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SLAM! WRESTLING: Big Daddy's Beefs

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Watch for Donnie Abreu's column every Thursday.

Thursday, July 9, 1998

Goldberg shouldn't be world champ

DONNIE ABREU
By 'BIG DADDY' DONNIE ABREU
Special to SLAM! Sports


A weekly
SLAM! Wrestling
Editorial Column

Previous columns


It may have been their proudest moment in years. It may have changed the course of wrestling history forever. It may have been stirred a lot of interest. It may even have sold a few extra T-shirts. That being said, World Championship Wrestling will REGRET giving their highest prize to the man they call Goldberg.

Why did this match happen? How did Bill Goldberg, end up wrestling Hollywood Hogan in Nitro's main event for the World Title? Was it because Hogan hadn't defended his belt in the "mandatory" thirty days? I doubt it. Anyone who's watched Hogan over the past ten years knows that he defends the title when he wants to who he wants. Did Goldberg earn the title shot because he is the "#1 contender"? Again, I doubt it. Sure, the U.S. Champ is SUPPOSED to automatically be the #1 contender, but then again, the U.S. Champion is usually someone who is beating up on major competition on a semi regular basis. They have usually had at least a couple matches go bast the six minute mark. Then again there are TONS of examples of men who have held the U.S. strap and NEVER got world title shots! Diamond Dallas Page, Konnan, Jim Duggan and The One Man Gang just to name a few.



Click on the photo above for a clip of Goldberg winning the World title (3.3 MB).
So? Why did it happen? Why did this NFL reject suddenly end up with the world's most recognizable hunk of jewelry? I got two words for ya: Desperation and ego. Both of those in the head of Mr. President, Eric Bischoff. Bischoff is obsessed with winning the Monday Night ratings wars. He's obsessed with holding bragging rights on the WWF. And I thought the subway series between the Mets and the Yanks was bad! Hell No! It's been two months since the WCW has had a clear win in the minds of America's Nielsen families, and that drives him crazy! So this match, which was originally NOT supposed to be show on free television was done to do exactly what ended up happening. Win back the ratings. I believe Nitro got a 4.8 and Raw got a 4.5. Vince isn't complaining. He lost for the first time in two months while he saved money by running a pretaped show and he made a ton of loot with a great share. Not only that, but the WWF used their Monday Night main event to set up the Fully Loaded pay per view and create more buys. Who the hell wants to buy Bash At The Beach now? Isn't it sort of anti - climatic? Do you really wanna see Kevin Greene (another big dumb football player) take on The Giant? If WCW were smart, Goldberg - Hogan would have headlined a pay per view and made a lot of money. That's the general difference in philosophy. McMahon is trying to make a dollar while Eric is in this to increase his own personal profile. He could care less how much of Turner's money gets flushed.

It's no secret to anyone who's read any of my articles or heard my radio show that I am no fan of this Stone Cold clone. Don't get me wrong ... he COULD become something ... someday. But he's not there yet. Goldberg needs a LOT of work. For starters, he never should have left the WCW Power Plant. He know about four moves and of them, he only ever does two of them properly. He couldn't take a bump if his life depended on it! I saw a sign on last week's THUNDER that read "Goldberg Can't Sell". I'm sure most of understand the gist of that, but for those not up on the jargon, it basically means that he can't do one thing that's very important for every wrestler to do - make his opponent look good. He can't take a punch, or a fall or piledriver. He just hasn't been trained properly. Do you think that just anyone can walk of the street and become a great wrestler? Hardly. There are guys who have been in this business for 10 - 20 years and they're still learning. Goldberg has had seven months, and he quit training four months ago. In fairness, I'm not sure who's decision it was, his or that of WCW to pull him from the instructional classes, but none the less, it never should have happened.

People have been talking about Mick Foley deserving the WWF World Championship. Why is that? Because he's more popular than Austin? Hardly. Is it 'cause he can do a corkscrew plancha off the top rope? No. It's because he can sell. He take a fall off a 16-foot cage and for that, the fans love him!

Yes, I will concede that he is incredibly popular, but if you don't think for a second that the "Goldberg" chants aren't digitally enhanced, then I've got a wrestling company in Utah to sell you!

He's been compared to some of the most popular in the history of the sport ... The Hulkster, The Ultimate Warrior, and yes ... Steve Austin. Truth be told, he has a Steve Austin hair cut with the personality and general microphone technique of a kodiak bear. How long before everyone gets sick of that? How many times have you seen an interview on TV with Goldberg? Think about it. Maybe once or twice on WCW Saturday Night? Why do you think that is? Why would WCW not allow their most valuable commodity to shine in front of his loyal fans? You wanna know why? Because he's about as much fun as Calculus homework on prom night.

