|Intro||American professional wrestler, film actor, american football player, and mixed martial arts commentator|
|A.K.A.||Goldberg, Bill Gold, William Goldberg, William Scott Goldberg, William...|
|Is||Actor Film actor American football player Wrestler Athlete Sports commentator Television presenter Football player Canadian football player Television actor Internet personality Podcaster|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Internet Journalism Sports|
|Birth||27 December 1966, Tulsa, USA|
William Scott Goldberg (born December 27, 1966) is an American professional wrestler, actor, former football player, and former mixed martial arts color commentator. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Goldberg and is the current WWE Universal Champion in his second reign. He is also best known for his time in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He has acted in various films and television shows, including Universal Soldier: The Return (1999) and NCIS: Los Angeles.
One of the most popular figures of the late 1990s/early 2000s professional wrestling boom, Goldberg rose to fame in WCW with a lengthy undefeated streak in singles competition from 1997 to 1998. During his time with the promotion, Goldberg became a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, two-time WCW United States Heavyweight Champion, and one-time WCW World Tag Team Champion with Bret Hart. Along with Hart, he is the fifth WCW Triple Crown winner.
Following WCW's closure in 2001, Goldberg wrestled for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) between 2002 and 2003, and for WWE between 2003 and 2004, becoming a one-time World Heavyweight Champion in the latter. After twelve years away from the company, he returned to WWE in 2016 and won the WWE Universal Championship for the first time in February 2017 and won it a second time in February 2020. Goldberg has headlined multiple pay-per-view events for WCW and WWE, including twice closing WCW's premier annual event, Starrcade. He is the only person to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, WWE's World Heavyweight Championship, and the WWE Universal Championship. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2018 the weekend of WrestleMania 34.
Before he was a professional wrestler, Goldberg was a professional football player. After first retiring from professional wrestling in 2004, he began working as a commentator for the mixed martial arts promotion EliteXC until its closure. He hosted 26 episodes of Garage Mahal on the DIY Network from 2009 to 2011.
Goldberg was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he had a bar mitzvah at Temple Israel and graduated from Tulsa Edison High School. He acquired a love for football early in life and was a bouncer at age 16. Goldberg's mother, Ethel, is a classical violinist, while his father, Jed, who attended Harvard University, was an obstetrician and gynecologist. They divorced, and Jed died in late 2006. Ethel also breeds flowers and created an award-winning hybrid orchid, which she named after Goldberg. His brother, Michael, is the owner of a music club in Aspen, Colorado.
Goldberg is proud of his Jewish heritage and refused to hide it in the wrestling world, including refusing to wrestle on Yom Kippur. His Romanian great-grandfather, Marcel, emigrated from Bucharest and came to the U.S. through Ellis Island. Another great-grandfather, Willie, was a Russian immigrant.
Goldberg earned a scholarship to play for the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team where he served as a defensive tackle. He was taken by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round, with the 301st overall selection, in the 1990 NFL draft.
He played for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1990 NFL season, followed by a stint with the CFL Sacramento Gold Miners and Atlanta Falcons from 1992 to 1994. After being cut from the Falcons, in 1995 he was selected by the new expansion team, the Carolina Panthers, in the 1995 NFL expansion draft, but never played a game with the team. He was the first player to have been cut by the Panthers.
Goldberg's NFL career ended when he "tore his lower abdomen off his pelvis". He had hopes of returning to the league after rehabilitation but, due to his lack of success, was not considered a major asset. Goldberg has described playing in the NFL as "a mixed emotional experience" because, despite reaching the goal of simply playing in the NFL, he did not obtain the level of achievement that he desired.
Professional wrestling career
World Championship Wrestling
Training and early matches (1996–1997)
During the rehab following his NFL injury, Goldberg began powerlifting and mixed martial arts training. He was spotted by Lex Luger and Sting who urged him to try professional wrestling. Although not a fan of professional wrestling, he saw it as an alternative to his fledgling football career and began training at the WCW Power Plant.
