Bill Goldberg is a man’s man, whether it’s working out in the gym or in the forest.
Unfortunately, he recently injured his left knee being a man. Thus, his concerned mom, Ethel, who lives in Miami, made sure to check on her son’s status.
“She just called worried sick because of my chainsaw accident,” Goldberg said.
Not via Chainsaw Charlie Terry Funk.
Never miss a local story.
“Nor was it Hacksaw Jim Duggan,” Goldberg added.
So how are you doing and what happened?
“I’m doing great,” he said. “At the end of the day, I killed the chainsaw.”
He continued: “I’m an active participation guy. No matter how much money you make, no matter how famous you are, you’re not above going outside and cutting trees. I do it all the time. I remember during the [filming of] ‘The Longest Yard,’ I had a bunch of axes, clearing some of my property.”
“A tree had fallen, and at the instruction of my wife, I wanted to get it cleaned up, and low and behold, after an hour and a half of cutting the damn thing up, I kind of slipped with the chainsaw, and it landed on my knee.”
That didn’t stop Goldberg.
“After I took a shower and had a nice little sip of tequila [chuckle], I drove myself to the hospital and got it stitched up. It’s all good.”
This isn’t his first rodeo, dealing with injuries.
“I’ve been notoriously lucky throughout my career,” he said, “whether I put my arm though a limousine window and got 199 stitches and came within a centimeter from cutting of a major nerve or coming a quarter of an inch from cutting stuff in my knee, I’m just going to come out of this with a scar.”
Because of the accident, he missed the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Europe.
“I was supposed to be driving in that,” he said, “but I think everything happens for a reason. Maybe I was gonna crash or something like that. I already got the invite for next year, and I will hold them to it. I’m already getting antsy about going. So it’s all good.”
Goldberg, 49, reiterated: “I’m a believer in karma, and I’m also a believer that things happen for a reason.”
Things led to a movie career for the diverse athlete/entertainer, and he is currently promoting two more movie projects.
When you hear the name Goldberg, you need not ask the forename, because you already know who is being discussed.
Goldberg’s surname has been synonymous with success and presence since his breakout run in professional wrestling including an impressive undefeated record.
Now besides being a new face for the WWE 2K17 video game, Goldberg is breaking new ground in his career as an unmistakable action star, most recently playing the part of veteran special forces soldier T.J. Bauer in the completed film “Check Point.”
“It’s a very delicate subject matter,” he said. “The story behind ‘Check Point’ is what drew me in. The script had a couple of twists that I really did not see coming...To get out there and raise people’s awareness, I think there’s a big responsibility in that.”
“Check Point” is an action film which focuses on the rising extremist/terrorist attacks affecting the United States today, which are steadily rising in number and viciousness. “Check Point” tells the story of average Americans including a homeless man, a cook, a teacher and a parcel post delivery man who are thrust into a realization that they can trust no one when they are the only ones.
“Let’s be perfectly honest. The subject matter is right at the forefront of everyone’s conversations these days, as well it should be,” Goldberg said. “The protection of people who live on our soil and every soil around the world is No.1 priority. Even if I wasn’t a father, even if I wasn’t a husband, I’d feel the same exact way. Because I do have a responsibility to protect my family, there is a little added incentive there.”
The movie -- via production companies Chasing Butterflies, Church Hill Productions, Apothecary Entertainment, Samera Entertainment -- also stars Kenny Johnson, Michelle Lee, Tyler Mane, Mindy Robinson, William Forsythe and Fred Williamson.
“Check Point” adds to Goldberg’s growing resume of action movies.
“I love it. It’s an adrenalin rush,” he said. “Any time I can portray somebody who is a military veteran, there is a responsibility with that in itself. It’s an honor for me to be that guy. So I want to play that guy to the best of my ability -- whether it be holding a gun properly or advancing upon an enemy properly or verbiage or whatever it may be. I want to be authentic in any portrayal that I do.”
“At the end of the day, it is a movie,” he said. “It is like professional wrestling is compared to real life, but in our portrayal, you have to be as responsible as possible. Our motive behind it is nothing more than entertaining and awareness -- understanding that what people see on television that happens 3,000 miles away from here can just as easily happen right next door.
“The woman who was the neighbors of the San Bernardino shooters that failed to come forward because she did not want to be cast as a ‘racist’ and that she didn’t want to racially profile her neighbors...she thought something was going on for a long period of time, yet she didn’t come forward...Ultimately a lot of people’s lives were lost. I truly believe that we live in a society where that should not be the case.
“If whatever we do changes one person’s opinion, gets one person’s readiness better than it was before, or at the end of the day entertains people, than we’ve done our job.
“We have a social responsibility, but we’re entertaining people, too. There’s nothing lightly to be taken about this subject whatsoever...It is a fictitious story, but it does have elements of realism with what’s going on right now.”
Goldberg is already involved in another action movie, “Bauer,” based on his TJ Bauer character in “Check Point.”
