High Voltage (WCW February 1997)

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Goldberg vs. Hugh Morris (WCW Monday Nitro September 22, 1997)

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Everything must have a beginning, and this match here is Bill Goldberg’s…unless of course you count dark matches, which we don’t.

Goldberg’s Streak Count: 1

Megumi Kudo vs. Mayumi Ozaki (FMW April 18, 1997)

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This match has it all! Barbed wire! Megumi Kudo spamming suplexes like her name is BROOOOOOOOOOOCK Lesnar! A chain! A chokehold big swing! In ring psychology! Japanese ladies in mom jeans!

Stone Cold Steve Austin (WWF Monday Night Raw December 22, 1997)

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In 1997, there was no one Steve Austin would not give the stunner to, up to and including Santa Claus.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Devon Dudley (WWF Raw February 24, 1997)

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2001 was not the first ECW invasion of the WWE. Back on February 24, 1997, Paul Heyman and his merry band of hardcore heroes invaded Monday Night Raw in the very place it was born: the Manhattan Center.

Several ECW matches took place over the course of the evening with the penultimate match of the night featuring Tommy Dreamer going up against Devon Dudley. Dreamer picked up the win only for Bubba Ray Dudley to jump in post-match. This caused The Sandman to come out and make the save.

Moments later, Paul Heyman, who had been doing commentary during the ECW got fed up with Jerry Lawler’s shitty dad boner jokes and charged him only to be restrained by ECW wrestlers thus bringing an end to one of the weirdest nights in the history of Monday Night Raw.

So why was this allowed to happen? Why did Vince McMahon allow a rival wrestling promotion to have matches on his television program? To start with, the WWF was touring Europe (the European Championship would make its debut the following week) and the majority of the roster was somewhere in Germany when this episode aired so at the simplest level there was just a need for bodies to fill TV time.

Beyond that the WWE was losing badly in the ratings to WCW and Vince McMahon was willing to try almost anything to get back on top. WCW had become the top rated wrestling promotion with a fake invasion story line so why not see how a “real” invasion did? The short answer is, it didn’t work out very well, mostly because of ego and backstage politics, but that didn’t stop Vince and Company from trying it again later in 1997.

The second time around, however, the replaced the hot, up and coming promotion that represented the future of wrestling (ECW) with one that represent wrestling’s past and, at that point, was basically dead (NWA). Suffice it to say it was an abysmal failure.

Goldberg vs. Roadblock (WCW Saturday Night October 11, 1997)

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One of Goldberg’s early victories against one of my all time favorite denizens of WCW Saturday Night, Roadblock.

Goldberg Streak Count: 3

Goldberg vs. Manny Fernandez (WCW Main Event December 13, 1997)

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I don’t know who this Manny Fernandez is, but he sure as hell isn’t the Raging Bull Manny “Invander #3 Maiming” Fernandez. Whoever he is, Fake Manny Fernandez takes on a heelish proto-Goldberg in this bout. Goldberg’s a douchebag in the match and it’s pretty awesome.

Goldberg Streak Count: 12