Many sites have a match of the week but ours is a little different. These matches are the ones that are fun to watch… in the non-traditional way.
This week, we’ve chosen Goldberg vs. Ryback. With a rumored showdown at Wrestlemania 30, we have video of their first match. Very rare footage. Members of the site @TimWelcomed, @typicalROHfan and @TomBlackett give their (lack of) expertise on the action.
Part 1: Entrances
Out comes a very young Ryback. WCW was clearly grooming him for a big future by giving him an entrance for his first match.
Tony Schiavone said “Great champions do not worry about their opponents. They worry about what they can do to win a match.” I think they do both? Doesn’t that go hand-in-hand? I guess, Schiavone would know more than me.
I was blow away when we found this gem. The first thing I notice is the “NYC” writing on Ryback‘s trunks. I feel a little less pride and a lot more shame about my hometown now. Ryback is rocking a fedora and sunglasses inside. He was “that douchebag” before “that douchebag” existed.
The WCW commentators sum up late 90s AND early 2010’s Ryback with some deadly accurate quotes. “I guess he wants to look like Goldberg” – Tony Schiavone, to which Mike Tenay replied “Oh, you gotta be kidding!”
WOW! What a find! The idea that Goldberg and Ryback had ever been in a match together is mind-blowing. This looks to be from sometime in ’98, so it’s a surprise to see Ryback competing given he wasn’t even 18 then, but he had an impressive physique!
Interesting that he’s sporting just plain black wrestling panties, but I guess he hadn’t found a good airbrush guy for his singlets back then. Weirdly, I think he actually showed more personality 15 years ago! That’s not meant as a slight against ‘The Big Guy’, just strange.
Part 2: The Dream Match!
Goldberg pretty much manhandles Ryback… but this is the beginning of one of the most mean wrestlers we’ve ever seen. Ryback took what he learned here and has applied it, adding a bit of his on personal anger to it. We truly just witnessed the birth of a bully. The birth of a monster. The Birth of Ryback. Thank you, WCW.
Goldberg starts the match off by asking “You wanna be me, boy?” A question I’m sure he still wonders every time he’s asked about Ryback. If they do have a highly anticipated rematch at Wrestlemania XXX, I hope it goes the exact same route. Goldberg talks trash, throws him around, spear, jackhammer, helps Ryback learn what a pop sounds like and pins him. I’d buy a ticket or the PPV just for that.
Wonderful match. Maybe the reason crowds chant “GOLDBERG” at Ryback on a weekly basis is because they remember this classic match and want to celebrate it?
Poor old Ryback doesn’t get much offense in, but really, this was a learning experience for him. Just look at the way Goldberg carries himself and controls the match and you’ll see shades of the wrestler that Ryback could be one day (maybe in another 15 years). Even the way Goldberg holds Ryback up in the suplex position while he marches around the ring is evidence of a veteran teaching a rookie.
Will we ever see a rematch? Man, I hope so. I really hope so. Wrestlemania 30, anyone? It’d be amazing to see Goldberg properly pass the torch.
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