: William Scott Goldberg
: December 27, 1966 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
6'4", 285 pounds
Bill Goldberg, Goldberg
Bill Goldberg was never supposed to be one of the biggest names in professional wrestling. He wanted to go to the Super Bowl, not to Wrestlemania.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bill Goldberg attended the University of Georgia from 1986-1989 where he earned a degree in Psychology while being recognized by as an All-American by the Football News, playing nose tackle for the Georgia Bulldogs. Drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round of the 1990 NFL draft, he spent time on the gridiron playing as a nose guard for the Sacramento Surge in the World League and a defensive lineman with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. But then, something happened, a "something" that's not unheard of story in this business. His football dreams were curtailed by an abdominal injury in a preseason game in 1994.
His football career over, Goldberg worked as a personal trainer in Atlanta, which is where he came in contact with WCW stars Sting, Diamond Dallas Page and Lex Luger who introduced him to pro wrestling and to WCW Vice-President Eric Bischoff.
Soon, Goldberg was enrolled in WCW's Power Plant training center. After graduating, he began to slowly work his way up the ranks of the WCW roster. Wrestling as Bill Gold, he defeated Buddy Landell on June 24, 1997. His TV debut came with a victory of Hugh Morrus on the September 22nd, 1997 edition of Monday Nitro. It wasn't too long, however, before Goldberg was turning heads on WCW Nitro and Saturday Night. His first program came against fellow ex-footballer Steve "Mongo" McMichael, and ended with a Goldberg victory at Starrcade
In April 1998, with less than a year of pro wrestling under his belt, Goldberg defeated Raven
for the U.S. Heavyweight Championship. Meanwhile, WCW had been hyping "the streak", a lengthy run as an undefeated wrestler in WCW that only added fuel to the myth that Goldberg was becoming.
On July 6th, 1998 on one of the biggest nights in Nitro history, Goldberg earned a shot at Hollywood Hulk Hogan's WCW World title in Atlanta's Georgiadome. Goldberg had to defeat Scott Hall first, but when he finally got to Hogan, Goldberg used his patented spear and jackhammer for the victory and the World title.
Expected to be a limited time champion that would serve simply as an opponent against whom Hogan could triumphantly regain the title, Goldberg instead took the belt and held onto it, defeating Diamond Dallas Page, Curt Hennig and Sting until Starrcade 98
when his title reign and streak of 173 consecutive victories came to an end at the hands of Kevin Nash
(with some help from Scott Hall and his tazer gun). Although Goldberg was to be given a rematch several weeks later, an N.W.O. ruse involving Elizabeth prevented Goldberg from getting to the arena on time to stop Nash from dropping to the title to Hogan.
Back in the ring, Goldberg feuded with Hall and Nash only to run afoul of Bret Hart
. Hart hit Goldberg with a chair during a match with Sting at Slamboree 99
, injuring Goldberg's leg. When Goldberg returned, he turned his attention towards Nash, Rick Steiner and Sid Vicious from whom Goldberg would win the U.S. title at Halloween Havoc '99
Later that night, he also defeated Sting seemingly to have won the World title but the belt was held up and put up for a tournament. Bret Hart won the tournament and declared Goldberg the number one contender. This led to a partnership between he and Goldberg. The two men would team to beat the Harris Brothers to win the World Tag Team titles.
At Starrcade 1999
, Goldberg kicked WCW World Champion Hart in the head, causing the Hitman to suffer a soon-to-be career-ending concussion. Hart would retain the championship due to a repeat of the Montreal Screwjob incident at the hands of Rowdy Roddy Piper.Hart granted Goldberg a rematch but betrayed his former tag partner and aligned with the N.W.O.
Hart wasn't the only one to go down with an injury. Goldberg injured his arm by putting it through a car windshield, trying to get to Kevin Nash, costing him months of ring time. Shortly after coming back in May, 2000, Goldberg turned heel and aligned himself with Eric Bischoff. Goldberg feuded with Nash and later Scott Steiner as well over becoming the number one contender to the WCW World title.
