Goldberg sent shockwaves through the wrestling community when he agreed to return to the WWE last fall. His comeback may only have been topped by the surprise return of Shane McMahon in 2016, but what happened afterwards may have been as big a surprise to Goldberg as it was to the WWE Universe. As noted, the icon was only supposed to come back for one match against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series, but it’s extended into a run that’s lasted more than five months.
Five months may not seem that long for a WWE superstar in this day and age, but you have to consider that Goldberg’s first run with the company only lasted a year. Add to it that neither Goldberg nor the WWE were satisfied with his first tour of duty between 2003-04. The two sides did not split amicably and it took them more than 12 years to finally reconcile.
Despite some minor, recent backlash from the WWE Universe towards the way he was booked in his match against Kevin Owens, Goldberg’s return has largely been viewed as a success. His win over Lesnar at Survivor Series provided another genuinely shocking moment and his use as a special attraction has provided a jolt during the height of the WWE season. However, as he recently told Edge and Christian on their podcast (as transcribed by Wrestling Inc), it’s not nearly as fun as it looks.
“I’ll be honest, I’m miserable. I’m absolutely miserable. But my family’s having fun, man. And so, every single thing, every training session, every ART massage that makes me cry, every muay thai session, it’s all worth it, man. It’s just worth it. And, hey, at the end of the day, if I want to smile, I’ll buy a car. That’s how I’m happy. I did, I bought one on the way back from [Survivor Series in] Toronto because I worked my ass off… Nobody get me wrong when I say I’ve been miserable throughout this, but I am. I’m miserable. I’m bloated 24 hours a day. I’m stressed 24 hours a day. I don’t sleep, but it’s a small price to pay.”
It was no secret that Goldberg was miserable during his 2003-04 run as well. Despite marquee feuds with The Rock, Triple H and Brock Lesnar and a world title reign, WWE management and Goldberg did not see eye-to-eye, their relationship was strained and he left after the infamous match with Brock at WrestleMania XX. That was misery, and even though he claims to be miserable now, it’s because of his diet and training, not the booking.
“I am nothing but a machine now. I get up in the morning. I eat. I train. I eat. I go to the bathroom about 20 times intermittently throughout the day because I’m shoving 15 to 20,000 calories in my body and it doesn’t know what’s going on. At 50 years old, it has no idea… It’s the toughest thing I ever embarked upon, guys. I’m 13 years removed from the business… I can’t name a power wrestler who has come back 13 freaking years afterwards. And then, within 20 pounds of what he was back then.”
Goldberg revealed that when he first came back and was wearing a jacket for his promo that (despite sweating profusely) he did so because he didn’t feel he was in adequate shape yet and was still training hard. He admits to shutting out cardio completely and just eating and lifting over and over again. He wanted to be the Goldberg that fans were used to more than a decade ago, not a watered-down version.
Goldberg also admitted that everything in his presentation hasn’t gone as smooth as he’d hoped or, perhaps, perceived by the audience. There were some minor hiccups along the way, including the time he was bleeding from the top of his head after banging it against the door. It caused him to forget some of his promo that night.
“Well, I mean, let’s be honest, man. I forgot how to go through my pyro! I honestly, I swear to God, I actively, when I came back to the WWE, each and every time I went through Gorilla [position], I would remember another thing that I had forgotten in my preparation. I throw my punches. I throw my kicks. I pull my hamstring throwing a kick! Throwing a kick! It’s ridiculous… How about when I knocked myself out on the door? Did you hear that one? You didn’t hear that one? I did that, I don’t know, a month ago. So, well, yeah, man. My way of getting ready, you know me, man. They knock on my door, I pour water on my head, so I don’t catch on fire from the sparks, and I headbutt the door. I’m a neanderthal. That’s what I do, right?… and I’m walking to the ring, and I go through Gorilla, and then, I get in the ring, man, and I literally forgot every single thing that I was supposed to say and the cameraman throws me a towel. And I’m like, ‘what is this towel for?’ I mean, I know I sweat a lot, but I’ve got blood dripping down my forehead and I had no idea, man.”
Goldberg is scheduled to face Brock Lesnar one more time this Sunday at WrestleMania for the Universal Champion. It’s expected that Lesnar will finally beat Goldberg to become the new champ, while the future remains uncertain for the legend. It may be a while before we see Goldberg again, but it has been reported that the WWE is open to working more sporadic dates with him down the line.
[Featured Image by WWE]