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Ask 411 Wrestling: What Was the True Length of Goldberg’s Streak?

December 11, 2020 | Posted by Ryan Byers
Goldberg WWE

Welcome guys, gals, and gender non-binary pals, to Ask 411 Wrestling. I am your party host, Ryan Byers, and I am here to answer some of your burning inquiries about professional wrestling.

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Tyler from Winnipeg is going for the gold(berg):

Do you have the real number of wins Goldberg actually had before Nash stopped his streak?

As with many questions asked in this column, this depends on how pedantic you want to be.

If you want to get really technical, Bill Goldberg only had five wins in WCW before suffering his first loss. That’s because, before he appeared in a televised match, Goldberg wrestled on six occasions on house shows or in dark matches attached to television tapings. In order, those bouts were against Budy Lee Parker on June 23, 1997, Buddy Landel on June 24, Hugh Morrus on July 14, Chip Minton on July 17, John Betcha on July 21, and Chad Fortune on July 24.

Though Goldberg was victorious against Parker, Landel, Morrus, Minton, and Betcha (which sounds like the world’s worst law firm), he lost the match to Fortune, which arguably ended the streak before it ever started.

However, if you do as most people would and begin the streak with Goldberg’s televised debut on the September 22, 1997 episode of Nitro, Goldberg had 152 matches before losing to Kevin Nash at Starrcade 1998. Even that statistic is misleading, though, because of those 152 matches there were five that Goldberg did not win. Instead, they ended in a no contest. That happened on October 27, 1997 against Disco Inferno, on October 10, 1998 against Chris Jericho, on December 7, 1998 against Bam Bam Bigelow, on December 14, 1998 against Nash and Bigelow in a triple threat, and on December 21, 1998 against Scott Hall.

If you deduct those five matches, Goldberg actually had 147 wins between Morrus and Nash, which is slightly lower than the 173 that they billed him at . . . which is odd, because even though 173 is a greater number than 147, it’s not so much more impressive that I would think it is worth the lie.

For what it’s worth, the numbers that I’m using come from CageMatch, which is usually pretty comprehensive.

He’s been gone for a while, but we’re welcoming Mohamed back to the column:

Is AEW technically bigger than TNA even though TNA 18 years before AEW?

Yes, absolutely. As I mentioned in last week’s column, recent reporting indicates that TNA’s weekly television program has about 150,000 viewers per week, while AEW Dynamite over the course of the past three months has done no less than 710,000 and for the recent “Winter is Coming” major episode averaged 913,000 viewers throughout the episode with the audience topping one million viewers in many individual segments.

With a significantly larger audience, AEW is unquestionably the larger promotion.

Brad wants one for the record books:

Has the WWF/WWE ever put on a PPV where every wrestler ended up being WWE Hall of Famers, or at least sure fire future Hall of Famers? Obviously any show with Benoit is disqualified. Let’s put Jericho in the future HOF category, even though he’s currently on the outs with WWE. Logically, PPVs in more recent years are bound to have too many wrestlers whose careers are still to be determined. So that forces us to reach back more.

I reviewed every WWF/WWE pay per view card in history to answer this question, and I can unequivocally say that there has never been a show in which all of the participants went on to be Hall of Famers.

Are there shows where it’s likely that everybody will wind up in the WWE Hall of Fame?

Maybe.

One of the things that you have to keep in mind is that, when you talk about the WWE HOF, you’re talking about a Hall of Fame where the standards for induction are . . . weird. More or less everybody in the company who has had a career worthy of a Hall of Fame has made it in, but you also have inductees who no rational observer of the “sport” would call a Hall of Famer. Instead, they’ve made it in for political reasons, longstanding loyalty to the promotion, or because they were Vince McMahon Sr.’s limo driver.

Thus, it’s hard to predict exactly who gets in and who does not.

Even with those malleable criteria, I have found two shows where I think that you can argue there’s a fairly good chance that everybody on the show eventually sets foot into the HOF.