Working as Bill Gold, Goldberg made five appearances. The first was on a dark match at a Monday Nitro event on June 23, 1997 where he defeated Buddy Lee Parker. He also faced and defeated Buddy Landell (Saturday Night dark match), Hugh Morrus (house show), Chip Minton (Nitro dark match) and John Betcha (house show). His final pre-televised appearance was in a dark match on July 24 at a Saturday Night taping in a loss to Chad Fortune.
Undefeated streak (1997–1998)
On the September 22, 1997 episode of Nitro, Goldberg defeated Hugh Morrus in his debut match. Soon afterward, he began to score quick victories over his fellow WCW wrestlers in the range of 1–2 minutes. Goldberg's succession of wins saw him quickly advance up the card, and he was pushed as a singles wrestler. The newcomer captivated fans with his monstrous yet silent charisma, brute strength, and agility that saw him vault the ropes, perform high kicks and even the occasional backflip. Goldberg made his pay-per-view debut at Starrcade defeating Steve McMichael. In early 1998, Goldberg squashed Brad Armstrong at SuperBrawl VIII and pinned Perry Saturn at Spring Stampede. By mid-March, WCW stopped referring to him by his full name, shortening it to simply Goldberg. Around this time, WCW began counting Goldberg's consecutive wins on television as he continued to climb up the ranks. Goldberg's win over Saturn was his 74th consecutive without a loss, and the next night on Nitro he challenged Raven for the United States Heavyweight Championship that Raven had won the night before at Spring Stampede. Despite interference from Raven's Flock, Goldberg overpowered them all and defeated Raven to win his first professional wrestling championship. Two days later on the April 22 episode of Thunder, he made his first successful title defense against Mike Enos. Goldberg then started a feud with Raven and The Flock. At Slamboree, he ended his feud with The Flock after a successful title defense against Saturn. Goldberg continued to make successful title defenses against Konnan at The Great American Bash and Curt Hennig. By this time, he had adopted the catchphrase "Who's next?" in reference to his rapidly expanding winning streak.
As Goldberg was getting over as a main eventer, he continued to defend the United States Heavyweight Championship and was slowly becoming a contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship that was held by New World Order (nWo) leader Hollywood Hogan. Hogan eventually promised Goldberg a title match. The match was scheduled for the July 6, 1998 episode of Nitro held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta with over 40,000 in attendance, but Hogan insisted that Goldberg first had to defeat his nWo stablemate Scott Hall. Goldberg won and later in the evening was also able to defeat Hogan to become the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, in turn vacating his United States Heavyweight Championship. At Road Wild, Goldberg won a battle royal, consisting of nWo members. After Diamond Dallas Page became the number one contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, Goldberg and Page began a feud with each other. At Halloween Havoc, the feud was settled after Goldberg defeated Page to retain the title. According to Goldberg, his match against Page was the favorite match of his career. At Starrcade, Goldberg's undefeated streak ended at an official count of 173–0, and after 174 days as champion when he lost the title to Kevin Nash after Scott Hall, disguised as a ringside security guard, made a run-in and shocked Goldberg with a taser gun. Goldberg, however, got his revenge at Souled Out, when he defeated Hall in a ladder taser match. Goldberg won when he used the taser, which was hung high above the ring, requiring the ladder to obtain it.
Goldberg's win–loss record at WCW events from 1997 to 1998 differed from that which was perpetuated by the company, with the official figure exaggerating the number of matches in which he won to 173. Nick Schwartz of Fox Sports wrote: "No one really knows what Goldberg's actual record was... but it's generally accepted that 173–0 is an inflated number". Some of Goldberg's industry peers have stated that the figure was exaggerated. His then-WCW colleague Chris Jericho stated: "One week he'd be 42–0 and seven days later he'd be 58–0. Did stepping on bugs count?" Manager Jimmy Hart, who also worked with Goldberg in WCW, regarded the level of embellishment as "kind of funny", while professional wrestler The Miz said: "The number would just go on and on and on, to where it was like, 'Wait a second. How did he get this many wins in such a short time'?" This exaggeration damaged the streak's credibility among the WCW audience: upon noticing that the figure had been falsified, fans began to withdraw homemade signs trumpeting Goldberg's record.
