BALTIMORE — People were talking about it. The Internet was buzzing about it. And after weeks of speculation and dozens of theories, one of the more popular rumours came true Sunday night at WCW’s Great American Bash. The “big surprise” revealed itself in the main event as Goldberg helped bring down Kevin Nash, alligning himself with Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo.
The crowd at the Baltimore Arena, which was far from capacity and quiet for most of the night, erupted into a loud “Goldberg sucks” chant after Goldberg’s spear wrapped up Jeff Jarrett’s world title defense. A barrage of beverages soon followed while the New Blood celebrated with its newest recruit. An angry Nash dropped the f-bomb after the broadcast went off the air as he borrowed a page from his new foe’s book by telling Goldberg he was next.
Prior to the main event, the biggest crowd reaction of the night was directed at Miss Hancock, who stormed out during the DDP-Mike Awesome match to thwart interference by Kimberly. The other big winners of the night were Ric Flair and Hollywood Hogan, who escaped the career-ending stipulations attached to their respective matches and proved their time isn’t quite through by drawing big pops.
A crowd reaction of a different sort — one of stunned disbelief — occurred at the finale of the Human Torch Match between Vampiro and Sting. Vampiro delivered on a pre-show promise to set Sting completely on fire, then went a step further by pushing Sting off the top of the Nitro Vision to the stage below. Some trick lighting and quick work by the WCW crew made it appear Sting could have been switched out for a double, and in attendance, one could see the curtain above the screen move as a double was probably put in place for “Sting” to get burned. But no matter who took the fiery fall it stood out as a truly unforgettable moment.
The GI Bro/Stasiak match was put on nicely, but the crowd wasn’t in it. Several foul ups occured in the Flair’s match which brought laughter to those in the crowd, especially during the move where they run into the corner and flip.
As expected, Goldberg’s turn received a mixed reaction from fans exiting the show. While some fans were clearly disappointed that the much-hyped surprise unfolded in such a simple manner, others seemed merely disgusted that WCW’s number one face had switched sides. No motivation was given for Goldberg’s change of heart, but that should become clearer at tonight’s Nitro from Richmond, VA.
— With files from Aaron Henry