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Ring Crew Reviews: Goldberg’s Career Retrospective, Part I: The Streak

February 4, 2012 | Posted by Jack Bramma
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Ring Crew Reviews: Goldberg’s Career Retrospective, Part I: The Streak  

• I was a huge Goldberg fan back in the late 90s and still have a ton of fond memories about that period. I decided to dive into Goldberg’s career. Part I is a handful of (mostly TV) matches from the streak leading up to his US title and World title victories and then his eventual loss to Kevin Nash. Part II will cover various WCW matches AFTER the streak through the year 1999. I may do more parts covering 2000 and the heel turn and his WWE stint.

Scheduled Card:
1. Hugh Morrus vs. Bill Goldberg.
2. Steve Regal vs. Bill Goldberg.
3. Hugh Morrus vs. Goldberg.
4. Ray Traylor vs. Goldberg.
5. Raven’s Rules Match for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship: Goldberg vs. Raven (c).
6. WCW United States Heavyweight Championship: La Parka vs. Goldberg (c).
7. WCW United States Championship: Scott Hall vs. Goldberg (c).
8. WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Goldberg vs. Hollywood Hogan (c).
9. WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Meng vs. Goldberg (c).
10. WCW World Heavyweight Championship: The Giant vs. Goldberg (c).
11. No DQ Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: The Giant vs. Goldberg (c).
12. WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Sting vs. Goldberg (c).
13. WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Goldberg (c).
14. WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Meng vs. Goldberg (c).
15. WCW World Heavyweight Championship: The Giant vs. Goldberg (c).
16. Triangle Match: Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg.
17. No DQ Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg (c).

Hugh Morrus vs. Bill Goldberg. From 9/22/97. Streak: Nonexistent. Hell, Goldberg doesn’t even get an entrance. He gets the ominous commercial break entrance of jobbers and enhancement talent. Tony and Tenay both say they know nothing about Goldberg. Goldberg drives Hugh into the corner with forearms. Hugh goes to the top wristlock but Goldberg reverses to a hammerlock. They trade that a couple times. Goldberg rolls through and goes for the kneebar. Hugh gets the ropes. Goldberg sends him across and Hugh springboards back with a clothesline to a pop. He wants the No Laughing Matter and HITS IT! Goldberg kicks out at 2 and that was a sign already of bigger things because Hugh wasn’t exactly jobber territory and he did win matches with that move. Goldberg sends him across but Hugh gets the elbow up. Goldberg no sells and does a backflip in the middle of the ring just because he can. Goldberg powerslams him over and then scoop slams him. Goldberg jackhammers him and picks up the “surprising” victory at 2:39. So much for the jobber entrance. This actually isn’t that different from most Goldberg matches – sub 5 minutes, kicks out of a finisher, no sells, wins it with a Jackhammer and some intensity. There’s no Spear yet, no Goldberg chant, no streak, no dominant entrance music, no security-guard entrance, but a lot of it IS there. Personally, I think the old revisionist stuff about Goldberg’s rise but a miracle/mystery/unplanned don’t jive with what you see here already. 1/2*

Steve Regal vs. Bill Goldberg. From 2/9/98. Streak: still nonexistent. Steve is William. Goldberg is still Bill. Yes, this is the ominous “Regal shoots on Goldberg”/ “Regal wrestles himself to embarrass Goldberg”/”Front office gets pissed at Regal for making Goldberg look bad”/ “Regal tries to work an actual wrestling match with Goldberg and everyone blows it out of proportion”/”Regal gets fired for substance and alcohol abuse issues and this match has nothing to do with it” match. Crowd chants for Goldberg and it’s legit. Regal with a takedown and kicks him in the back some. Regal with a Euro uppercut and Goldberg no sells. Regal goes to the wristlock and Goldberg counters to his own but Regal tries to fight it. It’s a bit clunky so Regal goes under to a hammerlock and to a waistlock. Goldberg rolls under to the anklelock but Regal gets the ropes. Regal with a shot to the eyes and some Euro uppercuts. Regal grabs a single leg and then goes back to the arm. Goldberg counters and then gets a roll up for 1. Crowd chants for Goldberg some more. Regal with a headlock takeover but Goldberg goes to the headscissors in a sequence you’ll never EVER see him do again. Regal escapes the headscissors and goes to the front facelock. Goldberg escapes and goes to the knees. Regal AGAIN goes to the eyes to get out of the counter. Goldberg with a FIERCE armdrag takedown. Regal tries shooting for a single and Goldberg doesn’t seem to know what to do. Regal goes back to the arm so Goldberg takes him down with a back suplex. Goldberg sends him off but Regal ignores that and gives him a headbutt to the gut. Regal with another Euro uppercut and sends Goldberg off and clips the knee with a headbutt or something. This is… yeah. Goldberg with more knees and Goldberg tries the Roll the Dice but Regal sells it like an armdrag. Goldberg sends him off and hits a shoulderblock to crickets. Regal fights him away and actually gets the ADVANTAGE in the corner. Er, yeah. Goldberg sends him into the corner and hits the Spear and I think he’s had enough. Jackhammer and that’s that at 5:02. Who the hell knows what happened? Either way, it’s some pretty wretched chain stuff in there that goes nowhere and the crowd doesn’t care about either. DUD