Championship pursuits and final feuds (1999–2001)
At Spring Stampede, Goldberg gained his revenge against Nash by defeating him. Then at Slamboree the following month, Goldberg was "injured" in an attack by Rick and Scott Steiner and took some time off to prepare for his movie debut in the 1999 film Universal Soldier: The Return alongside Timecop film star Jean-Claude Van Damme. He returned two months later and defeated Rick Steiner at Road Wild. Goldberg then restarted his feud with DDP also involving Page's allies, The Jersey Triad, which culminated in a match at Fall Brawl that Goldberg won. After Goldberg settled his rivalry with Page, he began focusing on Sid Vicious and challenged him to a match to end Sid's winning streak. The two feuded with each other, which culminated in a match at Halloween Havoc for Sid's United States Heavyweight title. Goldberg defeated Sid via referee stoppage, and thus won his second United States Heavyweight Championship. Later that night, he answered an open challenge from WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sting and defeated him to win the championship. On the next night's episode of Nitro, commissioner J.J. Dillon ruled that the match had not been sanctioned by WCW and that, therefore, Goldberg's victory was void. Sting, however, was not given the title back due to his attack on a referee during the event and Dillon announced a 32-man tournament for the now-vacant title which included Goldberg.
Goldberg wrestled Bret Hart on the same Nitro in the first round of the tournament in a match that also served as the first defense of his newly won United States Heavyweight Championship. Sid Vicious managed to interfere in the contest and cost Goldberg the match, thus giving him his second career loss, costing him the title, and eliminating him from the tournament which was eventually won by Hart at Mayhem in November. Goldberg continued his rivalry with Vicious and defeated him in an "I quit" match at Mayhem to close their feud. Shortly thereafter, Goldberg joined forces with Hart, teaming with him to defeat Creative Control for the WCW World Tag Team Championship. One week later, they lost the title to The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash).
At Starrcade, Goldberg challenged Hart for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship; in the course of the match, Goldberg delivered a stiff kick to Hart's head, legitimately giving him a concussion and tearing a muscle in his neck. Hart continued on, suffering what he believed to be at least one other concussion when he hit his head on the floor while executing a ringpost-assisted figure-four leglock. The match ended when Roddy Piper, the special guest referee for the contest, declared Hart the winner despite Goldberg never having submitted to the Sharpshooter. Hart vacated the title the next night on Nitro, saying he did not want to win that way, and gave Goldberg a rematch. Goldberg was defeated again due to outside interference from Hall and Nash, who came to the ring brandishing baseball bats which they used to attack Goldberg. In a swerve, Hart took one of the bats from The Outsiders and began beating on Goldberg himself, doing enough damage to score the pin and regain his championship. After the match, Hall, Nash, Hart and Jeff Jarrett reformed the nWo and gave Goldberg a new target for a feud that, however, would not last long.
Shortly after his title match loss, Goldberg injured himself on the December 23, 1999 episode of Thunder, during a sequence where he chased the nWo limousine into the parking lot. A spot in the sequence called for Goldberg to pound on the windshield of the limousine with his hands. To ensure his safety, Goldberg had assistance from a piece of metal pipe and his hands were covered in black tape. After this, Goldberg was to break some of the vehicle's windows with the pipe. There were four windows on the side of the limousine and Goldberg used the pipe on two of them. He then got aggressive, dropping the pipe and putting his forearm through the third window. A shard of glass sliced an artery in his arm and he began bleeding profusely. The show concluded with Goldberg pounding on the limousine's hood, with the television audience able to see the massive amount of blood gushing from his arm as it covered the hood. Immediately after the cameras stopped rolling, medical personnel rushed in to assist the injured Goldberg, who was eventually transported to the hospital for emergency surgery. He lost copious amounts of blood due to the injury and was told that his injury nearly resulted in the amputation of his forearm. The injury caused Goldberg to miss the January 4, 2000 New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) Tokyo Dome show, where he was scheduled to face Manabu Nakanishi. After taking time off to recuperate, Goldberg returned to WCW on the May 29, 2000 episode of Nitro interfering in a handicap match between Kevin Nash and the team of Tank Abbott and Rick Steiner. At The Great American Bash, Goldberg betrayed Nash during Nash's world championship match against Jeff Jarrett and turned into a villain for the first time in his career, aligning himself with The New Blood faction. This did not last long, as Goldberg again was lost to injury and had to miss time. As a result of this betrayal, Goldberg feuded with Nash and defeated him at Bash at the Beach, with help from fellow New Blood member Scott Steiner. Goldberg participated in a triangle number one contender's match against Nash and Steiner at New Blood Rising, which Nash won. Goldberg walked out of the match midway through while Nash had him ready for the Jackknife Powerbomb and swore at Vince Russo as he left the ring, turning face again. He then began a rivalry with Steiner, culminating in a no disqualification match at Fall Brawl which Goldberg lost due to outside interference.
