Goldberg was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame on Friday, April 6, by wrestling manager Paul Heyman. During his speech, Goldberg thanked his family for their support and understanding in an industry which has seen many wrestlers come to regret being on the road and away from their loved ones for much of the year.
“Wanda, thank you for being my wife. You completely changed my life. Gage, I did this for you, dude, I hope you’re happy!”
The former NFL defensive tackle, who played professional football until 1995 for teams such as Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons, first rose to prominence as a wrestler with the WWE’s rival promotion World Championship Wrestling. However, WCW ended up being overshadowed by the WWE and was bought out in 2001.
After signing for the WWE, Goldberg had a string of classic matches against wrestlers such as The Rock and Mark Henry, and he became one of the top wrestlers in the company. Never really seen as a heel or a face, Goldberg has always been more in the “antihero” category that Stone Cold Steve Austin helped to pioneer.
He also made history by becoming the first wrestler to claim the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship, and the WWE Universal Championship.
The former Georgia University Bulldogs football star initially took a break from wrestling in 2004, after he beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 20.
Goldberg took a dig at Georgia University’s rivals Georgia Tech during his acceptance speech.
“And have the knowledge and wisdom to know that there is no way in hell that a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket can ever — and I mean ever — be as badass as a Georgia Bulldog?”
In 2005, Goldberg starred as a prisoner in the Adam Sandler movie The Longest Yard. During his time away from the ring, he also began to commentate on mixed-martial-arts fights. In 2010, he was a contestant on Donald Trump’s show The Celebrity Apprentice.
Instead of retiring from wrestling, the former heavyweight champion made the decision to return to the ring in 2015 and reignited his feud with Lesnar. This culminated in Goldberg losing the WWE Universal Championship to Lesnar at Wrestlemania 33 in 2017. CBS Sports‘ Brian Campbell favorably described the match as a “car wreck [with] strong intensity”.
After losing at WrestleMania, it was speculated that Goldberg might hang up the wrestling boots for good, but he has never officially said goodbye to the squared circle and could yet make another spectacular return. At 51-years-old, Goldberg may have a lot of gas left in the tank.