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Who should?ve beaten the undefeated Bill Goldberg and when:
On the September 22nd edition of WCW Monday Nitro wrestling fans witnessed the beginning of WCW?s biggest star (some may say). Goldberg would end up going on a tear in WCW defeating everyone and anyone in the company. WCW touted his dominance by mentioning that he was undefeated every chance they got. WCW had been known to inflate his record from show to show despite Goldberg not having matches. Goldberg was the next big thing for WCW, and Goldberg was used fairly well. However, like most things in WCW, Goldberg would be used horribly and his character would lose steam.
On April 20th, 1998 Goldberg won his first WCW championship by defeating Raven to win the WCW United States Championship. Eventually, Goldberg was being groomed for a WCW World Heavyweight title match against Hulk Hogan. The announcers would always hype Goldberg up as a threat to the New World Order. Finally, on July 6th, 1998 on Nitro, Goldberg defeated Scott Hall to earn a shot at Hulk Hogan and the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. That is right, without question WCW?s biggest match since Sting vs. Hogan at Starrcade 1997 was given away on free television just to beat RAW in the ratings (Nitro got a 4.93 rating compared to RAW which got a 4.0 rating).
On the show, Goldberg would pin Hogan to win his first (and only) WCW World Heavyweight Championship in front of a sold out Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. After such a huge win Goldberg?s first title defense was six days later at the June pay per view Bash at the Beach 1998. At the event, Goldberg defeated Curt Hennig in short time. Why Goldberg would defend against a glorified midcarder on a pay per view for the top championship doesn?t make much. But, Goldberg didn?t have a angle and considering he was the champion he needed to be on the program.
Goldberg?s first month as champion saw him beat the likes of Curt Hennig, Brian Adams and Meng on Nitro. That can?t be considered a great start in terms of title defenses but he couldn?t go over all of the legitimates threats he had at the time. WCW headed into Road Wild 1998 with plenty of time to give Goldberg a suitable challenger. The flaw of the event has always been that it was a biker rally and their wasn?t any admission fee (another great Bischoff idea). So, at the event Goldberg was just placed into a battle royal. That?s right, the WCW World Heavyweight Champion was just placed in a battle royal to seemingly ?get him on the card?. Goldberg would win the battle royal by pinning the Giant. In my opinion, it should have been Goldberg vs. The Giant for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the show.
Leading into WCW Fall Brawl 1998, Goldberg would defeat Al Greene, Meng and Scott Putski. During this time, Chris Jericho had started to mock Goldberg and produce some good segments. With Goldberg not competing on the Fall Brawl pay per view, Chris Jericho took on Gillberg and won the match. You would have thought that Chris Jericho and Goldberg were heading into some sort of feud. However, as you will soon read, that wasn?t the case.
With Diamond Dallas Page winning War Games at Fall Brawl, Goldberg would get his first real challenge on pay per view since winning the belt. Goldberg would be facing DDP at WCW Halloween Havoc 1998. Leading into the event, Goldberg defeated some top names. The night after Fall Brawl, Goldberg pinned Sting. He would fight Chris Jericho to a no contest two weeks later. Goldberg would also beat The Giant in a no disqualification two weeks for Halloween Havoc. At the pay per view, Goldberg would beat Diamond Dallas Page in what some say to be his best match of his career to that point.
Goldberg?s reign wouldn?t really continue to keep its steam, it would seem. By November he was defending the title, but his matches would end up in no contest finishes. A man who was dominate before becoming the champion wasn?t beating his opponents. Rumors were that Goldberg was suppose to face Chris Jericho at World War III 1998, but since he was suppose to have the pay per view off, he refused (according to Jericho?s book). Thus, since his title win back in July, Goldberg had not been booked on two of the five pay per views that he could have been booked on. With most of the matches he had competed in being rather lackluster.
Goldberg?s ?toughest opponent yet? would be Kevin Nash as they competed at WCW Starrcade 1998. The result of the match would see Kevin Nash end the 172-0 streak of Goldberg. Now, Nash won with help from Scott Hall who used a stun gun to take Goldberg out of the match. Nash?s title win would last until January 4th, 1999 where the finger poke of doom would take place (that deserves a column of its own). Personally, having Goldberg lose to Nash was the wrong decision. To have Goldberg only have the belt for about five months was another mistake. What should WCW have done? Good question. I know what I would have done.
First, I wouldn?t have had Goldberg win the WCW United States Championship. Once that happened, Raven?s singles push was greatly diminished despite being one of the better characters in the company. It?s not like Goldberg had a history with Raven at the time directly, nor did Goldberg really needed the belt to begin with. In this case, I would have bypassed the under card title run and pushed Goldberg to the World Championship.
