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Grimmas

Goldberg

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I don't see GWE as a place to right wrongs, but I will say that Goldberg showed more raw physical skills and potential to be great than Luger, the Road Warriors, Ultimate Warrior or Nikita Koloff (and arguably, Sting) did in the early stages of their careers. He's the biggest "what if?" in wrestling history for me in terms of how great he could have been in a better environment, with better people to work with, and other stars seeing their mission as to make him look as good as possible and teach him how to work.

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And the counterpoint is whether or not we'd even remember him relative to a guy like Emory Hale if he hadn't gotten one of the biggest pushes in wrestling history (even if he had more natural talent/charisma than Hale, sure). He'd just be the guy who stole Mongo's superbowl ring in that one angle and maybe jobbed to Hogan a couple of times in XWF before becoming a crummy shoot fighter. The what ifs play both ways if you're going to invoke them. What if a huge, athletic, big energy guy like John Nord (who I think is leaps and bounds better than Goldberg) got the same level of push in 91 when he was a similar age?

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1 minute ago, Matt D said:

And the counterpoint is whether or not we'd even remember him relative to a guy like Emory Hale if he hadn't gotten one of the biggest pushes in wrestling history (even if he had more natural talent/charisma than Hale, sure). The what ifs play both ways if you're going to invoke them. What if a huge, athletic, big energy guy like John Nord got the same level of push in 91 when he was a similar age?

Ryback. Wrath. etc... 

They have attemped to push monsters through squashes many times in history, it usually doesn't work out like Goldberg.

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Sure. That's why we have to rank wrestlers on what they actually did instead of what they could have done. Every wrestler in contention needs a certain level of push to even register.

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2 minutes ago, Grimmas said:

Ryback. Wrath. etc... 

They have attemped to push monsters through squashes many times in history, it usually doesn't work out like Goldberg.

Wrath was going great until they fed him to Nash. Super over. High energy stuff. Real buzz. They fed him to Nash as a way to help justify Nash wrestling Goldberg. What if they fed Goldberg to someone four months in to build up some other match?

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1 minute ago, Matt D said:

Wrath was going great until they fed him to Nash. Super over. High energy stuff. Real buzz. What if they fed Goldberg to someone four months in to build up some other match.

Wrath was going great, but I highly doubt it would had been sustainable. I guess we'll never know.

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I don't see any evidence for Wrath being "super over", but then again, I don't see any evidence that Meng or Fit Finlay ever got over in WCW, either, and their runs seem fairly acclaimed.

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I don't believe you could give John Nord etc Goldberg's push and it would be anywhere near as effective. To show this I'd suggest people go watch Goldberg's Nitro debut. Nobody knew who he was and the crowd barely pays attention in the first minute of that match, but by the end you see people getting to their feet in a "woah check out this guy/that was a helluva move" way. It's not like that was a regular occurance in WCW squash matches at the time.

Plus, wasn't Goldberg's big push not even planned from the start? He was originally pushed as a heel on commentary, like he was just being built up as a monster for some babyface to beat until it became apparent that people thought Goldberg was aweseome.

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1 minute ago, Loss said:

I don't see any evidence for Wrath being "super over", but then again, I don't see any evidence that Meng or Fit Finlay ever got over in WCW, either, and their runs seem fairly acclaimed.

I'm going off my memories at the time, to be fair, and you've probably rewatched this more recently than I have for yearbooks or what not, but my earnest memory is that the crowd was quite into Wrath, and that the repackaging had worked. I'm willing to watch a bunch of Robin Hood matches to explain why I think he's absolutely better than Goldberg but I'm not willing to go back and watch late summer-early fall 98 Wrath for the sake of this. I'll therefore admit the possibility I may be remembering incorrectly.

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4 minutes ago, Grimmas said:

Wrath was going great, but I highly doubt it would had been sustainable. I guess we'll never know.

A key part of Goldberg clicking was that he was new when he was pushed, so he hadn't previously been slotted. Wrath had been on national TV for years in various roles where he was slotted at a certain level. For every Scott Hall or Steve Austin that has overcome being slotted on national TV for years, wrestling has so many Marc Meros and Buff Bagwells that never did.

