Of the various things that made World Championship Wrestling a success in the Monday Night Wars, one of the unexpected aspects was the phenomenon that was Bill Goldberg, a former pro football player turned WCW Power Plant project. He had a great presence, racked up a record-breaking winning streak, and popularized the Spear as a finisher.

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After WCW folded, Goldberg found himself in WWE, where he spent 2003-2004 wrecking dudes on Raw and having big PPV matches against the stars, before disappearing for more than a decade and putting on more marquee matches, winning a couple of top titles in the process. But still, the question remains: which promotion had the better Goldberg?

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10WCW: Homegrown Talent

This has already been alluded to, but Goldberg was a rare thing in WCW, a promotion where ex-WWE egomaniacs largely ruled the roost: he was a successful homegrown star. Fans got into Goldberg because he had a unique presentation and absolutely wrecked dudes in the ring, not because he was a guy that fans had heard of before. The fact that his landmark World Heavyweight Championship victory over Hulk Hogan in July of 1998 was a clean win — over Hogan! — is a sign that WCW was all-in on Goldberg.

9WWE: Came In A Star

Goldberg’s two runs with WWE have had their share of criticisms, but it’s undeniable that Goldberg was a huge star when he entered the company in 2003. That means Goldberg was able to get straight to the good stuff with the big main event matches and the like. In WCW, fans had to watch Goldberg work his way to the top through various jobbers before working against worthy opponents. The high profile of Goldberg alone makes his time in WWE more attractive to many fans.

8WCW: The Streak

WWE had a fully formed Goldberg on their hands, but WCW’s version of Goldberg had the original Streak. It was a legitimate phenomenon, happening organically as Goldberg slowly amassed wins and suddenly had this huge body of victories behind him, and “Who’s Next?” became the catchphrase.

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That, in turn, caused fans to wonder just who would be able to finally beat Goldberg. WCW may have ruined the payoff with its typical love for convoluted, nWo-based swerves, but the whole undefeated streak was great while it lasted.

7WWE: Dream Matches Galore

As soon as Goldberg arrived in WWE, it opened up the potential for so many dream matches against WWE’s top stars, which a couple of years ago fans would have thought impossible as he was very much a WCW guy. In his time with WWE, Goldberg got to take on The Rock, a more popular version of Chris Jericho, Triple H, Kane, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, and even Shawn Michaels. It sadly didn’t happen at WrestleMania 36, but there’s still a good chance that Goldberg will have a Spear vs. Spear match with Roman Reigns.

6WCW: More Matches

Fans’ mileage may vary when it comes to this, but many of Goldberg’s marquee matches were huge stinkers, like his bouts against The Fiend, Undertaker, and especially his infamous WrestleMania XX effort against Brock Lesnar. For many fans, Goldberg was at his best when he was obliterating jobbers weekly on television. Those Nitro squashes were truly special, because not only did they make Goldberg look like a million bucks, but you’d occasionally get a memorable moment like that time where William Regal just made him look like a total goober.

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5WWE: Did Not Have To Compete With Hogan

Much criticism can be made of WWE’s booking at any point in the promotion’s history, but at least they saw the importance of Goldberg as a star — even if there were missteps during his 2003-2004 heyday. At the time, WWE — unlike WCW — was not necessarily a place where the stars of yesteryear like Hulk Hogan were still holding on for relevance with excessive political power, so Goldberg got to be the dominant dude he was meant to be without falling victim to some guy’s refusal to lay down.

4WCW: In His Prime

Goldberg developed his reputation in WCW, and therefore that was the best time to watch him in wrestling history. Not only did he take wrestling fans by surprise because he wasn’t a previously established talent, but by that same token, there were no expectations for who he was and what he could do. Contrast that with his time with WWE.

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During his first run with WWE, the bloom was already off the rose, as it happened a couple of years after the WCW Invasion storyline disappointed fans. Then his second run in the late 2010s had Goldberg as the aging egomaniac who “needed” to win at the expense of younger talent.

3WWE: The Greatest Goldberg Squash Of All Time

WCW had the most Goldberg squashes, but WWE had the best Goldberg squash. In 2003, Rodney Mack was doing a thing called the White Boy Open Challenge, where he’d squash random dudes every week. These kinds of angles always end in a punchline where someone important shows up and trounces the heel, so one night Goldberg’s music hits. Mack does the wisest thing a wrestler has ever done and tries to jump Goldberg through the pyro during his interminable entrance. It was awesome.

2WCW: Won More Titles

For some fans, a wrestler’s worth is measured in championship wins, and Goldberg certainly won more titles in WCW than he did in WWE. During his time in the promotion “where the big boys play,” not only did he win won the World Title, but Goldberg also captured the US Title a couple of times as well as a random WCW World Tag Team Championship run with Bret Hart. In WWE, Goldberg won the World Heavyweight Title once during his first run and the Universal Championship a couple of times during his second stint.

1WWE: Beat Triple H

“The King of Kings” Triple H may have reinvented himself as the benevolent dad of NXT who hires every cool wrestler on the indies, but from about 2002 to 2005, Trips was in the throes of a massive reign of terror on Raw, seemingly refusing to put over anyone whose initials weren’t the letter H three times. However, not even Triple H could effectively bury Goldberg, who managed to score a clean win over The Game in their first singles bout at Unforgiven in 2003. That’s greater than any championship you could win in the Ruthless Aggression Era.

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Goldberg WWE News Top 10 career moments photos and video online