Bill Goldberg made his huge return to the WWE this past week on WWE Monday Night Raw. The return seemed to garner a lot of praise online, and now other superstars and former talent who worked with Goldberg are starting to speak up about the big return.
On his most recent podcast episode, former WCW booker Eric Bischoff publicly thanked Goldberg for his return promo on Monday Night Raw.
“I have two words for Bill Goldberg. Thank You. Thank you for bringing the passion, the credibility, the believability and just the, no pun intended, raw emotion that I think people have missed for a long time.”
Bill Goldberg was promoted during the entire show with video clips showing how huge he was during his career, both in WCW as well as in his short time in the WWE. He won the world title in both promotions, and his biggest feuds were against Hulk Hogan in WCW and The Rock in the WWE.
Finally, when it was time to introduce Bill Goldberg to the Denver crowd, Michael Cole called him the “greatest WCW champion of all time,” which was clearly hyperbole but did nothing to turn the crowd against Goldberg. The crowd was electric, and it clearly affected Goldberg as he stood in the ring and soaked in the cheers.
Bill Goldberg, who had a mythical winning streak of 173 wins in a row in WCW, stood in the ring, and his eyes started to water. He looked around the crowd and then thanked them for not forgetting about him. It was a huge and personal moment for a man who, at one point in his career, was a monster who only spoke when he wanted to say, “You’re next.”
It is that moment that Eric Bischoff really appreciated when he watched the WWE return of Bill Goldberg. According to Bischoff, what the fans saw at that moment was the “real Bill Goldberg.”
“That’s one of the things about Bill Goldberg is that he is a very raw, real, emotional, intense person. There’s no acting going on there. That’s really who he is… You saw the tears. You saw his eyes well up. It was just such a refreshing thing to see and I am just happy for Bill. I am happy for wrestling fans who got a chance to be a part of it. I am really excited to see where it goes. Thank you, Bill Goldberg.”
However, the problem now is keeping that momentum into the feud wth Brock Lesnar. No matter where he goes, Brock Lesnar is a huge crowd favorite, even as a villain. Many crowds cheer Lesnar no matter who he is fighting, and that will include Bill Goldberg.
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There is also the problem with smark crowds — those crowds who will try to get themselves over by making various chants based on online speculation. The Denver crowd for the Bill Goldberg WWE return was not that kind of crowd. Denver was respectful. There are some cities that will attack Goldberg with chants just because they can.
Forbes reported that the WWE has also considered keeping Goldberg around for a WrestleMania match in 2017. Keeping him hot for five more months after he fights, and likely loses, to Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series will be hard. That is when the real popularity of Bill Goldberg will be tested.
[Featured Image by Doug Dreyer/AP Images]