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William Scott "Bill" Goldberg (born December 27, 1966) is an American professional wrestler and actor best known for his time in both World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment. Goldberg is recognized by WWE as a two-time World Heavyweight Champion, being the first man to hold both the WCW and WWE incarnations of the Big Gold Belt. Before he was a professional wrestler, Goldberg was a college and NFL football player. He was also a commentator for the now-defunct mixed martial arts promotion EliteXC.

Football

Goldberg was drafted out of Georgia as a Defensive End by the Los Angeles Rams in 1990 NFL season. He was taken in the 11th round with the 302nd overall selection in the 1990 NFL Draft. Goldberg played his first game in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons in 1992, with whom he played until 1994. After being cut from the Falcons, in 1995 Bill was selected by the new expansion team, the Carolina Panthers in the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft, but never played a game with the team.

Wrestling career

World Championship Wrestling (1997–2001)

Debut, undefeated streak and United States Champion

After training at the WCW Power Plant, Goldberg made his televised debut where "Rowdy" Roddy Piper brought out a group of unknowns. Goldberg, sporting red hair, was soon made over with no hair and plain black trunks. On the September 22 edition of WCW Monday Nitro, Goldberg defeated Hugh Morrus in his debut match. Soon afterwards, Goldberg's succession of wins saw him quickly advance up the card, and was pushed as a singles wrestler. Goldberg made his pay-per-view debut at Starrcade defeating Steve McMichael. In early 1998, Goldberg defeated Brad Armstrong at SuperBrawl VIII and Perry Saturn at Spring Stampede in squash matches. On April 20, 1998 edition of Nitro, Goldberg won the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship, by defeating Raven. This match demonstrated one of the most energetic responses from fans attending the event for Goldberg, even drawing a small pack of fans to force a fleeing Raven back to ringside where Goldberg would finish him off and win the title. Two days later, on the April 22 edition of WCW Thunder, he made his first successful title defense against Mike Enos. Goldberg then started a feud with Raven and his Flock. At Slamboree, he ended his feud with the Flock after a successful title defense against Saturn. Goldberg would continue to make successful title defenses against Konnan at The Great American Bash, and Curt Hennig.

Main event push and World Heavyweight Champion

As Goldberg was getting over as a main event, he easily defeated Hollywood Hogan on July 6 edition of Nitro to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and gain an undefeated record of 108-0 (although he did lose in a house show against Roddy Piper that was undocumented by WCW). As a result, Goldberg vacated the United States title. Goldberg retained his title in his first World Heavyweight title defense against Scott Hall in a dark match. Goldberg then began a feud with Curt Hennig and retained the title against him at Bash at the Beach. He retained the title in a rematch against Hennig at the next night on Nitro. At Road Wild, Goldberg won a battle royal, consisting of New World Order (nWo) members.

On October 11, 1998, episode of Nitro, Goldberg defeated The Giant in a no-disqualification match displaying an unbelievable feat of strength, as he executed a delayed vertical suplex before hitting the Jackhammer on The Giant to win the match.

After Diamond Dallas Page became the number one contender to the WCW Title, Goldberg and Page began a feud with each other. At Halloween Havoc, the feud was settled after Goldberg defeated Page to retain the title. After settling his feud with Page, he got involved in a short feud with Bam Bam Bigelow, who left Extreme Championship Wrestling to wrestle Goldberg. On November 16 edition of Nitro, Goldberg defended the WCW Title against Bigelow in Bigelow's WCW debut, but the match went to a no contest.At Starrcade, Goldberg's undefeated streak was ended at 173 victories when he lost his title to Kevin Nash after Scott Hall made a run-in and shocked Goldberg with a cattle prod. However, Goldberg avenged this act by facing Hall at Souled Out, in a Ladder Taser Match. Goldberg won when he used the taser, which was hung high above the ring, requiring the ladder to obtain it. After the match, Goldberg's rival Bam Bam Bigelow came out and attacked him, thus the duo began their rivalry once again. Goldberg defeated Bigelow at SuperBrawl IX to settle the feud. At the same time, the World Wrestling Federation began mocking Goldberg with the character Gillberg, a perennial jobber who dressed similarly to Goldberg and mocked his signature entrance and mannerisms.