Hugh Morrus vs. Goldberg. From 02/16/98. Streak: not yet. Larry Z can’t even pay respects to Louie Spicolli so he instead he dodges the whole issue. I guess I should be glad he didn’t try to bury a dead guy. Jimmy Hart tries to re-recruit Hugh to his clientele during his entrance. Tenay says that Hugh lacks “focus.” Goldberg starts with the knees and throws Hugh into a turnbuckle. Hugh again with the clothesline spot from the first match but Goldberg no sells. Hugh with more punches and avoids a backdrop with knees. Goldberg no sells. Hugh tries a suplex but Goldberg lands on his feet and Spears him down. Jackhammer later and Hugh’s out again :58. That scouting from the first match must not have paid off for the unfocused Bill Demott. For those of you unaware, of course Goldberg’s streak was fake but even his TV victories were padded with repeat victories over the same guys. I’m convinced that Goldberg beat Jerry Flynn and Barry Darsow in the neighborhood of 20 times each. DUD

Ray Traylor vs. Goldberg. From 3/30/98. Streak: 66. Traylor is Big Bossman. Crowd erupts for Goldberg. Bossman tries a lockup and Goldberg shoves him away awkwardly. Goldberg troll yells at him to bring it on. Goldberg no sells a shoulderblock. Bossman tells him to try one and instead Goldberg just punches him down. Bossman comes back with a throat thrust. He wants a whip but Goldberg takes him down. He sends Goldberg off and hits a spinebuster but Goldberg no sells to a pop. Spear, Jackhammer and that’s it at 2:18. Poor Bossman. That spinebuster was probably the most “devastating” move on Goldberg at that point if you don’t count the No Laughing Matter and Goldberg no sold it anyway. DUD.

Raven’s Rules Match for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship: Goldberg vs. Raven (c). From 4/20/98. Streak: 74. This would be Raven’s only US title reign and it was coming on the heels of the incredible 3-way feud with DDP and Benoit where he won the title the night before. Raven has no music, no Flock but big heel heat. Buffer is doing intros for this. No breathing fire for Goldberg yet. Buffer: “Making his way to the ring, his hometown: unknown, his weight: unknown, his professional record: we all know.” I forgot that they tried to have this Warrior/Taker-esque parts unknown quality to Goldberg. I mean, of course I knew remember he didn’t say a word for a while but didn’t remember that intro from Buffer. Zybyszko blows a gasket: “HERE’S WHAT WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR GUYS: GOLDBERG. HE MOVED THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS WITH A SINGLE ARM. HE PUNCHED OUT PIKE’S PEAK. HE LEAPED OVER COLORADO SPRINGS IN A SINGLE BOUND. IF RAVEN DOESN’T HAVE KRYPTONITE, I’D FLY THE COOP!”

• Raven lays down the belt and tells Goldberg to come get it. Goldberg talks trash to start. Raven rams him into the corner but Goldberg comes storming out only to run into a boot. Raven dropkicks him down and shitcans him. Raven tries to send him into the guardrail but Goldberg reverses and sends him in instead a couple times. Raven sells electrocution like he’s having a seizure. Back in, Goldberg rolls through and goes for a kneebar but Raven gets to the ropes. Goldberg debuts the career killer kick. Raven takes a breather and gets a chair. He gives Goldberg a few chairshots and preps the drop toe hold into the chair. One of my favorite midcard finisher/signature moves of all time. Raven HITS IT! Goldberg kicked out at 2 so Raven chairshots him again. Raven goes to the sleeper and then switches to a Camel Clutch. Goldberg fights his way free but Raven clotheslines him into the corner. Goldberg Goldbergs up and instead Spears him to a MASSSSSSSSSSSSSIVE POP! THE FLOCK HAS COME OUT! Sick Boy missile dropkicks Goldberg down. Kidman in but Goldberg tosses him. Goldberg disposes of Sick Boy. Horace H-Bomb Hogan in with the stop sign that he brilliantly previously been set up by blasting DDP with it on MTV. Goldberg no sells THAT and Spears him too. Reese in and goozles Goldberg. Goldberg escapes and Jackhammers him! Crowd explodes. Raven tries to talk a walk through the crowd but the “fans” (probably some plant workers in the front row, though I don’t know the story) toss Raven back in. See that’s another fabulous little touch to his match because Raven was notorious for playing those kind of games entering and exiting through the crowd repeatedly (at a time when it was becoming popular also with Sandman, Edge, etc.). The announcers and the crowd both flip out at the fans throwing Raven back in. SPEAR! JACKHAMMER! WE HAVE A NEW US CHAMPION at 5:12! I don’t care what ANYONE says, that match is up there with Goldberg’s best. A lot of it has to do with the heat on Raven for his bastardry in the feud with DDP and Benoit and seemingly coming out on top, so in a sense this is like Warrior ripping through Honky Tonk Man. ***1/2

