Former WCW President Eric Bischoff has explained why the company made the controversial decision to end Goldberg’s illustrious winning run and take the WCW Title off the megastar.
Goldberg is, without doubt, one of the two most successful acts to have emerged during the tenure of World Championship Wrestling along with the New World Order.
Building a winning streak like no other, the former Atlanta Falcon made history when he defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan to become the undefeated WCW World Champion in July 1998. In his 17th defence of the title just five months later at Starrcade, Goldberg was finally defeated by Kevin Nash for the gold with more than a little help from Scott Hall and a Taser.
Speaking on his 83 Weeks podcast [available early and ad-free at AdFreeShows.com] Eric Bischoff discussed the controversial move to take the title off the company’s star attraction and says the bloom was off the rose:
“There’s a reason why we took the belt off Bill. It wasn’t because we were making money hand over fist with him and he was continuing to grow the audience which is really important, it’s what television networks expect you to do.”
“Does anybody think if we were making money hand over fist and were continuing to beat WWE in the ratings the way we had for the previous couple of years or year and half that we would have taken the belt off Bill? We were losing steam on Bill and it was time for a change. It was necessary, but I do think we could have done a much better job particularly in light of his lack of comfort based on his lack of experience.”
According to Eric Bischoff, Goldberg was taken under the wing of the man he defeated for the WCW Title, Hulk Hogan. Bischoff says this caused problems for him in trying to manage Goldberg as he was getting advice for one of the all-time greats:
“I know Hulk Hogan was a very big supporter of Bill Goldberg. In fact, one of the reasons why I had such a difficult time with Goldberg was due to the fact that Hulk was in his ear. I knew that Goldberg was special. [But] he was still new and unsure of himself in some respects. The wrestling business is a treacherous one. It always has been that way.”
“Hulk took Bill under his wing including getting the same attorney, Henry Holmes. Once Henry started representing Bill, things got real tricky real fast, and that’s due to Hogan’s influence on Goldberg to help protect him. So this nefarious scheming and planning as it relates to Goldberg, at least, by Hulk, I don’t think so.”
The loss of the WCW Title from Goldberg to Nash was the precursor to the ill-fated ‘Finger Poke Of Doom’ match that saw Hogan “defeat” Kevin Nash for the title and saw the resurrection of the nWo.