Thursday, 4 June 2015

DVD Review: Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection

He was the last bonafide superstar that WCW ever created, a proverbial force of nature who obliterated everyone in his past, and now we're going to take a look at WWE's tribute to this powerhouse of a man. The release in question is Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection.

As is the custom with these things let's start right at the beginning with.....

Disc One
September 22nd, 1997
Our man makes his first ever WCW appearance as he takes on everyone's favourite bully Hugh Morrus on Nitro.

Let's be honest people, there isn't really much to write home about here. It's a very short match, and Goldberg looked pretty green throughout, especially during Morrus' fleeting moment of offence, which saw him connecting with his no laughing matter moonsault. To the surprise of everyone he kicked out of the following pin, and a few moments later the streak began when he took the big man down with the jackhammer suplex for the win.

Afterwards Gene Okerlund tried to get some info on Goldberg, but old Bill wasn't interested in talking.

September 29th, 1997
One week later and our man makes his second Nitro appearance as he faces the Barbarian.

Well, it's slightly better than the previous match. Goldberg still looked quite rough around the edges as it were, and while the Barbarian got in a good amount of offence there were times that he was clearly leading the rookie down the right path.

As for the finish, another Goldberg win with a somewhat sloppy-looking jackhammer. He then finished his night's work by blanking Mean Gene again.

December 28th, 1997
It's a pay-per-view outing for our man as he takes on Steve McMichael at Starrcade.

Speaking of wrestlers who look rough around the edges, this match was a part of one of Goldberg's earliest feuds. In fact it was so memorable that I don't remember anything about it. Basically, this was two former American Football players beating on each other for about five minutes or so.

Goldberg looked a lot better by this point, while Mongo performed the way he always performed, poorly. Everything he did just looked so bad, especially his selling, as was evidenced by the spot where he was standing on the ring apron. A Goldberg punch sent him crashing through a table at ringside, but a few seconds later he was back in the ring kicking Goldberg in the bread basket.

Thankfully the match ended a few seconds later. Mongo's back finally gave out after he tried to lift his man up for his spike piledriver, so Goldberg capitalized by taking Mongo out with a jackhammer for the winning pin.

April 20th, 1998
Our man goes for the gold as he challenges Raven for the United States title in a Raven's rules match on Nitro.

By this time everything was a little more polished and refined, including that memorable entrance of his. But watching this match for the first time in years I couldn't help but think that Goldberg's first ever title challenge really should have been on pay-per-view and not given away for free.

The match itself is very entertaining. Raven attacked as soon as the bell sounded, but it wasn't long before Goldberg was on the offensive, and despite Raven taking him down with his trademark drop toehold onto a chair the challenger kept coming back for more, and it looked all but over when Goldberg took Raven down with a spear.

As soon as this happened Raven's Flock jumped the guardrail and attacked. Goldberg soon sent them packing, and when Raven tried to escape through the crowd a group of fans grabbed hold of him and dumped up back over the guardrail.

A few seconds later it was all over. A second spear followed by a jackhammer and Goldberg had won his first title.

July 6th, 1998
Our man returns to his hometown of Atlanta, and he wants a shot at the big prize, but to get there he has to go through Scott Hall of the New World Order on Nitro.

The storyline for this one was simple. Goldberg wanted a shot at Hollywood Hogan's World title, but the Hulkster told him that he'd have to beat Hall to get that shot. What followed was an interesting encounter that was a little rough and ready but it ultimately served it's purpose.

Goldberg frustrated Hall from the off as he used his power advantage to bully him around the ring. Hall had a few good moments, but eventually he had to call in the troops for a little help. But as the likes of the Disciple and Vincent ran down to help Karl Malone and Diamond Dallas Page took them out with chair shots, leaving Hall alone to face Goldberg.

Hall quickly took his man down with a powerful clothesline before putting him in position for the razor's edge. That move never happened. Goldberg countered with a powerful backdrop that sent him halfway across the ring before finishing the job with the spear/jackhammer combination.

The task complete, our man now challenges Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the World title.

