Former WWE and WCW Superstar Bill Goldberg is one of the most polarizing figures in wrestling history, and he is far from done when it comes to making an impact on mainstream media.
Goldberg has stepped away from the wrestling ring to pursue other passions, and he has stepped into the world of acting. In 2016, the former world champion will star in the upcoming major motion picture Check Point with a decorated cast and an intriguing plot.
In the movie, Goldberg will play a former military combat specialist who is forced to defend the United States from domestic terrorism with a few of his well-trained friends. The film will be one of the actor’s largest roles to date.
Goldberg recently spoke with Ring Rust Radio (quotes courtesy of the News of Delaware County's Joe Arcidiacono) about Check Point, his desire to get back in a wrestling ring, his short stint with WWE, his dream opponents, his WrestleMania XX match against Brock Lesnar and more.
While Goldberg now has his own radio show, a budding movie career and a family he is dedicated to, there will always be questions about what could have been with his wrestling career.
After the closure of WCW in 2001, Goldberg made the jump to Japan for a short time before eventually signing with WWE in 2003. After a run that did not live up to the hype—a testament of Vince McMahon’s misusage of the bona fide star—Goldberg left the WWE in 2004 following a WrestleMania match against Brock Lesnar.
Recently, Goldberg stepped back in the ring for a one-off spot where he attacked Scott Steiner and Doc Gallows at Citi Field in New York. When asked about his performance that night and his desire to get back into the ring, Goldberg spoke candidly:
The itch will always be there because I am always a competitor and my wife and son have never seen me wrestle. Let me be clear though, that itch won’t supersede my ability to be a businessman. The itch is always there, it’s there three times a week when I walk into my Muay Thai gym and put the gloves and shin pads on. It was a very special circumstance at Citi Field and ironically now the Mets are in the World Series. It was something I chose to do and thought was appropriate at the time. It was not me coming out of retirement by any means. I am a part owner of Legends of Wrestling so if I want to go out there and pick and choose my spot to do something interesting, then that’s what I do with no motives behind it. I am a competitor and always have that itch until the day I die, but I won’t let the itch supersede being a businessman.
Goldberg was then asked about why he believed his run in the WWE wasn’t more successful. He said, “Because I was a football player and competitor in life, and those were a bunch of fraternity boys.”
That kind of frank answer is exactly why many wrestling fans love Goldberg and miss him in the industry even over a decade after his last WWE match. Luckily, he has not completely written off a return and would undoubtedly consider another big match for the right price.
There have been many dream matches floated around should Goldberg make a triumphant return, but two names that come up most are "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Lesnar. When asked about whom he’d like to face if he could choose an opponent for his final match, Goldberg went right to the top of the card:
It would be Austin for sure. Brock would be a good one since we have unfinished business. At the end of the day that everyone clamors for, and I even clamor for, would be Austin and me. There will always be a question mark there unless we were to do something one on one. It’s kind of a match made in heaven.
Wrestling fans vividly remember the last time Goldberg fought Lesnar at WrestleMania XX. The two men were both leaving the WWE after the matchup, and the raucous crowd in New York City knew what was happening and was negative to the in-ring action throughout.
Even Austin being the special guest referee couldn’t calm down the boisterous crowd at Madison Square Garden, and the result was a matchup fans will never forget for all the wrong reasons. Goldberg spoke honestly about the matchup and what he would change:
No, I mean you play the cards you are dealt. At the end of the day, we were up against an impossible task to entertain a group of people that 100 percent know you are both leaving after that match. Utter [disdain] is what we received from the fans. Would I change anything about [it]? Yeah, I would change everything about it. At the end of the day, if you take it for what it was, it was an interesting match. The overtone was so skewed, it was just such a weird situation and insurmountable task. Would I change anything? Yes. Would I change everything? Yes.
Regardless of how Goldberg’s in-ring tenure ended, his career as an actor and television host has blossomed, and he is building a legitimate reputation in those industries. From football to wrestling to now acting, when Goldberg puts his mind to something, there are few things that will stand in the way of his success.
Most wrestling fans would love to see at least one more run with Goldberg in the WWE, especially at a show as big as WrestleMania 32. As great as the moment would be, hearing Goldberg talk about the business aspect of the industry suggests he knows what he is worth and won’t budge for anyone.
While fans may never get to see him in another marquee wrestling match, Goldberg’s success in the television and movie industries means there will still be ample opportunities to get your fill of the former world champion.
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player above (some language NSFW).