Induction: Undertaker vs. Goldberg – Taker’s most dangerous match since Hell in a Cell

22 Submitted by on Thu, 06 February 2020, 20:38

WWE, 2019

When you think of dream matches from the Attitude Era that never happened, Goldberg vs. The Undertaker has got to be at the top of the list.

Both men were the biggest stars of their respective companies during the Attitude Era: bald, no-gimmicks badasses in plain black trunks… except for The Undertaker.

Granted, such a match likely would have occurred eventually, had Vince McMahon redirected his 60 million XFL and WWF New York dollars towards signing WCW stars during the Invasion angle back in 2001.

But thanks to WWE’s half-billion-dollar deal with the Saudi royal family, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s demand for the stars of old (many of whom are still alive), a de facto WWE Senior Circuit has emerged, giving semi-retired legends the occasional ungodly payday in exchange for nearly killing each other.

Such was the case at Crown Jewel, and such was the case at Super ShowDown…

…where the owners of wrestling’s two most celebrated streaks (sorry Mideon) clashed.

The site of this travesty? Jeddah, the city whose supposed progressiveness WWE used to trumpet relentlessly. (Frankly, I’ve heard more accurate information about Saudi Arabia on Are You Being Served?)

So Undertaker brought his jockstrap…

…Goldberg brought his Grecian formula, and they were off on a plane to the Arabian peninsula.

Before a match of this magnitude, both men had to make grand entrances. As usual, Goldberg headbutted the locker room door before he even appeared on camera…

…and when he did appear on camera, he was sporting a nice little nick on his forehead.

Sure, he got lots of pyro, but it was nothing compared to Undertaker’s entrance.

The Dead Man got druids…

The druids (front), pictured here marching past many prominent Saudi activists.

…flaming torches…

…and a fireworks display so spectacular that for an instant, night turned to day (and revealed that the stadium was nowhere near full).

With the anticipation building, Corey Graves compared the surreal match to a Muhammad Ali vs. Mike Tyson bout. As Tyson and Goldberg are the same age, this implied that The Undertaker was 77 years old.

Once the bell rang, Goldberg hit two spears on The Undertaker, who kicked out. So far, so good. This match clearly wasn’t going to last long, unlike the 30-minute debacle that was WWE’s last Saudi main event.

Things started to go awry when Goldberg countered an attempted chokeslam with an attempted submission hold.

After hugging Taker’s leg for a good while, Goldberg finally did remember how to perform a knee bar.

Yeah, that was pretty embarrassing, though still nowhere near as bad as Crown Jewel’s main event.

But unlike the infamous DX vs. Brothers of Destruction match, which proved to be a comedy of errors, this match nearly proved to be a tragedy of errors.

“Goldberg looks like a million bucks tonight,” said Renee Young, five seconds before Goldberg rammed his own head into the ring post.

When he eventually crumpled to canvas, he sported a huge gash, blood covering half his face.

Soon, Taker stalked Goldberg for a chokeslam, but the former WCW champion wouldn’t turn around.

“And Goldberg, wisely, back to the ropes”, said Michael Cole. Actually, the wise thing would have been to stop the match because the guy with blood pouring out of his head couldn’t stand up on his own, but there were millions of dollars tied up in this match, so concussion and blood protocol went out the window.

Undertaker hit a pretty weak chokeslam, then gave Goldberg the Tombstone, a move that had won him hundreds of matches.

What he didn’t count on was Goldberg cleverly breaking the fall with his head. I guess Taker had assumed Bill had shrunk an inch or two from that spear to the ring post.

This should have been the end of it, but somehow, and for some reason, Goldberg kicked out. Despite Goldberg already suffering at least one concussion and massive blood loss, he still had to get his sh*t in.

And get his shot in, he did.

Kind of.

After hitting Taker with yet another spear, Goldberg lifted the Phenom up for his famous jackhammer, a move that’s hard enough to execute when one’s brains aren’t scrambled.

“Goldberg wanted the jackhammer,” explained Graves, but “didn’t get all of it”, rather than having wanted a brainbuster and getting way more of it than a wrestler is ever supposed to.

Remembering there was still one more perfectly good opportunity to break someone’s neck, Undertaker kicked out. Goldberg attempted to use Taker’s own finishing move against him, but the Dead Man was having none of it.

Unfortunately, Taker couldn’t reverse it into a Tombstone of his own, so both men just fell over.

Or should I say, fortunately, as I really don’t want to imagine what could have happened if he’d tried another piledriver.

In a rare demonstration of good judgment, Undertaker brought the match to a merciful end with a chokeslam even shorter than the first one.

With the match finally in the bag, Taker rolled his eyes, and not in that spooky way.

The good doctor rushed to the ring, about two finishers too late, to offer medical assistance to Goldberg.

You can’t say Goldberg didn’t try to give the Saudi royal family their money’s worth (a tall order considering he was paid $2 million for the gig) – the match lasted nearly 10 minutes, by far the longest Goldberg had been in the ring since his return, and he narrowly avoided paralyzing himself twice.

In contrast, he narrowly avoided paralyzing The Undertaker only once.

Far be it from me to criticize two professional athletes when I literally couldn’t work a match in my dreams (Fly, yes. Take a bump, no), but you’d think WWE would have caught on that putting two (or four) men over 50 in the ring to do all their old, dangerous spots was less than prudent.

