Six years after shockingly defeating Brock Lesnar at the 2016 Survivor Series PPV, Bill Goldberg has finished up his deal with the WWE. He’s a free agent once again.
Until a new WWE deal is struck up, that is.
To me, he’s someone that’s purely in for the $$$ that the WWE is willing to throw at him to stick around. For some, that’s an extreme sore spot and makes Goldberg this highly polarizing figure. Personally, I don’t mind him getting whatever cash he can get with these quick deals. His initial comeback actually had some great highspots in it, including the solid reasoning of wanting to wrestle just so that his boy can see what his pa can do inside the squared circle. Since then, the luster has faded a bit and instead, Goldberg has just been a random hurdle for someone to get over during WrestleMania season or a random legend to insert into the Saudi shows.
Goldberg’s final match on his contract saw him getting choked out by Roman Reigns in an unspectacular fashion at WWE Elimination Chamber. The buildup video talked about Goldberg losing a few steps but how he’s been more focused than ever. He is now a THINKING MAN’S Goldberg, which makes him even MORE dangerous. None of that was seen in the match, and instead, we got the standard in-ring comeback Goldberg deal.
I never really minded his random injection into championship matches, I just wish that the WWE would remember what made him special. There was more to him than SPEAR/JACKHAMMER and running through people. There was the actual growth of him as a wrestler throughout his undefeated streak that made him worth watching. The first time he pulled out that gorilla press slam into the spinebuster or a rolling leglock was treated as a major deal by the announcers, because this unstoppable machine was getting better as time went on. Taking care of the Hugh Morruses in record fashion was one thing but how would he fare against the likes of Sting or a Hollywood Hogan??
Sadly, the one match where the modern Goldberg formula was ignored was the god awful Undertaker match where BOTH men had no reason to be in that ring, in that blistering heat, in that match against one another. It’s a true miracle that neither one ended up getting severely injured in that sloppy mess.
If that’s all for Goldberg, I’m ok with it. The pressure to bulk up and be this superhuman is something that he outright admitted to making him “miserable” due to the amount of work needed to maintain that look at his age. Retire, do some more commercials and let the muscle mass slip a bit. Sell some toys and get some WWE video game money. We will be fine.
Earlier last year, a man on Twitter revealed that he was part of a group that was working on a pay-per-view titled WCW Odyssey to take place in Germany in 2001. Oliver Copp, who currently does German commentary for various wrestling companies, shared some info of this online before but only recently went into further details. The PPV was going to be similarly handled like WCW’s German-exclusive The Millennium Final show/tour from the previous year, but the deal was being negotiated with the WWF AFTER the WCW buyout.
Oliver Copp: “It was supposed to be another Germany-specific PPV. After the WWF bought out the WCW IP, the company we worked for at the time negotiated a new deal with the WWF on September 10, 2001. Then 9/11 happened, things got side-tracked for a while and the WWF ultimately pulled out.” [x]
“WCW was wildly popular in Germany at the time so we wanted to keep the brand going as best possible.” [x]
“[I]t was a comprehensive broadcast and touring deal. The PPV was only one aspect. Sorry for having to be vague but further details are still under an NDA.” [x]
It would’ve been nuts if a deal to bring back WCW was struck only for it to be revived as a foreign promotion within the WWF. Given the fact that Copp provided a cleaned up logo for the event that never materialized, I tend to believe him. That and the fact that there’s this Lance Storm tweet, who was planned to be a major player in the WWF-WCW:
WE MISSED OUT!!
The “Nature Boy” Ric Flair is getting into NFTs, because of course he is.