Okay, let's get it out of the way. There's no way that this match should have been on Nitro. Imagine the buy-rates if WCW had put this on pay-per-view. It's possible that they may have had even more buys than the Hogan/Sting match at Starrcade the previous December. Giving it away for free on Nitro probably cost them thousands, perhaps millions.

The match itself is another of those that fits into the entertaining file. Hogan came in full of confidence, until he found himself on the receiving end of Goldberg's power. A few underhanded tactics saw the Hulkster take control, but like Hall before him no matter what Hogan did Goldberg wouldn't stay down. Not even the much-vaunted leg drop of doom, times three, could put him away.

Then came the moment that in hindsight didn't really belong. Curt Hennig came strolling down the aisle looking to give his NWO buddy a little help, with Malone and DDP making another appearance to head him off at the pass, with Malone taking him out with a diamond cutter. Hogan, distracted by this brief but impromptu brawl was left wide open, and a few seconds later Goldberg struck with the spear/jackhammer combination to win the World title.

July 12th, 1998
It's our man's first title defence as he faces the challenge of Curt Hennig at Bash at the Beach.

This may have been on pay-per-view, but it certainly didn't have that pay-per-view feel about it, mainly because it only lasted a shade over five minutes or so.

Hennig had some success here, especially when he began working over Goldberg's leg, but when he took him down with the perfectplex Goldberg kicked out. A few seconds later Goldberg took his challenger out with the spear and jackhammer for the title-retaining pin.

September 14th, 1998
Back on Nitro, our man defends his title against Wolfpac member and former champion Sting.

Before the match began this was touted as Goldberg's biggest test, and although I don't want to sound like a stuck record this is another one that should have been on pay-per-view. But in the end it was found to be a little wanting.

The Stinger began by throwing everything he had at the champion, the only problem was that it had no effect on him. Goldberg just shrugged everything off as he overpowered the icon time and time again, and it was only when Sting managed to reverse his way out of a tombstone attempt so he could take the big man down with a tombstone of his own that he had any real success.

A series of Stinger splashes in the corner followed, but when Goldberg went for the spear Sting dodged the bullet as Goldberg crashed into the corner. Sting then went to work with a somewhat slopping-looking scorpion deathlock, but while the referee was flat on his belly checking for the submission he didn't notice Hollywood Hogan sneaking into the ring and taking Sting out with a boot to the head.

The official looked quite confused as Hogan went to hide. Afterwards Goldberg quickly recovered and took Sting down with the spear/jackhammer combination for the win. Hogan then attacked Sting and Goldberg from behind until a limping Bret Hart ran down for the save, all of which made for a poor ending to what could have been a very good match.

October 25th, 1998
Here's a novelty, a pay-per-view quality match on pay-per-view as our man defends his title against Diamond Dallas Page at Halloween Havoc.

If my memory serves me correctly this was the match that most of the pay-per-view audience missed because of a power cut somewhere in the system, so it was shown the following night on Nitro, which meant that the television audience were treated to a match where Goldberg actually looked quite human.

The champion easily out-muscled his challenger early on, but despite his obvious advantage DDP kept coming back for more, using a variety of tactics to put Goldberg on the back foot a few times. The big guy soon began to dominate with his power though, until he crashed and burned and smashed his shoulder into the corner post when Page avoided a spear.

Goldberg was clearly hampered by the injury to his right arm. A few moments later Page took him down with a DDT (something the commentators missed, claiming that Goldberg had taken him down with a side slam). Goldberg soon recovered though, but after taking DDP down with a spear his bad arm meant he couldn't go for the jackhammer, and when he tried to go for that move a second time Page countered with a diamond cutter. But not even was enough to put Goldberg away.

Seconds later it was all over. Goldberg blocked Page's suplex attempt before finally putting him away with a jackhammer for the pin.

November 23rd, 1998
Back on Nitro our man faces a big test as the Giant challenges him for the title.

Well, I thought this was going to be a big test. The Giant went for Goldberg as soon as the bell sounded and took him down with a chokeslam just seconds later. But when Goldberg kicked out of the pin the comeback began immediately. A quick spear and a jackhammer followed and Goldberg had the title-retaining pin.

