WWE Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection DVD Review

GoldbergWhen wrestling fans discuss the all-time greats in history, those who changed the industry and carried it through the eras, there are many names that often crop up without arguments – The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and the like. Yet there are other names that changed and dominated the industry at points in time and get neglected in conversation. Bill Goldberg is one of these. While Stone Cold was opening a can of whoop ass over on Raw every week, Goldberg was lighting up Monday nights on Nitro, the flagship show from rival company WCW. Alongside the popular NWO storyline, Goldberg blew everyone away with his intensity and unrivalled brutality in the ring, developing an astonishing 173 victory undefeated streak before ever losing. Goldberg was a star that shone brightest for such a short time that he rarely gets a look-in alongside the best, but there’s no questioning the popularity of the former WCW champion.

The Ultimate Collection looks to cover the entirety of Bill Goldberg’s career in both WCW and later his move to WWE in 2003. Unfortunately the man himself gives no input on this particular release which hinders it slightly, leaving the matches and clips to talk for themselves. This is a real disappointment as the best releases like ones for Stone Cold and The Rock, as well as the upcoming HHH DVD, all feature strong comments and analysis from the men involved and those they worked with. This is more comparable to the Randy Savage set from a few years ago, and while enjoyable to an extent, this type of release doesn’t cater for those fans looking to get some more in-depth information on wrestling history.

With that being said, this is a set that can cater for a number of fans – those who loved WCW back in the day, and also those newer fans who have never had a chance to witness the rise of Goldberg. If you have no idea why WWE fans are chanting ‘Goldberg!’ at current superstar Ryback then this set will give you a clue. For what it’s worth, the Ryback/Goldberg comparisons are a little simplistic and really end beyond the idea of an undefeated streak, but Goldberg should probably be flattered that a portion of the audience clearly remember him and his contributions to the industry. It looks like he won’t be coming back to WWE any time soon, so perhaps Ryback is the closest we’ll get.

Goldberg’s wrestling career featured a who’s who of late 1990s-2000s stars of the wrestling biz – Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sting, Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart through to The Rock, Chris Jericho and HHH. In terms of wrestling quality, Goldberg was never about hammerlocks and technical ability, but more a smash-mouth in your face style that got the crowds going. Looking back at that particular era in WCW and the ‘pops’ from the audiences every week for Goldberg were nothing short of deafening. There’s no question that he was one of the most ‘over’ men in the industry at the time, and as he battered his way through the WCW roster via the US Title, every crowd was clambering for him to defeat then Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the highest prize in WCW.

The set does get a little repetitive and can be quite tough going in places, but there’s no arguing the importance of Goldberg’s WCW domination and that one day he should be a Hall of Fame inductee. His WWE run was a bone of contention, where arguably they didn’t quite know how to treat him, and were more interested in ‘humanising’ him than letting him be Goldberg. No one liked the master of the Spear and Jackhammer because he could talk well – they just wanted him to beat people up. As another legend Stone Cold used to say, “arrive, raise hell and leave!” and this was exactly what Bill was all about. His interactions with The Rock and Jericho were worthwhile, but his work with HHH was disappointing at best, and let’s not even mention Goldust.

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The final match of Goldberg’s WWE career came against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XX, less than a year after his debut. With both men due to leave the company, the harsh Madison Square Garden crowd gave them a horrifically negative reaction, and Goldberg left under a very dark cloud. A man that was once adored by crowds had a very confusing time at WWE and it never quite worked out the way it should have. This DVD set looks to be a reminder of what Goldberg truly had to offer, and hopefully people will remember Bill for the popularity and success he had early on in his career, rather than the poor end. If you are already a Goldberg fan then this is a great set for you, and if you’re interested in learning more about ‘The Man’ then definitely pick this up.

Blu-ray exclusives include:                                                                      

Road Wild 8th August, 1998 – World Title Battle Royal

SuperBrawl IX 21 February, 1999 – Goldberg vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Nitro 8th November, 1999 – Goldberg vs. Sting

Starrcade 19th December, 1999 – No DQ for the WCW Championship – Goldberg vs. Bret Hart

RAW 20th October, 2003 – World Heavyweight Championship Match – Goldberg vs. Shawn Michaels

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WWE Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection is out on DVD and Blu-ray from 7th October.

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