WWE: Goldberg – The Ultimate Collection (Cert 15)
2 Disc Blu-ray / 3 Disc DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 422 minutes approx.
While the WWF in 1997-98 was all about bottom lines, smelling cooking and sucking it over in WCW the one sound that reverberated through arenas was the above name being chanted whenever a bald headed, goatee sporting, fire breathing muscle-bound wrecking machine hit the ring.
WCW was coasting along with the tired nWo gimmick and needed something new. Amazingly it fell it into their laps without them knowing it. On the September 22nd 1997 edition of Monday Nitro Hugh Morrus came out for a match against an unfamiliar face standing in the ring awaiting his opponent. Announced as Bill Goldberg, this muscular Stone Cold Steve Austin look-a-like had a presence about him but most people saw him as an unknown guy who would be laying down for the established Morrus. How wrong could they be? Just a few moments later, the 280 lbs Morrus was hoisted up into a Vertical Suplex and dropped into a Powerslam giving this newcomer a shock win. A week later on Nitro Bill Goldberg did it again against the tough veteran Barbarian.
Week after week the wins would continue to rack up and despite being booked as a heel the fans started to get behind Goldberg – his first name now dropped – and his weekly two minute destruction of the WCW lower card talent became the main attraction for the fans. The monstrous pops he would receive upon his entrance couldn’t even escape the notice of Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan and the rest of the self serving management in WCW. Eventually the inevitable happened and they strapped a rocket to their newest star and the rest as they say…
For the first time ever the WWE has compiled a number of Goldberg’s matches for this new release from his most memorable and pivotal bouts to some you may have forgotten. Covering his three year run in WCW and one year in WWE, you’ll see the phenomenon that was Goldberg face off against such luminaries as The Rock, Sting, Hulk Hogan, Curt Hennig, Raven, The Giant (Big Show), Kevin Nash, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Christian, Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Bam Bam Bigelow, Bret Hart, Diamond Dallas Page and Brock Lesnar.
Where this set is lacking is in a documentary which would have improved this release tenfold. A look into his history, how he got into wrestling, his thoughts on his gimmick, his success, being compared to Austin, the differences between WCW and WWE, where he is now – all this I’m sure is what fans are craving to know but we get nothing. Perhaps Vince doesn’t want an ex-employee being put over by his current roster yet is willing to capitalise on his name for a few dollars more.
So, aside from the occasional sequeway this is back to back matches and after a while monotony begins to set in, making this is a set you will want to dip into every now and then instead of watching in a marathon run. The matches themselves aren’t particularly great. Goldberg was unquestionably involved in some very memorable matches – the WCW tile win over Hogan at the Georgia Dome was, and still is, a huge spectacle to behold – but great isn’t the right adjective to use for them.
Most of his matches were fairly short, especially on TV, and Goldberg’s move set was largely limited to a few power moves, the Spear and the Jackhammer. Interestingly you’ll see in his earlier matches that he did a lot more, incorporating dropkicks, MMA style submission holds and takedowns. But as we’ve learned over the years, main event matches can often still be well received with just a handful of key moves to excite the masses (Hogan, Cena, take a bow) so it is no surprise that Goldberg’s popularity coincided with his no nonsense, record breaking stampede over his opponents.
What you will notice is how green Goldberg was early on and how he improved in both his ring work and presence. In his second match against the Barbarian, he can barely run the ropes properly and even against a grizzled veteran the end result was very sloppy. Working with equally sloppy workers like Steve “Mongo” McMichael didn’t help much but soon, Goldberg found his stride and as his popularity grew, so did his ring presence.
It has to be said that his WCW work, especially during his 173-0 winning streak holds up much better than his WWE work. The level of competition may have been higher but the matches just didn’t feel special and that aura he had in WCW just wasn’t there. A quick note for anyone looking for it, Goldberg famous stumble during his entrance at Summerslam 2003 has been edited out! Boo!
For all it is lacking in presentation Goldberg: the Ultimate Collection delivers exactly what it says on the tin. This is as comprehensive a compilation of Goldberg’s most well know and career defining matches as you’ll ever get outside of YouTube but in this case, it is in glorious HD. If seven hours of Goldberg destroying people is your ideal wrestling viewing then this is the set for you.
nWo World Title Battle Royale (WCW Road Wild, 8th August 1998)
Goldberg vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (WCW SuperBrawl IX, 21st February 1999)
Goldberg vs. Sting (WCW Nitro, 8th November 1999)
WCW World Title No Disqualification Match – Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) vs. Goldberg (WCW Starrcade, 19th December 1999)
World Title Match – Goldberg (c) vs. Shawn Michaels (WWE RAW, 20th October 2003)
Rating – *** ½
Man In Black
WWE Home Video UK are pleased to announce an exclusive signed sleeve competition. This time there are 20 Straight To The Top – The Money In The Bank Ladder Match Anthology sleeves (10 x DVD & 10 x Blu-ray) signed by the WWE’s resident Show Off DOLPH ZIGGLER up for grabs. All you need to do is pre-order Straight To The Top from the WWE Home Video UK website at http://www.wwedvd.co.uk/straight-mitb-ladder-match-anthology-p-11761.html and you’ll automatically be entered. (Those who’ve already pre-ordered have been automatically entered.)
All pre-orders must be made before Monday 4th November in order to be entered. Only UK residents are eligible to enter this competition.