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[1998-12-27-WCW-Starrcade '98] Goldberg vs Kevin Nash

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Before the legendary result, this was a pretty decent match. Goldberg's working ability I think has been unfairly maligned over the years in some circles. The guy had some impressive raw physical tools and would have evolved into a great worker quickly in a healthy environment. I think he was excellent at what he did as is. Nash proves with this result that his only problem with Hogan steering the ship was that he wanted to do all the things Hogan did steering the ship for himself. So there you go. The streak is over.

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Nash books himself to end the streak at '173' and become WCW champion. The result killed the Goldberg phenomenon. 8 days later something truly horrifying would occur, but the terrors of WCW '99 will have to wait for another day.

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This match was better than I expected overall. It also had a great big match and a really hot crowd. The few minutes before the end they did seem to be running out of stream but the opening stuff was well put together, simple but effective, and got a very strong reaction and got over the match as a big clash of titans affair. Ending is a legendary blunder but the crowd sure exploded for it. The fake taser is really silly, but hey, at least we know the guy with the cardboard "re-form the outsiders" sign had a great time.

 

I do wonder how much value Goldberg really should have lost in this. I think there's still a lot of value in a guy who is very rarely defeated even if he's not on a big undefeated streak.

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I liked the match too. They have done good not to fall into the trap of making Goldberg matches overstay their welcome. The crowd is electric too and they did a good job of giving each guy dominant stretches throughout the match. The ending is what it is and has been overanalyzed to death but it is a huge gaffe and I don't really see how more people didn't put pressure on Nash that this wasnt the way to go. Overall as a show, Starrcade 98 is probably better than 97. (***)

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WCW World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg vs Kevin Nash - WCW Starrcade 1998

 

Goldberg is such a unique force in wrestling at this time that I think it was nearly impossible to have a match that was any less than good. He had that big match aura and everything he did seemed like it could knock you out. The key was never to treat him like a normal wrestler. The closest approximation is modern day Brock Lesnar. All his matches have instantaneous cache and everybody has to change their working style to meet Lesnar. I love wrestlers that force other wrestlers out of their comfort zone. Goldberg is definitely that type of wrestler. He is also the perfect babyface vs. babyface champion. WCW was absolutely loaded with babyfaces at this point so it worked out well for WCW and Goldberg. I think the result has been unfairly criticized. I think the Fingerpoke of Doom was a far, far more egregious blunder. If they built to a proper Nash vs Hogan money match at SuperBrawl or what have you, then this result would have been worth it. Goldberg had to lose and I am of the opinion the earlier the better. You can't prop him up with the streak forever. His value is in the silent badass super athlete and that aura. He was not killed by this loss, but killed by the fact he became just another wrestler on the roster who took heat segments and made comebacks. His matches should have been jarring with constant hope spots and cutoffs. The matches should have fucked with the standard wrestling formula.

 

In fact, I thought the reason this match ended up being worse than DDP match was that towards the end Nash started to make Goldberg into a normal wrestler. Yes, he needed the low blow to set it up, but then it was standard Nash offense: the side slam, the stradle onto the the ropes, the forearms to the back. It felt like he was wrestling anybody else. Compare that to earlier when they started the match perfectly with Nash raising the Wolfpac signal and Goldberg raising his arms. You knew the crowd was 50/50 and red hot. I loved the locked up and headlock. There was so much intensity and struggle in that headlock. I loved Goldberg turning Nash's leg choke into a single leg takedown. Fucking Nash busting out a cross armbreaker was neat. Nash taking a seat off a Goldberg punch was up there with a Kawada sell of a punch as cool. BOOM! SPEAR! I thought the beginning was better than the stretch with Nash on offense, but that may have been Nash married to traditional wrestling formula rather than thinking outside the box. Goldberg begins to start unload the big slams and gets nearfalls? That is too normal. That is not Goldberg. Hall tazering Goldberg is not awful. They needed to protect Goldberg and it is not the worst way. Plus Goldberg really milked it with his spasms. Goldberg is an underrated seller in general. It is a good match, but too normal of a match if you know what I mean. ***

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Yeah, this was pretty good action and a good comic-book-splash-panel type of match--for the most part. One of the better Nash in WCW matches for sure, thanks mostly to Goldberg as this might be the first and only time he outright carries a match. The ending...ugh. Beating Goldberg at all was a mistake, but I'm 100% convinced that if you do decide to end the Streak, you have to end it legitimately and not through bullshit. Kevin Sullivan agreed with me and knowing the directive that Goldberg was to lose, proposed a finish where he'd go for the spear and knock himself out against the turnbuckle. But instead, we got a finish lifted from a mid-card Mountie match from 1992.

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I was a big fan of both Goldie and Big Sexay at the time so, I was hoping this was going to be a great match...at least in clip form on Nitro :) I was so bummed to see that the streak was over and Nash had to cheat to do it. BUT I was ok since Hall had to tazer/cattle prod Goldberg. Tazers were a relatively new thing and had an air of danger to them so, if the Wolfpac had to essentially electrocute Goldberg to beat him, then damn Goldberg really is a beast.

Again, I didn't see the whole match let alone the PPV so, it worked.

Seeing this in full 20+  years later...yeah it was good. Neither is a fantastic worker but, they played their part and did some good moves. It actually was a substantial match (which was rare to see from either coming from a WCW tv -only watcher) so, I'm happy :) 

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