WCW United States Heavyweight Championship: La Parka vs. Goldberg (c). From 6/1/98. Streak: 93. Parka is one of the great GREAT all-time gimmicks. Parka stands on his chair to taunt to the crowd before the match. He threatens to waffle Goldberg with it before the ref tells him to cut it out. Goldberg waves the ref off and tells Parka to BRING IT ON. He gives Goldberg an unprotected shot right to the skull and of course, he no sells. TROLL YELL TIME! Parka thinks he’s won it and starts dancing but turns around into a Spear. The crowd’s reaction is OFF THE CHARTS! It truly is a sight to behold. Goldberg with the one handed Jackhammer and it’s over at :32. A magnificent squash even if it is a complete waste of talent. 1/4*

WCW United States Championship: Scott Hall vs. Goldberg (c). From 7/6/98. Streak: 106. Yes, you read that date correctly. Goldberg had to wrestle Hall before facing Hogan later that night. In order to understand, you have to hear Hogan’s deliriously evil promo from earlier in the night.

• So anyway, Hall is in n.W.o Hollywood but still has the red and black from the Outsiders on his gear. That oughta tell you how out of the loop Hall was at this point. Still no security guards yet for Goldberg though he is “breathing fire” now. Hall shoves him to start and tries a lock up but Goldberg THROWS him across the ring. Crowd blows up even that for little nothing. Hall goes to some shoulder surges but Goldberg with a sorta STO to counter. Hall wants the test of strength and chops the hell out of Goldberg a few times. They botch a whip reversal and Goldberg can’t even mask a halfway cover of it. Hall tries to paintbrush him a few times and then wants a bodyslam but Goldberg reverses to a Bulldog powerslam to a HUGE pop. Hall spits on him and wants another lock up but Goldberg keeps throwing him away. Hall with more boots and avoids a charge in the corner. Hall with a back suplex and the entire crew loses it selling this as a nearfall even though Goldberg kicks out at 1. Hall with more rights and Goldberg Goldbergs up. He gets a few armdrags and Hall bails to boos. Hall calls out the B-Team but DDP and Karl Malone waffle them all with chairs. Another excellent intersection of existing storylines. Goldbert tries to pull Hall back in by the hair but Hall hits a Stun Gun. Hall with a clothesline and Tony continues to sell every time Goldberg goes down like DOWN GOES FRAZIER! DOWN GOES FRAZIER! Hall says that’s it and preps the Razor’s Edge but Goldberg backdrops out to the loudest pop of the match easily. Goldberg with the Spear. Brain: “I smell 107 gentlemen.” Tenay: “I smell Jackhammer!” Tony: “And I think we all smell HOLLYWOOD HOGAN!” Brain: “If you’re close to him, you do!” Jackhammer and we’re outta here at 5:57. Hall was cannon fodder here but hot damn the crowd is one of the best you’ll ever here. EVER. **

