For a little over a week now the professional wresting world has been clamoring about the triumphant return of the man known as Goldberg. The Undertaker is synonymous with “the streak.” But it was Goldberg who coined the phrase and brought attention to “the streak.” Wrestling historians (if those even exist) claim Goldberg’s winning streak was anywhere between 130-173 consecutive wins. His first official loss coming against Kevin Nash. Nash had some help from Scott Hall and a cattle prod. On paper Goldberg has one of the most impressive resumes with wins over superstars like Hulk Hogan, The Rock, HHH, and Brock Lesnar.
If you believe what you read and what you saw on TV you could argue that Goldberg was the most dominate superstar to ever set foot in a WCW/WWE ring. I emphasize was because he was last seen in WWE ring over 12 years ago. The best moment in his final match was the stunner he took from special guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin to close out WrestleMania 20. He has spent the better part of 12 years trashing the WWE in interview after interview. I posted a blog several months about praising Ryback’s handling of his contract. I mentioned back then that I was not interested in seeing Goldberg back in the ring. As usual, I am in the minority as I was not impressed nor inspired by his promo upon his 2016 RAW return. Let me tell you why.
First of all Goldberg was 100% the creation of WCW. That might not seem relevant because we know that Vince McMahon came up with the Undertaker. It was up to WWE writing to make Taker relevant but it was also up to Mark Callaway to make his character work. Callaway took the character he was given and combined it with his wrestling and promo skills to become The Phenom. Goldberg was the equivalent of Trent Dilfer the Super Bowl winning QB. What I mean by that is Goldberg’s job was to show up, look big, look mean, look dominate, and not screw up. Well it wasn’t a stretch for Goldberg to look big, mean and dominate. He is one of those guys. He looks bad ass no matter what. So the real testament to Goldberg is that he didn’t mess up.
Sort of like how Dilfer just had to make sure he didn’t turn it over and let the team do the rest. Don’t get me wrong, it was an amazing run and it looked great on WCW TV. Realistically how could it not? Hogan, Hall, Savage, Nash, and Sting were all well past their primes. All had plenty in the tank, but none of them had the physical tools of Goldberg. We believed in Goldberg because he looked the part. 12 years later he still looks good, but he isn’t much of a draw.
Goldberg was never a good wrestler. The reason he had so many squash matches was twofold. First it was crucial that his character looked impossible to beat. So his matches were quick and he was never really in any trouble. The only time he lost is when someone cheated and used a weapon. His matches were also short so that it wouldn’t expose the many holes in his wrestling game. I hate to say it, but he was never really that good. There is a reason his longest match is 14 minutes in WWE and that includes the entrance. If Goldberg did have a good match, it was because his opponent carried him through it.
Goldberg was one of kind in WCW. But WWE had bigger and better Goldberg’s. WWE had the Undertaker and Kane. Both of whom were just as big as Goldberg, but had much more in ring talent. In WCW Goldberg was a god among old men. In WWE he was another big guy like Gene Snitsky. People might get mad about that, but it’s true. Hogan couldn’t wrestling either but his charisma and promo skills were great. Goldberg had charisma but should never have a mic.
Most people don’t realize that Goldberg only had about 4.5 years working for the main wrestling companies. He doesn’t have years of experience to fall back on. His final match was a dud. His next match is going to be a dud. It’s one thing to be in shape and it’s another thing to be in ring shape. It’s one thing to have ring rust and it’s another to have ring rust when you couldn’t wrestle to begin with. Brock Lesnar is in a league of his own, but he will have to tone down his game to match Goldberg’s lack of skill. It isn’t a good match up.
WWE is doing this match for nothing more than money. They are not concerned about a good match. They are concerned about video game sales and network subscriptions. Oddly enough they did the same thing when they brought back the Ultimate Warrior. The only difference is that the Warrior had an inspirational speech that moved the masses. He was legitimately happy to be home. He was thankful to rebuild broken bridges and was inspiring. He was an icon from his generation. He owned his part of rift.
Goldberg claims to be back to be a hero for the “kids.” But the kids don’t know who he is. Most of the “kids” that remember him are now adults. The “kids” already have a hero, his name is John Cena. I am not saying Goldberg is bad because he wants to be a hero. But you have to be realistic. You can’t just show up and say “I am a hero.” He has been gone for 12 years. Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, and Baily are today’s heroes.
The fact that fans cheered Lesnar and booed Goldberg this week shows how fans really feel. The time to fix what was broken at WrestleMania 20 has come and gone. Today no one cares. When the match is a dud, it will be the legacy that Goldberg leaves. Actually, that isn’t true. There are talks now about having Goldberg fight the Undertaker at WrestleMania 33. Which means they will have destroyed all the hype brought on by Goldberg’s final promo statement when he told Brock Lesnar “you’re last.”
I know that people will be mad but the truth is Goldberg is a fraud. His character is little more than show up and don’t mess up. Don’t talk, don’t try to do too much, just follow the script. He is a carnival game. A cheap trick used to get the public to spend money. I may be in the minority, but I am not buying it.