Let's switch gears for a minute now and look at the impact this has on the rest of the company. Do you think that's a happy locker room right now? Men who have been promised the World Title like Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, The Giant, and Bret Hart are ALL on the back burner. Not only will they NOT be getting a chance to wear the gold, they'll probably be asked to lie down. It was reported that Kevin Nash was asked to lose a televised match to Goldberg last week and to avoid it he faked an injury. Dallas Page's tag match this Sunday with Karl Malone was supposed to set up a long running feud with Hollywood that would stabilize his spot in WCW as a World Title contender. That's not going to happen now. This title shot that Curt Hennig is getting against Goldberg on Sunday is a joke too. Anyone who has been following the rumor mill closely knows that Hennig was supposed to be one of the first big names to job to Big Billy, but he kept throwing a fit. Now he gets to job with a major belt on the line. Whooopee! There isn't a single wrestler in the WCW who is happy about Bill Goldberg being treated like Eric's favourite son. Ask Chris Benoit, or Sting or Lex Luger or even Tokyo Magnum!! These guys have worked hard for many years and don't like seein' this musclehead take money out of their pockets.

You MUST know that Hogan is going to get that belt back. No one has more power in the WCW than Hogan. Not even Eric Bischoff. What Hogan wants, he gets. Simple. He also has 100% creative control over all matches. Meaning: He can determine who wins, who loses and how. Obviously he set this up so that he could be the man to pin the first loss on the new champ. Sure it doesn't make that much sense, but look at this way; Who has ever scored a win over Hogan that wasn't avenged later on? Only two men, Goldberg and The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 6. Many believe that is one of the reasons why the latter is coming to Atlanta ... to face and lose to the leader of NWO - black and white. Simply put, Hogan's ego will not allow Goldberg to wear that belt for long.

Which raises an interesting point. What happens to Goldberg when that blemish is finally on his record? Some may argue that his whole hype machine is built on the record and not his ability, or style. Of course, the whole idea of a record is insane. How do you get excited about a record when no one else's record is being kept? He has nothing to compare himself to. Tatanka's undefeated streak could have been 400 - 0. I'm not sure. I do know he was never the same after Ludwig Borga and Yokozuna worked together to pin him 1-2-3. Anyway, Goldberg's record is silly because after all ... the late great Andre The Giant was 15 years-and-0 and all he ever got was a dinky little trophy.

My final point. Goldberg hates wrestling. He'd say it himself. In a recent issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, he said "A year ago at this time I never would of thought I'd be dancing around a ring in my underwear. I never watched that stuff because I thought it was stupid, but look at me now." This is the man you're cheering? He thinks you're all morons!! He doesn't even like wrestling. I respect guys like Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, Jeff Jarrett, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and Rocky Maivia who grew up as fans of the game. They loved it so much that they wanted to be a part of it. In Goldberg's case, he wasn't good enough to stay in the NFL so he needed a job. He wasn't very good at making fries or delivering flowers so he tried 'rasslin! Aren't you insulted? You should be.

WCW needs a champion with integrity, with passion, with heart ... someone who can dazzle us with their in ring ability and awe us with quit wit and humor. Someone who can they can hang their hat on ... someone who always appears to be an under dog so that the out come of every match is a mystery ... someone .... oh, wait ... Ric Flair's not available is he?

MEGA MAILBAG!!

Each week at the end of my article I will include a random selection of letters I received from the readers of SLAM! Wrestling.

Why can't there be more people like you in the wrestling world? I liked Bret Hart moderately while he was in the WWF, but the WCW has made him a nobody. Nobody cares what organization Bret Hart is in, and the rest of the Hart Foundation (Bulldog and Neidhart) have suffered a worse fate. It makes me wonder how the WCW could ruin a six-time main eventer (Bulldog), but then again, how can they ruin everyone else? The only person that has left the WWF that I can think of that has fared better in the WCW is Hall and Nash, but not by much. It never ceases to amaze me how a loser like Bischoff can continually ruin talent and neglect the stars that the people want to see (Nash, Hall, and the Wolfpack.) It's only a matter of time before WCW ruins Big Ugly: the jobber killer (Goldberg) because you can't make a star last long if he only LOOKS like Austin. Thank you for telling it straight, because it's time to stop watching losers like Goldberg ruin wrestling, and tune into the people that earn it (re: Mick Foley.) Later.
Evan S00pErfUnK@aol.com

I'd argue the point that Hall and Nash have done better in WCW. Yes, they've won the tag belts 300 times, but in a company that doesn't care about the tag division. Not to mention that they are BOTH singles wrestlers! Nash was a World Champion! Hall was a four-time I-C title holder. I'd say their profiles and their hype may have increased marginally, but their professional accomplishments certainly haven't!!


