As ring announcer Michael Buffer gives his usual rants the lights dim slightly only to reveal a giant of a man standing amidst a pyrotechnic show to rival some rock concerts. As he beats on his chest and yells his self motivating call he walks unphased through the fireworks towards the ring. The multitude of fans call out his name. Repeat that. Uh yeah again...in monotone unison. His opponent takes a deep breath knowing his is in for a major butt- kicking as the walk from the now fading pyro show to the ring is continued by the WCW Heavyweight Champion of the World. Once the match has begun, the audience barely has time to take their seats before they must rise again to applaud as Bill Goldberg, simply known as Goldberg , defeats his opponent in a matter of seconds. "The winner and still champion" I say in my best Michael Buffer voice, "GOLDBERG!!!"
This virtual unknown has rocketed to success in the WCW as well as professional wrestling as a whole. Every opponent he faces goes down in defeat with little mercy. This guy has taken the wrestling scene by storm. Hurricane Goldberg is what he should be called. Nothing can withstand his fury. Well...almost nothing. There is one thing that stands in his way to prolonged success. One thing alone can prevent the championship belt from staying around his waist. That one thing? A wrestling fan, a true wrestling fan, with half a brain. You dont even need a whole brain to stop this beast (good news for all you Val Venis fans) to provide relief to all those poor jobbers who get destroyed by Goldberg each time he wrestles.
It's like this people. Goldberg, the champion, was not created by Eric Bischoff alone. Nor was it the bright idea of any suit in the front office. For a long time now, WCW has been seeking someone to replace the geriatric Hogan. The only thing stopping them was trying to find someone who could fill his shoes with the fans. Time after time when Goldberg defeated his opponents the crowd went wild. The undefeated count was rising. No one called out for assistance from Sting, Nash or any of the 'wolfpac' when someone was being ganged up on by the black and white. They called GOLDBERG. This man had never been beat and most doubted he could be beat. His status rose even higher when he rushed to the aid of his fellow wrestlers to prevent NWO from claiming another victim. Every week the signs in the audience changed to reveal Goldberg's new streak. What is it up to now? Around 150-0? At the mere sight of Hogan the crazed fans would call for their new hero. You all know the chant by now..GOLDBERG...GOLDBERG...yeah whatever.
Bottom line is the guy just plain ol' sucks. He cant wrestle. His talent is close to that of a mid-carder himself so why are we to believe he can beat the long standing A-list talent with ease. To date I have seen as much wrestling from him as I have seen from my three year old son. In fact, my son is better. The dreaded spear...that in itself is a joke. Its called a form tackle. Watch football it can be very educational. The jackhammer? New name...old move. I saw that move when I was a kid by some guy named Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin, who by the way is now an airline pilot. So the two signature moves negated what's left? A bald headed muscle man who couldn't hang in pro football so became a wrestler. If WCW wants a replacement for Hogan they need to do better than this. I would rather see a man struggle and win his matches by perseverance and skill than by totally dominating his foes.
Like them or hate them, arguably, the two biggest names in wrestling today (Goldberg excluded) is Stone Cold Steve Austin and the million dollar a year plus Hulk Hogan. These two wrestlers have something Goldberg can never have. Personality. People will only like you so long for being a bad-ass after that you have to be a person. Goldberg has absolutely no personality at all. In fact, he matches don't even last long enough to establish one. You can just forget getting a personality from interviews as well. A pebble makes better conversation. Its like the Neanderthal man on camera. A few grunts and eye/neck twitches with a whole lot of drool. Kinda reminds me of the George the Animal Steele character of old. He would stare into the camera as if he was trying to figure it out as he flicked his tongue in and out of his mouth. Steele also ate turnbuckle padding but thats a different story.
Basically, we all are tired of Hogan. His reign is nearing end. Since he is the premiere of WCW a new face must be created before the old one dies off. That's good business to plan ahead. However, building a new generation Super Hero on a brain dead steroid freak is bound to fail. So what if he looks like Steve Austin and has the kill power of a nuclear missile. People quit buying pet rocks for a reason, after the initial novelty wore off it was still just a rock. As it will be with Goldberg.
So quit chanting his name, quit buying his t-shirts and by all means stay away from the credit card with his likeness on it. If enough people do this the unbeatable Goldberg will fall. Most likely in the hands of Hogan. Gotta keep the Title on a big name player ya know. Oh...what happens to Goldberg when he does finally lose a match? Im not sure but here is one thought....."Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Bill Goldberg and I will be your captain today....." of course...that's assuming he can form complete sentences by that time.
Joseph Holt is a freelance writer in the Ft. Worth Texas area and a regular contributor to Solie's.
We open with fire from the ringposts. Nitro is coming to us live from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Cut to WW3 promo (here we go...)