Flair’s public profile broke past the stratosphere after his ESPN documentary, but during the descent back to Earth, it must’ve escaped via a pod, an open window, or something, because he’s not been the same since. Armed with a social media team, Flair has become one of the weirdest wrestling legends to watch online. Is he feuding with Becky Lynch again? Why is he goading AEW’s Tony Khan to put him on TV in a match against Sammy Guevara? What does the “Nature Boy” know about the blockchain, and does he realize that he actually has TWO NFT projects he’s associated with as he seemingly has already moved on from promoting this one from earlier this month:
I don’t get it, but it’s not for me to get, I guess. Not linking to any of this garbage, but it’s there for you all to discover if you’re the kind of person that this kind of deal is for.
In sad news, former WCW referee Mickie Jay Henson passed away on the 14th at age 59. While a majority of his wrestling career had him in a striped shirt officiating matches, he actually did compete in-ring in both WCW and WWF. You can watch him attempt to take down the Undertaker here (unsuccessfully) from a 1992 episode of WWF Superstars:
While “The Professor” Mike Tenay isn’t someone that is super active on social media, he did end up tweeting out a message on the passing of his friend and colleague:
Mickie Jay Henson was a part of WCW from the early 90’s until its purchase by the WWE in 2001. He was a cancer survivor and was awarded the Charlie Smith Referee award from the Cauliflower Alley Club in 2018. Deaths within WCW group of wrestlers and employees have never been something I’ve liked to focus on here, but it’s a part of life. I don’t hope to have more of these throughout the year, but I did feel strange about not writing anything after Daffney’s passing last year.
On the old Tumblr WCW Worldwide site, I’ve posted a bit on the time when the Randy Savage was named the Harvard Lampoon’s Man of the Year back in 1998. There was a challenge issued to actor Kevin Kline somehow and a wrestling match that saw the “Macho Man” teaming up with Grimace:
Earlier in the month, Twitter user mzlizzy247 posted their newspaper clippings from the event as they were actually in the crowd for the festivities. For the first time, I got the full story and realized Savage’s award was a gag to mock Kevin Kline getting a similar award that day as well. Here’s a transcript from a clipping sent over:
“Harvard’s Hasty Pudding honors Kline, but Lampoon says Savage is their ‘Real Man’
Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club gave Kevin Kline the “Man of the Year” award, but only after he put on a wig and “Wanda-bra” decorated with fish.
‘I think the gravity of this event, the solemnity is awesome and overwhelming in its sense of, oh, I don’t know, something.’ said Kline who won an Academy Award in 1988 for his performance in ‘A Fish Called Wanda.’
In the annual tradition, the undergraduate drama group honored Kline for making a ‘lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment’.
But first the presenters roasted him several times for playing the role of a man who cheats on his wife. And they made him apologize to a fish in a tank for swallowing fish in ‘A Fish Called Wanda.’
As he accepted his pudding pot, Kline thanked his wife, actress Phoebe Cates, who was in the audience and complimented the students for ‘not taking themselves seriously.’
‘I didn’t go to Harvard, so I’m at a loss for words. I went to Indiana University, which we always called the ‘Harvard of the Middle of Nowhere’, he said.
Earlier in the afternoon, in a spoof on the Harvard’s humor magazine the Harvard Lampoon presented a ‘Real Man of the Year’ award to its entertainer of choice, Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage. They chose Savage, a professional wrestler, Slim Jim spokesman, and member of the New World Order (a faction of World Championship Wrestling), according to Lampoon president Mark Murray, ‘for his athletic prowess and extreme manliness.’
Harvard professor and Nobel laurate Dudley Herschbach introduced Savage to the crowd, comparing him to James Joyce, Albert Einstein, and Shakespeare. But when Herschbach went on too long in his praise, Savage barked: ‘Make like a tree and leave.’
‘This is the biggest wine glass I’ve ever had,’ Savage said as he accepted his trophy cup in a ring set up outside the Harvard Lampoon building. Before a crowd of fans who at times changed ‘Macho Man’ and threw Slim Jims, the wrestler declared himself the ‘Real Man of the Year’.
Later at the Hasty Pudding club, where members and guests dressed in black tie to watch the award presentation and the following show, Kline dismissed Savage’s claim on the title.’