After his loss to Steiner, Goldberg's rivalry with Russo accelerated and in October, having finally had enough, Russo gave Goldberg an ultimatum. If Goldberg was to lose another match at any point in time, unless he managed to duplicate his undefeated streak from 1997 to 1998, he would be forced to retire from professional wrestling. Goldberg defeated KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clark) at Halloween Havoc in a handicap elimination match. He then started a feud with Lex Luger. This culminated in a match at Mayhem, which Goldberg won. They continued their rivalry and battled in a rematch at Starrcade. Goldberg won the match, but afterwards he was attacked by Luger's partner Buff Bagwell. Goldberg feuded with both Luger and Bagwell, who called themselves "Totally Buffed". His streak was broken at Sin when Goldberg, teaming with his Power Plant trainer DeWayne Bruce, lost to Totally Buffed in a tag team no disqualification match after a "fan" maced him, enabling Totally Buffed to pin him. The storyline was intended to enable Goldberg to have shoulder surgery, but WCW was sold to the WWF in March 2001, while Goldberg was still recuperating. The WWF did not buy out Goldberg's contract with Time Warner (the parent company of WCW) as they had done with several other WCW wrestlers, due to Goldberg still being paid out a significant amount of money by Time Warner that he was owed, so he was not involved in the WWF "Invasion" angle. Goldberg instead remained under contract to Time Warner until May 2002, when he agreed on a contract buyout. He was WCW's highest paid athlete, alongside Bret Hart, earning 2.5 million dollars per year, a sum which would have risen to 3.5 million in the final year of his contract, due to have expired in July 2003.
All Japan Pro Wrestling (2002–2003)
Goldberg had suffered an arm injury during the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Long Beach Grand Prix in April 2002. In August 2002, he returned to the ring in Japan. He initially joined All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), defeating Satoshi Kojima and Taiyō Kea. He went on to defeat Rick Steiner in a match for the W-1 promotion, and teamed with Keiji Mutoh to defeat KroniK. His success in Japan led to the WWF – now renamed World Wrestling Entertainment – to begin contract negotiations with him.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2003–2004)
After leaving Japan, Goldberg signed a one-year contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in March 2003, debuting on the March 31 episode of Raw (the night after WrestleMania XIX) and starting a feud with The Rock by performing a spear on him. Their rivalry intensified when The Rock held a segment entitled The Rock Concert, where he taunted Goldberg along with Gillberg, but Goldberg defeated him in his debut match at Backlash on April 27, following three spears and a Jackhammer. Goldberg went undefeated over the subsequent half-year, defeating 3-Minute Warning in his first match on Raw. Goldberg defeated Christian the following week on Raw in a steel cage match. Goldberg next began a feud with Chris Jericho, culminating in a match between the two at Bad Blood on June 15, which Goldberg won.