The first of those two events is In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker, an April 20, 1997 pay per view from Rochester, New York, where the card looked like this:

1. Legion of Doom vs. Owen Hart & British Bulldog
2. Savio Vega vs. Rocky Maivia
3. “The Real Double J” Jesse Jammes vs. Rockabilly
4. The Undertaker vs. Mankind
5. Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart

Of those men, Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Mankind, and the Legion of Doom are currently in the Hall of Fame as individuals. Jesse Jammes and Rockabilly, better known as the Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, are also in, though they were inducted as part of the D-Generation X stable in 2019 as opposed to having their own inductions. The British Bulldog has technically not been inducted at this point, but he was announced for the 2020 class that was scuttled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning he will almost assuredly be in at some point. I also think that everybody reading this will agree that the Rock and the Undertaker will be inducted in future classes, with the Undertaker already being rumored for 2021, assuming that they don’t just bump the 2020 class back a year.

The two names that are on the bubble are Savio Vega and Owen Hart. Objectively, Savio Vega did not have a Hall of Fame level career, but given that he had a decently long run in the WWF and is apparently still on good terms with the company – good enough to participate in this year’s Surivor Series PPV – he could easily wind up being inducted for the same reasons that guys like Koko B. Ware and Bob Orton Jr. are in the Hall. As to Owen Hart, I firmly believe that the only reason that he has not been inducted is the objection of his widow, and I’m not entirely convinced that one of these WWE won’t just say “screw it” and put him in anyway.

The second card that I believe may some day qualify as an answer to Brad’s question is the 1999 King of the Ring PPV show, which had the following card:

1. X-Pac vs. Bob Holly
2. Kane vs. The Big Show
3. Billy Gunn vs. Ken Shamrock
4. Road Dogg vs. Chyna
5. The Hardy Boys vs. Edge & Christian
6. Billy Gunn vs. Kane
7. X-Pac vs. Road Dogg
8. Undertaker vs. The Rock
9. Billy Gunn vs. X-Pac
10. Shane & Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin

The DX-heavy nature of this card is what helps it qualify, as X-Pac, Gunn, Road Dogg, and Chyna are all HOFers thanks to the stable being inducted en masse. Steve Austin and Edge are also currently in. We discussed the Rock and the Undertaker’s future inductions above. I also believe that it’s inarguable that the McMahons, Christian, Kane, the Hardys, and the Big Show will find their way in at some point.

The two that are a bit questionable are Ken Shamrock and Bob Holly. However, I would still anticipate them getting in. Holly had a 15 year tenure with the company and by all reports was well-liked by those in power and had a position as a a locker room leader, so he’ll probably get in even though he was always a midcard guy at best. As to Shamrock, it’s clear from the Rock recently participating in his TNA Hall of Fame induction that D.J. has a lot of respect for Shamrock and the the role he played in developing his career, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shamrock inducted in the same year as the Rock, much in the same way that many people who were key to the career of Hulk Hogan were inducted the same year that the Hulkster went into the Hall.

Stuart wants to take us back to some territory we don’t often cover here, namely early Ring of Honor:

How did the careers of everyone in ROH’s Scramble Cage Meleé’s main event pan out?

For those of you who may not recall, the Scramble Cage Meleé was a match held one time and one time only, as the headline attraction for the company’s August 28, 2004 show, which was also titled Scramble Cage Meleé. The bout involved twelve competitors going at it inside of a steel cage with platforms built on top of it. It was an elimination match, and the only way to eliminate an opponent was to perform a dive on to him off the top of the cage.