Then came the brawling segment. First Bam Bam Bigelow jumped into the ring and attacked Goldberg, only to be dragged away by a ton of coppers and security guys. Then it was Kevin Nash's turn, who didn't want to wait for his big title match, and it took two tons of coppers and security guys to keep them apart.

December 27th, 1998
Two days after Christmas and our man defends his title against Wolfpac leader Kevin Nash in a no disqualification match at Starrcade.

This was basically two big guys beating on each other for a shade over ten minutes. It wasn't too bad, in fact it was quite entertaining, even if it was obvious who was going to win, especially when you consider who was WCW's head booker at the time.

These two matched up pretty evenly in the power department, and it came as something of a surprise when Goldberg took his man down with a spear early on. However, when he went for the jackhammer Nash countered with a good old fashioned low blow.

Nash went on to dominate the proceedings for the next few moments until Goldberg made his rather spirited comeback. This led nicely to the all hell breaking loose segment. First Wolfpac wannabe Disco Inferno tried to interfere until he was promptly sent packing. Then Bam Bam Bigelow tried to attack again before a clothesline sent him over the top rope.

Then it happened. Scott Hall, dressed as one of the security team, struck Goldberg with a cattle prod, leaving the stunned champion ripe for the pickings as Nash took him out with his jack-knife powerbomb for the title winning pin, ending the streak at 173.

All of which led to the infamous finger poke of doom the following night.

Disc Two
March 8th, 1999
Our man is now without a title as he faces another former World Champion in the form of Ric Flair on Nitro.

Now this was an interesting one. Flair went on the offensive early on, but no matter what he did it had no effect on Goldberg, and it was only when he connected with a hat-trick of low blows that he had any sort of success.

But even that didn't last that long. After chop-blocking the knees Flair locked in the patented figure four, a move which Goldberg easily escaped from, and once again Flair found that he couldn't do anything to hurt the man, apart from dodging the big man's spear that is. But when a suplex failed to have any effect on Goldberg Flair failed to dodge the bullet the second time around.

It was then that various members of the re-united NWO attacked, with Kevin Nash and Hollywood Hogan rushing down to the ring from their commentary position. Goldberg manage to fight them off at first, but eventually the numbers were too much for him. Flair then tried to help his former opponent, but he too fell to the superior numbers.

April 5th, 1999
It's a chance for our man to regain the gold as he joins Hollywood Hogan and Diamond Dallas Page in challenging Ric Flair for the World title in four corners match on Nitro.

This was basically four guys in two pairings beating the hell out of each other in the ring and around ringside. It may not have been the best four-way match I've seen, but it was okay I suppose. There were numerous pin attempts and break-ups, but there wasn't really any double-team action, or anyone really dominating the action.

Until the final few moments that is when Goldberg went on a spearing spree and took out everyone in sight. But when he went to pin Hogan his old foe Kevin Nash leapt up from his seat at the commentary position and saved his buddy from being pinned. Sting then came down from the rafters to join the party as the referee called for the bell. As no official verdict was announced I'm assuming the match was ruled a no contest, especially as most four-way matches like this have no disqualification rule.

April 11th, 1999
It was a re-match months in the making as our man faces Kevin Nash again, this time at Spring Stampede.

Nash came into this one full of confidence, and with Lex Luger and Miss Elizabeth offering him moral support in his corner Big Sexy dominated the early going, using Elizabeth to distract the referee at one point so he could deliver a well-placed low blow.

Goldberg managed to shake off the cobwebs though for a comeback, but after Nash leapfrogged over him to avoid the spear Goldberg crashed into the referee, and while the official was taking forty winks Luger took the opportunity to crack Goldberg over the back with a chair.

Nash then tried to take the chance to end it all as he pulled down his shoulder straps and put Goldberg in position for a the jack-knife. Goldberg was having none of it though, and after connecting with a low blow of his own and after foiling Luger's attempt at interference he finally took Nash down with the spear. By the time he'd taken the big man down with the jackhammer the referee had recovered enough to count the winning pin.

September 12th, 1999
It's another re-match for our man as he faces Diamond Dallas Page, now the leader of the New Jersey Triad, at Fall Brawl.

It was an altogether different DDP that Goldberg faced this time around, as evidenced by the chain and the rolls of coins the referee removed from his person before the match began, and the low blow that he delivered early on that allowed him to dominate the proceedings.