At Spring Stampede, Goldberg gained his revenge against Nash after defeating him. Goldberg wrestled a match against Sting at Slamboree, which was fought to a no contest. Soon after, Goldberg was "injured" and took some time off to prepare for his movie Universal Soldier: The Return. He returned two months later, and defeated Rick Steiner at Road Wild. Goldberg then restarted his feud with Diamond Dallas Page also involving Page's allies, The Jersey Triad, which culminated in a match at Fall Brawl that Goldberg won. After Goldberg settled his rivalry with Page, he began focusing on Sid Vicious and challenged him to a match to end Sid's winning streak. The two feuded with each other, which culminated in a match at Halloween Havoc for Sid's U.S. Title. Goldberg defeated Sid via referee stoppage, and thus won his second United States Heavyweight Championship. Later that night, he answered an open challenge from World Heavyweight Champion Sting and defeated him to win the championship.

However, on the next night's edition of Nitro, commissioner J.J. Dillon ruled that the match had not been sanctioned by WCW and that, therefore, Goldberg's victory was void. The title was vacated and a 32-man tournament was held to determine a new champion, which started that night. Goldberg entered the tournament and wrestled his first match against Bret Hart later that night, choosing also to defend his newly won U.S. Title in the match. Interference from Sid Vicious cost Goldberg the match and the title as well as his second official WCW loss. Goldberg continued his rivalry with Vicious and defeated him in an "I Quit" match at Mayhem.

Shortly thereafter, Goldberg joined forces with Hart, teaming with him to defeat Creative Control for the WCW World Tag Team Championship. One week later, they lost the titles to The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash). At Starrcade, Goldberg challenged Hart for the World Heavyweight Championship. In the course of the match, Goldberg delivered a stiff kick to Hart's head, legitimately giving him a concussion and tearing a muscle in his neck. After being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, Hart retired several weeks later. Despite that, Goldberg lost the match to Hart, but with the match shrouded in controversy, Hart vacated the title the next night on Nitro, saying he didn't want to win that way and granting Goldberg a rematch. Goldberg was defeated again due to outside interference from the Outsiders, who began to beat on Goldberg with baseball bats. In a swerve, Hart took one of the bats from The Outsiders and began beating on Goldberg himself, doing enough damage to score the pin and regain his championship. After the match, Hall, Nash, Hart, and Jeff Jarrett announced the reformation of the nWo, and gave Goldberg a new target for a feud. However, it would not last long.

World Title contender

Shortly after his title match loss, Goldberg was accidentally injured during a sequence where he chased the nWo limousine into the parking lot. A spot in the sequence called for Goldberg to pound on the windshield of the limousine with his hands. To ensure his safety, Goldberg had protective covering placed over his hands and the windshield glass was also covered with plastic. However, Goldberg got a little too overaggressive in his pounding, broke through the plastic covering the windshield, and severely injured his forearm when shards of the glass sliced it, causing him to miss the January 4, 2000 New Japan Pro Wrestling Tokyo Dome show, where he was scheduled to face Manabu Nakanishi.After taking time off to recuperate, Goldberg returned to WCW on May 29, 2000 interfering in a match between Kevin Nash and the team of Tank Abbott and Rick Steiner on Nitro. At The Great American Bash, Goldberg betrayed Nash during Nash's World Heavyweight Title match against Jeff Jarrett and turned heel for the first time in his career, aligning himself with the New Blood faction. This didn't last long, as Goldberg would again be lost to injury and miss time. As a result of this betrayal, Goldberg feuded with Nash and defeated him at Bash at the Beach, with help from fellow New Blood member Scott Steiner. Goldberg faced World Champion Booker T for the title and won the match, but didn't regain the title since Booker T didn't submit. Goldberg participated in a triangle number one contender's match against Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner at New Blood Rising, which Nash won. Goldberg turned face again after Bret Hart attacked him on an edition of Nitro and then he and Scott Steiner began a feud with each other, culminating in a no disqualification match at Fall Brawl, which Goldberg lost.He began a new undefeated streak in October 2000, with Vince Russo threatening to "fire" him if he lost. Goldberg defeated KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clark) at Halloween Havoc in a handicap elimination match to begin his undefeated streak. He started a feud with Lex Luger, who claimed to be the first wrestler to end both Goldberg's streak and career. This culminated in a match at Mayhem, which Goldberg won. They continued their rivalry and battled in a rematch at Starrcade, which if Goldberg lost, he had to retire. Goldberg won the match, but after the match, he was attacked by Luger's partner Buff Bagwell. Goldberg feuded with both Luger and Bagwell, who called themselves Totally Buff. His streak was broken at Sin when Goldberg, teaming with his Power Plant trainer Dwayne Bruce, lost to Totally Buff in a tag team no disqualification match after a "fan" maced him, enabling Totally Buff to pin him. The angle was intended to enable Goldberg to have shoulder surgery, but WCW was sold to the WWF in March 2001, while Goldberg still recuperating. The WWF did not buy out Goldberg's contract with Time Warner (the parent company of WCW) as they had done with several other WCW employees, so he was not involved in the WWF "Invasion" angle. Goldberg instead remained under contract to Time Warner until May 2002, when he agreed on a contract buyout.

