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Bill of fights
By TJ MADIGAN -- Calgary Sun


With just 24 hours until the Super Bowl of wrestling touches down in Seattle, the uninspired guest list for Wrestlemania could in line for the biggest kick-start imaginable.

If you want to be surprised when you tune in tomorrow, now would be a really good time to stop reading.

After months of confirmations, denials, false starts and media frenzy, Bill Goldberg and the WWE have secretly agreed to terms and signed on the dotted line.

The paperwork should be processed by the time you read this, so wrestling's hottest free agent could feasibly make his first appearance tomorrow night at Safeco Field.

It almost didn't happen.

Negotiations have been deadlocked for months, with both sides bickering over the number of dates the former Atlanta Falcon would work.

From what I understand, Goldberg was looking to limit his appearances to mostly TV tapings and pay-per-views, while the WWE was asking for more than 10 shots per month to make its investment worthwhile.

The exact terms of the agreement are still being kept under wraps and both parties have signed confidentiality clauses to keep the deal as quiet as possible.

Officially, Goldberg isn't slated to debut until the March 31 Raw at Seattle's Key Arena, which is the WWE's way of counteracting the soft ratings that usually follow the biggest show of the year. Then again, since the scheduled guests for tomorrow's 'Mania are B-list at best (Limp Bizkit, Fabolous and the Miller Lite catfight girls), I'd put my money on a Goldberg run-in during in the main event.

Goldberg is expected to be programmed in a short-term feud with The Rock, culminating with a big match at the April 27 Backlash pay-per-view in Worcester, Mass.

You can catch Wrestlemania at Famous Players theatres throughout the city, Bottoms Up sports pub and live on pay-per-view or wwe.com.

AND THE WINNER IS: At press time, the results of most Wrestlemania matches were yet to be decided.

From what I understand, Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon have been allotted one of the longer time-slots on the card, with their match slated to run more than 20 minutes. Based on the logical direction of the product, I imagine it'll be Hogan going over McMahon, with Brock Lesnar beating Kurt Angle, Triple H retaining against Booker T and Stone Cold going 3-0 against The Rock.

COCAINE BLAMED: It's been almost two months since Curt Hennig passed away but it wasn't until this week the official cause of death came to light.

According to the coroner's and medical examiner's offices in Tampa, Fla., Hennig died of acute cocaine intoxication -- a condition where cocaine causes the heart to stop.

Hennig, best known for his stint as Mr. Perfect in the WWF during the early '90s, was found dead in his Florida hotel room before a scheduled wrestling appearance on Feb. 10.

STORM THE PALACE: If you won't be making the trek to Seattle for 'Mania this weekend, you can still get your fix of wrestling action in Calgary.

Hybrid Wrestling Coalition will be running its March Massacre card at the Palace nightclub tonight at 7 p.m., headlined by a clash between former Mr. Alberta, Johnny Handsome, and 35-year veteran Gerry Morrow.

The HWC card also features Juggernaut vs. (Crusher) Chris Anthony and a newcomer match between Sarah Blade and Andrea Johnston.

UP WITH 'DOWN: UPN has agreed to a multi-year extension for Smackdown, killing months of speculation the show was to be axed.

Beginning at the start of next season, the Viacom-owned TV network will buy Smackdown from the WWE at a rate of $500,000 US per episode. Up until now, WWE have paid UPN $300,000 to air each week's show but have sold its own ad time during the show, bringing in about $1 million in revenue per episode .