In less than a decade, Bill Goldberg cemented himself among the biggest names to breakout in the 1990s and in pro wrestling history.
The former WCW and WWE superstar managed to strike while the iron was hot in the business, making an immediate and lasting impact on the audience.
So much, in fact, his name has popped up on more than one occasion as a possible inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame over the years. With the company releasing a Goldberg ultimate collection DVD and his inclusion in the upcoming WWE 2K14 video game, could now be the time?
“To me does it mean I’ve accomplished greater things in wrestling [if inducted]? Absolutely not,” Goldberg said. “Is it something before I die I have to strike off my bucket list? Absolutely not. If it was offered to me, I’d seriously consider it. Is it something I’m longing for and that my life isn’t complete unless I’m in the WWE Hall of Fame? No.
“I love Pete Rose to death, but Pete Rose is in the Hall of Fame. He didn’t put asses in seats like I did. Maybe on the baseball field, sure.”
On the chances of trying his hand at mixed martial arts and joining others from pro wrestling who transitioned, Goldberg believes that ship of opportunity has sailed. Although he has been an MMA color commentator and big supporter of the sport.
“They’re doing it for business,” Goldberg said. “They are doing it purely for business, and it’s absolutely brilliant. I’m old comparatively. I used to own the largest MMA gym in the United States back in the late 1990s when [Randy] Couture, [Don] Frye and [Mark] Coleman were coming to my gym before it was even cool. Where do you think the [Goldberg] character came from? I went to the first UFCs.
“I knew it was going to be big. I patterned my character after a 295-pound defensive lineman who knew Russian Sambo and savate kicks and stuff like that. I thought it was cool. So my opportunity to get in it was way back then.”
Goldberg had an MMA influence, from submission moves to the gloves, which he said he wore to create a more “realistic” look. He enjoyed rivalries and matches involving those who didn’t mind getting physical.
“My feud with Scott Steiner was electrifying,” Goldberg said. “I was so excited every time we got in the ring. I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, but it was a stiff working match. I like that. It means you’re alive. It means you’re there. It means that it doesn’t look like it’s staged or predetermined. What you want to do is put a sense and question in everybody’s head…That was my goal is to make people wonder.”
The Big Show, who worked in WCW as the Giant, was another opponent the dominating performer reflects on fondly.
“We went all around the country,” said Goldberg, a former defensive lineman for the University of Georgia and the Atlanta Falcons. “A lot of times we did dark matches where he would smoke a cigarette and come in the ring. The referee would come up and reprimand him, and he picked the referee up with one hand. I’d come running from the back, and they played my music. I’d spear him and jackhammer him. It was the main event all around the country, and the people went nuts.