Bill Goldberg’s Jackhammer is one of the most well-known finishers in the wrestling industry. Only a select few WWE Superstars have used the powerful move over the years, including Duane Gill.
Gill copied the WCW icon’s appearance and mannerisms when he began performing as Gillberg on WWE television in December 1998. A month later, he lost to Luna Vachon in an intergender match on January 11, 1999, episode of RAW.
On the Cheap Heat Productions Podcast, Gill revealed that then-WWE producer Pat Patterson initially disliked the idea of him using the Jackhammer as a finisher. However, he changed his mind after witnessing the enhancement talent’s impressive execution of the move against Vachon:
“I wanted to do the Jackhammer as the finish,” Gill said. “Get her up and then go [stumble], fall back, boom, one, two, three, she wins. But I did that, the crowd went nuts, but then I had to kick out because Pat wanted her to splash me. It kinda [went downhill] after that. But I tell you what, Pat admitted it to me in the locker room. He said, ‘Duane, I was wrong, you were right. That Jackhammer is your finish from now on.'” [From 30:29 – 30:54]
Gillberg’s record 445-day Light Heavyweight Championship reign had only recently started when he faced Vachon. The creative team purposely booked him against women and non-light heavyweights to ensure he could lose matches and remain champion.
Gillberg was originally supposed to face a different WWE Superstar
WWE’s higher-ups wanted Duane Gill to face Edge in his first RAW match as Gillberg. At the time, the Hall of Famer was an up-and-coming future star alongside his tag team partner Christian.
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While Gill had no problem taking on Edge, he thought Luna Vachon made more sense as his opponent:
“They wanted me to wrestle Edge first. I said, ‘If you’re making fun of the guy, give me Luna,’ and Luna’s going, ‘No, no, no, no, Duane, no, this is wrong, man,’ because you know back then guys didn’t wrestle girls. I said, ‘Luna, can I be honest with you?’ She said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Don’t tell anybody, but you could probably kick my a** for real.'” [From 29:14 – 29:36]
In the same interview, Gill also spoke about the possibility of competing in a first-time-ever match against Goldberg.
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