Your column is full of the truth. I can't see why people who are sorry excuses for wrestling fans see that. I guess they can't handle the truth. If you can give some kind of a date on when THE HEARTBREAK KID is coming back. I have one negative comment for you (sorry). Goldberg has a 107-0 record how can you say this man can't brawl. He is definitely the toughest son of a bitch in my book. He'll beat any WWF Superstar anyday. Keep in mind I'm not criticizing, just giving my opinion.
Yolanda Hawkins padglaw@erols.com

Well Yolanda opinions are ALWAYS welcome. As far as Goldberg defeating anyone in the WWF, that depends ... would Bischoff be president of the WWF? If not, then I disagree with you. Put Goldberg in a "Brawl For It All" match against Savio Vega, Puke or Bradshaw. I'll guarantee that Goldberg goes a fast 0-3!
As far as HBK, your guess is as good as anyone. A member of WWF told me on Monday that he is feeling pretty good (MUCH better than expected) and he COULD be back on Raw, in a speaking role, by July 27th. Various reports have said that he could compete at the Survivor Series while others are speculating Royal Rumble. Let's not forget, there is an outside chance that Shawn will not wrestle again. But that's WAAAAY outside, like a Juan Guzman slider.



Would you really consider NAO the most popular team in wrestling *history*? They're obviously very over now, which is unbelievable considering how not over each guy was in their several previous incarnations. I read and hear the words "best / most" and "ever" used a lot these days. With the run the WWF was on up until, let's say 93, could it be possible that teams like Demolition, the Bulldogs, the LOD, or the Hart Foundation were more over in a historical context.
Stephen Osbourne sosborne@pathcom.com

This is another one of those comments I've take a lot of heat for, but I am standing by it. Tell me, when did the British Bulldogs EVER get a pop that filled an arena? Sure people loved their style and wanted them to win the straps, but after they lost them to the Foundation, who even cared about them? Nobody. Yes, The Demolition were something special. They did have my all time fav theme song. (I should attach a .wav file here but I won't!) As great as The Demos were in their day their pop could never rival the sheer love people seem to have for the hilarious Outlaws. The same goes for the Killer Bees, The Rockers, The Can-Am Connection, The Rock N' Roll Express, The Freebirds and yes, The Hart Foundation. The only ones who MAY have rivaled that in their prime would've been the Road Warriors, but in my mind, the Warriors were not as over exposed and did not perform for crowds this size on a nightly basis.


Hey there man...I as a fellow wrestling reporter,think you do a GREAT job and work hard at it...I haven't been reporting for too long,but I've been watching wrestling ever since I was two (about 11 years ago,me being 13),and yes I do remember the Hulkster,Razor Ramon,Andre The Giant,and all those of past wrestling history...Hell,I even remember when the Stinger was just some newbie in WCW (that was a LONG time ago)...Just like my granddad remembers Antonino Rocca,Dick Shikat,and Jim Londos... If any of those idiots out there know who they are,I'll be surprised...Some people dont give wrestling the credit it deserves and I think that you,Donnie Abreu,are an excellent reporter and all...So for all those idiots out there that dont know crap,and may I quote Degeneration X,SUCK IT!
Quote {^*Da' BiRdie*^} Neva' Mo'
parakeet2@jadeinc.com

Ladies and gentlemen ... allow me to introduce to you my new protege! Just call me "Big Daddy" Tennessee Lee: The World's greatest wrestling writer / promoter! When I decide to retire from SLAM! this kid will take my place. He's obviously wise beyond his years!!


What's happening Big Daddy?
Got a question you may be able to answer...
What happened to Meng? This guy was one of the most impressive workers in the WCW and now all of a sudden he is long gone. What is the deal? Personally, if he is available, I'd love to see him in the WWF. Couldn't you just see a classic Mandible Claw Vs Tongan Death Grip Match... or the Undertaker Vs Meng or Stone Cold Vs Meng. He does some of the most impressive power moves in the sport. Long Live King Haku!
sidbanerjee@sprint.ca

Well, Meng actually hurt himself last year. He is about a 100 years old after all, and even if he does heel, good luck trying to find TV time between NWO Wolfpack and Hollywood, Goldberg and the mainstream athlete du jour who wants to be a wrestler! I believe Meng's best days are behind him. I agree with you, I was a big fan of Haku and before that King Tonga ... he was the guy who "hip tossed" Big John Studd in that body slam challenge. Of course he DID slam the big man, by Heenan and Studd claimed it was a hip toss. Ahhh, memories.


I REALLY wish I could have printed MORE of the hate mail / death threats, but I honestly didn't get any this week! There is this one guy who writes me every week and complains that I don't post his emails. He thinks I'm a big mark and my articles stink and everyone should boycott me. I'm summing it up for him because he's just way too long winded! I find it interesting though that the guy who want to boycott my article reads it every week and tells me how bad it is! Obviously it's good enough to keep him coming back!!

Other than that guy all the email this week (and there was a ton of it!!) was really positive! Maybe it's time I write another "Why Bret stinks!" column! Just to get your angry juices flowin!!

Send your comments to me, Big Daddy Donnie. bigdaddy@better.net. I can't promise that I'll respond, but I'll definitely read them all!






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