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Goldberg vs. Hollywood Hogan (c). 7/6/98. Streak: 107. Well, perhaps they just didn’t want to pay the cops twice because Goldberg gets the full entrance for his match. Hollywood: “I AM GOING TO KICK… GOLDBERG’S… BUTT!” Turner always was a bit paranoid about profanity on their program. They circle a bit to start. Brain is in full delusional mode but it’s spectacular: “Can Goldberg last an hour? Can Hogan last an hour with Goldberg?” Yes, of course, these two guys are doing a broadway. Goldberg grabs a headlock and they work that for a bit. Hogan sends him off but Goldberg plows over him with a shoulderblock. Hogan begs off to boos. Hogan with a front facelock so Goldberg drives him into the corner. Charles Robinson demands a break. Brain: “If Hogan gets a victory over Goldberg, you’ll never be able to live with that man. You’ll never hear the end of it. It’ll destroy the sport.” Test of strength and Goldberg wins that easily. Brain speculates that Goldberg will go on to be the biggest name in the history of pro wrestling. Hogan grabs the ropes to get away from the test of strength. Hogan with some rights and eye gouges on Goldberg. Hogan rakes the back and takes off the weight belt to blast Hogan with it a few times. Goldberg blows the reveal and tosses it away too soon but it’s still a nice character move. Hogan now grabs the headlock and CHAIN WRESTLES TO THE HAMMERLOCK!~! Goldberg counters(!) to the MASTERLOCK! MOVESET! Hogan counters out with a low blow but the ref doesn’t see it. Hogan takes him down with a clothesline and now goes to the BLATANTCHOKE! Hogan with a bodyslam and does his missed elbow spot and Goldberg avoids twice. Goldberg takes Hogan down with a wretched clothesline and Hogan takes a breather. Hogan gets the weightbelt back on. Back in, Hogan goes to the knees and dumps Goldberg. Hogan sends him into the guardrail a few times and waffles him with a couple chairshots. Robinson letting all of this go almost without warning. Hogan slams him down and says that’s it. Hogan hits him with the ATOMIC LEG DROP OF DOOM! Tony completely misses it because he’s got a canned line he wanted to work in about perseverance. Rather than cover, Hogan hits ANOTHER! Now, this is the pits of production truck screw ups. We cut to Perfect in the aisle coming out to the ring while we can hear Hogan off camera hit a THIRD leg drop. Malone and DDP are out as backup again. Hogan covers and Goldberg kicks out at TWO! But the impact of that kickout is lost because of the cutaway. Goldberg kicked out of THREE BACK TO BACK TO BACK LEG DROPS! And it doesn’t even matter in the context of the match. Amazing. Hogan can’t believe it. Tenay’s the only one that even TRIES to sell the story but we cut to Malone DiamondCutting Perfect to a THUNDEROUS pop admittedly! Hogan is distracted and Goldberg Spears him! THEY ARE STANDING IN ATLANTA! Brain: “THIS IS IT THIS IS IT! YOUR CAREER’S ON THE LINE! DO IT! DO IT!” Tony: “HE’S GOT HIM UP!” Jackhammer and WE’VE GOT A NEW HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION at 8:15! As a match, it’s forgettable but as a moment, it’s phenomenal entertainment and television. I mean, it’s history-making in some good and some bad ways. This would be the last time WCW ever won the ratings war but they did it by giving up one of the last true dream matches they had to offer for a PPV. Still though, as a fan, I love WCW for giving me this moment, even if they robbed me of others and robbed themselves of money in the process this time around. *** though it doesn’t deserve it.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Meng vs. Goldberg (c). From 8/10/98. Streak: 130. The n.W.o are lumberjacks here mainly to give the shaft to Goldberg. This is the night after Goldberg went through BOTH factions of the n.W.o in a battle royal at Road Wild. Meng gouges an eye to start and drives Goldberg into the corner with chops. He sends Goldberg across. Goldberg comes running back out with a shoulderblock and a spinkick but Meng no sells. Meng rolls to the floor and Hogan and Razor give him some pointers. Back in and they continue no selling each other until Goldberg gets a takedown and goes to the kneebar. Tenay puts over Goldberg’s “sambo training” years before anyone even MMA fanatics care about Fedor Emelianenko. Goldberg runs off the ropes into a big boot that staggers him and then Goldberg comically just jumps out of the ring and sells it infront of the n.W.o goons. They put the boots to him but the Wolfpack comes over to help Goldberg. Goldberg comes back in but Meng’s puts the Death Grip on him. Brain says no one has EVER gotten out of it. Meng releases it because he’s new to the wrestling game after being a veteran of damn near 20 years. Goldberg of course no sells and spears him. Goldberg hits the Jackhammer and wins it easily at 2:07. A squash for the typically impregnable Goldberg. 1/2*

• Post-match, Hogan sneaks Goldberg with a chair but Nash is in to hold him off and steal the chair. Goldberg turns around and thinks Nash did it and spears him instead. WE’RE OUTTA TIME, TUNE IN NEXT WEEK!