Goldberg entered a rivalry with Triple H, challenging him for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam on August 24 in the second Elimination Chamber match in WWE. After eliminating Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels and Jericho, he was pinned by Triple H after Ric Flair threw a sledgehammer inside the chamber and Triple H hit Goldberg with it, meaning Triple H retained the title. Goldberg continued his feud with Triple H and defeated him for the World Heavyweight Championship at Unforgiven on September 21, after agreeing to put his career on the line. The next night on Raw, Goldberg successfully retained the title against Chris Jericho. The following week on Raw, Triple H issued a $100,000 bounty to anybody who could take Goldberg out. Steven Richards, Mark Henry, La Résistance and Tommy Dreamer all attempted to collect the bounty, but they were unsuccessful. On the October 20 episode of Raw, Batista collected the bounty after he interfered in Goldberg's title defense against Shawn Michaels and attacked Goldberg, placing a folding chair around Goldberg's ankle and jumping off the middle rope onto the chair, shattering his ankle. Furious, Goldberg demanded a match against Batista, but Triple H got involved in the match by trying to cripple Goldberg, who executed a spear on Triple H and attacked Batista with a sledgehammer. At Survivor Series on November 16, Goldberg retained the title against Triple H despite interference from Evolution. On the November 17 episode of Raw, Goldberg faced Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista in a handicap match, but he was pinned following an RKO, Batista Bomb and Pedigree. After the match, Kane unexpectedly came out to seemingly assist Goldberg after Evolution continued their assault on him following the match. After scaring off Evolution, he turned on Goldberg and executed a chokeslam on him. The following week on Raw, Kane attacked Goldberg again while he was defending the championship against Triple H in a rematch from Survivor Series and expressed his desire to face Goldberg for the title. Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff scheduled Goldberg to defend the championship against both Kane and Triple H in a triple threat match at Armageddon. Goldberg teamed with Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam to face and defeat Kane, Batista and Orton in a six-man tag team match. On the December 8 episode of Raw, Goldberg faced Kane in a lumberjack match which ended in a disqualification when Evolution and Mark Henry entered the ring and assaulted Goldberg. At Armageddon on December 14, Goldberg lost the title when Triple H pinned him after interference from Evolution and a chokeslam from Kane, thus ending his reign at 84 days.
Survivor Series also marked the first time Goldberg met the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar by interrupting Lesnar after the latter remarked that he could beat anyone in the world. The feud escalated at the 2004 Royal Rumble on January 25, when Goldberg was in the midst of dominating the Royal Rumble match (he eliminated Charlie Haas, Billy Gunn and Nunzio) as the 30th entrant until Lesnar interfered in the match and executed an F-5 on Goldberg. Angrily distracted at Lesnar's attack, Goldberg was eliminated by Kurt Angle. Vowing revenge after defeating Mark Henry and Jonathan Coachman in a no disqualification handicap match the following Raw, Goldberg declared Lesnar his next victim. On February 2, Goldberg was given a front row ticket to No Way Out by Stone Cold Steve Austin. SmackDown! General Manager Paul Heyman appeared on Raw, and along with Mr. McMahon attempted to get Goldberg to leave Lesnar, but Goldberg executed a spear on Heyman and accidentally executed a spear on Austin when he was aiming for McMahon. Goldberg attended No Way Out as a fan, confronting Lesnar at the event and, after several insults by Lesnar, entered the ring and countered a F-5 from Lesnar with a Jackhammer, before being detained and escorted out of the arena by security guards. During the main event between Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero on February 15, Goldberg reemerged from the crowd and cost Lesnar the title. Lesnar then demanded a match with Goldberg at WrestleMania XX on March 14, with Austin serving as special guest referee. Fans knew this would be the final WWE match for both Goldberg and Lesnar, and thus gave largely negative reactions throughout the performance. Goldberg won the match, causing Lesnar to show Austin a middle finger, but he instead received a Stone Cold Stunner in return, and as Goldberg celebrated his victory with Austin, he also received a Stone Cold Stunner.
Independent circuit (2015–2016)
Goldberg made his return to professional wrestling on June 7, 2015 at the Legends of Wrestling show at Citi Field in New York. While he was not scheduled to wrestle at the event, Goldberg came to the aid of Rob Van Dam after his match with Scott Steiner. He performed a spear on Steiner and a Jackhammer on Doc Gallows.
On January 23, 2016, Goldberg made a second return for the Legends of Wrestling event in Miami, where he delivered another spear to Steiner after his match with Chavo Guerrero.
