Triple H vs. Goldberg for the World Heavyweight Championship
In one of the most highly anticipated collisions in all of sports-entertainment, Goldberg met Triple H at Unforgiven 2003 with not just both men’s pride at stake, but also the The Game’s World Heavyweight Championship.
Prior to this confrontation, Triple H had defended his gold against the likes of Kane, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash and Rob Van Dam, and as he entered Unforgiven, The Game was in the ninth month of his championship reign.
Goldberg was on the top of his game heading into Unforgiven, with a victory over former WWE Champion The Rock and an impressive performance in an Elimination Chamber Match the month before. In the Elimination Chamber at SummerSlam, Goldberg eliminated top WWE Superstars Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels and Evolution’s own Randy Orton. The last two men in the Chamber, Triple H and Goldberg battled for the gold and The Cerebral Assassin emerged victorious with some help from his sledgehammer.
Having defeated Goldberg, Triple H disdainfully claimed that Goldberg’s fame was all hype and requested the stipulation that if Goldberg did not win, his career in sports-entertainment would be over. As an additional stipulation, if Triple H was to get disqualified or counted out, he would lose the World Heavyweight Championship.
With so much at stake, the champion came to the ring at Unforgiven without any of his Evolution associates and prepared for one of his greatest challenges. In front of the Hershey, Penn. crowd that chanted “Goldberg,” Triple H and his challenger met in the middle of the ring and the two stared eye-to-eye while the referee raised the championship high to once again indicate what was at stake that night.
The competitors locked up and exchanged a series of blows that culminated in a press slam to Triple H, who retreated to the outside to recover. Moments later, Goldberg once again demonstrated his raw power by blocking a suplex from The Game and reversing a front facelock into a swinging neckbreaker. The assault on the champion continued as Goldberg tossed him high in the air with a back body drop that again caused The Game to head to the outside.
The Cerebral Assassin then turned the match around by reaching up and dropping Goldberg’s neck over the top rope. And though Goldberg fired back with a torrent clotheslines and an underhook suplex, as he attempted to blast the champion with the feared spear, Triple H charged at Goldberg to land a high running knee to his skull.
The battle continued on the outside of the ring where The Game slung the challenger into the steel ringpost in an attempt to get him counted out. Goldberg made it back into the ring, only for Triple H to persist in the offensive, dragging Goldberg to the corner and wrapping his leg around the ringpost multiple times. The Cerebral Assassin continued to exploit the injured leg with a running chop block to the knee of his opponent; he then applied the signature hold of his mentor, Ric Flair: the Figure Four Leg Lock.
Using his strength and exhibiting uncanny resilience, Goldberg reversed the Figure Four only for Triple H to drop several elbows and a running knee on the challenger. The champion went for a second knee, but Goldberg blocked the move by grabbing Triple H’s leg and rising with the leg still in his clutches to sharply kick The Game down. Now, Goldberg would regain the advantage with a number of powerful clotheslines and high impact slams; he even tossed Triple H to the outside where Goldberg threw his opponent into the steps causing the champion to bleed.
Back in the ring, the challenger attempted to close the deal with a huge powerslam, but Triple H reversed and pushed Goldberg into the referee, taking him out. The Game then hit a low blow and dropped Goldberg with a DDT, allowing him to prepare for the Pedigree. In position for what could’ve been the final blow, Goldberg mustered enough strength to backdrop Triple H over the top rope and to the outside.
Frustrated, The Game sought the assistance of his trusty sledgehammer from under the ring – the same sledgehammer that he used to bust Goldberg open at SummerSlam. Unaware of his opponent’s weapon, Goldberg leaned over the ropes to reach for Triple H and was bashed in the jaw with the blunt end of the sledgehammer. Still wishing to inflict further damage, Triple H entered the ring with weapon in hand and prepared to level Goldberg for the second time. Just then, Goldberg exploded out of the corner and dropped the champion with a colossal spear, causing Triple H to drop the sledgehammer. To seal his destiny, Goldberg synched The Cerebral Assassin and drove him to the mat with a Jackhammer for the win and the World Heavyweight Championship.