‘I’ve got the pot. I’m man of the year. That’s sour grapes,’ Kline said adding, ‘I accept his challenge, but I will not wrestle him.'”
A seventeen-minute long video of the event is available to watch on YouTube. This whole ordeal was also actually shown on WCW programming, minus the Kevin Kline and Grimace parts:
Another story I found online mentions Grimace taking out costumed people from the audience before getting taken out himself via a Randy Savage top-rope chop. Considering how this all happened during the build to Savage/Hogan at Uncensored 1998, I can see why Randy played it safe.
Oh, and Buff Bagwell wants to have a deathmatch sometime in the year of our Lord, 2022.
I think we all remember how that worked out for the last WCW guy that attempted a deathmatch late in his career:
Please, rethink this one
Buff Death Daddy.
Work has been busy, so I haven’t listened to a bunch of wrestling podcasts this month. I did pickup a new one though as I saw that the “Total Package” Lex Luger was the guest on Loree Bischoff’s show, We’re Talking Shift. I didn’t know much about Loree going in beyond the fact that she’s the wife of Eric Bischoff, and afterward, I was still puzzled about who/what she’s about. There’s a brief mention of her being a life coach and even though religion is a topic that’s discussed on the show, it seems like she pushes more towards a broader belief of spirituality as opposed to just straight up Jesus podcast.
For the most part, there wasn’t a lot to take from Lex’s appearance on the show as Luger stayed close to his usual story of salvation and self-redemption after a bizarre incident that left him a quadriplegic. I’m not downplaying Lex’s struggles here, just how the podcast is seemingly more of an overview of his downfall/rise for people who might not be immediately knowledgeable about who he was before listening. Luger is here to hopefully inspire you with his story and constantly hits with a barrage of acronyms to help the listener better understand what his/her actions could mean towards themselves and others around them.
There is a moment where the discussion switches from comfortable and polite chit-chat to an actual dive into Lex Luger’s transgressions as Loree Bischoff admits to being pissed at Lex over the death of Miss Elizabeth. Loree’s place around the wrestling business gets brought up and how Liz was a personal friend of hers and Eric’s. Lex doesn’t hesitate or back down from the discussion and goes into his drug issues, dealing with the fallout of Liz’s death in a way that he didn’t in his autobiography.
Lex Luger: “A lot of people who are big Lex Luger fans want to let me off the hook completely. ‘Well, you didn’t force [Liz] to take drugs. She made her own decisions.’, and I go, ‘Yeah, but was I a contributing factor to that tragedy?’. I’d go, ‘Absolutely.’
I had a profound influence on her, at the time. So, did I play a role in what happened and her death? I go, ‘Absolutely. So, don’t let me off so easy.'”
It always felt like there was a bit of “oh, woe is me” in Lex’s book where everything terrible happening to him was just a case of being under a bad spell. On this show, he admits that he didn’t lose his family/kids/career to drugs and alcohol, Lex admits that he gave it all away. There is a bit of fantastical storytelling from Lex during the show, but overall, its somewhat interesting to hear him discuss his life.
Lex Luger: “Thank God, Sting, my very good friend Sting–who is also a believer and my brother in Christ–said that he believes that if I had that spinal cord injury prior to having the relationship I know have with the Lord, he goes, ‘You would’ve off’d yourself. You would’ve found a way to commit suicide.’
Because, going back, I was so tied into the physical [aspect] of who Lex was, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to go on that way, being quadriplegic in a wheelchair.”
All in all, it’s a good listen that doesn’t take too much of your time. Don’t expect an in-depth wrestling career discussion from Luger though. If anything, it just made me want that WWE ICONS documentary about him to get released already.
ICYMI: Check out the sneak peek at our #WWE2K22 Showcase trailer that aired on #WWERaw tonight!
