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Saturday, January 16, 2016

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Goldberg: WCW's Success And Failure

Once upon a time in WCW, Bill Goldberg ruled the land. For better or worse, he plowed through competition and became the big draw in the company for 1998. His run on top was short lived for the most part however, and while he was known for his explosive short offense, was Goldberg really that great?? We gather up the squad to talk about this.

Goldberg was a guy who was plucked from obscurity and given perhaps one of the biggest pushes in the history of the wrestling industry. Whether he deserved it or not, watching his meteoric rise to superstardom was very fun to see and it was something special for those of us who were watching live each and every week. Goldberg had built up both a winning streak and a reputation of being a badass with an undefeated streak that will never be duplicated ever again in the industry of pro wrestling. When Goldberg challenged Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Title in the Georgia Dome on WCW Nitro (A match they could have done on pay per view, but whatever... missed opportunities I guess).  It was in front of a sold out crowd and according to legend it took six days to fill that arena which is impressive. Hell Goldberg was watching Thunder from his couch when he heard JJ Dillion's announcement, which was the first time he had heard of it and he would then go on to defeat Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Title on July 6, 1998 and become the first undefeated man in the history of pro wrestling to become the world heavyweight champion.

He would hold the title up until December 27, 1998 when he would lose the World Title to Kevin Nash via a taser from Scott Hall and then the Finger Poke of Doom happened and Goldberg was never the same. According to legend, WCW had wanted to try and rebuild Goldberg, in fact they were with a "New Streak", but it was too late as the company was already going out of business and you can't replicate a rise like that the second time around because it's just not the same.

Characters are a big factor in pro wrestling being successful. It's what makes the industry flourish and interesting. Characters create stories and without them, wrestling would not be interesting to a substantial amount of people. Bill Goldberg is one of those characters that is rare in the fact that it was a WCW original creation 100%. He helped WCW create even more buzz while the surging NWO was the foundation for strong ratings. His energy, facial expressions, and limited but powerful moves propelled him to superstardom. Goldberg matches usually lasted about a minute and a half. Some would say it was Ultimate Warrior-esque, but Goldberg stood out because he was seen as a more realistic beast. He began to gain momentum and embarked on a winning streak that even had the commentators and fans losing count.

That all culminated to a match against the biggest star in the industry, Hollywood Hulk Hogan. In the biggest main event in Monday Night Nitro history, Hogan defended the title against Goldberg in the famous Georgia Dome. Goldberg would be crowned the new world champ that and a legend was established.

Goldberg is a wrestler that I really don't respect. I think he has the Bret Hart syndrome with regards to his career in some ways, but he also has this feel of "I only want to wrestle for the money, not the love of the business". This was WCW and their need for greatness forcing one man to the top, and I don't mean that in a truly negative way. As a wrestler, Goldberg wasn't good. He was stiff, unable to carry a full length match on a regular occasion, and his biggest run came from going undefeated over mostly jobbers. Goldberg, despite his shortcomings, had potential to be the biggest star ever in WCW but the booking failed him. Too egos, politics, etc doomed him and WCW. Regardless, his win over Hogan and his dominance can never be denied.



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