Monday, January 15, 2018

I Like Goldberg, But It Took Me 18 Years

In 1998, he came and shook things up in WCW. For the longest time, he did not speak. He simply came in the ring, dominated his opponent and finished them off with a spear and a jackhammer. He would always have one question after the win, Who's Next? He would eventually rise up to become the biggest star in WCW. Who was this man? Goldberg. But I was not a fan... until now.

While the world loved Goldberg, I was not a fan. To me, it was the same ol, same ol. Music hits, he enters the ring, wrestles for a while, spear his opponent, then finished with a jackhammer. Now I will admit, I was a WWE guy first and foremost. So during the height of the Monday Night Wars, Raw was my priority. On the weekend, I cared more about Shotgun Saturday Night than WCW Saturday Night. As time moved on, I just was not the biggest Goldberg fan. So when Starrcade 1998 happened, I rooted for Kevin Nash. To me, any rendition of the NWO was just TOO SWEET.

Fast forward to 2003, Goldberg would join WWE. His first PPV match was with The Rock. Of course, I was rooting for The Rock. So what he was Hollywood now. It was not until SummerSlam did I really root for Goldberg and that was because I was tired of Triple H being the World Heavyweight Champion. Looking back at it, his whole title run was meh. The next memorable thing he would do would be WrestleMania 20. 

WrestleMania 20, we can call it memorable, or we can call it a nightmare. Goldberg faced Brock Lesnar in a one on one match, a feud that began at the Royal Rumble. Whenever a feud begins in January, you look for an ultimate payoff come March or April. I still remember the promos and hearing Jim Ross say something along the lines of needing the military to prevent these two from killing each other. Instead, we got the worse WrestleMania match in history. (I have watched every match, trust me, it was the worst).

When Goldberg made his return in 2016, I may have been the least excited. Then at Survivor Series, we got the rematch from WrestleMania 20. Although it was a squash match, it was better than WrestleMania. Goldberg would go on to win the Universal Title and hold it a couple of months before dropping the belt to Lesnar at WrestleMania 33 in a classic. At this time, I admitted, I like this guy.

The WWE announced Goldberg as their first inductee into the 2018 Hall of Fame. An honor well deserved. Without a doubt, he was going in, but it was really cool to see him return to the WWE in 2015 and right his wrong. During his earlier days in the business, he was known to treat it like a 9-5. Long as he was getting paid, nothing else mattered. But this time, he came a different man. He was more mature. He was a husband. He was a father. Goldberg said it was his duty to come and be someone the kids could look up to. He was a superhero. Truth be told, if it was not for the WWE Network, many kids may not know who he was. But when he returned, he was perfect for that demographic. I did not like him when I was 12 years old like many others did, but at 31, I can appreciate him and look back at his work and enjoy it knowing he would return a better ambassador for the pro wrestling business. 

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