Eric Bischoff was a recent guest on The Sarah O’Connell Show and discussed the success of Bill Goldberg’s winning streak. After a non-televised match against WCW Power Plant trainer Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, as well as a WCW Saturday Night taping match against Buddy Landel, Goldberg received an immediate reaction following his match against Hugh Morrus on the July 14, 1997 episode of Monday Nitro. A series of televised wins over names such as The Barbarian, Scotty Riggs, Wrath, and Road Block, Goldberg defeated Steve “Mongo” McMichael at Starrcade 1997.
For nearly a year of the beginning of his in-ring career, Goldberg had squash matches against his opponents, typically lasting no longer than three minutes. During Goldberg’s streak, he actually had a technical match against William (Steven) Regal on the February 9, 1998 episode of Nitro. However, although it was a challenging match for him, it still only lasted five minutes. Bischoff revealed that Goldberg was still being trained to wrestle at the Power Plant during his time on television, but his popularity made plans change in order to maintain television exposure and keep his momentum.
“Bill [Goldberg] came out, very little experience, very little training in the Power Plant, got a tremendous reaction from the crowd just because he has so much charisma, and we went, ‘okay, we gotta put that guy on TV,'” said Bischoff. “‘Yeah, but Eric. He doesn’t know how to wrestle yet.’ I don’t care. We gotta figure out a way to put him on TV. Put him in the ring. Put him in a match. ‘Yeah, but he only knows two moves.’ I don’t care. Give him two moves, let him win, put him on TV.
“Now he goes out there, he does one or two things, sets somebody up, Jackhammers, spears him, boom, he’s done. Because that’s all he was capable of doing, because we wanted to get him on TV right away. Now it’s like, okay, he’s still training at the Power Plant, he’s still learning what he needs to learn to be able to go out and have a 12, 15, 20-minute match. But, in the meantime, he’s just gonna go out and crush people. And that’s what we did. And that’s how he became undefeated Bill Goldberg.”
Bischoff added that the initial intent was never to push Goldberg the way that they did and destroy everybody, as well as remain undefeated for 173 matches. Instead, his reaction caused them to just keep putting him out in the ring and “figure it out later.”
“Once he caught on, after about 50 or 60 [matches], we went, ‘okay, maybe we should keep this going and give him a streak,'” said Bischoff. “But it was a coincidence. It wasn’t a design.”
During his streak, Goldberg became both the United States Champion and the World Heavyweight Champion, defeating Raven for the U.S. title on the April 20, 1998 episode of Nitro, and Hulk Hogan to become world champion on the July 6, 1998 episode of Nitro inside the Georgia Dome. The streak ended at Starrcade 1998, as he lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Kevin Nash.
If any portion of these quotes are used, please be sure to credit The Sarah O’Connell Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Sarah O’Connell Show