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A Magic Reflection: The Rock & Goldberg Fued in Full Review
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Old 05 Jan 2004, 02:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Magic Reflection: The Rock & Goldberg Fued in Full Review

Credits go to The Magic Man of NoDq.com forums, I post there now due to the gayness of the stable shit that is going on around here......

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Finally, The Rock has come back to Se....

To see alllllllllll you jabronis show appreciation for the Great One.

And with this promo, we saw the birh of Goldberg in the WWE and the beginning of his feud with Rock. The fans already knew, hell, Rock had to tell the fans during the promo that they shouldn't chant about his accountant, Ira Goldberg.

Goldy, upon arrival, was much scrutinized. His video at Mania (which I saw live ) got a HUGE pop, including one from myself, who had never been a Goldy mark. On raw, he got a decent Goldy chant....

The point of this column isn't really to prove this or that, it's just an analysis of Rock and Goldberg, their feud, and things surrounding it.

The Dilemma

Naturally, WWE fans aren't going to take immediately to a creation from another organization and cheer him as he once was in WCW. Goldy really needed to be re-established as a dominant force, the 173-0 killing machine he was in WCW. However, against Rock, this is damn near impossible.

The booking team was stuck between a rock and a hardplace...do you make Rock, who just beat Hogan, then Austin (*CLEAN* at Wrestlemania) look like a bitch for the whole feud AND the match? It makes logical sense, for the purposes of putting Goldy over....and since Rock was leaving and has proven time and time again that jobbing isn't going to hurt his star power, why not do it?

Then there's the issue of whether or not you "WWE" Goldberg. Do you make him human and accustom him to the WWE fan by *NOT* having him destroy your favourite stars? How can Goldy get pops if he annihilates top tier WWE talent? The fans won't take to him, any number of things could arise...1) Hasn't worked for the spot....2) Doesn't possess the skill/talent to be in the spot...and so on.

Do you make Goldy look human, make him look strong yet beatable, as to not have him gain lockerroom animosity and fan animosity? Or do you ignore the potential side effects of this and make him look monstrous and unstoppable?

Not as easy decision as you might think....

The build

Ahhh yes, Rock stands on the red carpet...holding Seattle in the palm of his hands...Rocky chants, boos, and everything in between...

Rock consistently re-iterates the point that he's beaten Hogan, he's beaten Austin, he's beaten HHH...etc. Now..if you are booking, this automatically makes the choice for you. If you have Rock coming out and tooting his horn about having "done it all", he looks strong. It's now automatic that you cannot have Goldy go and make a mockery of Rock, since he's busted his ass (in the fans eyes) to beat all those men and win 7 world titles and the like. Goldy is now the only man that can stop Rock...but if he destroys him...it makes everyone Rock has beaten look weaker, does it not? And would it make sense for somehow Rock to get dominated so suddenly after years of being the never say die face and success in the ring?

Goldy gets on the stick, says "You wanna know who's next eh?" and spears Rock...

And here is where Rock begins the slow destruction of Goldberg. A notorious overseller, Rock rolls around the ring like he's just been shot in the ribs, almost as if he's making a mockery of the spear he's overselling it so much. Goldberg is trying to look ferocious walking up the ramp and Rock has got an exasperated look on his face in the ring staring back at Goldy.

Another meeting between the two has Rock and Goldberg in the ring, after a match Rock just had and Goldy comes out after Rock runs his mouth. Thinking about the challenge laid before him, Rock does something he does only ONCE during the entire feud...he actually acts like the heel he should. He walks away from Goldy and the challenge and only comes back to attack him from behind. Instead of entertaining the crowd, he actually, *FINALLY* gives them a reason to hate him...until he blows the entire segment when Goldy turns around...Rock has a very comical scared expression on his face as he steps through the ropes. He looks like a comedy act and you completely forget about the fact that he's scared.

Rock Concert II...Rock attempts it twice, once with Gilberg and then Rock runs away, leaving Goldberg to stall his muscle car (oh the symbolism ) and have Rock severely outsmart him. Of course, Rock comes out again, looking superior to Goldy and proceeds to cut an extremely entertaining promo (When the Lakers beat the Kings in May is *CLASSIC*) that doesn't make you really want to boo him all that much. To make matters worse, Goldy comes back and gets the high holy shit kicked out of him with 8 chair shots and a Rock Bottom and Rock makes his way up the ramp, looking calm, cool and powerful, not scared like he should be. Goldberg however, is also not helping his cause. He doesn't really give the fans a reason to cheer him, whereas Rock does. Goldy seems one dimensional, going against a three dimensional powerhouse...he is destined to fail.

During the build, some words Rock says...his simple ability to hold the crowd in the palm of his hand...the ultimate tweener...

"In WCW, you were a big fish in a little pond, The Rock is a whale in a teardrop" How can Goldy dispute this? Is WCW still around? And of course, to make things much worse, anything Goldberg attempts to say on the mic are completely buried by Rock's far superior talent with the stick. Although he's "scared" of Goldberg (apparently), Rock STILL manages to sound convincing when saying "Rock ain't next...You're next" and "Whisker biscuit bitch" and all the insults he throws because Goldberg can't say anything back that holds any merit. He's unproven in the company and in WWE waters and Rock is Jaws. To combat this, Goldberg NEEDED to expand his character but, through booking or his own design, it did not happen and he suffered because of it.

