Goldberg was embroiled in what would become his last WCW feud. It involved Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell, and Goldberg’s real-life trainer DeWayne Bruce – who had wrestled for many years as enhancement talent Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker – became a focal point of the angle. This lead to a series of three matches in which Goldberg and Bruce teamed up, first on a house show test run in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in which they faced Luger and Bagwell, who were at the time known as Totally Buff. The next night, January 8, Goldberg and Bruce faced Kronik on Nitro in St. Paul, Minnesota. Finally, the following Sunday, Totally Buff defeated Goldberg & Bruce at the WCW Sin pay per view in a match in which Goldberg’s career was on the line. The story was no doubt building to an eventual Goldberg return, but WCW went out of business, so this was his swan song with the promotion.

In case you’ve not been counting, Goldberg left WCW with 16 tag team matches under his belt. Before he joined WWE, he did have a series of matches in Japan, one of which was his only tag bout to take place outside of WCW or WWE. That match saw him team with Keiji Muto to face Kronik on an All Japan Pro Wrestling show at the Tokyo Dome on January 19, 2003.

After his initial dream match with the Rock, one of Goldberg’s first WWE feuds was with his old WCW antagonist Chris Jericho. This lead to Goldberg’s first tag team match with the E, as Jericho and his regular partner at the time, Christian Cage, faced Goldberg and Booker T. on the June 16, 2003 Monday Night Raw emanating from Dallas, Texas.

By the fall, Goldberg’s focus had shifted from Chris Jericho to Triple H and his flunkies in Evolution, which as you can imagine resulted in Big Bill wrestling in tag matches more frequently than he had at any point in his career, especially since WWE was running more house shows at this point than WCW tended to do during most of his run there. Goldberg’s first regular partner in these matches is a name that I never would have guessed:


This began on the September 1, 2003 Monday Night raw from Lafayette, Louisiana, when Goldberg and Maven teamed with Shawn Michaels in a six man tag against Trips, Ric Flair, and Randy Orton. From there, Goldberg and Maven took it to the house show circuit, facing Triple H and Flair on September 7 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Triple H and Orton on September 12 in Nashville, and finally Orton and Flair on September 28 in Peoria, Illinois. In the middle of this run, there was also an odd match on the September 8, 2003 Monday Night Raw from Huntsville, Alabama, which featured Flair and Triple H against Goldberg and Randy Orton.

After that, Goldberg switched his regular partner from Maven to Shawn Michaels, which I GUESS is an upgrade. On the September 29, 2003 Monday Night Raw in Rosemont, Illinois, Goldberg & HBK faced Orton & Flair, a match which was then repeated on the October 11 house show in Norfolk, Virginia and the October 12 house show in Wheeling, West Virginia. The run culminated the next night, October 13, on Monday Night Raw from Pittsburgh, as Goldberg & Michaels were booked in a handicap match against Orton, Flair, and non-Evolution member Mark Henry.

From there, Goldberg switched his regular tag team partner once more, going back to the first person he ever teamed with in WWE, namely Booker T. Goldberg & Booker wrestled Orton & Flair on October 17 and October 18 house shows in Manchester, New Hampshire and Providence, Rhode Island, respectively. After that, the Evolution team changed, with Batista & Orton being Goldberg & Booker’s opponents on the November 7, 2003 house show in Toronto. Triple H would join Batista & Orton on November 21 and 22, fighting Goldberg & Booker in two-on-three handicap matches on house shows in Detroit, Michigan and Tacoma, Washington.

Bill Goldberg’s next tag team match would be his last. On December 1, 2003’s episode of Monday Night Raw in Sacramento, Goldberg was in six man tag action with partners Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam against Evolution members Batista & Randy Orton along with their partner Kane.

Now here we are almost nineteen years later, and Goldberg is still wrestling from time-to-time. However, no doubt due to the limited number of dates he works and the desire to get as much out of those limited dates as possible, Goldberg still has not been in tag team action for closing in on two decades.

Tyler from Winnipeg questions whether blood is thicker than water:

Besides family members, has Vince ever treated someone as gold as much HBK in WWE history? There seems to be a real connection there besides money or legal family.

I would say that, yes, he has. In particular, I am thinking about how he treated the wrestlers and other personalities who were key to his father’s success. There were several of those individuals, including Gorilla Monsoon, the Fabulous Moolah, James Dudley, and Captain Lou Albano. These folks were essentially guaranteed jobs for life (or as long as they wanted them) and, in the case of Albano, were brought back on multiple occasions despite running off to work for competition like the Herb Abrams UWF.

Ticking Time Bomb Taz is set to explode:

What was going on with the “hot potato” of the WWF title in late 1996-97? You had HBK, Sid, HBK, Bret Hart, Sid and then Undertaker all from Survivor Series until Wrestlemania. Was Vince doing it for ratings and buyrates or was he just not sure who he wanted the big belt on. Any light you can shed on this subject?

There are actually two separate sets of circumstances that combined to lead to this rapid fire series of title changes.