Secondly, I wouldn?t have Goldberg win the world championship on free television. Imagine how much money a Goldberg vs. Hogan match at say Bash at the Beach 1998 would have produced. To give that all away for a simple ratings win is just something you have to laugh at nowadays. But, with Eric Bischoff being more concerned over the ratings war with WWF instead of the financial success of his company, a lot of things happened on free television that would have been great pay per view success (another column for a different day).
Thirdly, I would have actually had some sort of payoff between Goldberg and Chris Jericho. It doesn?t matter whether it was a fifteen minute hard fought match or a four minute squash match but something had to happen. Either way, Jericho would have been helped greatly with a program with the champion. Obviously, Jericho was popular enough to be a upper card talent instead of the midcarder position he had.
Considering how dominate Goldberg was, and how much support he had from the fans, I would have had him been champion for at least one full year. I can see the argument that his feuds with wrestlers would run out, and that may be the case, but it would be the best option. As you will read, if Goldberg were to retain the belt at Starrcade 1998 the guys I have listed to dethrone him would need some time to be built up to that level to take the belt from Goldberg.
Lastly, I wouldn?t have had Kevin Nash beat Goldberg for the championship. You may be asking yourself ?well who else could have possibly beaten Goldberg??. Well, here is a list of some of the guys I came up with. The following list isn?t a ranking system or anything, just a list of who could have gotten the job done.
1.) The Giant: Goldberg actually had several matches with the Giant and each time Goldberg seemingly had his number. Bad move. With the Giant who have someone who is bigger than Goldberg and even stronger, I would assume. Of course, by the winter of 1998 the Giant was leaving WCW for the WWF in February of 1999. However, if the Giant were to have been resigned with WCW, he would have been the ideal pick. This is also assuming that the Giant never lost to Goldberg previously.
2.) Scott Steiner: Back in 1998, Steiner could still produce some quality showings. Steiner had the look to be a realistic threat to Goldberg. Obviously, Steiner wasn?t being pushed to the level he was being pushed by WCW in 2000 but you could simply push him as a big heel powerhouse following his heel turn on Rick at Superbrawl VIII. A example that this could work is what actually happened back in 2000. Steiner vs. Goldberg had a good match at Fall Brawl and Steiner beat Goldberg. Steiner would have gotten a huge lift if he was the guy to end Goldberg?s streak.
3.) Chris Benoit: One thing that Benoit has going for him was that he was mainly a submission wrestler. In my opinion, it is easier for someone to recover from a submission lost then it is from a pin fall lost. If their were to be a lot of hype on the Crossface submission and that it can be put on in any situation, Benoit could have been a solid threat for Goldberg?s streak. It wouldn?t be ideal in 1998, but if all else failed he could be a go to guy.
4.) Booker T: This one is a far fetched pick, but Booker was picking up steam as a singles wrestler. Booker, wanting to prove that he isn?t just a tag team wrestler and is a main event talent could be worked into a angle with Goldberg. This is obviously the most unrealistic of the four, but I believe that Booker T would be able to pull it off if he were to have been booked well enough.
So, instead of Kevin Nash beating Goldberg to end the streak, I would have picked The Giant, assuming he didn?t leave for the WWF. If Giant were to have left, I would have gone with Scott Steiner. Steiner?s power would be matched up well with Goldberg and considering he also had a submission finisher in the Steiner Recliner, Goldberg wouldn?t have to be pinned to lose the title.
If everything were to go according to plan, Goldberg would lose his first match, and title to Scott Steiner sometime after Bash at the Beach 1999. It would be remarkable feat that Goldberg would have been undefeated from September 1997 until say, September 1999. If WCW were to go two years of having Goldberg undefeated, then Goldberg would lose the championship to Scott Steiner at WCW Fall Brawl 1999. Question is, do you have Goldberg lose cleanly or not? Do you put the match in a cage, since Fall Brawl usually had a War Games match or a cage match?
In order for Goldberg to keep his powerful and unbeatable persona, Steiner could win by cheating. Introduce Steiner using his lucky pipe earlier than he did and have him beat the crap out of Goldberg during the contest. This could give the Goldberg character a much needed break, after two years of winning. So, Steiner takes Goldberg out and wins the championship via the help of a foreign object. Steiner could get a good run with the belt as you keep Goldberg off television for 4-6 months. Goldberg could return to beat Scott Steiner, cleanly, at WCW Superbrawl IX.
If that were to happen, Goldberg wouldn't go back on a two year undefeated streak or anything like that. However, he would need to have a dominate run. Scott Steiner could be effectively built up as the one guy who can and has beaten Goldberg. Their would be the one threat of Goldberg, which could possibly lead to great things for both men.
So, their you have it. How Goldberg?s run actually went and how I would have handled the Goldberg streak. I hope you enjoyed it and have some thoughts of your own.
- A in-depth look at the Matt Cappotelli/Johnny Jeter feud from Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2005. Which will include recaps of interview segments and matches that they competed in. Basically, a timeline of their feud. What lead up to it and how everything played out.
Thanks for reading.
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