Goldberg gave the reasons why the super match between him and Stone Cold Steve Austin never happened.
In the late ‘90s and early 2000s Goldberg was undoubtedly WCW’s biggest babyface, one of their most popular and their most dominant wrestlers. On the other side of the US wrestling scene was Austin in WWF/WWE. Austin along with The Rock were the two most popular wrestlers in the US.
Fans are always doing fantasy booking and debating who would win between top stars. The most popular match debate back then was Austin vs. Goldberg. The two were often confused for each other so it became a battle of the big bald white guys with goatees. In 2003 when Goldberg joined the WWE it looked like we may finally get the big match. The fans got to see some fantasy Goldberg match-ups against The Rock, WWE Chris Jericho, Triple H and Brock Lesnar. However, the Austin match never came to fruition.
On a recent episode of Talk Is Jericho, Goldberg explained why the big match never happened:
“There’s no question that I wish it would’ve happened. That was the match to have. Why it never happened, I think 90 percent of the reasoning behind that was [Austin’s] neck issues and my finishing moves, right? Whether it be the spear, whether it be the Jackhammer, I don’t think that those are moves that he would’ve wanted to, wanted to do, nor would his boss would’ve wanted him to do. I think it was a safety issue more so than anything.”H/T To Wrestling Inc. For Transcription
Injuries And Goldberg’s Reckless Style Prevented A Super Match
Austin was plagued by neck injuries for much of his WWE career following a botched Piledriver which broke his neck. Goldberg’s moves were not exactly soft. His Spear is a tackle he does at full speed and has the impact of a gunshot. The Jackhammer is even worse. It is a hanging Brainbuster with Goldberg rolling through and tucking his opponent’s head at the last minute.
To make matters worse the veteran superstar is not known for always being able to protect himself or his opponents in his matches. He goes full speed for every move and it leads him to hurt some opponents and has led him to knock himself out multiple times. Former opponents have been critical of Goldberg’s in-ring ability and having a longer match with him being a challenge.
Without a doubt his biggest critic is Bret Hart. During a match with Goldberg and Hart in WCW a costly accident occurred. Goldberg delivered a big kick to Hart’s head which resulted in a concussion and led to Hart developing Post-Concussion Syndrome. That kick led Hart to retire early and prevented at least a few years of amazing Hart matches.
Austin retired from in-ring competition with WrestleMania 19 against The Rock in 2003 being his last. Just a few weeks later at Backlash Goldberg debuted. The two just barely missed each other. Goldberg would follow Austin into retirement in 2004.
Coming Out Of Retirement To Show Everyone How It’s Done
However, Goldberg would return to WWE in 2016. His return saw him winning the WWE Universal Championship twice, once from Kevin Owens and again from The Fiend Bray Wyatt. He would also have big matches with the likes of Lesnar, Undertaker, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns.
Not to be outdone, Austin made a return to the ring this year. At WrestleMania 38 Austin accepted Owens’ challenge and stomped a mudhole in Owens.
With both men returning to the ring the match everyone has wanted since 1998 could happen. However, I doubt it will happen. Goldberg has improved a lot in the ring, but he still isn’t the safest worker and Austin getting hurt is something no one wants.
Would you have liked to see Austin have one last match against Goldberg in 2003? Do you think a Goldberg vs. Austin match in 2000 would have been amazing or a dud? Will we get a match between the two at next year’s WrestleMania? Leave a few names of who you would have loved to see The Myth wrestle in his prime down in the comments.