“It deals with terrorism [like ‘Check Point’], but as far as it being a continuation movie, it is not,” he noted. “It’s a new project living on its own. The first five to 10 minutes of ‘Bauer’ you see a war compilation between characters Roy and myself, but that’s the only carry over. The story embarks on an entirely new venture.
Speaking of new ventures, Goldberg is also the co-executive producer of “Bauer” from Chasing Butterflies Pictures and Samera Entertainment in association with Spectrum of NOLA. He is producing the film alongside A.J. Perez and Matt Kutcher. Richard Gabai directs, with Kutcher handling second unit direction, SFX and stunt coordinating. Sharry Flaherty has joined as consulting producer.
“I’ve got the biggest, baddest, meanest SOBs on the planet who are going to be in this movie,” he said, “and I can not wait for it to be on the big screen.”
Is becoming an executive producer a new challenge?
“It is, and it isn’t,” he said. “I’ve always been this guy in the shadows, whether it’s giving opinions or advising someone as to who would be good to fit a role or trying to figure out the importance of a scene compared to another scene or actually what the verbiage is of that character in the scene. All those things are things I’ve always had ideas about; I’ve always had advice about; I’ve always had my two cents that I wanted to give. But I don’t want to ever over-step my bounds as an actor. It’s not position. As a professional wrestler, it’s not my position to be the booker, to formulate a match, unless you’re asked to do that.
“Now I’ve been asked to do other responsibilities, and I believe that I will take that role wholeheartedly and give 110-percent and do it to the best of my ability. I think I am a person who can get that done, and I believe that my ideas and ways that I can formulate my character and others pertaining to this action film can be a huge asset...I’m grateful that they think so.”
2K also thinks highly of him, and Goldberg is an integral part of the WWE 2K17 video game.
“For the past 10 years, 2K has been trying to shove me down WWE’s throat, and they finally ok’d it,” he said. “I truly believe that the big push from my side has been because I have a 10-year-old son [Gage] who may move me up in the notches of the important people in his life, because he can see his daddy on a current commercial -- as a quote, unquote mythical character.
“For that and that alone is why I did WWE 2K17. Is it s precursor to me doing something else with WWE in the future? That’s not for me to say. I can’t speak for them, but as far as I’m concerned, this wasn’t my way to weasel into another match. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t happen, so be it.
“I still go down to South Beach. See mom. Hang out at Joe’s [Stone Crabs] and do the [Legends of Wrestling] event at the Miccosukee Tribe. At the end of the day, life goes on. It’s truly no more than an involvement with a video game for me.”
If playing WWE 2K17, Goldberg can now select his favorite wrestler, Goldberg. Prior, he would probably select wildman Bruiser Brody.
Two good choices.
5 More Minutes
Goldberg co-owns and operates the Extreme Power Gym, a Muay Thai and amateur boxing training facility in Oceanside, Calif.
He has also done color commentary for high-profile MMA events. He will be watching the historic UFC 200 which features the return of his WrestleMania 20 opponent, the 38-year-old Brock Lesnar, to the octagon against the 42-year-old Mark Hunt.
“Being very objective, you have to look at the their record; you have to look at their tenure in the business; you have to look at the fact that Mark Hunt could knock out an elephant with his right or left hand. But Brock Lesnar could probably double leg an elephant.
“They both have their advantages. No question about it, Brock’s advantage is on the ground; Hunt’s advantage is on his feet. It’s a war of wills. I think it’s a great matchup for UFC 200. It’s a great way to publicize it.
“If you look at the UFC business model, they’ve always professed that they put the best fighters out there, and I’m not saying this because we’re talking about Brock. I’m saying this as an example. The best fighters out there on the planet are the ones they want to put in front of the cameras for people to see. If you look at what [Scott] Coker does at Bellator, they’ve been getting some unbelievable ratings, but those rating aren’t for the guys who have the best records.”
Formerly the CEO and founder of Strikeforce MMA, Coker is the current president of Bellator MMA.
Goldberg continued: “So we’re seeing Dana White pull a little Vince McMahon, pull a little swerve, untraditional programming for himself, realizing that Brock Lesnar is the biggest draw in [MMA] pay-per-view history I would imagine. So I think it’s a very smart business move. I think it’s great for [UFC] and WWE. I think it’s a cool cross-promotion that people never saw coming.
“Ultimately, for my buddy Brock, I hope for the best. I want him to win. I’m friends with Hunt also...Brock is an extremely wise businessman, and I envy him in that he was able to do the exact ascension, career-wise, that I planned. It’s just that mine was timed differently in that I was a little older, when I got into the wrestling business, and MMA wasn’t drawing flies for money at the time, when I was at my peak.
“So I can sit back and watch him do what I wanted to do, if I was younger and revel in the fact that the guy made some great business decisions, and he’s a good friend of mine. Big pat on the back to him, and I hope nothing but success for him.”
Goldberg, 49, concluded: “For anyone out there who’s ever enjoyed anything that I have done, I greatly appreciate it.”
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