Scott, Revisionist history is a wonderful thing in wrestling. It allows people to blindly say “this caused this” and “Vince wanted such and such” even though that person may have been 4 years old at the time when it happened. But more importantly, it allows people to be over-praised or, by the same token, over-bashed for certain things.
So the other day I was thinking of the infamous Goldberg/Hogan match from Nitro in July 1998. Yes we can all agree that should have been a PPV match. But in specific regards to both individuals, there are some things I felt beared mentioning: In regards to Hogan. Hogan gets bashed for never truly “making” anyone. They mention how he dicked around with the Sting/Hogan StarrCade ending…..or how he immediately got the belt back from Luger at Road Wild that time. All of that is true, and I’m not saying Hogan doesn’t deserve SOME of the reputation he had. But does it seem that Hogan doesn’t get enough credit for making Goldberg? Goldberg was a guy who had basically beaten jobbers, mid-carders, and NWO B-teamers for a year, before finally beating Raven for the US title. He was clearly the hottest thing in WCW at that time. And in one night….in front of his home-state crowd…….Goldberg CLEANLY defeated, IN THE SAME NIGHT, Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan (2 out of the 3 guys who changed the landscape of pro wrestling in the late ’90s with the NWO angle) to win the WCW Heavyweight title to go along with his U.S. title. Look at that from a mark perspective: he already, in theory, had been weakened by having to wrestle Scott Hall previously…then went on to cleanly defeat “The Immortal” Hollywood Hulk Hogan, brother. What more could have been done to put Goldberg over that night? Maybe they could have filmed a vignette of him saving 50 orphans from a burning building after his match with Hall, only to crawl to the ring “just in time” for the Hoganmatch after refusing medical treatment for excessive smoke inhalation, followed by a spear and a jackhammer? Anyway, point is….people who bash Hogan for not really “doing the right thing for business” (again, some may be justifiable) like to forget that he put over the hottest commodity in Pro Wrestling NOT named Steve Austin, when he was at his absolute hottest point in terms of marketability and general fan interest (I’ve always said that Spring and Summer of 1998 was one of the absolutely best points in pro wrestling history, in terms of WCW, WWF and even ECW all being in demand) So that brings me to Bill Goldberg: The only thing anybody ever mentions about Goldberg is that “Nash killed WCW blah blah blah by pinning Goldberg”. Don’t really care about all that, this isn’t about Nash. But in 1998, WCW began their back-and-forth tug of war with WWF for ratings. WCW won basically the first quarter of the year….WWF finally won in April, but even April and May was sorta back and forth between WCW/WWF. Finally in June, WWF started winning every week (though ratings were still pretty close). Finally, WCW won again the night Goldberg won the title on July 6th. They didn’t, however, win again until the months of August and September….when WCW brought in the Warrior and did the Horseman Reunion. But after that, WCW would ultimately only win once more..that being October 26th. So I said all that to say this……is it possible that Goldberg doesn’t catch enough flack for MAYYYYYBBBE not being quite the “draw” that people like to paint him out to be? He had the title put on him at one of the hottest times in pro wrestling history (so people can’t bitch about how “business was down” during his run), he held the belt for 6 months (so it’s not like he wasn’t given a somewhat lengthy run), and he beat the absolute biggest name in pro wrestling history to win that belt (and Hogan never “got his win back”, either). So to sum all that up….1. Was Hogan not given enough credit for “making” Goldberg? and 2. Does revisionist history paint Goldberg as being more of a long-term draw than he really was or would have been?
First of all, can you phrase this in a way that involves Daniel Bryan, because the site is doing record-shattering numbers thus far this weekend and I’d like to continue that. 1. Hogan may have put Goldberg over, but who was main eventing at the very next PPV? Hogan. And at Road Wild? Hogan. He may have been the champion, but he had no opportunity to be the top guy in the promotion. 2. Goldberg had an incredibly high Q rating, which is basically a measurement of celebrity, higher even than Steve Austin in 1998. So yes, he was a really big celebrity at the time and WCW was the only promotion stupid enough to piss it away.