Goldberg himself thought the match was so bad, he deigned to wrestle on American soil, squashing Dolph Ziggler in a thrown-together match at that year’s Summerslam just to wash the taste of Super ShowDown out of his mouth.

Will Ziggler get his revenge at Super ShowDown 2027? Only time will tell.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
22 Responses to "Induction: Undertaker vs. Goldberg – Taker’s most dangerous match since Hell in a Cell"
  1. Erich says:

    That match was doomed the moment Goldberg concussed himself backstage. It never had a chance to be anything but a trainwreck, because his bell was good and rung before we ever saw him on camera.

    • Guest says:

      Which is interesting because Goldberg did something similar on Raw with pretty much the same results minus him wrestling afterwards.

  2. John C says:

    That was nerve wracking as heck watching that live and hoping it would end before something really bad happened. It could have been a watchable decent five minute match but stretching Goldberg longer than that in his prime was usually never great.

  3. Guy Incognito says:

    Best part?
    Goldberg will be on SD tonight to set up another match for Super Showdown in a couple of weeks.

  4. CF says:

    I imagine taker had Words with people after this match — Long Words, with Pointy Epithets.

    • Guest says:

      Don’t know why considering this is the same Undertaker whose last few Wrestlemania matches have been terrible in part because of him needing to be carried.

      • CP says:

        When the hell will Goldberg ever learn to stop smashing his head into a door before coming out? It never ends well!

        Maybe he just scrambles his brain and forgets immediately that he did it so he never has the chance to learn

      • dennett316 says:

        There’s a difference between needing to be carried and doing shit backstage that compromises your ability to protect the other guy in the match. Goldberg knocked himself a bit loopy, leading to fucking his head up on the ring post, then almost killing Undertaker with botched moves. Should Taker have refused to go up for them? Maybe, maybe he asked Goldy if he was OK and was told yes, you’d think a guy like Taker would be experienced enough to communicate. Maybe the money being paid influenced them to try to gut it out, who knows? Long story short is, the situations aren’t really comparable.

  5. NextChamp says:

    Best part?

    Fiend vs Goldberg in a few weeks as of this posting. In Saudi.

    GET THE GOOKER AWARD FOR 2020 READY!

    • Thomas Moffatt says:

      It could have been a lot worse – Goldberg vs Boring Corbin.

      • Chris V says:

        Hopefully, Goldberg hits a spear immediately. Wyatt no-sells it. Immediately hits Sister Abigail and locks in the mandible claw. Match is over.

        Next week on RAW, Goldberg puts on a five-star technical master class in the main event.
        King Jerry Lawler tells everyone, “They say that wrestling the Fiend changes you!”.

        • Caveman says:

          I’m sure Goldberg will Squash the Fiend (and possibly cause injury to both in the process), win the title and defend it against someone like Reigns, Corbin, Sheamus or possibly Bryan (if they are indeed turning him heel again as they hinted at Smackdown) at Wrestlemania.

          • Thomas Moffatt says:

            I think the Fiend will beat him and Cole will squeal questioning whether anyone out there can beat the Fiend. He’ll knock someone off at the Elimination Chamber and Reigns will become number one contender at the same event. The Fiend is being built up for someone to defeat the unbeatable and I can only see Vince letting that be Reigns.

            I reckon Corbin will be facing Triple H. Corbin will be on a mass whinge after the steel cage (hopefully finale) match of the feud with Reigns. He’ll lose – not that I am bothered about the result as it has snooze fest written all over it. Anyway , Corbin’s whinging will tick off the McMahon’s, notably Hunter. The whole ‘king’ thing will be thrown about complete with Kurt Angle’s last ever match. Corbin will threaten to make it Triple H’s last ever match meaning for about the 300th time Triple H’s career will be on the line. Triple H will win a 25+ mins snooze fest with Corey Graves on commentary pleading for Triple H to let it go.

            The belt will end up on Corbin sometime during 2020 but only so his title run can drag on until everyone is sick to death of him and Reigns can knock him off and save anybody.

            Then again, this could be my own anti-Roman bias and belief of Corbin is Boring showing through…

      • John C says:

        Unfortunately though that gives us the 1,786,321st Roman-Corbin matchup. One of the most tedious un compelling feuds of all time. Dog food, it has been about dog food, not even about people food for f’s sake.

    • Guy Incognito says:

      Wow, what an original post.

  6. Thomas Moffatt says:

    Someone get Chris V a drink PMSL

  7. rey henry says:

    what did anyone expect? both men were 50+ years old. hadnt wrestled in months/years. they were performing in the mid east in JUNE!!!

  8. Jon Milne says:

    Yeah, really early in the year, I confidently thought that nothing would stop this from being the Gooker winner, though WWE always manages to find an even deeper low to sink to. What’s worse is that Taker vs Sting is now being heavily rumoured too, which seems every bit as ill-advised as this match was.

    Since 2019 Gooker nominees are now being done, do WWE 2K20 next!

  9. Mitch says:

    That wasn’t the first time Goldberg KO’d himself doing the running shoulder first into the ring post spot. He KO’d himself against Kronik and Jarrett in a 6 man in WCW. Oct 25, 2000 should you want to see it on youtube.

  10. Joe Levinsky says:

    Saudi Blood Money at work!

  11. Todd The Bod says:

    And yet Goldberg squashed the Fiend to become Universal Champion a couple of weeks ago. SMH. Thank you, Vince, you truly have lost your mind.

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