In 1997, the WCW Monday Nitro was the hottest pro wrestling show on television. The success of the NWO catapulted Ted Turner’s southern based wrestling organization ahead of the WWE in the ratings.
Each week, millions of wrestling fans tuned in to watch what the NWO would do next. Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash disrespected and humiliated nearly every WCW wrestler who stood against the NWO. Aside from Sting, no one really stood a chance against the New World Order.
However, that all changed when Bill Goldberg joined the company. At 6-foot-3 inches tall and 266 pounds, Bill Goldberg was a forced to be reckoned with. To this day, Goldberg is one of only few men to have ever suplexed The Big Show.
For years, Eric Bischoff built up Bill Goldberg as an indestructible force. Every week, Goldberg would go out to the ring and destroy his opponents. Most of his matches only lasted a few minutes.
Goldberg’s impressive look and powerful move-set helped him become a Superstar rather quickly. In July of 1998, Goldberg defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan to become the WCW Champion.
Bill Goldberg enjoyed his time in the WCW. Unfortunately, his run in the WWE was brief.
It has been over a decade since Goldberg stepped foot in a WWE ring. However, it seems that he may in fact be returning to the company for one more match. Not long ago, Bill Goldberg appeared in a commercial for WWE 2K17. The fact that Goldberg will be in the WWE’s flagship video game could be indicative of his return. Goldberg has long said that he’d like to do one more match so his son could see him wrestle. From there, he says, who knows what it could lead to. “If something like that happened, could there be a possibility of me doing more than one appearance? You never know. But, at the end of the day, there has to be one before there [are] more than one.”
If in fact Goldberg does return, we hope that the WWE creative reads this list of the 8 Wrestlers We Want To See Goldberg Face and 8 We Don’t Want To See Him Face.
8. Want: Kevin Owens
Oh boy, talk about the perfect heel foil for Goldberg. Kevin Owens would easily be able to carry the promos in a feud like this, which works out well, as Goldberg isn’t known for his promos. Not only would Owens be able to carry the feud on the mic, but Owens would be able to give Goldberg a great match. Owens is able to use his power, but he also moves extremely well for his size and you could buy him being a tough matchup for Goldberg.
Owens is the best heel in the company right now. He wanted a matchpup with The Undertaker at WrestleMania, but the WWE didn’t grant him one. Owens has yet to work with a legend and throwing him in would be a great test for Owens. It’s not the end of the world if Owens loses to Goldberg, but at the same time, it wouldn’t upset many older fans if Owens were to score the win.
8. Don’t: The Big Show
The Big Show tends to get the novelty matches when the WWE needs one from him, but scoring a name like Goldberg calls for either a fresh opponent or someone who is of major relevance in the company right now. Big Show is well past his point of relevance and fans wouldn’t want to see him tangle with Goldberg. While both men have history in WCW, there’s just nothing appealing about a Big Show/Goldberg match in 2016, or 2017.
You would think we wouldn’t have to mention it, but WWE has done some puzzling matchups before and Show always seems to stick around just when we think WWE is phasing him out. Either way, WWE, just don’t book this matchup, even if it’s a tuneup match for Goldberg before WrestleMania.
7. Want: Rusev
Rusev has suffered since his losses to John Cena in mid 2015. He needs a big program to get him going again. He moves pretty well for his size and he’s a believable powerhouse to pose a threat to Goldberg. The WWE might once again run with the patriotic angle, with Goldberg representing the U.S.A but they don’t have to go down that path. This could be a straight up matchup of power against power.
If this match was booked, WWE couldn’t make it too long, as Goldberg’s best work came when he was booked in short matches. Rusev is capable of wrestling a long amount of time, but when you get powerhouse matchups like these, it’s best to keep them short. This probably couldn’t be a one-off match though, as it’d be best for Rusev to eventually score a win over Goldberg.
7. Don’t: Heath Slater
This probably would be the ideal matchup if the WWE was going for comedy, but Goldberg shouldn’t be brought back for comedic purposes. Goldberg built his name on squashing opponents and Heath Slater seems like the kind of wrestler that would have been one of Goldberg’s 173 victims, but if Goldberg does in fact return, it has to be a major deal. He can’t be brought back simply to be paired up with someone who’s been used as a jobber for the past six years.
Heath Slater did a funny program back in 2012 around RAW’s 1,000th episode where he would take on WWE alumni who came back to have a match with him on RAW. While it was a fun program, it essentially eliminated the possibility of Slater being a threat to anybody. We haven’t waited 13 years for Goldberg to come back only to squash Slater.
