This day in Pro Wrestling history: December 19th
A legendary tag team win the titles for the fifth time, a classic rivalry begins and a legend suffers an injury that would end his career.
December 19 would see a great career beginning its end as Bret Hart would suffer a concussion off a mule kick by Bill Goldberg at Starrcade 1999. The injury would force Hart out of wrestling within a year.
Also, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn began the first phase of their epic rivalry, at Ring of Honour. Also, Edge and Christian continued to pile up tag team championship titles, capturing their fifth in a SmackDown taping from the formidable duo of The Undertaker and The Rock.
#1 The kick that ended Bret Hart’s career – December 19th, 1999
By the time WCW’s premier annual event Starrcade came about in 1999, the company had lost its momentum in the Monday Night Wars.
The acquisition of former WWE Champion Bret Hart two years ago was supposed to deliver a knockout blow to the WWE, but Hart wasn’t used properly in a packed roster dominated by stars like Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall.
Starrcade ‘99 had Bret Hart coming in as the WCW Champion and he would defend his title against Bill Goldberg. Despite Goldberg being the only home-grown main eventer in the company, the super popular ‘Myth’ had won only a single WCW World Championship during his time there.
The event seemed to be the perfect opportunity for Hart to drop the title to the younger Goldberg – but that wasn’t what happened.
Eager to finish the main event on a headline-spinning finish, WCW decided to re-enact the Montreal Screwjob and guest referee Roddy Piper called for the bell while Hart had Goldberg in the sharpshooter, despite Goldberg not tapping out.
To make matters worse, a mule kick delivered by Goldberg to Hart during the match would result in Hart suffering a concussion which would force him to retire less than a year later.
The title was vacated the next day owing to the controversial finish, making the title match at WCW’s premier event pointless. Hart would regain the title the same day in a rematch with some help from the Outsiders.
Hart, Jeff Jarrett and those perennial spotlight seekers - Nash & Hall would reform another short-lived version of the nWo.