Return to WWE
Feud with Brock Lesnar and Universal Champion (2016–2017)
On May 31, 2016, Goldberg was announced as the pre-order bonus for the upcoming WWE 2K17 video game. Throughout the summer, Goldberg and WWE 2K17 cover star and former rival Brock Lesnar traded insults with each other through social media and WWE 2K events such as Gamescom. Goldberg would also appear at the WWE 2K SummerSlam event the weekend before the pay-per-view event took place, fueling speculation he would be appearing at the event to confront Lesnar. Goldberg then appeared on the October 3 episode of SportsCenter, where he contemplated a return to WWE. This led to Paul Heyman challenging Goldberg to face Lesnar on the October 10 episode of Raw, with Heyman stating that Goldberg was the one blemish on Lesnar's WWE career, as Goldberg had defeated Lesnar at WrestleMania XX in 2004. The following week on Raw, Goldberg returned to WWE for the first time in twelve years, accepting Heyman's challenge and signaling that Lesnar would be next and last. On the October 24 episode of Raw, Lesnar returned with Heyman, who insulted Goldberg. It was then announced that their match would take place at Survivor Series. On the October 31 episode of Raw, Goldberg returned to address Lesnar's comments from the previous week, only to be interrupted by Heyman, who teased that Lesnar was there, but Rusev came out instead. Goldberg executed a Jackhammer on Rusev and a spear on Heyman. On the final Raw before Survivor Series, Goldberg and Lesnar had a face off, resulting in a brawl with security. At Survivor Series, Goldberg defeated Lesnar in under 2 minutes.
The next night on Raw, Goldberg celebrated his victory over Lesnar and declared himself the first participant in the 2017 Royal Rumble match. The following week on Raw, Heyman addressed the Survivor Series match, stating that they had underestimated Goldberg and that the match was a humiliation and embarrassment for him and Lesnar, who would also be in the Royal Rumble match as he has something to prove. Goldberg returned on the January 2, 2017 episode of Raw where he confronted Chris Jericho and WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens, stating that he would win the Royal Rumble match and challenge for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 33. Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman then came out to confront Goldberg, Owens and Jericho, and after a stare down, Goldberg and Reigns performed a double-spear on Strowman. Goldberg appeared once more on the January 23 episode of Raw, where he was confronted by Lesnar and The Undertaker. At the Royal Rumble in the namesake match, Goldberg entered at number 28 and eliminated Lesnar following a brief confrontation and a spear, as well as eliminating Rusev and Luke Harper before being eliminated by The Undertaker.
Lesnar then appeared on the following night's episode of Raw and challenged Goldberg to one final match at WrestleMania 33. Goldberg would go on to accept Lesnar's challenge on the February 6 episode of Raw whilst interrupting Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho in the process. Goldberg would challenge Owens to a Universal Championship match at Fastlane with Jericho accepting on Owens' behalf and the match was made official later that night. On the February 27 episode of Raw, Goldberg and Owens had one final confrontation, with Goldberg claiming that if he would win the Universal Championship, he would defend it against Lesnar at WrestleMania 33. At Fastlane, after a distraction from Jericho (who Owens betrayed and attacked on the February 13 episode of Raw), Goldberg defeated Owens to win the Universal Championship. The next night on Raw, Goldberg was confronted by Lesnar, who executed an F-5 on Goldberg. On the final Raw before WrestleMania, Goldberg responded with a spear on Lesnar. At WrestleMania 33, Goldberg lost the title to Lesnar in what was also his first clean singles loss in his entire career. Goldberg appeared the following night on Raw Talk (which aired on the WWE Network after the Raw broadcast) to wish the fans farewell, but ultimately did not rule out a return in the future.
WWE Hall of Famer and second Universal Championship reign (2018–present)
On January 15, 2018, ESPN announced that Goldberg would be inducted as the headliner of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018. This was then confirmed on Raw when it was announced by WWE. Paul Heyman was announced to induct Goldberg into the Hall of Fame; the event occurred on April 6.