Page maintained his dominance with a couple of brass knuckle shots to the head when the referee was otherwise distracted, and although a chin lock/sleeper almost put Goldberg away it wasn't long before he came back. A brief attempt at interference from Page's Triad buddies Chris Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow failed, leading to Goldberg taking DDP down with the spear/jackhammer combo for the winning pin.

October 24th, 1999
It's double duty night for our man, beginning with a challenge for Sid Vicious' United States title at Halloween Havoc.

A lot went on before this match began. Big Sid came to the ring with a patched-up cut above his left eye, courtesy of a backstage brawl with Goldberg earlier in the evening. Then, when Goldberg was making his entrance, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash attacked him from behind, leaving him laying in the aisle so Vicious could pick over the bones.

What followed was basically one big fight. There were a couple of wrestling holds during the quiet period, but apart from that it was two big guys beating on each other. Vicious began bleeding again early on, and it wasn't long before he was wearing the crimson mask.

But despite the blood loss and Goldberg's clubbing blows Sid kept coming back for more, giving as good as he got most of the time, until the blood loss started to get the better of him, and when it did the referee stepped in and called for the bell. Vicious wanted to carry on until Rick Steiner came down to the ring to calm him down before the referee gave the title belt to the new champion.

Later that evening our man faced his second opponent of the evening as he challenged Sting for the World title.

All this came about because of Hulk Hogan. The Stinger had been scheduled to defend his title against Hogan, but the Hulkster refused to go through with the match, laying down for Sting as the referee made a three count. Needless to say that the champion was none too pleased with the situation and laid out an open challenge for a match later in the show, with new United States Champion Goldberg answering the call.

The quickie of the night saw Goldberg taking it to Sting as soon as the match started before a brief brawl at ringside. Once they made it back into the ring the Stinger took control, knocking Goldberg off his feet after a trio of Stinger splashes.

Sting then took a play out of his opponent's book when he took Goldberg down with a spear. All this did was fire Goldberg up as he quickly regained control, taking the World Champion down with the spear/jackhammer combination to win his second title in one night, although this led to some confusion from the announcers after they were told this was a non-title match.

The now-former champion wasn't too pleased with what had happened though, and after arguing with the official Sting grabbed hold of him and took him down with the scorpion death drop.

November 21st, 1999
Our man faces Sid Vicious once more, this time in an I Quit match at Mayhem.

This was actually quite tame compared to some of the I Quit matches I've seen over the years. Like their previous encounter it was basically two big guys punching and kicking each other, except there wasn't any blood this time around.

Another similarity was that they threw in a couple of holds as well. Goldberg countered Sid's strangling with an MMA-style armbar, and even though Vicious began to favour what looked like an injured right shoulder Goldberg took his man down with a cobra clutch. The referee checked Sid's arm, and when the big man was out of it he called for the bell, giving Goldberg the win, even though Vicious hadn't said the magic words.

And all of this was achieved in just under five minutes. The boos from the crowd said it all really.

September 17th, 2000
Almost a year later and our man takes on Scott Steiner in a no disqualification match at Fall Brawl.

I remember reading a few online reviews about this one back in the day, and having seen this for the first time it's obvious that this is how the I Quit match with Sid Vicious match should have played out.

This was a brutal encounter from start to finish. They threw each other around the ring with a variety of moves and clobbered each other with anything they could get their hands on, and it reminded me that there actually was a time when Scott Steiner was quite good, even if he did need a bit of held from a lead pipe-wielding Midajah and a baseball bat-wielding Vince Russo.

But despite all the attacks and setbacks Goldberg kept coming back with some rough treatment of his own, powering out of the Steiner recliner twice. However, when Steiner clobbered him in the head with the aforementioned lead pipe that was it. Goldberg was out of it when he applied the recliner for the third time, leaving the referee with no choice but to stop the match and give the win to Steiner.

October 29th, 2000
It's a double dose of Bryans/Brians for our man as he takes on Kronik's Adams and Clarke in a handicap match at Halloween Havoc.