So, let’s run down that dirty dozen of competitors, which I’m going to do from the least obscure of them to the most:

1. Jack Evans: Jack Evans was the winner of the match, which makes sense given that he was the biggest star headed into it and has been the biggest star since. Over the last sixteen years, Evans has wrestled in a variety of promotions all over the world, including MLW, Pro Wrestling NOAH, and Dragon Gate as well as a couple of isolated matches in TNA. However, he’s spent the vast majority of his career and gained his greatest fame in Mexico, working mostly for AAA though more recently branching out The Crash, a newer promotion based out of Tijuana. Of course, these days you can also see Evans on the AEW roster, where he is one half of the Hybrid2 tag team with Angelico. Those two men started teaming in Mexico in about 2013.

2. BJ Whitmer: By the time Scramble Cage Meleé took place, Whitmer was already a former ROH Tag Team Champion, a title that he would hold on three more occasions afterwards. In fact, aside from some independent shots to supplement his income, Whitmer remained a dedicated Ring of Honor wrestler for the remainder of his in-ring career. BJ’s original Tag Team Championship partner was Dan Maff, and they worked together until Maff left ROH in March 2005 (more on that in a minute), after which Whitmer first teamed with Jimmy Jacobs and later with Brent Albright and Adam Pearce in Hangman Three. Whitmer took several years off from wrestling beginning in 2007, eventually returning to ROH in 2012. He was primarily a tag team guy again, partnering initially with Rhett Titus and eventual Jimmy Jacobs and Roderick Strong as the Decade. His final team was with Punishment Martinez (now Damian Priest in NXT), and after they broke Whitmer took a backstage role with the company. He did finally leave ROH in 2018, reportedly because he was not allowed to act as a guest trainer at the WWE Performance Center. These days, Whitmer works as an agent for AEW.

3. Dan Maff: Maff was in the very first match in ROH history, teaming with Monsta Mack as Da Hit Squad against the Christopher Street Connection. He worked for the promotion until March 2005, when Homicide issued a statement alleging that Maff “messed with” Homicide’s family and was “a pedophile.” (It’s worth noting that Maff was never charged with any crime despite that serious accusation.) Homicide also stated that he told promoters that he would not work for any company that Maff did, essentially blackballing Maff from most major promotions. Maff’s last match before this occurred was on March 19, 2005, and he did not return to the ring until August 16, 2008. At that point he mainly worked for northeast independents, including appearing on undercards for New Japan Pro Wrestling during their 2011 “Attack on East Coast” tour of the U.S. Aside from that and the occasional CZW appearance, Maff mostly appeared for lower level independents until November 2019, when, in a bit of a surprise, he returned to Ring of Honor out of nowhere. The November 18, 2019 Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Maff had signed a two year deal with the company, though as of this writing he has yet to wrestle there since they have started running shows again after temporarily shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

4. Altar Boy Luke: Known these days as Luke Hawx, Altar Boy Luke has had an interesting career in that he’s wrestled just about everywhere in North America, though he’s never had a lengthy or prominent run in any one promotion. He started out in California, being trained by Vic Grimes and having his first matches of note in 2002 with XPW. When that promotion folded, he started wrestling for NWA Wildside in Georgia and got a couple of matches with TNA early in their weekly PPV era. Scramble Cage Meleé was actually his ROH debut and the only match he would have with the company until 2013. He wrestled two Ring of Honor matches that year, two in 2014, one in 2018, and one in 2019. Hawx has also had half a dozen matches as a WWE enhancement talent between 2003 and 2016, including an odd dark match where he teamed with Chris Kanyon where Kanyon was trying out a revival of his Mortis gimmick from WCW. He was also part of the short-lived Wrestling Society X on MTV, teaming with SoCal indy mainstay Al Katrazz. Over the past couple of years, Hawx has branched out into a couple new areas of wrestling. First off, he started wrestling for CMLL in Mexico, which is the first real international experience of his long career. He’s also started doing a bit of training, breaking his son PJ Hawx into the business as his new tag team partner.