In mid-2019, a match between Goldberg and The Undertaker was scheduled for Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia, where he was defeated by The Undertaker. Goldberg suffered a concussion a few minutes into the match, which severely affected his performance. Goldberg then had a match against Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam, in which he quickly defeated Ziggler. After the match, Ziggler taunted Goldberg, prompting Goldberg to return to the ring and deliver three more spears to Ziggler.
On the February 7, 2020 episode of SmackDown, Goldberg made his return to WWE programming where he appeared via satellite and challenged "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt to a match for the Universal Championship, which Wyatt accepted, setting up a match between the two for Super ShowDown. At the event on February 27, Goldberg defeated The Fiend to win the Universal Championship for the second time, as well as becoming the first wrestler to win a world championship after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He also became the first wrestler to defeat Wyatt's Fiend character. Goldberg then appeared on the following SmackDown and issued an open challenge that was accepted by Roman Reigns and scheduled for WrestleMania 36.
Goldberg's rapid rise to popularity in WCW led the WWF to parody Goldberg during the Attitude Era with longtime jobber Duane Gill being repackaged as Gillberg. Goldberg initially wasn't happy with the parody, but later embraced the Gillberg character and was happy that Gill was able to have a run with the character. The two would eventually confront each other on Raw during Goldberg's run with WWE in 2003, in which he quickly dispatched Gillberg.
Trying to replicate WCW's success with Goldberg, WWE began pushing Ryback in 2012 in a similar manner to Goldberg, leading to the portmanteau of "Ryberg" to be devised by fans and commentators for Ryback. In October 2012, after Ryback used the Jackhammer move used by Goldberg during a match against Kofi Kingston, Goldberg would respond by stating, "now comparisons offend me". Spectators at WWE events had been chanting "Goldberg" during Ryback's matches from 2012, which Ryback said "never bothered [him]". In response to podcast host and mixed martial artist Chael Sonnen's confusion about Ryback's appeal in late 2014, former WWE writer Jon Piermarini noted that the creative staff were doing "essentially the exact same thing they did with the character when it did not work or catch on the first time" and would only continue to get Goldberg's character over as Ryback. Goldberg would return to WWE around the same time Ryback asked for and was granted his release from the company in 2016.
Many promotions would parody Goldberg's infamous streak, including WWE on multiple occasions, albeit with a losing streak such as with the aforementioned Gillberg as well as Curt Hawkins. In 2014, Ring of Honor started a gimmick for R. D. Evans, where he began gloating about his win streak, which he dubbed the "New Streak", although all of his wins came over jobbers or by disqualification over serious wrestlers like Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong. His streak eventually ended later that year.
Mixed martial arts
In August 2002, during his professional wrestling tenure in Japan, Goldberg served as color commentator in mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion Pride Fighting Championship. He also participated in MMA training sessions, though without intention to compete himself. Around this time, Goldberg was challenged by Bob Sapp to either a professional wrestling match or a mixed martial arts fight, but nothing came from it.
On July 22, 2006, Goldberg served again as color commentator, this time in World Fighting Alliance (WFA) King of the Streets's pay-per-view in Los Angeles, California. When asked whether he was interested in becoming a mixed martial artist, Goldberg stated, "I'd love to, especially if I was 21 or even 29, but these guys are so far ahead of me in terms of experience. I never say never, though. But I don't see myself stopping my movies, my shows, my commentating, or being a dad to do that". On June 2, 2007, Goldberg also commentated on K-1 Dynamite USA.
Goldberg became a color commentator for the EliteXC organization during their inaugural event. The event, EliteXC Destiny, was broadcast live on Showtime, on February 10, 2007. He continued in this role through all of EliteXC's showcase and combined cards, including Dynamite!! USA, Strikeforce Shamrock vs. Baroni, EliteXC: Renegade, and EliteXC: Street Certified.
Goldberg sponsored the Monster Jam truck "Goldberg", which was driven by Tom Meents from 2000 to 2001 as part of a deal between WCW and FELD Motorsports. The truck was very successful winning the Monster Jam World Finals Racing championship in both 2000 and 2001 and the Freestyle championship in 2001. The partnership ended after WCW was bought by WWE, and the truck was renamed Maximum Destruction.