It's a catch 22. Either you have Goldy dominate Rock and Rock say nothing, leaving a one sided and un-interesting build *OR* do you have both men get shots in and let both men show their strengths in the build? Unfortunately, option B means Rock makes Goldberg look terrible....

Pre-Match promo/Entrances

Right before the match Rock cuts a clearly unscripted promo. His timing is off, his lines are delivered with hesitation and all are cliched Rock beyond belief, the stale act that brought him boos not too long before. In one of the poorer Rock promos I have ever seen, he manages to get the crowd to chant "Rocky" at the end of the promo...and instead of ignoring it, he smiles and walks away from Terri.

The promo seemingly makes us forget he's afraid of Goldberg (maybe because his timing is SOOO off and his delivery doesn't have a quiver in his voice, rather a ridiculous amount of confidence) and gives the fans something to cheer for after the heat killing six man tag where HHH got *ANOTHER* PPV victory.

Goldberg gets no such promo before the match, which, once again, like the build itself, has Rock as the central focus of the match, which SHOULDN'T be. Naturally, Rock has to carry the feud but in doing so, too much attention might have been paid to Rock and far too much was built around Rock's accomplishments then Goldy and what he's done and *WHY* he's even in the ring with Rock.

Rock enters the arena first and boy oh boy does he *CRIPPLE* Goldberg on this one. Perhaps out of ignorance or non-caring, Rock acts completely like a face, playing to the fans, smiling, waiting for reaction, entertaining. Then he gets in ring and taunts/plays with the fans, telling them not to finger him, basically, *NOT* acting like a heel. Goldy comes out, having *NO* entrance heat, thanks to Rock and gets such a little reaction. Goldy makes the situation worse by *NOT* acting like a face at all, simply walking to the ring, almost expecting the fans to cheer him. Of course, Rock is entertaining them and Goldy is walking generically to the ring and standing, expressionless...King certainly doesn't help him either. "There might be one or two Goldy fans out there," it's confusing, since King is usually a face announcer, he sounds anti-Goldberg, which makes me wonder...huh???

The Match

And the match itself sees Rock enter the ring to a slowly growing Rocky chant, which instead of trying to turn into heat, he placates with hand gestures and smiles, encouraging the chants. The fans have *NO* reason to give Rock heat, he doesn't give them one. The fans then shift the chants to Goldberg and he simply just stands there and doesn't even acknowledge them, giving the fans no reason to cheer him. Both men confuse the crowd, the viewers and ultimately, hurt Goldberg...

The beginning of the physical contact starts, Rock/Hogan formula with Goldy showing his superior strength and winning a grapple. He then clotheslines Rock over the ropes and for some reason, Rock oversells the clothesline to hell, looking like he's unconscious on the ground for almost a ten count and then proceeds to stand outside the ring, interacting with the crowd and making the entire focus of the match on him.

Back in the ring, Goldy hits Rock with a Rock Bottom, *SOOO* early in the match and then goes for a spear. It has already become clear that Rock's excessive waiting and taunting outside is letting the match run for the purposes of filling time and it's clear that the in ring work is going to be kept a minimum as to hide Goldy's weaknesses. After missing the spear, Goldy spends another minute stalling on the outside while Rock engages the crowd by showing off how he moved out of the way and begins to slowly build more Rocky chants. It's ridiculously obvious who's carrying the match and who's the entertainer to the crowd, it would only be natural for them to cheer him...

Rock carries the offense in ring for the next few minutes, he uses a sharpshooter and taunts the fans while doing it, he uses a low blow on Goldy and then acts comically like it wasn't him...until Goldy hits a spear, his second attempt. After clotheslines and generic moves, the crowd is becoming less and less thrilled with Goldy and pops *HUGE* when Rock spears Goldy and nips up.

Rock hits a Rock Bottom..Goldy kicks out. Rock hits a people's elbow, Goldy kicks out...in the background, you can hear the fans yelling "Bullshit" and getting tired of things. Somehow, Goldy hits Rock with a spear after Rock hits a finishing move and sets up for another spear.

By this point, it was so painfully obvious how weak Goldy was in ring and how limited he truly was. Setting up for a *FOURTH* spear in, minus stall time, a 10 minute match, would make anyone bored and tired of him. The ridiculous hype upon arrival had SOOOO obviously not been worth a second of it. Goldberg sucks chants rang throughout the arena as Rock, stupidly spends almost a minute getting up from the first spear, gets nailed again and Jackhammered.

Afterthoughts

The match really tried. Rock tried hard to engage a dead crowd (The six man tag killed it and Goldy certainly didn't do anything to warrant reaction) with all the mannerisms and classic Rock moves he could and in doing so, turned himself face. Rock oversold horribly and overacted everything to a point where, instead of making Goldberg look powerful, he made him look almost like a joke. It seemed Rock was trying to play up on the 'fantasy' style feud him and Austin had with the overselling but it backfired in this match.

Whether out of necessity or simply because he could, Rock acted to entertain us. A PPV ME should be the top match on the card and Rock knows it. He's been in enough to know it. Goldy was rusty and poor in ring, he was one dimensional. Rock tried his damndest to preserve and not expose that one dimension but in doing so, all he did was make Goldy look so inferior it was almost a shame to watch.

It is one of the only times where Rock, in getting his ass kicked, almost buried his opponent. Poor Rock, he was so good, he was terrible.
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