5. DeVito: Tony DeVito was one of the veteran wrestlers in the Scramble Cage Meleé match, having debuted in 1991. After debuting, he almost immediately became a regular job guy for the WWF, serving in that capacity pretty regularly until 1997. He appeared several times on Monday Night Raw and had singles matches with notable performers like Mr. Perfect, Shawn Michaels, and the Undertaker. He also became the answer to a trivia question during his WWF run, as he was the only televised opponent of the wrestling magician Phantasio, resulting in his being pantsed on Wrestling Challenge. After a couple of years on the northeast independents, DeVito started wrestling for ECW in 1999, originally in fairly meaningless undercard matches but eventually being repackaged as part of Da Baldies, the team of street toughs that had a seemingly never-ending feud against New Jack. His final ECW matches were in December 2000, after which it was back to the indies until Ring of Honor formed in 2002 and he was made part of the Carnage Crew, a tag team that lasted for a couple of years and had a brief title run, unquestionably the most noteworthy championship DeVito held during his career. Once he departed ROH in 2005, he bounced around various indies all over the eastern seaboard until 2018, when his last recorded match occurred. (Though I’ve seen nothing indicating that he has formally retired.) In his highest profile match after leaving Ring of Honor, he returned to WWE and competed on the second-ever episode of ECW of Sci Fi, donning a mask as “Macho Libre,” a luchador who did a bad Randy Savage impression and then got caned to death by the Sandman. Two weeks later, DeVito was back on WWECW, playing the role of an anti-ECW priest who, again, was caned to death by the Sandman.

6. HC Loc: DeVito’s partner in the Carnage Crew was H.C. Loc, who originally began wrestling in Pennsylvania indies in 1996 and, like his partner, spent some time as an enhancement guy for major promotions, including a rare intergender match on the April 6, 1998 Monday Night Raw in which he fell victim to Luna Vachon (taped on March 31). In 1999, Loc started popping up on ECW shows, though he was primarily known as a referee who would occasionally step into the ring as opposed to being a full-time grappler. Like DeVito, his last ECW appearances were in December 2000, and, like DeVito, he didn’t do much of note between the folding of ECW and the founding of Ring of Honor. He worked there through the fall of 2005 and then completely vanished for almost three years, resurfacing on an indy show in Rochester, New York in February 2008. Loc wrestled only a handful of recorded matches each year between 2008 and 2011, after which he disappeared for five more years. In 2016, Loc returned to action and since then has worked fairly regularly for a modern indy guy, almost exclusively on independent cards in upstate New York. However, in 2019, he did travel to Indiana to appear in that year’s Ted Petty Invitational Tournament promoted by IWA Mid-South. As of this writing, Loc’s last recorded match was on November 28, 2020, so it seems that he’s still going strong.

7. Trent Acid: I watched a lot of Trent Acid in the early 2000s, and I always felt bad for him, because in another era he could have been one of the better guys on the indies but he just happened to come around at the the same time as some all-time greats like Bryan Danielson and AJ Styles, so he got a bit lost in the shuffle. Acid started wrestling as a teenager in 1995 and started to break out with Jersey All Pro Wrestling and CZW in 1999. Because CZW had a working relationship with Big Japan Wrestling at the time, he had multiple tours with BJW before debuting with ROH in 2002 alongside his partner Johnny Kashmere as the Backseat Boys. He was with Ring of Honor through Final Battle 2004 and held the Tag Team Titles for about a month with Kashmere. From 2005 to 2007, his home promotion was Pro Wrestling Unplugged, a Philadelphia indy promoted by Kashemere and Todd Gordon of ECW fame. In ’07, he started doing a lot of work for the Insane Clown Posse’s Juggalo Championship Wrestling, and he returned to CZW in 2008. He wrestled his last match on March 20, 2010 and checked into rehab shortly thereafter to deal with some longstanding drug issues. Unfortunately, he ultimately succumbed to those, overdosing and dying on June 18 of the same year. The following July 10, CZW and PWU co-promoted a tribute show to Acid, which was main evented by Kashmere wrestling frequent Acid opponent Devon Moore.

