Former WCW and WWE superstar Bill Goldberg showed he still had it by hitting his signature spear after throwing the first pitch at the Miami Marlins baseball game on Saturday, Aug. 24.
The dominant performer brought his family to Marlins Park to witness the moment, part of “Legends of Wrestling Night,” as former and current wrestlers signed autographs and participated in a post-game wrestling show, following the Marlins victory over the Colorado Rockies.
“Being here in Miami it’s like a second home,” Goldberg said. “My mom still lives here, and my dad used to lived here. My brother’s business is here. I’ve been coming down to Miami my entire life. It’s an honor.”
Goldberg said it was the first time he used the spear since he battled Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 20 almost 10 years ago. That his last match in a WWE ring. Rumors have surfaced of a Goldberg return to the company for possibly one more match. Goldberg sets the record straight.
“I don’t know where that rumor came from,” Goldberg said. “Have I spoken to them at times? Absolutely. Is my DVD coming out? Yes. Am I going to WWE to be at WrestleMania? No, but there is eight months until WrestleMania. So, at this moment, I can tell you I’m not planning to be there by any stretch of the imagination, but you never know. Things could change.”
Many fans have been dreaming up a match against Ryback, if the opportunity did arise. The imposing superstar has been compared to Goldberg with his style and look since his first appearance on WWE TV. So much, in fact, that “Goldberg” chants have filled arenas during Ryback matches.
“If the offer is to go to WrestleMania and to wrestle him and put him over, at the end of the day, me in the ring with Ryback wouldn’t be my ultimate opponent of my choosing,” Goldberg said.
“I’d like to wrestle Undertaker with the streak versus streak. You know I’ve never gotten in the ring with him. Let’s give the people something they’ve never seen before. I think after everybody sees what I did out there, I can still do everything I used to do, even at 46-years-old. I’d love to wrestle him. Obviously, [Steve] Austin is a dream match, but the reality is I just want to give the people what they want to see.”
When it comes to the members of the WWE Universe saying his name when Ryback wrestles, he feels bad for Ryback and can relate.
“I don’t think it was his idea to change his gimmick up,” Goldberg said. “He is just taking direction. It gets annoying. It surely got annoying when people called me Steve Austin, but at the end of the day, I took it as a compliment. If I was Ryback or whatever his name is, and I’m not going to be sitting here on my high-horse, but hey man, you have to look in the mirror and thank God that they are comparing him to me.
“I got more talent in one finger than that punk has in his entire body. I have at 46-years-old more presence than he could have in his entire life. The only reason I’m adamantly antagonized is because he has opened his mouth a couple of times as of late. I guess he was over in Europe and said he took a big Goldberg or something. Ask Triple H. I don’t like people talking about me when I’m not in the business. Ryback, if I see you around, you better hold on tight. That’s all I got to say. This ain’t the WWE. This is called life.”
Even though Goldberg hasn’t stepped in the squared (wrestling) circle for some time, the grappler remains in great shape.
“I co-own a Muay Thai gym and train three days a week,” Goldberg said. “[My] boy trains three days a week. I’ve had a torn bicep from hitting a guy with a left hook. I’m in pretty good physical condition right now.”
Another instance where Goldberg’s name appeared was during TNA Impact Wrestling’s video teasers for “August 1 Warning.” This led to the reemergence of mixed martial arts fighter Tito Ortiz, instead of the former Atlanta Falcons football player.
“I knew Tito was the guy behind this ‘August 1’ guy,” Goldberg said. “Everyone thought it was me. Why does everyone always think it’s me? I greatly appreciate that and wish nothing more than to give them what they want. The reality is I don’t make those decisions.”
Even though the driven performer, father and businessman is busy with car shows, charity work and entertainment-related projects, he maintains a “never say never” attitude when it comes to donning the black tights again.
“I would love to in some capacity,” Goldberg said. “That’s why I do stuff like the [Marlins] game because I’m not wrestling. I haven’t wrestled in a long time, but this gives me the opportunity to get out to wrestling fans and say thank you for supporting me and for remembering me for God’s sake.
“Out of sight and out of mind, and to have people chanting my name in different organizations at once, like when they had that other guy last summer with the winning streak chanting my name. Then Ryback comes out, and they are chanting my name. I can’t remember any time in the history of the world where that has happened. For me, it’s a huge honor. You can look as deep as you want as to why people are chanting the name. I don’t want to do that. The reality is I’m very flattered, period.”
Fans can play as Goldberg in the “30 Years of WrestleMania” mode of WWE 2K14, released on Oct. 28. His motivation for being in the videogame is for his seven-year-old son.
“Thank God for the Internet, so he can go to YouTube and see what I used to do,” Goldberg said. “I would love more than anything in the world to have him sit live as I do what I can still do. Obviously, I’m a little older and skinnier than I was back then, but jump in the gym a couple of months, and I’m ready to go. The videogame for me is a way for him to be proud of who his dad is because he can go to a store, and I can purchase a videogame for him. It’s current, and his daddy’s on it.
“So as a father, no matter how much animosity I have with the WWE and most of the people up there, I have a responsibility to be a good dad. Grudges shouldn’t last forever, and if a grudge stands in the way for me providing for my son, that’s pretty silly.”
Goldberg doesn’t watch the product today, aside from checking what he was hearing about the fans chanting his name during Ryback matches. However, he does know his WrestleMania rival Brock Lesnar has returned to WWE. Goldberg isn’t surprised at the former UFC champion’s decision to return.
“If you’re a smart businessman, which I like to think I am, you leave opportunities open,” Goldberg said. “Why wouldn’t he come back and capitalize on what he did in the UFC and get a 23-day deal for a year. That’s ridiculous. I mean why wouldn’t you do that? I’ve consider something like that for sure. I wasn’t surprised at all. He is a smart businessman handled by smart people. One of my goals in getting into wrestling was wrestling in Japan. To set my career up to where I was viable.
“I fortunately did that. That was a dream of mine wrestling wise because they don’t cry if you hit them in Japan. I followed [Hulk] Hogan because I watched his progression and what he did. He was one of the first guys over there. When he did, he got a heck of a payday. It was a wonderful thing. He was able to reach a new audience.”
Goldberg takes his character and the impact on the audience very seriously. He wants to set a positive example for his fans, especially kids.
“That is why it was hard for me to turn bad guy that one night because I like to be someone the kids can look up to,” Goldberg said. “The reality is it is a fictional business, and sometimes that isn’t the case. Sometimes businesswise it’s not the smartest thing to do. That’s why some people didn’t like me and the way I treated my character. The night I turned bad they had me go against Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who came back from cancer and I had a Make-A-Wish kid in the back. She had no clue as to what we were doing.
“Therefore she took it to heart and was balling when I got back to the room. The next day I told them I was going back. Is that a good business thing? No, but sometimes there are other things more important than business. So if I ever leave a legacy and when I’m gone, you think about the difference he left in wrestling.
“They talk about John Cena and all the Make-A-Wish’s he has done. That’s what I want them to remember me because I made a difference with the kids because the kids are our future. There is nothing more important than putting a smile on a kid’s face.”
• YouTube video group style interview with Bill Goldberg during the Legends of Wrestling at Marlins Park.
YouTube Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)
(Part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTX-x6V27PE
(Part 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzTv59e-Fk8
(Part 3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEzYoR2t4GA
Bill Goldberg ceremonial first pitch to Miami Marlins Tom Koehler and spear on a heckling (planted) fan at Marlins Park.
• Upcoming will be more with Goldberg and the Legends of Wrestling event at Marlins Park.
• Follow Goldberg on Twitter @Goldberg.
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