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: The Giant vs. Goldberg (c). From 8/17/98. Streak: 131. Show has Disciple with him. Giant says he’s winning the title for Hollywood. This was the same night Warrior re-debuted with DESTRUCITY! And thus Hogan isn’t ringside to help Giant. Giant pounds him with rights before Goldberg can get the belt off. Giant with some chops but Goldberg no sells so Giant gives him a headbutt and body slams him down. Giant calls for the ChokeSlam but Goldberg no sells and bodyslams him down to a HUGE POP! Giant rethinks that strategy as they milk the cheers. Lock up and Giant goes to the knees and CLUBS him down. Giant with more boots and knees in the corner. Giant with a Russian leg sweep and a headbutt and another. Giant shitcans him so Disciple can go to work. Goldberg blocks and waffles Beefcake. Giant comes out and the numbers are too much temporarily. Giant tries to send him into the ringpost but Goldberg slides out and rams him instead. Giant regains the advantage and suplexes Goldberg back in. Goldberg completely no sells and Spears Giant. He wants the Jackhammer but Disciple is in and waffles him from behind for the DQ at 3:27. Well, yeah. 1/4* though the match did do one thing right in that it left it a mystery as to whether or not Goldberg could Jackhammer The Giant. They SHOULD make people pay PPV dollars to see that.

• Post-match, Beefcake gets speared and Jackhammered for his trouble. Razor is in to pound down Goldberg but KEVIN NASH HAS COME OUT! Hall moves and Goldberg “accidentally” spears Nash. Nash no sells that and HIJINKS ENSUE!

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Sting vs. Goldberg (c). 09/14/98. Streak: 143. DDP is on commentary and puts over how Sting is Goldberg’s toughest test since Hogan. Again, this is on FREE TV! These two guys only wrestled twice that I know of and one was thrown away on Nitro and the other was an unannounced title match that was later overturned so there. Sting is in Wolpack. Goldberg with knees and a Bulldog powerslam to start. Goldberg tries a charge but Sting avoids and now gives Goldberg the OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Big pop for that. Sting with a vertical suplex and Goldberg pops up to no sell and the crowd LOVES IT! Sting can’t believe it and has to roll out to regroup. Mannnn, with the right build, this would have been incredible. Cue the legit Goldberg chants. Goldberg sends him off but Sting gets a knee. Goldberg no sells and pounds him down. Sting sends him off but Goldberg takes him down with a shoulderblock. Sting with a leapfrog and dropkicks Goldberg down and again Goldberg no sells. Goldberg goes to the kneebar but Sting gets the ropes. Sting grabs a headlock but Goldberg back suplexes him to counter. Sting STAYS ON THE HEADLOCK! YEAH! Sting tries a headlock takeover but Goldberg shoves him over to escape. They go to the test of strength and Goldberg wins that as DDP puts over how he and Sting wrestle similarly and he’ll use this tape when/if he fights Goldberg with his Wargames title shot. The hell with Booker, put DDP on commentary if they can’t bring back JBL. Ref demands a break on the test of strength as Sting gets the ropes. Goldberg tries a Tombstone but Sting REVERSES AND HITS ONE! Goldberg still tries to no-sell a damn Tombstone(!). Sting now with a Stinger Splash and another. He tries to pull Goldberg out of the corner but he no sells. Sting with another Stinger Splash but Goldberg no sells and goes for the Spear! Sting moves and Goldberg eats post shoulder-first! That one move changed Goldberg’s career because to my knowledge, that’s the first time someone had dodged the Spear and Goldberg hits his shoulder and now for the rest of his career, he has the go-to spot of “try the Spear, miss it, sell the shoulder.” Goldberg owes part of his career success to Sting with that one addition to the formula. Sting now clips the knee. Sting wants the Scorpion Deathlock! Sting turns him over and locks it in! Goldberg tries to power out but Sting stays on the hold. BUT WAIT! HOLLYWOOD HOGAN HAS COME OUT! Hogan boots Sting from behind and Sting is out cold. DDP is disgusted at this display. Goldberg spears Sting and hits the Jackhammer and he retains at 8:09. Hogan now waffles Goldberg after the match and that brings out Bret Hart who holds off Hogan. There never was any payoff or explanation to that Hogan attack other than that he didn’t want someone other than himself to beat Goldberg for the title. Still, quite the electric encounter that could have been something special on PPV with more time. ***

