WWE Super Showdown played host to a dream match of wrestling fans of the 1990s. The Undertaker, WWE stalwart and maybe the greatest wrestler of all time, took on the absolute force of WCW, WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg. The Undertaker vs Goldberg was a match that fans needed to see… twenty years ago, but even though both men were well past their sell by date, their presence in the match would be enough to make the match great.
The match was not great. It was in fact the fourth worst WWE match ever. The Undertaker was around 4000 years old at the time while Goldberg hadn’t improved his wrestling ability since he left the WCW Power Plant. While Goldberg can have a great match with the right opponent, he did not have the ability to carry an aging Undertaker to a great match, no matter how much a Saudi Prince may pay him.
However, this match was bad. Both men had zero chemistry at all, and Goldberg looked completely out of it as soon as the match began. He event almost killed the Undertaker during the match, dropping him directly on his head from a botched Jackhammer. The Undertaker later clarified he was “inches away from death”.
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Goldberg on nearly killing the Undertaker
However, Goldberg does give some clarification on the reasons behind the match and the almost fatal botch. In an interview with Pat McAfee on the The Pat McAfee show, he revealed that he headbutted a cupboard prior to the match, concussing himself. This explains the trickle of blood down his face before the match even starting.
“Taker, yeah, 100 percent. Undertaker in Saudi. I’d been out for a while and routine, everybody’s got a routine, and I kind of forgot my routine. But I remembered the headbutt. So, on the way out, I headbutted the door. I don’t know where I am after that. I have no idea what’s going on.”
“I’m kind of getting to the ring and then we’ve got the spot where he moves and I hit the turnbuckle. I didn’t go out and look at the turnbuckle beforehand, and it was a different setup than we’d have at Raw or SmackDown. I try to take things as realistic as possible, and I took it wrong.”
“Let’s just say I got another concussion right there and opened myself up pretty good. It’s the referee and the booker’s responsibility to call what’s going on in there. They’re on the mic and the headset and everything. The referee would come up to me and go, ‘How are you doing?’ I’d go, ‘I’m doing good.’ “
“By the time he’d walk away, I’d go, ‘I don’t know what’s going on.’ It was a different answer every time and the fact is, I never should’ve done what I did, but I did. I tried to go through with it but unfortunately, it turned out to be a debacle. It’s a wonder that we both didn’t get smashed during that match. It was a very bad missed opportunity. Hey, at the end of the day, I was just trying to provide a better show for everybody else.”
Goldberg on fear of wrestling in Saudi Arabia
As a proud Jewish man, Bill Goldberg had his reservations of wrestling in Saudi Arabia. Tensions between Israel and the Middle East have been long standing, and the tensions between the Jewish and Muslim religions is one as old as the religions itself.
Due to this, Goldberg revealed how he was “terrified” to travel to Saudi Arabia and wrestle, not knowing how he would be received by the fans and their hosts.
“As one of the most visible Jewish guys on the planet, I was terrified to go over the first time. I really was. It was under the auspices of the WWE, so obviously, the security was there. I’ll be perfectly honest, I haven’t gotten a reception like that anywhere around the world that’s much better.” He said
“I mean, those people are so appreciative of what we do, the characters that we are, the business that we provide for them, the entertainment we provide. Let’s be perfectly honest, they’re at the ground-breaking stage of the westernization of that part of the world.”
“We caught a lot of shit in the beginning. Look at all the people who’ve jumped on board right now. Look at all the talent, all the events that they’ve been able to put on, to westernize, evolve, that’s the word I was looking for, no question. We caught a lot of shit in the beginning, but I think we should be very proud of the precedent that we set.”