Alex Wright vs. Norman Smiley - another match for Wright to once again prove he is the best wrestler from Europe. Smiley is probably WCW's most talented jobber. I've tried to figure out the reason for his lack of appeal. In part it stems from a feint whiff of effemininity (the way he kind of minces around the ring maybe). At any rate, in this one he gets almost no offense. Wright's biggest problem is his tendency to dance at odd moments when he should be taking care of business. At one point it costs him the advantage as Smiley gets a takedown and then an elbow drop followed by a scoop slam. Smiley then takes too long getting to the top and is caught there and superplexed to the mat. It is over a moment after that.
Back to the broadcast position for some discussion of Bret Hart's latest atrocities. He will face Lex Luger tonight. Cut to tape of DDP vs. Hart in black and white slow motion. I've heard it said that both Sting and Page are going to be taking a little time off (kind of odd for Page since he just won the US Title). Cut to commercial.
We come back to the Nitro Grrrrls dancing with boxes of the latest WCW computer game "Revenge".
Disco Fever vs. Kaz Hayashi - Disco diplays some knowledge by pounding on his opponents hand to loosen a waistlock at the beginning of the match. Hayashi takes to the air and takes charge of things. He tosses Disco out to the floor and then splashes him. A ringsider points in Kaz's face and shouts "You stink!" Back in the ring, Disco reverses the field and starts an offensive flurry only to be cut off by a missed elbow. The match continues in Hayashi's favor. Meanwhile Sonny Oono heads down the ramp. Hayashi is suitably distracted - even leaving the ring to chase his former manager. Oono leads him back into the ring and right into Disco's "Macarena" piledriver.
Mean Gene calls calls Booker T to the ramp for an interview. Okerlund wants to know where he's been for the last couple months. Booker complains about his brother joining the nWo but says that he has nothing but love for Stevie Ray. He then challenges Scott Hall to a match tonight - revealing that it was Hall who took his knee out backstage (pulled a "Tonya Harding" on him, is the way he put it) the night he was supposed to face Bret Hart for the US Title. Cut to commercial.
Ricky Medlock of Lynard Skinard is shown ringside in a Goldberg t-shirt as we return.
Scott (the Putz) Putski vs. Fit Finley - Finley does his best (as all of his opponents do) to make Putski look good during the early moments of this match. They retire to the floor for a bit where Finley takes back the advantage. Back in the ring he is all over the Powerfull Pole. Dragging him to the apron he leaves the ring to continue his assault on Putski's neck and shoulders. Back in the ring, Putski roars back for several exchanges by virtue of brute strength. He sets up for the Polish Hammer but Finley ducks it and executes a fireman's carry into reverse Samoan drop. The Tombstone piledriver ends it.
Cut backstage to Raven whining about his bad luck recently. Kanyon interrupts to ask if he can join the "self-pity" party. He taunts Raven about his attitude until the latter gets up and walks away. Kanyon follows him off camera, still goading him. Cut to commercial.
We are "treated" to clips of Chris Jericho beating up on a midget Goldberg and the real Goldberg's response.
Ernest "the Cat" Miller (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Scott Armstrong - this is Mr. Oono's first official appearance as Milier's manager. Miller runs down his usual schtick - "I'm the greatest - my hands are lethal weapons - yatta, yatta". His "challenge" brings forth Armstrong who attacks him as he counts "two" with his back turned. It does Armstrong no good - a back round kick lays him out. Then he starts torturing Scott which brings his brother Steve out to save his bacon. Armstrong II downs Miller and starts whaling on his head until Oono gets in a kick and turns the tables on him. Miller pins Scott and gets a second three count from the referee - why? - I don't know. Cut to commercial.
Wrath vs. Kendall Windham - this match gives us an idea of how big Wrath really is. Windham is a very big man but Wrath looks about twice as thick in the upper body. Windham is a far more experienced wrestler and manages to stymie Wrath for, maybe, 30 seconds. Then Wrath stops him in his tracks and applies the Meltdown. Cut to some tape of Bret Hart bashing people like Sting and DDP.
Mean Gene calls Bret Hart to the ring. Bret is not dressed to wrestle. He says he has a groin pull and the doctors won't let him wrestle tonight. Gene disputes it, saying he saw Bret backstage with perfect mobility. Bret shruggs this off and starts ranting about DDP. Gene says, "What about Sting?" - Bret points out that it was Sting who chose to bring a bat to the ring. Lex Luger shows up and confronts the Hitman. Hart continues to insist that he is hurt and can't wrestle. Luger calls him a liar - Bret says, "Talk to the doctors..." Luger calls him a gutless coward and starts to leave then turns back and waffles him with a clothesline. He racks Hart as referees run in to separate them. He kicks Hart out of the ring just as we cut to commercial.
At this point my VCR turned itself off!! It looks like I accidently changed the tape speed to Standard when it was supposed to be on Super Long Play - the tape simply ran out. I apologize to those who depend on this report for their Nirto fix and promise this will never happen again...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie. Copyright 1998 - Jump City Productions