Eric Bischoff has mentioned Bill Goldberg as an example of why it’s important to listen to the wrestling audience in terms of giving them what they want to see.
When Bill Goldberg burst onto the scene in WCW in late 1997, he was a relative unknown in the world of professional wrestling. After his NFL career ended, Goldberg trained at the WCW Power Plant.
Following his debut match where he got a win over Hugh Morrus, Goldberg’s win streak began. By July 1998, he was beating Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Title in front of 30,000+ fans.
At WCW Starrcade 1998, Goldberg’s undefeated streak ended at an official approximate count of 173–0 although that was a fabricated number that was just part of the story by that point.
During a recent appearance on Chris Van Vliet’s Youtube channel talking about his career, Bischoff mentioned Bill Goldberg’s rise as an example of listening to the fans.
“Bill Goldberg is the perfect example. Bill Goldberg didn’t even get a letter next to his storyline. He was like what’s after z, we need a what’s after z story category, because that was what Bill Goldberg was when he came in. By that I mean that Bill Goldberg came in out of the NFL, an elite athlete no question. Great looking character, looked like he came right out of central casting for wrestling. We put him in the Power Plant for a very short period of time, and then it was ok, let’s see how the crowd reacts to him in what we call a dark match.”
“For all the listeners and people watching, a dark match is simply where you know, you show up for a live television presentation, and you have a couple of matches before you go on the air live. You do that for a couple of reasons, one is that you want to warm up the crowd for a little bit, if they need it. The other is that you want to take some of your younger talent that don’t have experience working in front of a crowd, and you get them out there on a limited basis. It’s not a real thing, but it is a lot better than just wrestling in the training facility.”
“So we brought Bill out, and the reaction when Bill Goldberg came storming down the ramp was woah, wait a minute, holy smokes. Let’s see if that happens again next week. We do the same thing next week and it’s more so, then the following week it is even more so. Alright, he has only been in the Power Plant for 4 months, but we have got to get him on TV. And that storyline was a reaction to the audience. That whole career was a reaction to the audience.”
Elsewhere during Bischoff’s discussion about his career in wrestling, he detailed a moment that bothered him while he was running WCW.
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