6. Want: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe had an undefeated streak of his own in TNA and while it wasn’t as historic as Goldberg’s it was still memorable and it was believable. Joe is the kind of powerhouse that would mesh well with Goldberg. He’s capable of matching his power but he also has some technical prowess in the ring. Fans would genuinely be stumped as to who they think would win and that’s a great thing to have in wrestling. When you can cast doubt in the audience, you’ve done your job as a promoter.
Losing to someone as respected as Samoa Joe wouldn’t hurt Goldberg’s reputation at all. Joe is respected by older wrestling fans that grew up with Goldberg and wouldn’t mind seeing him get the big win. Joe needs a big win on the main roster to establish himself with the mass WWE audience for the next few years and a win over Goldberg would do that.
6. Don’t: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman was a rumored opponent for Brock Lesnar earlier this year and wrestling fans everywhere let out a collective moan. That’s because Strowman is incredibly green and carries virtually no charisma. There’d be no chemistry between the two in a feud and the match would be a disaster. Goldberg needs an opponent that knows what he’s doing in the ring. He’s going to be extremely rusty if he comes back and he wasn’t that great in the ring anyway.
Strowman needs at least a few more years of seasoning and even then, he doesn’t exactly strike you as the kind of guy who will ever put on five-star classics. Again, this should be seen as an obvious no, but the WWE has made baffling decisions in the past and we feel the need to point it out here. Strowman should not face Goldberg or Lesnar. Speaking of Lesnar…
5. Want: Brock Lesnar
Goldberg and Brock Lesnar actually faced off against each other at WrestleMania XX. While their first meeting was underwhelming, I have a feeling that a rematch between the two powerhouses would be different.
Before they first met, it was revealed that both men would be departing from the WWE shortly after their match. The news of Goldberg and Lesnar’s departure caused the WWE fans to lose interest in the matchup all together. However, things are very different these days. Goldberg hasn’t wrestled in years, but I have a feeling that the WWE fans would welcome him back with open arms.
In Goldberg’s absence, Brock Lesnar became the most feared man in the company. With that being said, he needs to face a legitimate opponent who is as physically impressive as he is. A rematch between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33 would be huge.
The storyline could revolve around Brock’s desire to get revenge for his defeat at WrestleMania XX. Paul Heyman would be able to stir up interest with ease.
5. Don’t: Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt is the most polarizing figure in the WWE today. He captures the audience’s imagination every time he walks out to the ring. Bray’s promo skills are brilliant, and his wrestling ability is off the chart.
Bray Wyatt and Goldberg would probably have some great matches together, but I believe this pairing would only slow down Bray’s momentum. Wyatt is on a steady rise to the top right now. In fact, many people agree that Bray should be the WWE Champion.
The fans don’t want to see Bill Goldberg defeat Bray Wyatt at this point of his career. We also don’t want to see Bray Wyatt take out Bill Goldberg. This is really a lose/lose situation so if Goldberg does come back, it’s best he’s kept away from Wyatt.
4. Want: Triple H
The King of Kings is arguably the most skilled veteran in the WWE today. While he doesn’t wrestle all that often, Triple H is still a big draw.
His marriage to Stephanie only helps to stir up drama. The Game enjoys playing the heel, and he would be a great antagonist to a returning Goldberg.
At WrestleMania 31, Triple H defeated Sting to put an end to the Monday Night War. However, Goldberg was also a big part of the war between WCW and WWE. I’m sure that Goldberg would have wanted to fight against Hunter if he were given the chance.
If Goldberg were to return and compete at WrestleMania 33, there’s no reason that he shouldn’t battle against Triple H. He would be able to show off his great power, while Hunter carries the match with his superior wrestling technique.
This matchup is intriguing because it has an interesting story, and picking a winner isn’t simple. I don’t think that Triple H would book himself to defeat Goldberg after already taking out Sting at WresltleMania XXXI. Then again, Hunter’s ego is huge. Either way, I want to see this matchup take place in the near future.
4. Don’t: John Cena
John Cena vs. Bill Goldberg makes absolutely no sense, and there are many reasons why. Aside from being in the prime of his career, John Cena is also a good guy.
If Goldberg were to return, he would surely be a fan favorite. The only way this matchup can happen is if Goldberg turns heel, and there’s just no reason to do that. Goldberg turned heel once back in 2000 and it was a complete flop. If you think the WWE would turn Cena heel for a feud with Goldberg, you’re sadly mistaken.
Besides, we all know that John Cena would defeat Goldberg in this era. It would be wise to keep Cena and Goldberg away from each other. Unless, of course, they were to join forces and compete in some tag-team matches.
3. Want: The Undertaker
The Undertaker is arguably the greatest wrestler of all time. He is the most successful wrestler in the history of WrestleMania, and he’s been with the WWE for nearly three decades now.