No DQ Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: The Giant vs. Goldberg (c). From 10/12/98. Streak: 149. The optimist in me would like to believe this is no DQ because last time they wrestled it ended in DQ. However, the announcers nor the show mention this at all so who knows. During Goldberg’s entrance, apparently something catches on fire behind Tony and crew. They are off-camera but the announcing is sporadic. Tony: “Goldberg…. [whistle in the background]… making his way out…. and uh security’s waiting on him [tries to hold back laughter].” 10 seconds pass by. Tenay: “Hot night in Chicago, isn’t it?!” Tony: “OH BOY!” 10 more seconds pass. Brain: “Right above us.” Tenay: “We’re burning down the house at the United Center.” They don’t call him the professor for nothing. In the background, then you can hear a fire extinguisher. They seem to finally get their stuff together as Tenay puts over Goldberg’s shtick. Brain through wasn’t satisfied: “Guys, we aren’t going to make it.” Tony: “There’s also been a special on pyro in Chicago this week.” Brain: “OHHHH, THIS IS SOMETHING!” Lock up goes nowhere so they milk the crowd that isn’t as hot as last time. Tony plays up how we don’t know if Goldberg can Jackhammer the big guy. Giant hides behind the ref hilariously and then dropkicks Goldberg down. Giant with a running clothesline and a Russian legsweep. Giant with some headbutts and rams Goldberg into the turnbuckle. He Goldbergs up and sends Show in instead. Goldberg with the career killer to Giant’s ribs and then bodyslams him as the place comes UNGLUED! You’d think this was Hogan slamming Andre at WM 3 or something. It’s incredible. Goldberg preps the Spear. Stevie Ray (Tony amusingly refers to him as: “THE ENFORCER!”) comes out with a chair. He waffles Goldberg but he no sells and boots him out of the way. Goldberg turns around into the ChokeSlam! Giant covers but DDP HAS COME OUT! He breaks up the cover and hits the Diamond Cutter on Stevie Ray. Giant goes for the ChokeSlam on him but Goldberg spears Giant instead. Giant rolls to the floor and takes a walk to lose by countout at 2:47. Another crazy entertaining match for just 3 minutes. DDP had the upcoming shot at Halloween Havoc and didn’t want the n.W.o cheating him of his shot at immortality so that’s why he was there. Again, WCW smartly (and those are two words used in the same sentence very often) avoided a clean finish and prolonged the question of whether or not Goldberg could Jackhammer him. **

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Goldberg (c). Halloween Havoc 98. This is CnPed from my review of that show earlier this year. Streak: 154. You can deny it if you want but DDP was over big time during this period and could have easily had a run with the belt if the powers that be wanted it that way. Instead, they waited 6 months and turned him heel but that’s another story for another review. DDP also had that Macho-esque anal retentive quality about working things out meticulously beforehand that made his matches much better. DDP got this shot by winning Wargames after Hogan took everyone out with the flapjack and then Warrior took him out and DDP was the first one to recover and get a fluke pin. Goldberg gets the security entrance through the bowels of the Vegas arena.

• They go face to face and talk some smack. Goldberg wins the power match up a few times and DDP decides to rethink that strategy. DDP suckers back into the lock up but THEN gets an arm drag and Goldberg is pissed at being outsmarted. Goldberg tries to plow through him and they LOCK UP! They stay on it and fall through the ropes. The ref breaks them up. GOLDBERG chant from the crowd as the intensity and crowd heet is amazing. Goldberg avoids a trip with a fucking backflip but then DDP gets a sweep. Goldberg is pissed and goes back to the right hands. Goldberg with a fireman’s carry takeover and goes to the armbar but DDP gets the ropes. DDP comes back with a jawbreaker and some shoulder surges. DDP goes for the Diamond Cutter and Goldberg throws him out of the ring and DDP sells it like hell. Goldberg goes to the hammerlock but DDP rolls through and counters with a drop toe hold to his own. DDP grabs a headlock and Goldberg shoves him off. DDP tries a shoulderblock but Goldberg stands stiff and DDP bumps out of the ring. DDP is bumping all over the place for Goldberg. He comes back with a Stun Gun and a swinging neckbreaker. DDP sends him chest first into the turnbuckle and hits a Russian legsweep for 2. DDP goes to the front facelock. Goldberg gets to his feet and powers DDP down with a Roll The Dice. Goldberg avoids a right and takes him down with a T-Bone suplex. Goldberg hits a side slam for 2. Goldberg goes back to the arm and DDP rolls through and gets the ropes even though Goldberg stays on the hold. This is some shockingly good matwork. DDP counters a side slam with a flying headscissors but Goldberg no sells and superkicks him back into the corner. Goldberg goes for the Spear but DDP leap frogs(!) and Goldberg hits the ringpost. YES! I think that was the first time anyone had ever leapfrogged and avoided the Spear and even if it seems natural it’s such an awesome spot here. DDP hits a clothesline off the top for 2. Goldberg tries a hiptoss with the bad arm but DDP counters with a DDT. DDP wants the Diamond Cutter but Goldberg hits the Spear. Goldberg’s shoulder is hurt and he can’t cover. PSYCHOLOGY FTW! Double KO spot. Crowd is really into it. Goldberg tries the Jackhammer but can’t get him up with the bad arm. AWESOME! Goldberg Hulks up and tries again but DDP slides out and this the DIAMOND CUTTER to a HUGE pop! THEY’RE STANDING IN LAS VEGAS! DDP is too out of it to cover. Delayed cover gets 2. DDP tries a Jackhammer but Goldberg counters to his own and gets the 3 to retain at 10:29. Easily one of Goldberg’s best matches ever along with ones against Sting, Chris Jericho, and maybe The Rock. Excellent psychology with DDP bumping all over the place for Goldberg’s strength and power and subsequently using his aggression against him by suckering him into going for the Spear and hitting ringpost but ultimately not having enough to get the job done. This match has a sad coda to it that the PPV was running over live so they cut the feed and millions of viewers missed this match. WCW reaired the match in its entirety on Nitro the next night. ***3/4

