CvC 2.0: Why Goldberg Is the Greatest WCW World Heavyweight Champion

Bryan FloryAnalyst IJune 28, 2011

CvC 2.0 Top WCW World Heavyweight Champion (has to be WCW names at the time, no WWE one's)

Blue Division vs. Will J Baker (read his article here)

When I first saw my topic for the competition, I immediately thought, "Oh, well either Ric Flair or Sting are the greatest WCW World Heavyweight Champion of all time."

But on second thought, that would be too boring and easy, so for conversations sake, I believe that Goldberg is the greatest WCW World Heavyweight champion of all time.

There have been a number of meaningful WCW World Heavyweight champions, but during the height of the Monday Night War, Bill Goldberg was arguably the most important wrestler to WCW, and possibly to all of wrestling.

Sure the NWO was the major factor that got the ball rolling in WCW's favor, but when I was younger, I would tune in every week to see if Goldberg's streak would continue.

As a result, in preparation for this article, I re-watched the episode of Nitro from July 6, 1998. 

I highly suggest for anyone that wants to know just how important it was for Goldberg to win the title, look no further than this match.

Up to this point, both factions of the NWO had come to dominate Nitro week in and week out, and it really looked like WCW would cease to exist.

But each week Goldberg continued to mow down his competition left and right.

So on July 6, 1998, it all came to a head in the Georgia Dome, when Goldberg faced Hollywood Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight championship.

I remember thinking that there was no way that Goldberg would win the match because in true NWO fashion, they would interfere somehow, which would not only cost Goldberg the title, but also end the streak.

Sure enough, Curt Hennig came down to the ring just as it seemed Goldberg was on the verge of winning the title.

But then, Karl Malone (yes, the second leading scorer in NBA history; that's how mainstream/desperate WCW was), came to the ring and gave Hennig the Diamond Cutter to stop him from interfering.

From that point on, there was no stopping Goldberg, as he hit the Spear and the Jackhammer to finish off Hogan and win the title.

The crowd of 40,000 people erupted (the shear elation on the faces of the crowd is unbelievable), and it was one of the highest rated segments in Nitro history.

From that point on, Goldberg gave me even more of a reason to watch Nitro every week because you knew at some point he would lose the title (and if they were willing to have him win the title on Nitro in what could have been one of the most must-see PPVs ever, why wouldn't they have him also lose on Nitro?)

In addition, it broke up the monotony of the NWO each week. The exact reasons that people like Chris Jericho, the Big Show, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, etc. left WCW were the exact reasons that people started to grow tired of Nitro.

Goldberg renewed everyone's interest in the show because they knew a "WCW guy" was back on top and that he would constantly be "under the gun" of the NWO.

Furthermore, around the same time, WWF created the Gillberg character, directly mocking Goldberg.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery isn't it?

Did the WWF ever create a direct imitation of Ric Flair, Sting, Hulk Hogan, etc.? Not exactly.

Like all good things though, Goldberg's run grew stale six months later, as he lost to Kevin Nash at Starrcade in December 1998. The match had a controversial finish with Scott Hall tasering Goldberg to help Nash, but nonetheless, the streak ended at 173 wins.

This event directly lead to the fall of WCW, as one week later, on Jan. 4, 1999, the "Finger Poke of Doom" occurred, when Kevin Nash laid down for Hogan, crushing all credibility for the WCW World Heavyweight title.

It was the end of the Monday Night War, as Mick Foley would win the WWF title and change wrestling history forever.

Goldberg may have only won the WCW World Heavyweight title one time, but he was, in my mind, the last credible champion of WCW.

After Nash laid down for Hogan, the WCW World Heavyweight title would go on a tumultuous ride, where it would be vacated nearly every other month and would also go on to be held by legendary wrestlers like Vince Russo and David Arquette.

So overall, yes, Ric Flair, Sting and Hulk Hogan held the WCW World Heavyweight title many more times than Goldberg.

But when WCW was at its peak, Goldberg was the man who was at the forefront holding the big gold belt.

That's my two cents...who's next?


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