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When I saw Goldberg get bumped up a few days ago I started a response. It wound up being way longer than I wanted or it needed to be for a wrestler I don't like very much... or at least not as much as most.  I'll try to boil it down to a few points that may be relevant.

- Great unique offense!

- The streak was great.

- There are a few matches that I enjoy to some degree or another, but after the streak lost some steam (a little earlier for me than most I think) I just don't find him that interesting, even in the ring. I really wish they had added some dimensions to him. I just ultimately got bored with him. EDIT: This I think is my biggest thing. I just don't see any evolution in who or what Goldberg was (his motivations, weaknesses, emotions, etc). To me he is the same in 2018 as he was in 1998, but he just brings his kid in the ring. That translates to the ring in my eyes. The offense is explosive and great... awesome, but I'm not really on the hook for anything.

- I know there has been a general Goldberg reclamation narrative since his return, but aside from the Brock mania match and to a much lesser degree the drew match  this most recent on again off again run has done nothing for me.  The squashes aren't really all that fun or interesting to me. I know booking isn't his fault and lots of people love what he brought, but it felt forced and like it did more harm than good.

- I would love to have Kadavari's perspective on the Taker match and maybe one day I'll bring myself to watch it again and try to put those glasses on, but I that match is a nightmare to me: bad, dangerous, sad, hard to watch in the worst way possible.

- All told, Goldberg had raw talent and presence. Maybe he is an ultimate "what if" (but I also think he might have had a lot to do with why he didn't reach is potential), but what Goldberg doesn't do a lot for me on the whole. I have tried. I have really tried to get in on the wave of Goldberg love, but I think he is one of the most massive under-performing wrestlers I can think of. He was given the wrestling world (and still is sometimes) and rarely has he done as much as he should/could with it in my eyes.  I think this is why Goldberg is one of the only wrestlers that I sort of actively dislike.

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To Matt Ds point, how would he rank vs Non-Pimpi exoticos? Is he better than Babe Sharon, Rudy Reyna, May Flowers, Polvo de Estrellas, Sexy Francis, Gabriel o Gabriela etc?

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Yeah... I'm going to need someone to deep dive on this. I'm not nearly familiar enough with exoticos and this is exactly the kind of discussion that could draw me to more Goldberg talk.

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I'm surprised to see people high on the Taker match. The only time I would say a match is objectively actively bad is when the execution is so incompetent that it exposes the business. It'd be one thing if the botches were treated as botches, but they were sold like business as usual. It was genuinely depressing to watch, which is never a feeling you should have when watching pro wrestling.

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3 hours ago, Loss said:

I don't see GWE as a place to right wrongs, but I will say that Goldberg showed more raw physical skills and potential to be great than Luger, the Road Warriors, Ultimate Warrior or Nikita Koloff (and arguably, Sting) did in the early stages of their careers. He's the biggest "what if?" in wrestling history for me in terms of how great he could have been in a better environment, with better people to work with, and other stars seeing their mission as to make him look as good as possible and teach him how to work.

I don't know about this. Certainly not Sting post Bladerunners when he dropped some of the bulk. I would also probably argue that Nikita seemed like he had more potential and skills to be great right from the start and also delivered on it more than Goldberg, but much different eras and working styles. Although I believe Nikita was Goldberg's main inspiration. I really don't think Goldberg could have been much better than what he was. In WWE, he was working with better talent in longer matches with a style that required more than just smashing dudes in 90 seconds and never comes off as any better in the ring than he was in WCW. But honestly I don't know why you'd want more out of him than that. I also don't really want to see 10-15 minute Road Warriors or Warrior matches outside of a couple of pretty specific matches and circumstances. Or Barbarian/Meng. But I do like seeing them just annihilate dudes.

 

Goldberg definitely could have been in some more great matches if he worked more with guys who were willing to put more thought and effort into the lay out like DDP in the same way that Warrior could be carried to some real classics if they lay out and opponents were right (I think Goldberg was better than Warrior at just about everything in the ring, though). Goldberg is an all timer for being able to project his character and aura into everything he did physically, which quite often is more important than anything else. 

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