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Meng vs. Goldberg (c). From 11/10/98. Streak: 160. According to Tenay, this is Goldberg’s first ever match in NY. Tony and crew try to one-up each other with adjectives. Brain: “Unheard of.” Tenay: “Unprecedented.” Tony: “Unbelievable.” Tenay: “Unblemished.” Tony: “Undaunted.” Brain: “Uncola.” Brain takes it with a thirty year old 7 UP JOKE! Lock up goes nowhere. Goldberg grabs a headlock and gets sent off. He tries a shoulderblock but Meng no sells. Meng tells him to try it again and Goldberg instead takes him down with a suckerpunch. Meng comes back with chops and sends him into the turnbuckle. Meng sends him into the corner and again Goldberg comes running out with a clothesline but THIS TIME Meng tries one and both no sell and TROLL YELL at each other. Meng gouges the eye and tries a dropkick but Goldberg avoids and takes him down with rights. Meng hits a superkick or as Tenay calls it, THE BOOT OF FEAR! That’s a BADASS name and they should totally give the move and the name to Wade Barrett rather than that “winds of change” Black Hole Slam horseshit. Anyway, Goldberg no sells and Spears him. Goldberg with the Jackhammer and Meng’s a victim again at 2:02. I was mildly holding out hope that Meng would get the desperation Death Grip after the Spear but no such luck. Still, these two have some bizarre no selling chemistry and could have had a very solid 10 minute or so power match PPV semi main but WCW had little to no desire to have Goldberg go that long EVER. Even his best fabled matches against Sting and DDP are at most 10 minutes. *1/2

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: The Giant vs. Goldberg (c). From 11/23/98. Streak: 162. Now, this is more like the WCW you’ve probably heard about. So Nash is booker at this point and he has his WW3 victory title shot coming up in a few weeks at Starrcade. You probably know what happens there, but on this Nitro, Nash also took out Wrath and ended his months long win streak and booked this main between Goldberg and Giant. During Goldberg’s entrance, Tony mentions they are in “overtime” which means the overrun past 11:00 pm, basically announcing this match won’t be very long at all.

• Giant throws him into the corner to start but Goldberg ducks and comes back with shots to the gut. Giant runs him into the corner with a clothesline and Batista kicks him down. Giant drops the straps and CHOKE SLAMS HIM! He covers 30 seconds in but Goldberg kicks out at 2. Giant can’t believe it and chops the shit out of Goldberg. Goldberg comes back with knees and the SPEAR! Crowd erupts. Goldberg wants the Jackhammer and YES easily picks him up for the Jackhammer and squashes him at 1:36. If you want to be generous, you’d point out the mitigating factors which I already have and you’d also add in, this doesn’t have to be construed as a squash. It could be played as just both guys going for high octane finishers very early and actually hitting them and that Giant conceivably COULD have won with a “better” ChokeSlam or something. However, in another perspective, you just gave away a PPV main event that though was held previously had no clean finish or a Jackhammer from Goldberg and both of those were out the window just to feed Goldberg to Nash. 1/4*.

• Post-match, Bam Bam Bigelow jumps Goldberg. Security it out to pull them apart and then they arrest Bigelow because “he’s not officially apart of WCW.” Nash comes out to try and jump Goldberg now as well.

Triangle Match: Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg. From 12/14/98. Streak: ?. No music for Bam Bam. HOW IS THIS MATCH ON FREE TV?! I mean, you had a ton of heat on Bam Bam and fans were electric for the confrontations between him and Goldberg. Hell, fans were electric for ANY confrontation with Goldberg and someone else. And Nash obviously has the mandatory title shot. I just don’t understand putting this on Nitro before the PPV. WWE with all of their problems would still find a way to string out these into 3 months of PPVs.

