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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Pinning hope on Goldberg


By GLENN COLE -- Toronto Sun
  He yells a lot, but doesn't say much.

At least he hasn't yet.

But World Championship Wrestling is banking its immediate future on former Atlanta Falcons lineman Bill Goldberg.

In a surprise development, Goldberg dethroned Hollywood Hulk Hogan this past Monday night on Nitro.

More amazing than the result was the reaction Goldberg received from the 39,919 fans on hand at the Georgia Dome. He burst onto the scene only last September, but all of a sudden the WCW had determined he will be its No. 1 man. One of the reasons is the huge following Goldberg has built.

How long will he be champ? In the WCW you can be riding high in July and shot down in August, but the consensus is that Goldberg, 31, will hold the gold for a few months at least.

He is scheduled to defend his title against Curt Hennig tomorrow night at Bash at the Beach (Viewer's Choice, 7 p.m.)

Other matches on that card include Bret Hart against Booker T. in a TV title battle; Giant against NFLer Kevin Greene; and lest we forget, Hogan teams with Dennis (Rodzilla) Rodman to battle Diamond Dallas Page and the NBA's Karl (Mailman) Malone.

FUNNY STUFF: WCW will have a six-hour marathon of classic matches on WTBS (8 p.m., Cable 47) next Thursday night ... Tough to say how fans should view this, but the best part of Monday Night Raw was the mocking of the Nation by Hunter Hearst Helmsley and his D-X cronies. The mockery of Owen Hart by Jason Travers was outstanding. Travers apparently was discovered by the WWF on the Canadian Home Shopping Network ... The Undertaker, whose ankle injury is not as serious as first indicated, now is the No. 1 contender for Stone Cold Steve Austin's heavyweight title ... A huge Mabel was back in the WWF for a one-shot deal against Ken Shamrock. Mabel has yet to sign a deal with the WWF ... Mankind, who suffered a jaw injury against the Undertaker in their King of the Ring match, and Kane will battle for the tag-team belts this Monday on Raw against the New Age Outlaws ... Dr. Death Steve Williams is also supposed to make his WWF debut on that show ... Phil Lafond, who was hurt in a car accident last year driving to Ottawa, has been dropped by the WWF ... Kane, Mankind and Austin will engage in a three-way Triple Threat bout for the WWF title at the SkyDome on Aug. 1. WWF European champion Helmsley hooks up with The Rock, the Intercontinental title holder, in the other feature bout ... There is some speculation that Shawn Michaels, out with a back injury since March, will be on Raw by the end of the month ... The WWF's hopes of having Raw shown live on TSN on Mondays took a hit this week when the NHL schedule was released. Both the Maple Leafs and the Canadiens, whose rights TSN holds, have a plethora of Monday games ... WCW's Chris Benoit and Bryan Adams are in Japan ... Bam Bam Bigelow is working in the ECW and the WWF would like to bring him back -- again.

HERE AND THERE: A blindfold battle royal will be the feature bout of the Empire Wrestling Federation next Friday night at the Burling Crown Centre, 3348 Harvester Road in Burlington. Also on the card will be Canadian Lightning Jim Fury against Mayhem; Ms. B. Haven battling Frat Boy Bud Miller; and Big Daddy Kane Adams grappling with The Bruiser ... Tito Santana will be featured on RWA cards in Cambridge at the Newfoundland Club, 1500 Dunbar Rd., at 8 p.m.on July 17, at the Boys' and Girls' Club, 2 Edge St. in Brantford, July 18 at 7 p.m. and in London on July 19 at 4 p.m. at the Memorial Boys' and Girls' Club, 184 Horton St. ... Bret Hart will be the official starter for the Molson Indy next Sunday afternoon.