Goldberg's also began fueding not with a WCW wrestler but with booker Vince Russo who had written himself into the scripts. Goldberg had to battle the likes of Steiner, Meng, Kronic and finally Lex Luger under the threat that if his new unbeaten streak came to an end, so would his career in WCW. Finally, at Starrcade 2000
, Luger defeated Goldberg and it was the final match for Goldberg in WCW.
After the demise of WCW, Goldberg remained under contract to AOL/Time Warner until signing a contract buyout in May 2002, making him a free agent. In August, after recovering from an arm injury sustained during a celebrity car race in April, Goldberg traveled to Japan. On August 30th, he defeated Satoshi Kojima during an All Japan show, and then on November 1st, he defeated Rick Steiner at a W-1 show in Yokohama, Japan. He would also team Keiji Mutoh to defeat Kronic in Tokyo.
In March 2003, the day after Wrestlemania XIX
, Bill Goldberg made his appearance on Raw, having signed with the WWE. He made quite the impact, interrupting the Rock
and spearing the WWE Superstar. Goldberg challenged the Rock to a match at Backlash
. The Rock initially refused but subsequent attacks by Goldberg prompted the Rock to agree. Goldberg got the victory over the Rock at Backlash.
After a program with Chris Jericho
, Goldberg and Triple H
finally clashed in a WWE ring. At SummerSlam
, Goldberg faced Triple H, as well as Shawn Michaels
, Randy Orton
, Kevin Nash and Chris Jericho in an elimination chamber match that Helmsley won.
on September 21, 2003, Goldberg defeated Triple H to win the WWE World Championship. Helmsley was so upset at the loss that he offered a $100 000 bounty to anyone who can take Goldberg out. Mark Henry, Rodney Mack and Bautista all tried to take out Goldberg, with Bautista being given the bounty.
As Goldberg continued to battle Triple H for the title, Kane became involved in the fued. At December's Armaggedon
pay-per-view, Triple H regained the World title in a Triple Threat match against Kane and Goldberg.
At the 2004 Royal Rumble
, Goldberg's hopes for earning a WWE title shot were dashed when Brock Lesnar
attacked him and led to his elimination. Goldberg, with some help from Steve Austin
, got some revenge when he attended Smackdown's No Way Out
pay-per-view and caused Lesnar to lose the WWE Championship to Eddie Guerrero
The stage was set for a Goldberg-Lesnar match at Wrestlemania XX
with Austin as the special guest referee. The fact that Goldberg's contract was running out and that he would not return to the WWE was overshadowed by Lesnar's announcement that he too was leaving the organization to play professional football. The match was not a classic by any stretch of the imagination but Goldberg got the win as he left the WWE.
After leaving the WWE, Goldberg has concentrated on celebrity appearances and filming two new movies Santa's Slay
and The Longest Yard
. While a return to the WWE doesn't seem likely, Goldberg is expected to hit the ring in Japan in the future.
May 22, 2005: Goldberg's got it made with new movie career
Dec. 20, 2003: Star turned into fool's Goldberg
Sep. 22, 2003: Unforgiven: Goldberg wins Gold
June 22, 2003: J.R.: Goldberg back on track
Nov. 14, 2000: Goldberg speaks his mind in new bio
June 7, 2000: Goldberg bothered by sexual content
Oct. 3, 1999: Goldberg's against cockfighting
March 12, 1999: Goldberg and Bigelow brawl at video shoot
March 11, 1999: Racing along with Goldberg
Feb. 19, 1999: Goldberg hammers his critics
Sep. 4, 1998: Goldberg does his thing in ring
July 16, 1998: Taking pride in Goldberg's Jewish heritage
July 7, 1998: Goldberg is 'Da Man!
-- compiled by John Milner