The storyline at this time saw head honcho Vince Russo setting Goldberg a challenge, that if he beat his old streak of 173 he'd get a title shot, but if he lost then he was gone from WCW. Kronik looked to capitalize on this mandate, and after they'd made their entrance Adams took to the microphone and demanded that they'd be announced as the winners because Goldberg hadn't been cleared to wrestle following an attack on the previous episode of Thunder.

So you can imagine their surprise when Goldberg was cleared just a few seconds later and he made his entrance. Kronik doubled up on him to good effect at first and brought a table into the ring so they could put him through it with their double chokeslam.

It never happened. Goldberg powered out of their grasps before spearing Clarke through the table to take the pin. It then emerged that Goldberg had to pin both members of the team to win, which surprised the announcers as they had no idea about this stipulation. Goldberg soon got the job done though when he took Adams down with the spear and jackhammer for the pin.

And all of this in under...well you get the picture.

January 14th, 2001
With his streak and career still on the line, our man teams with his former trainer Dewayne Bruce as they face the Totally Buff team of Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell in a no disqualification match at Sin.

As the match began there was a lot of talk about whether Bruce would be able to compete because of a broken right arm, but after Goldberg took it to Luger and then Bagwell the Sarge tagged in and looked in decent nick as he took Bagwell down.

His luck soon ran out though when Luger and Bagwell began to use him for target practice, seeing him as the weak link on the team. Eventually the Sarge managed to make it back to his corner, and that's when the all hell breaking loose segment began.

When the action spilled out of the ring Luger began arguing with a fan Goldberg has signed an autograph for earlier in the evening. Goldberg intervened, but it soon transpired that the fan was working for Luger when he sprayed mace in Goldberg's eyes.

The big man was now blind, and although he tried to fight back a few well-placed chair shots from Luger set him up for the finish. Luger lifted him onto his shoulders so Bagwell could climb to the top rope and take him down with his blockbuster finisher. A three count later and Luger and Bagwell had the win, ending Goldberg's WCW career.

Disc Three
April 27th, 2003
Our man ventures into WWE territory as he targets the Rock at Backlash.

Having spent over four hours watching Goldberg obliterate the good and the great of WCW you immediately notice the differences in his WWE encounters. They're paced a little better, they're a few minutes longer, and he looked more vulnerable.

The Rock he faced here was the cocky heel who boasted about his flourishing film career, and when the match began he was somewhat reluctant to get in the ring. Eventually, after much posturing, he stepped through the ropes, only for Goldberg to take him down with a few powers moves. Rock's cockiness soon evaporated, but quickly returned when he avoided the spear and Goldberg crashed and burned into the ring post.

Now this was where I saw the change. The pacing here was much more deliberate. Goldberg was still getting his shots in, but the intensity level was certainly turned down a notch or two. If this match had taken place in WCW he would have just popped up after taking Ricky’s signature moves, and there was none of that here.

Speaking of those signature moves Rocky had a great deal of success with those, but after he connected with the people's elbow he couldn't believe it when Goldberg kicked out of the pin. It was then that the big man began his comeback, which led to the inevitable as he took Rocky down with two spears and a jackhammer to win his first WWE match.

May 12th, 2003
It's a steel cage match on Raw as our man goes up against Christian.

Christian came down to the ring with a steel cage in hand, claiming that it was the same chair the Rock had clobbered Goldberg with a month before, and after christening it the people's chair he promised to use it to gain victory.

One slight problem at the start though. As Goldberg entered the cage, now devoid of his black trunks and wearing the snazzy WWE black and white design, Christian accidentally dropped the chair out of the cage door. Devoid of his weapon, he ended up on the receiving end of Goldberg's powerful attack.

He soon managed to get his hands back on the chair though, and it wasn't long before he began clobbering the proverbial out of Goldberg. Chair shots proved to be the only effective offensive moves he made during the entire match. But not even these could keep Goldberg down, and it was only a matter of time before he put Christian away with the spear/jackhammer combination for the win.

June 15th, 2003
It's a long-awaited match-up as our man finally steps into the ring with Chris Jericho at Bad Blood.

A few years before Goldberg squashed Jericho in WCW, but since then Y2J had become the first undisputed champion, so this was an entirely different Jericho he was facing this time around.

