Originally described as a hybrid between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Ken Shamrock, Goldberg gained a fanbase for having the shortest matches on WCW Monday Nitro each week. His first victory was on September 22, 1997, defeating Hugh Morris. Goldberg beat Raven for the WCW United States title in April 1998, a championship he held abdicated upon winning the WCW championship. Goldberg defeated top stars like Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, and Diamond Dallas Page, before losing the title to Kevin Nash at Starrcade.
Without the undefeated streak pushing his career, Goldberg's inexperience became more visible and more problematic. He kept falling further down the card, although he rarely lost matches, and when the WWF purchased WCW, Vince McMahon did not bring him in for a couple years, after exhausting the popularity of Scott Steiner and the New World Order. Goldberg signed to WWE for a 12-month contract in 2003 through WrestleMania XX. He beat Chris Jericho, The Rock, Triple H, and other top stars before having an infamous match with Brock Lesnar at WM20, where (knowing both men were leaving the WWF afterwards) the Madison Square Garden crowd tormented them with chants of "THIS MATCH SUCKS!"