• Bam Bam pounds down Goldberg in the corner as Nash watches on in delight. Bam Bam with a Ho Train but Goldberg clotheslines him and hits him with the career killer. Nash breaks up the cover at 2. Nash with the Director’s Cut elbow in the corner and Bam Bam helps him. Goldberg comes back but Nash pokes him in the eye. Goldberg no sells again and takes both down with a double clothesline. Crowd explodes as Nash and Bigelow powder out. Back in, Nash with a short arm clothesline on Goldberg for 1. Nash with the side slam for 2 but Bigelow breaks it up. Bigelow with the headbutt for 2 but Nash breaks that up. Goldberg trips Nash and goes to the kneebar but Bigelow breaks that up. Bigelow takes Goldberg down with a shoulderblock and wants a suplex but Goldberg counters and suplexes him over. SPEAR ON BIGELOW! He wants the Jackhammer but Nash waffles him. Goldberg takes down Nash and goes to the GnP. Goldberg ducks a big boot and Spears Nash. Goldberg clotheslines Bigelow down. BUT WAIT! SCOTT HALL HAS COME OUT! He puts the boots to Goldberg and Mickey Jay calls for the bell at 5:02. That might have been the most bumps Goldberg had ever done in a match to that point.

No DQ Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg (c). Starrcade on 12/24/98. Streak: 173. Goldberg stops to sign a fan’s autograph on the way to the ring. So much for security doing their job. Nash does the Wolfpack taunt and Goldberg troll yells and Goldberg wins that gimmick exchange. Lock out goes nowhere so Mickey Jay demands a break. Nash grabs a headlock and Goldberg tries to send him off but Nash refuses so Goldberg back suplexes him. Nash rolls to the floor. Crowd sounds split as Nash goes for rights and elbows. Nash with the hip checks and rights in the corner. Nash with the Director’s Cut elbow and goes to the BLATANTCHOKE. Goldberg runs him out of the corner and goes to GnP and a choke of his own. Nash counters to a TRIANGLE CHOKE! AND THEN AN ARMBAR! Goldberg drops down with the anklelock! When the hell did Nash become a Gracie? Nash grabs the ropes to break. Goldberg with a few rights and Nash goes down and the crowd pops for that. Nash suckers Goldberg into the corner and pulls him into the turnbuckle. Nash goes back to the choke from before. Nash sends him off but Goldberg ducks a big boot and Spears him. Goldberg calls for the Jackhammer. Nash low blows him to counter. That might be the only time that someone has used an offensive move to break up the Spear/Jackhammer combo. Nash with the sideslam for 2. Nash with an elbow drop for 2. Nash now with a Bossman attack to a pop and covers for 2. Nash now with a forearm to the back a couple times and Goldberg is selling these pretty emphatically for him. Goldberg comes back with a kick but Nash cuts him off with a clothesline for 2. Nash wants a suplex and Goldberg counters to the Roll the Dice. Goldberg suplexes Nash over for 2. Goldberg with the Career Killer and the Bulldog powerslam for 2. Goldberg with a spinning dropkick or some shit. BUT DISCO INFERNO HAS COME OUT! Goldberg Spears him. BAM BAM BIGELOW HAS COME OUT! Goldberg clotheslines him out. SCOTT HALL HAS COME OUT! HE TASERS GOLDBERG! Nash with the Jackknife to a pop and Goldberg’s done at 11:19. That’s actually not a bad match. If you grade on the Goldberg curve, it’s of course disappointing because ya know, he LOST and everything and it lasted longer than 3 minutes and involved him not being on the offensive the whole match. However, it’s probably the closest thing to a regular match and main event that Goldberg had ever had to that point. In fact, if you had the exact same match but somehow Goldberg was still able to pull out the victory, a lot of the negativity toward this match probably subsides. But because Nash booked himself to win, and because it ended the streak, and because the Fingerpoke of Doom was right around the corner, everyone laments this as the death of WCW. Even as a Goldberg fan, I’m OK with the match and how it played out as an end of the streak. **1/2

The 411: Goldberg is a guy that is both better and worse than you've heard. His charisma is off the charts. He is up there with the all time greats in terms of pure magnetism (electricity if you will) in front of the camera and in front of a crowd. He had a bigger moveset than just Spear and Jackhammer. For a guy his size, he's mobile and just an all out hoss that JR would love. In fairness, almost anyone would have gotten over with the same gimmick. The music, the pyro, the security guard entrance, the MMA flavor, the all black gear, no-talking, no-selling, 2 minutes and take it home -- all of that helped. But without the right guy with the right combination holding it all together (Goldberg, Batista, Brock, Warrior, Undertaker), the whole thing fizzles (Lashley, Khali, El Gigante, Mason Ryan). *Note: The 7.0 rating is just a default of sorts as this is more about Goldberg's career and less about the match quality.
Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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