8. Fast Eddie: Fast Eddie, who later in his career adopted a last name and became Fast Eddie Vegas, was one of many graduates of the Shawn Michaels/Rudy Boy Gonzalez Texas Wrestling Academy who appeared in early ROH. He also had the distinction of being one of the world’s only legally blind wrestlers, which I seem to recall the announcers reminding us of every thirty seconds or so. Between the school that he trained at and overcoming a significant disability, Eddie had a pretty interesting backstory, but he never made too much out of it. Ring of Honor is where he made the majority of his bones, working there from 2002 through 2005, with his most notable run coming as part of Prince Nana’s Embassy stable, teaming with the likes of Jimmy Rave and Alex Shelley. Eddie also had a small handful of matches in the “big leagues,” appearing on three different TNA shows and the March 29, 2005 episode of Smackdown, where he wrestled Akebono of all people as part of the buildup to Bono’s match with the Big Show at Wrestlemania XXI. After ROH, Vegas went back to Texas indies, though his full-time career appears to have come to an end in 2006, as he only wrestled one recorded match each in 2007, 2008, and 2009. He did return to the ring wrestle roughly one match per month in 2013, mostly for a small indy group in New Jersey, then vanishing again and popping back up on the Massachusetts indy circuit for about half a dozen matches in 2018.

9. & 10. The Ring Crew Express (Dunn & Marcos): These two didn’t have much of a career without each other, so we may as well lump them together for purposes of this column. The Express had a handful of matches in their early 20s before showing up in ROH where they earned spots as enhancement wrestlers by, well, working on the ring crew. They were in many respects ROH’s answer to Mikey Whipwreck, the undersized babyfaces who very rarely won but maintained a cult following. After debuting in 2002, the RCE had their final match for Ring of Honor in 2006, at which point they mainly worked indies in upstate New York with occasional stops in Toronto. On October 10, 2009, Dunn wrestled what was billed as his retirement match, defeating Marcos in singles action on a card for NWA New York. After his retirement, Dunn has returned to the ring for four matches, most recently in August 2014 for a one-off tag match with Marcos as his partner. With Dunn no longer around on a full-time basis, Marcos tried his hand at a singles career, continuing to work mainly in upstate New York through August 2014. He then took a year off from wrestling and reemerged in some Florida indies for several months in late 2015 and early 2016, but he has not seen any action since May 3, 2016.

11. & 12. The Outcast Killaz (Diablo Santiago & Oman Tortuga): So were these guys outcasts who killed people, or were they people who killed outcasts? I never quite got that one. Like the Ring Crew Express, these two men spent most of their careers as a tag team, so we’ll be discussing them together. Though Santiago debuted in 1999 and Tortuga in 2000, neither of them did much of note until they formed their tag team in 2001 and were subsequently booked in ROH starting in 2002, with their first bout for the promotion interestingly being a dark match on the first Glory By Honor against, of all teams, the Insane Clown Posse. From that point on, their role was basically to be the low card heel tag team in Ring of Honor, losing far more than they won. Their regular run in ROH ended in January 2005, though they did pop up on an odd show in August of that year as well. After that, they continued to work as a team on the northeastern indy circuit, though they traveled more than the Ring Crew Express did, working in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, whereas the RCE basically confined themselves to New York state. The last match of what I would call their run as regular wrestlers occurred on June 24, 2007, though they popped up sporadically for several years after that, with their absolute last match that I found record of occurring on September 21, 2013 for Northeast Wrestling in Wappingers Falls, New York, where the Outcast Killaz reunited in a losing effort against the rather interesting team of Kevin Nash and Cody Hall, the son of Scott Hall.

There you have it, all of the competitors from Scramble Cage Meleé, a roster which proves that just doing a bunch of crazy spots won’t guarantee you success in professional wrestling, as most of these guys fizzled out within a few years of the Meleé occurring.

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].