Stay tuned for the FULL trailer and Ringside Report on the modes on 3/3. pic.twitter.com/LhILG0INvP
— #WWE2K22 (@WWEgames) March 1, 2022
Last month, I mentioned the upcoming WWE 2K22 game that has a Rey Mysterio Showcase mode feature in the game. The whole idea is usual has the player going through someone’s career or certain parts of their history in-game where matches and memorable moments are recreated. It’s always been a cool thing that they’ve included and usually ends up giving players unique looks/arenas that you wouldn’t normally make the cut. I theorized that maybe this would mean more WCW arenas and named Eddie/Rey Havoc 1997 as the absolute LOCK for this mode.
Well, you can throw all that shit out the window since it seems like 2K is only going to focus on the WWE career of Mysterio STARTING at WrestleMania 21. Absolute mistake on this one. Unforced error by the 2K team, can’t wait to hear Rey Rey explain how important opening Summerslam 2009 against Dolph Ziggler was for his career as nothing from ECW/WCW is represented at all.
The full WWE 2K22 roster list also hit last night with the legends section absolutely gutted. Usual mainstays like Vader, Diamond Dallas Page and Lex Luger are gone with rumors that some legends might have been moved over to a future DLC pack.
I just hope that the game is good enough that CAW creators get on it quickly to beef up the character selection for those of us who prefer anything but the modern roster.
Time for me to eat crow! A day after posting this, we got the trophy/achievement list that leaked online and the photo used for the YOU FILTHY ANIMAL cheevo shows Rey in his 1997 Halloween Havoc gear. The achievement is for completing one match in the Showcase mode, which is now safe to assume that this Eddie match will be your starting point.
Earlier this morning, we also got a better look of the mode and a verification from 2K that Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero in a WCW ring will be included.
We’re now a week away from the game’s release, so if there’s more WCW representation, we should be learning about it very soon.
I’ve finally got my hands on the elusive Mattel WWE Elite Zodiac figure. It seems like there’s only a handful of freaks out there like me who legitimately wanted this evil Ed Leslie variant as eBay is currently flooded with them. The Zodiac market is crashing pretty hard right now too, so you shouldn’t have to pay $$$ if you want to pickup one yourself.
If you’re a collector, he does pair well with some other Dungeon of Doom figures:
If you’re a diehard, maybe the Zodiac can be the perfect backup for another face of pure evil:
If you’re a true sicko, maybe you can also pose your Dungeon of Doom figures for your wrestling blog while wearing a Stashpages Dungeon of Doom shirt:
I’m too far gone at this point. Please send help.
37-year-old World Championship Wrestling fanatic/collector/hoarder. Runs a soil analysis lab in Austin, TX by day and scans in old wrestling magazines by night.
He’s got posters on the wall, his favorite rock group’s KISS.
Goldberg did what he was told. WWE had no idea how to use him.
wish that we could’ve had more Ziggler type matches instead of GOLDBERG WANTS TO BE CHAMP SO ITS FINE I GUESS
Great write up!
I hope they re-sign Goldberg, but move him from a consistent title contender, to more of a special attraction. Matches with guys like Cena, Edge, Styles, Rollins, et al. sell themselves and don’t need a title. Heck even a Miz match a la the Ziggler match would be welcome.
You also don’t need him on loaded cards like Mania. Use his name value to sell second-tier PPVs like Extreme Rules, Payback, or Fastlane. Shows that ordinarily might have flown under fans’ radar. I’d rather see Goldberg/Edge main event Payback, than have it be the third match on a stacked 12 match Mania card.
It’s gonna be sad if that was goldbergs last match. It’s been his “one last run” for 6 years now but he does need a proper retirement match and storyline to go with it. I’m actually surprised they aren’t lining that up for this wrestlemania.
Also as weird as it sounds i think his true retirement match should be at whatever the next Saudi Arabian ppv is. I wouldn’t let goldberg headline a football stadium at summerslam, Mania, or rumble but i think it works there. He could have a proper main event spot
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