Goldberg, fired-up because of what Jericho had done in more recent times dominated the early going. But when he went to take his man out with a spear at ringside Jericho dodged the bullet as Goldberg went crashing through the barricade.

Jericho went on to dominate the next few minutes as he worked over Goldberg's injured arm and shoulder. The big man's offensive moves were few and far between because of his injured wing, and it wasn't until after he'd powered out of the walls of Jericho that he got in any meaningful offence.

It eventually took a second spear to put Jericho down, and despite his injured arm he then took him out with the jackhammer for the winning pin.

August 24th, 2003
It's the hottest event of the summer as our man joins Randy Orton, Kevin Nash, Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels in challenging Triple H for the World title in an Elimination Chamber match at Summerslam.

If memory serves the original plan for Summerslam that year was for Goldberg to challenge Trips for the title in a singles match, but the Game was somewhat injury prone back then and was suffering from a torn groin muscle at the time, which meant that four other men and the Elimination Chamber were added into the mix to ease his workload a little. Or rather to ease his workload a lot.

This was the match where WWE finally presented the WCW version of Goldberg. He was an absolute monster in this one. By the time he entered the match Michaels and Jericho had combined to eliminate Nash, and when Goldberg entered the match Michaels, Jericho and Orton were the worse for wear having been powerbombed by Nash before he left the chamber.

The first part of the help keep Trips out of the match plan came as soon as he stepped out of his pod as the last entrant when Michaels took him down with a superkick, and it was as he lay dazed in the pod that Goldberg dominated the action, eliminating Orton with a spear and Michaels and Jericho with the spear/jackhammer combination.

Trips looked terrified as he looked on from his pod, and despite Ric Flair's attempts to keep the pod closed Goldberg smashed through the plexi-glass to get to the Game. Trips was clearly hampered by his injury as Goldberg dominated him, but just when it looked like Goldberg was going to win the whole thing Flair tossed in a sledgehammer and Trips clobbered Goldberg in the skull as he went for the spear. A three count later and it was all over as the Game retained his title.

That wasn't the end of things though. Orton returned to the ring as Trips and his Evolution buddies obliterated Goldberg, smashing him in the head with two more sledgehammer shots before handcuffing him to the side of the chamber and delivering more punishment, leaving him in a bloody mess.

September 21st, 2003
Our man finally gets his one-on-one World title shot against Triple H at Unforgiven. Not only can he win the title in the usual way but by count out and disqualification as well. However, his career is over if he loses.

The slow and methodical approach was the order of the day in this encounter, probably because Trips was still hampered by his groin injury. The match was okay, but it wasn't the best World title match I've seen.

As expected Goldberg dominated the early going with his power before the Game took control, working over the big man's legs before applying a figure four. Goldberg managed to survive this particular scare, but a few minutes later the match found itself without a referee after Trips accidentally backed into him.

The champion used the lack of an official to his advantage, deliver a low blow before bringing his trusty old sledgehammer into the match and smacking his challenger in the jaw. However, when he went for another shot with the hammer Goldberg countered with his trusty old weapon, the spear, and as the referee began to emerge from his nap he finished the job when he took Trips down with a jackhammer. By this time the official was back in the ring, just in time to make the three count that gave Goldberg the World title.

October 6th, 2003
Back on Raw and with Triple H's 100K bounty on his head our man faces Theodore Long guy Mark Henry.

This was just two big guys beating on each other for about five minutes, and for most of the match Henry dominated, using his power advantage to throw Goldberg around the ring like a crash test dummy. The champ tried to take Henry down, but the World's strongest man just shrugged off his blows and went back on the attack.

Eventually Goldberg managed to get into the match when he slammed the big man and took him down with a series of clotheslines. But just when he was about to take him down with the spear Long's other guy Rodney Mack rushed down to the ring and clobbered him with a chair. The referee immediately called for the bell, giving Goldberg the disqualification win.

That wasn't the end of things though. Mack and Henry continued their attack until Shawn Michaels ran down for the save, super kicking Mack. But when Goldberg went to spear Henry again the strongman moved out of the way as Michaels took the bullet instead. Goldberg then grabbed hold of Henry and took him down with the jackhammer to end his night's work.

