On Thursday, WWE Hall of Fame inductee and former wrestling superstar “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had first-time guest Bill Goldberg on his podcast, The Steve Austin Show Unleashed. Austin traveled to the “Goldberg compound” in San Diego, California, to talk to the former WWE and WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
Bill Goldberg was a football player for the NFL (Rams, Falcons, and Panthers) and transitioned to a career in professional wrestling after he received a career-ending injury; his abdomen was torn from his pelvis. Goldberg was known for his explosive smash-mouth style in the ring. His gimmick started in WCW — he would come to the ring with an entrance worth the price of admission alone, wrestle for about thirty seconds, squash the jobber, and leave.
His undefeated winning streak grew as the months rolled on and “Goldberg” chants would boom throughout the arena. The juggernaut would often steal the show and do so in less than a minute. This created a mystique for the wrestler, but as time would go on, the squash-match gimmick would start wearing thin. When Goldberg had to actually wrestle an entire match, his limitations were revealed. He didn’t know how to technically wrestle, or chain-wrestle, and he didn’t have a lot of stamina.
Bill Goldberg explained to Austin what his current training regimen is like.
“When I’m in town I’m here [at his home gym] every night—if I was here for a week then I’d be here six nights out of that week … The reality is, you told me you are 51 and I’ll be 50 this year [laughing] and we’ve been through a bunch of s*** and my training schedule is completely different … See that bag right there? When I’m in town—and I have time—I’m kickboxing four days a week. The only problem with that is it’s taxing on your toes because you break them a lot … When I do Muay Thai I still train here every night but I train completely different, man… I train for 45 minutes, I do a circuit deal that I’ve been doing for 15 freakin’ years … I got cardio now, I go 10 three minute rounds, with thirty second rest in-between, with a light heavyweight southpaw that’s a bad mother******, dude…I got this thing called cardio now. I never even knew it in football, and let’s be honest, what kind of cardio did I have to do to go out and squash guys. That was one of my downfalls, is not only could I not chain wrestle for a long period of time, I didn’t have the cardio, I’d blow up like a f***** fish.”
Steve Austin and Goldberg would go on to talk about the business side of wrestling. Austin would give his opinion on the mentality that wrestlers should have in this industry.
“I tell all of these guys that I talk to on the phone from the WWE … I said, brother you go in there [WWE] and you get paid … I don’t give a s*** if you love the business or not, it’s cool if you do, but at the end of the day if don’t end up with a bank account full of money because you tried your hardest to save money and not blow it all—if you don’t have money at the end of the day you did it wrong—whether you love it or you didn’t.”
Goldberg would then go on to describe how he measures his success in the business of professional wrestling.
“Here’s the way I kind of quantify my success, in that I was part of a match consistently, that helped put people in seats, so the other guys on the card could feed their family. I just so happened to be in that spot … I could have just as easily been the other guy—but I was that guy. So whether I looked upon it as a lifelong dream, whether I looked upon it as a complete business opportunity, I looked at it in the middle; more towards the business opportunity because I had a dream taken away from me and I had to find something to satiate that f****** void that I was missing [from football].”
Since retiring from professional wrestling, several rumors have spread on what it was like to do business with Goldberg. Many people in the industry described him as difficult to conduct business with. Goldberg gave his passionate opinion on how he feels being described this way.
“I had a lot of power, quote-unquote, in WCW at one point … I always felt bad about guys who had been in the business for twenty f****** years and they’re jumping off a building for twenty bucks, and here comes Goldberg six months into the business, and I got the f****** belt, and I’m making whatever. So as a business man if I had no f****** heart then I wouldn’t have given a s*** and I would have said, ‘You know what, my bank account is getting huge, f*** these other schmucks, put ’em in the backseat and who cares about them.’ But I cared. Bobby Eaton, I wanted to put Bobby Eaton over in his hometown on his birthday in a dark match during my streak. They wouldn’t let me do it. Nobody f****** tells you about that f****** story. But it’s always, ‘Goldberg, he was selfish, he was this-and-that’ … At the end of the day I had power at times and I never used it maliciously.”
Once WWE bought WCW, Goldberg didn’t immediately sign with the WWE and chose to sit-out his multi-million dollar contract with WCW to collect the big bucks. Once Goldberg arrived to the WWE he wrestled with them for a year. He ended up wrestling in what would be a dream match on paper, at Wrestlemania XX, against Brock Lesnar with Steve Austin as the special guest referee. The contest has been considered one of the most disappointing matches of all time. By the time Wrestlemania XX took place, it was public knowledge that this was the last match for both Goldberg and Brock Lesnar. The fans reacted negatively during the match chanting “you sold out.”
Goldberg would win the match and afterwards Steve Austin delivered a “Stone Cold Stunner” to both Lesnar and Goldberg. Lesnar was retiring from the WWE because he was exhausted from the lifestyle and intense schedule, and Goldberg described why he left the WWE on the Steve Austin podcast.
“… Up in the WWE I always felt there was something fighting against me … It turned out to not be very much fun for me … life is not always about money, I wasn’t having fun anymore …”
Ever since his departure, fans have been craving a Goldberg return. As WrestleZone reported in an interview with Goldberg this past January, the former champion gave his opinion on a possible return and said, “I don’t think there’s too much of a realistic possibility of me doing it, but hey man I’m not gonna close the door on it.”
Despite the rumors it seems unlikely that Bill Goldberg will ever return to the WWE, and as time marches on the chances of a return becomes slimmer and slimmer; maybe Steve Austin will ask Goldberg to expound on that possibility next week during part 2 of the interview. The duo would go on to tell stories of the business during the podcast, The Steve Austin Show Unleashed, and even talked a little about politics. Whether or not fans will see a return of Goldberg is still unclear, but as the WWE legends Bill Goldberg and Steve Austin conversed it was clear that Goldberg is content in life.
“I got my ten year old boy and a wife I wanted my entire life, to spend my entire life with; what else do I need?”
[Photo via WWE]