Throughout his storied career, The Phenom has wrestled nearly every top Superstar. With that being said, Taker has never tussled with Bill Goldberg, and it’s truly a shame.
Goldberg would be the perfect opponent for The Undertaker to face at Wrestlemania XXXIII. Like The Phenom, Bill Goldberg held one of the most impressive win streaks in wrestling history.
From 1997-1998, Goldberg’s record was 173-0. Of course, he eventually lost, but so did The Undertaker, losing his streak at WrestleMania XXX. These are two men that held the most impressive streaks in wrestling history. Wouldn’t it be something to watch two of the most dominant wrestlers in history fight each other?
While The Undertaker is well past his prime, I have a feeling that he has one more great match left in him. Goldberg is no spring-chicken himself, but he is a couple of years younger than The Deadman.
3. Don’t: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler is a very talented Superstar, and I can envision him pulling off a great match with Goldberg. However, will Ziggler actually beat him? If the two wrestlers ever fought, I have a feeling that Goldberg would come out on top, and that would only hurt Ziggler’s career.
Bill Goldberg is a veteran of the business, and there’s no need for him to take on a guy like Dolph. A win for either Superstar does nothing.
At the end of the day, we don’t want to see Dolph Ziggler get defeated by a 50-year-old man who hasn’t wrestled in years. Besides, it’s not like WWE would give Ziggler such a big program with Goldberg. If the WWE is only going to get one match out of Goldberg, they’ll want to make it count.
2. Want: Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins has all of the talent in the world. He also has the ability to make everyone hate him. With that being said, I would love to see Seth Rollins take on Goldberg in a lengthy program. Goldberg’s brute strength and hard hitting style would be the perfect contrast to Seth’s acrobatic moveset.
Rollins is a great heel, and I’m sure the WWE creative team would conjure up some intriguing finishes to their matchups. Rollins vs. Goldberg would be similar to the feud between Rollins and Sting. However, Goldberg’s power makes the matchup more viable.
Sting was well past his prime when he took on Rollins. And unlike Goldberg, Sting relied on speed and technique to win his matches. Sadly, Sting’s physical attributes were depleted by the time he got to the WWE. Fortunately, Goldberg’s style has always been based around his power, and I believe his power hasn’t left him just yet.
2. Don’t: Dean Ambrose
The Lunatic Fringe is a fan favorite. He’s extremely talented, but he hasn’t achieved the level of success that many of us feel that he should have by now.
Squaring off Goldberg against Dean Ambrose wouldn’t be a wise move. Unless, Ambrose turns heel, but I don’t think that should happen just yet. Ambrose is over with the fans, and he’s one of the best babyfaces that the WWE has right now. Ambrose already suffered a defeat to a powerhouse earlier this year in Brock Lesnar. If he were to face Goldberg, you’d have to believe the result would be the exact same thing.
Goldberg should only face established heels or longtime veterans. I don’t think it’s wise to mix old timers with the younger guys. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but this isn’t one of them. If Goldberg’s coming back to WWE, it’s likely he’s coming back to win.
1. Want: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho and Bill Goldberg have a storied past. Back when the WCW locker room merged with the WWE’s, Goldberg and Jericho got into a real life altercation. By looks alone, you would think that Goldberg could have destroyed Jericho if he wanted to. However, Jericho actually got the better of Goldberg. The backstage fight between Jericho and Goldberg has become infamous.
It has been many years since the dispute, and a showdown between Jericho and Goldberg would be epic. Their real life heat would make for a great storyline, and the match would be intense.
While it might sound impossible to get Jericho and Goldberg on the same page, you have to remember that Matt Hardy and Edge worked out their dispute in the ring. Goldberg vs. Jericho is a matchup that makes sense. They have a well-documented past, and they are close in age. It would make sense.
1. Don’t: Roman Reigns
Please no, just no. It’s no secret that Goldberg isn’t the greatest worker of all time. However, the same thing could be said about Roman Reigns.
Booking Reigns and Goldberg in a match together would be disastrous. Both Superstars built their careers off of being powerful men. One can only imagine that Goldberg and Reigns would have a stale and boring match. Neither man is capable of being the architect of a great match. Both Reigns and Goldberg have relied on their opponents to be the general and pairing them spells disaster.
The one thing that does interest me a bit about this matchup is that both Goldberg and Reigns use the spear. Sadly, I have a feeling that Goldberg wouldn’t be able to finish Reigns with two spears and two jackhammers. Remember, Reigns is “The Guy,” and there shouldn’t be a doubt in anyone’s mind that Goldberg would lose clean in the center of the ring.
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