Former football player-turned-professional wrestler Bill Goldberg was one of the biggest stars in the final years of World Championship Wrestling. His name has become synonymous with power, strength, and his undefeated streak in WCW, which stood at 173-0 before Goldberg suffered his first loss. While that number may have been blown up to look bigger than it was, Goldberg’s star power was the real thing. When he challenged Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 1998, 40,000 fans filled the Georgia Dome to witness Goldberg’s coronation. Things may have been different for Goldberg if he went with a different name. Former WWE superstar X-Pac revealed that Goldberg wanted to use a completely different name.
“[Goldberg] ran this idea by us about a name for himself, and he’s like, ‘what do you think of The Hybrid? I want to call myself The Hybrid.’ And we’re like, ‘ehhh, The Hybrid, it’s kinda, eh, you know.’ And [Scott Hall’s] like, ‘why don’t you just use your name?’ And he goes, ‘my name’s Goldberg, that’s not cool.’ And he goes, ‘it is cool if you make it cool. If you’re cool, Goldberg’s cool.”
Sure enough, Goldberg went on to become a megastar, and perhaps having a recognizable name helped with that matter.
After WCW was bought out by WWE, Goldberg made his way to the rival company and debuted for them in 2003. He defeated The Rock at Backlash and remained undefeated for the rest of the year. Goldberg also defeated the likes of 3-Minute Warning, Christian, and Chris Jericho.
At SummerSlam 2004, Goldberg challenged Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship and was placed in the “Elimination Chamber” match alongside Triple H, Kevin Nash, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, and Chris Jericho. Goldberg entered sixth and quickly eliminated Orton, Michaels, and Jericho in four minutes, setting the record for most eliminations in the shortest time. However Goldberg would be eliminated last by Triple H after he was hit in the head with a sledgehammer.
Goldberg would be more successful in his challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at Unforgiven. He defeated Triple H in a “career vs. title” match, meaning that Goldberg would be forced to retire if he had lost to Triple H. At Armageddon, Goldberg would lose the title back to Triple H, ending his reign at 84 days.
In 2004, Goldberg feuded with Brock Lesnar. The two had a match at WrestleManiaXX with Steve Austin as the guest referee. Goldberg won the match, and both men received “Stone Cold Stunners” from Austin. This was the last match for both Lesnar and Goldberg before their returns.
Goldberg returned in 2016 after saying he wanted one more match with Lesnar. At Survivor Series Goldberg shocked the world by beating Lesnar in under two minutes. He executed two “Spears” on him before hitting his finishing move “The Jackhammer.” After that, Goldberg announced his participation in the Royal Rumble match, which Lesnar was also a part of. Goldberg easily eliminated Lesnar before being eliminated by the Undertaker.
Lesnar challenged Goldberg to a match at WrestleMania 33, which was accepted. On March 5 at Fastlane, Goldberg will challenge Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Championship. Many are expecting Goldberg to win so that he and Lesnar will fight over the title at WrestleMania33. However some are also expecting Lesnar to interfere in the match to prevent Goldberg from winning. Either way it should be a match between two powerhouses that many hope is better than their prior encounter at WrestleMania XX. Many are also expecting Goldberg to leave after WrestleMania 33, as he is not a full-time member of the roster.
[Featured Image by WWE]