November 10th, 2003
Once again on Raw, our man faces the man who took him out of action and collected Triple H's bounty, Evolution's animal, Batista.

Twenty-one days after big Dave collected the bounty Goldberg came into the match limping badly and with his ankle and calf heavily strapped. It came as no surprise when Batista targeted the injured limb as soon as the bell sounded, slamming it into the ring post at one point.

Goldberg's only offensive move of note came when he took Batista down with a spear, but just when he was setting up for the jackhammer Triple H ran in and attacked the injured ankle. The Game looked to do even further damage to the ankle when he placed it in a steel chair. Goldberg wasn't out of it though, because just when Trips was about to bring down his sledgehammer he connected with a low blow before sending him running for cover after a spear.

November 16th, 2003
It's re-match time for our man as he puts his title on the line against Triple H at the Survivor Series.

With his ankle still in bad shape Goldberg came into this match as the proverbial one legged man in a arse kicking contest, and although he did pretty well in the pre-match brawl the Game soon took control, and with Ric Flair running interference for him it looked like Goldberg's title reign was in trouble.

The champion kept fighting back all the way through though, even when the referee was taking another snooze and Trips clobbered him with some brass knuckles. The Game couldn't believe his eyes when Goldberg kicked out and took out his frustrations on the referee, elbow dropping the official.

This gave his Evolution buddies, Randy Orton and Batista, the chance to run in for even more interference. But by this time Goldberg had got his second wind, and with the help of Triple H's trusty old sledgehammer he quickly dealt with his new adversaries.

Then, as the referee was beginning to regain his senses, Goldberg got back up onto his one and a half functioning legs and took Trips down with the spear. A jackhammer soon followed, and the recovered referee counted to three to give Goldberg the title-retaining pin.

March 14th, 2004
It's the final match of the collection, and our man is no longer the champion as, with Steve Austin as the special referee, he faces Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XX.

This match is exactly how I remember it. Eleven years ago I hoped that this would be a match of epic proportions, the Hulk Hogan versus the Ultimate Warrior of it's generation. But in the end it turned out to be a bit of a damp rag, one of the most anti-climatic matches I've ever seen.

It began with lots of posturing as they basically circled each other for what seemed like ages, and that's when the New York fans came into their own. After they gave us a very vocal Austin chant they revealed that they knew Lesnar was off to pastures new.

The two men eventually went for a couple of lock-ups which dragged and went nowhere before Lesnar engaged in a spot of mat wrestling. The fans weren't impressed, and they continued to basically crap over everything that was going on.

A few minutes later Goldberg got his second wind and took Lesnar down with a spear which led to a two count. Lesnar then took Goldberg down with the F5, followed by another two count. The future UFC king then tried to take a play out of Goldberg's book, but when our Bill dodged a bullet and avoided Lesnar's spear he took his man down with one of his own, following up with the jackhammer to take the three count, taking the win in his final WWE match.

In conclusion - six hours of matches and several thousand words later we've finally reached the part where we can ask this question: was it all worth it?

Yes, and no. It's a good chronicle of Goldberg's seven year career. There's some good examples of his work here, from his early days in WCW right through to his final match at Wrestlemania XX, but to me it seems that some of these matches were chosen not because of their quality but because they had to be there for the sake of history. His first match with Hugh Morrus and his final match with Brock Lesnar are examples of two matches I wouldn't have included on an Ultimate Collection.

But what struck me about this collection is that you can clearly divide Goldberg's career into two segments. When I followed his career in WCW all those years ago I was kind of in awe of his power and intensity, and when he first appeared in WWE I, along with countless others, didn't really like the somewhat watered-down version of Goldberg they were giving us.

Now, though, I can see that his matches in WWE were a whole lot better than those in WCW, from the timing to the pacing to the structure to just about everything. He overall ring craft definitely improved during his year under the WWE banner, and it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if he'd gone on for another five years or so.

So having looked back on the great man's career and mused about what might have been there's just one more thing left to do, and that's to give this collection the thumbs up.

With thanks to Fremantle Media and Fetch Publicity for supplying a copy of this release. Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection is available to buy online at www.wwedvd.co.uk.