Raven recently sat down with Title Match Wrestling, and talked about his experience with Goldberg, their televised matches and the end of his incredibly popular undefeated streak. Here are some of the highlights:
Raven on his well-remembered US Title match on Nitro against Goldberg:
“Having that match with Goldberg was great for both of us, really. Not at the time for me, because I was just one more number on the train, but the quality of the match, when Goldberg wasn’t having the most outstanding level of matches, and continued not to have them…which he’ll admit. He’ll tell you, he’ll be very frank about it that he didn’t have great matches, so I’m not saying anything out of turn. And so, people really remembered that match. Plus it was on Nitro, plus it was a US Title match. So yeah, that was great. In fact, I even forgot that I had a second match with him on Thunder, which Shannon Moore said to me one day. He said ‘I loved that match you had with Goldberg on Thunder.’ I go, ‘No. That was on Nitro.’ He goes, ‘No, it was on Thunder.’ And then he showed it to me, and I go, ‘I didn’t even know we had that.’… It didn’t have the prestige of the first one on Nitro, but I’m really happy to have had two of Goldberg’s best matches, so that’s pretty cool.”
Whether he thinks Goldberg should have competed in longer matches:
“I think the problem with the run of Goldberg at the end wasn’t that the matches weren’t longer, but they beat him. They never should have beat him. He had the whole company on his back. I think that was a purely ego-driven decision, and it wasn’t based on business.”
Whether he would have kept Goldberg’s undefeated streak going:
“I would have definitely kept him undefeated a lot longer. I think the mindset was, besides being slightly ego-driven, was the fact that, ‘Well, we have to beat him, it will give him sympathy.’ But it just wasn’t the time for it yet. He was a unique thing that didn’t apply to the rules. He was an exception. That’s why there are exceptions to rules.”
To see the entire clip from the interview, click here.
Soucek’s Analysis: Completely agree with Raven here. I was only in middle school when Goldberg’s Streak was at its peak, but as soon as it ended at Starrcade 1998, I remember friends — and classmates in general — just not caring much about the company anymore. Most of them switched on over to the WWF, and that seems to have been the case nationwide as there were only two more Starrcades after that! A more recent cautionary tale was Ryback, who never came anywhere near close to regaining his momentum after suffering multiple losses on pay-per-view during his initial face run. Sometimes you just have to go all-in on someone for as long as you can.