As far as the HBK-Sid-HBK series of exchanges that began during the fall of 1996 and concluded at the 1997 Royal Rumble is concerned, apparently these changes were part of a long-term plan to help get Michaels over as a babyface by having him lose the championship for a period of time only to recapture it in front of a massive crowd in his hometown of San Antonio. The only thing that didn’t go according to the original plan is that, apparently, there was a period when Vader was intended to be the heel who held the belt in lieu of Sid. (This is according to Jim Cornette on his podcast, and he would likely know since he was helping to book and managing Vader at the time.)

The Bret-Sid-Undertaker series of changes was a function of Shawn Michaels losing his smile and forfeiting the WWF Championship, which threw the plans for a Bret/Shawn rematch at Wrestlemania XIII out the window and lead to Vince McMahon doing what he often does when he panics and needs a replacement match: Relying on the big guys. Bret was tapped to transition the championship to Sid so that you could have the Sid/Undertaker match that Vinnie Mac apparently felt was his best shot at saving that year’s Mania. And, of course, in that era of wrestling, the babyface HAD to walk out a winner on the biggest show of the year, so there was no choice but to do one more title change and put the belt on the Dead Man.

Shaun is hanging out with all his friends:

How many times in a major company has a wrestler held the Tag Titles solely?

Based on the way that the question is worded, I assume that you’re talking about circumstances in which one wrestler is acknowledged as being the tag team champions of a promotion without a partner as opposed to situations in which a designated team wins the titles with only one of its members wrestling or situations in which one member of a team vacates his half of the belts and is quickly replaced.

If that assumption is correct, I was only able to find two instances of this occurring in a major promotion. They are related to one another, and the happened in the promotion where you would most expect a single man to be booked as tag team champions.

Of course, I’m talking about TNA.

Specifically, on July 15, 2007 at an event called Victory Road, Samoa Joe, who was X Division Champion, and Kurt Angle, who was TNA Champion, defeated TNA Tag Team Champions the Dudley Boys in a match where all of the wrestlers’ championships were on the line, with the man getting the pin winning the title of the man that he pinned. Joe got the duke over the Dudleys, and for some reason this resulted in him becoming the Tag Team Champions on his own rather than with Angle.

This actually built to an Angle/Joe singles match on the August 12, 2007 Hard Justice pay per view with the winner receiving all the TNA championships. The Olympic gold medalist picked up the victory, making him the second consecutive wrestler to hold the TNA Tag Team Titles on his own. His solo reign ended on August 27, when the promotion held a four-way match with the winner becoming Angle’s championship partner. Sting emerged victorious in that bout.

And that’s it. I checked records from the AWA, NWA, WCW, ECW, ROH, AEW, NJPW, AJPW, NOAH, DDT, EMLL, AAA, and the UWA, and if this phenomenon occurred in any of those promotions, I totally missed it.

Here’s Arthur, but where’s the Tick?

I know a lot of people say that three hours of Raw is a lot. I mean, it is PPV length. But, it seems to me that its not necessarily the length of the show, but how its written and constructed. I mean, there are nearly 60 people on the Raw roster. Each our of Raw is only what, 40-45 minutes of material without commercials. I feel like the three hour issue is more about misuse than the having too much time to fill. You could do each hour focusing on a different division, or area of the card.

What’s really baffling is just how much different Raw is to Smackdown, which seems to be much more focused and has been a place for wrestlers to truly shine and grab the brass ring. What are the other contributing factors that keep Raw from being as potent as Smackdown? I don’t think it’s really the third hour.

I really think it’s the third hour.

You absolutely can have too much of a good thing. Even if a three-hour weekly wrestling show was supremely well-booked from bell-to-bell, it’s still just too much content and fans would get burned out on it.

If three-hour long episodic television shows were a good idea, then you would see more of them on the air right now . . . but you don’t.

JCL is panning for gold:

With Peacock giving access to an unprecedented amount of content I wanted to ask, what are some of your favorite “B-Sides”/”Deep Cuts”/or “Hidden Gems”? I know this is kind of subjective, but what are some of your favorite matches that maybe don’t often get mentioned as much as some of the perennial classics (e.g. Steamboat/Savage, Hart/Austin, The Flair/Steamboat trilogy)?

As an example, I’ve always loved the opener to the ’93 Survivor Series. I know it sometimes comes up as a great one, but it’s not put up there with some of the all-time classics. I’m not saying it SHOULD be there; I’m saying I love that match, and I consider it a bit of a hidden gem.

There was a feud between Ricky Steamboat and Steve Austin in WCW in 1994 that I always felt was very underrated. It consists of three major matches, the first being on the March 12 episode of Saturday Night (taped on February 22 at Center Stage), the second being at that year’s Bash at the Beach pay per view, and the third and final coming on August 24 on Clash of the Champions XXVIII.

That will do it for this week’s installment of the column. We’ll return in seven-ish days, and, as always, you can contribute your questions by emailing [email protected]. You can also leave questions in the comments below, but please note that I do not monitor the comments as closely as I do the email account, so emailing is the better way to get things answered.