Goldberg co-authored his own biography with his brother Steve. It was entitled “I’m Next: The Strange Journey of America's Most Unlikely Superhero.” and released on November 7, 2000.
In 2014, Goldberg started his own podcast entitled Who's Next?! With Bill Goldberg, which includes weekly guest interviews.
Film and television
Goldberg began acting while working for WCW in 1999. His appearance in Universal Soldier: The Return corresponded with him being featured in the music video. He was a special guest star on Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling. On the show he showed the contestants his various power moves and also how to hit an opponent with a steel chair. He went on to host three seasons of the Speed Channel show Bullrun.
In 2005, Goldberg also starred in the Happy Madison produced Adam Sandler movie The Longest Yard, as an inmate, along with fellow wrestlers Kevin Nash, The Great Khali, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, as well as actors Chris Rock and Burt Reynolds among others. In the same year he was also the host of The History Channel documentary series Auto-Maniac and later starred in the movie Santa's Slay where he plays a homicidal Santa Claus who goes on a killing spree on Christmas. In 2007, Goldberg starred in the thriller/drama film Half Past Dead 2 alongside rapper Kurupt.
In March 2010, Goldberg appeared on the ninth season of Donald Trump's reality series The Celebrity Apprentice and was eliminated in the sixth episode. In 2016, Goldberg starred in the documentary film Nine Legends alongside other notable wrestlers, former boxing star Mike Tyson and UFC fighter Randy Couture.
In 2017, Goldberg made his first appearance in the fifth season of The Goldbergs as Coach Nick Mellor, the brother of recurring character Coach Rick Mellor.
In 2018, Bill Goldberg appeared on a knife-based action show called Forged in Fire: Knife or Death, appearing on History channel, as the host. He appeared in Season 10 Episode 7 ("One of Us") of NCIS:LA as Special Agent Lance Hamilton.
Goldberg is a playable character in numerous video games, including WCW Nitro, WCW/nWo Revenge, WCW/nWo Thunder, WCW Mayhem, WCW Backstage Assault, WWE WrestleMania XIX, WWE Raw 2, WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, WWE 2K14, WWE 2K17 (for which he was the pre-order bonus), WWE 2K18, WWE 2K19. and WWE 2K20.
On April 10, 2005, Goldberg married Wanda Ferraton, a stunt double whom he met while filming Santa's Slay. They reside in Bonsall, California, and have one son together named Gage.
Goldberg co-owns and operates the Extreme Power Gym Muay Thai and amateur boxing training facility in Oceanside, California. He also owns over 25 vintage cars, including a Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible, Shelby Cobra 427, and a Mustang Boss 429 "Lawman" (one of the two cars used in the Vietnam War to entertain the U.S. Army).
Goldberg has a long scar on the right side of his torso from a tear suffered during a college football game that required surgery to repair. He also acquired a scar on his right forearm from an altercation in WCW which kept him out of action for quite some time due to the surgery needed to fix. He has a large tribal tattoo on his left upper shoulder (which became his professional wrestling logo) and a skull on the inside of his right bicep.
In January 2016, Goldberg and entertainment impresario Uncle Louie started a joint venture with disabled Air Force veteran Reinaldo Horday called "Combat Crate", offering a crate of exclusive memorabilia with 100% of the profit from the inaugural crate going to Wounded Warriors of South Florida.
Goldberg is an animal welfare advocate and an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) spokesman, and has addressed the United States Congress in order to raise awareness of illegal animal fighting. Goldberg participated regularly in the Jimmy V Golf Classic, and visits with children in local hospitals who are undergoing cancer treatment.
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Comeback of the Year (2016)
- Inspirational Wrestler of the Year (1998)
- Rookie of the Year (1998)
- Ranked No. 2 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1998
- Ranked No. 75 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003
- World Championship Wrestling
- WCW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- WCW World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Bret Hart
- Fifth WCW Triple Crown Champion
- World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
- World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- WWE Universal Championship (2 times, current)
- WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2018)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Rookie of the Year (1998)