In the course of his WCW career, Goldberg had six official singles defeats: three to Bret Hart, one to Kevin Nash, one to Scott Steiner, and one to Booker T.

All Japan Pro Wrestling (2002–2003)

Goldberg had suffered an arm injury during the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Long Beach Grand Prixmarker in April 2002. In August 2002, he returned to the ring in Japanmarker. He initially joined All Japan Pro Wrestling, defeating Satoshi Kojima and Taiyō Kea. He went on to defeat Rick Steiner in a match for the W-1 promotion, and teamed with Keiji Muto to defeat KroniK. His success in Japan led to the World Wrestling Federation - now renamed World Wrestling Entertainment - beginning contract negotiations with him.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2003–2004)

Feud with The Rock and winning streak

Goldberg signed a one year contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in March 2003, debuting in WWE on the March 31 edition of WWE Raw, the night after WrestleMania XIX. Immediately he began a feud with The Rock by spearing him. Their rivalry intensified when The Rock held a segment entitled The Rock Concert, where he taunted Goldberg along with Gillberg. He defeated The Rock in his debut match at Backlash. The match was won by Goldberg following three spears and a Jackhammer. Goldberg went undefeated over the subsequent half-year, defeating 3-Minute Warning in his first match on Raw. Goldberg defeated Christian on the following edition of Raw in a steel cage match.

Feud with Chris Jericho and World Title contender

Goldberg next feuded with Chris Jericho. During Jericho's first edition of the Highlight Reel, an interview show, where Goldberg was the guest, he complained that no one wanted Goldberg in the WWE and continued to insult him in the following weeks. On May 12 on Raw, a mystery assailant attempted to run over Goldberg with a limousine. A week later, Co-Raw General Manager, Stone Cold Steve Austin, interrogated several Raw superstars to find out who was driving the car. One of the interrogates was Lance Storm, who admitted that he was the assailant. Austin forced Storm into a match with Goldberg, who defeated Storm. After the match, Goldberg forced Storm to admit that Jericho was the superstar who conspired Storm into running him over. On May 26, Goldberg was once again a guest on the Highlight Reel. Jericho expressed jealousy towards Goldberg's success in WCW and felt that since joining WWE, he had achieved everything he had ever wanted in his career and all that was left was to defeat Goldberg and challenged him to a match. At Bad Blood, Goldberg settled the score with Jericho and defeated him. Following his victory over Jericho, Goldberg began pursuing the World Heavyweight Championship.

Feud with Triple H and World Heavyweight Champion

Goldberg started a rivalry with Triple H seeking the World Heavyweight Championship challenging him for the title at SummerSlam in the second Elimination Chamber match in WWE; after squashing and eliminating Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, and Jericho, he was pinned by Triple H after Ric Flair threw a sledgehammer inside the Chamber. Triple H proceeded to attack Goldberg with the sledgehammer and as a result, Triple H retained the title. Goldberg continued his feud with Triple H and finally defeated him for the World Heavyweight Championship at Unforgiven, after agreeing to put his career on the line. The next night on Raw, Goldberg successfully retained the championship against Chris Jericho. A week later, Triple H issued a $100,000 bounty to anybody who could take Goldberg out of the game. Steven Richards, Mark Henry, La Résistance and Tommy Dreamer all attempted to collect the bounty but were unsuccessful. On October 20, it was Batista who collected the bounty after he interfered in Goldberg's title defense against Shawn Michaels on Raw and attacked Goldberg, placing a folding chair around Goldberg's ankle and jumping off the middle rope onto the chair, shattering his ankle. Furious, Goldberg demanded a match against Batista. Triple H, however, got involved in the match between Goldberg and Batista trying to cripple Goldberg, but Goldberg fought back and speared Triple H before attacking Batista with a sledgehammer. At Survivor Series, Goldberg retained his championship against Triple H despite interference from Evolution. Earlier at the event, Goldberg met WWE Champion Brock Lesnar from the SmackDown! brand.

Feud with Kane and World Title loss

On November 17, Goldberg faced Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista in a Handicap match on Raw but was pinned following an RKO, a Batista Bomb and finally a Pedigree. After the match, Kane unexpectedly came out to seemingly assist Goldberg after Evolution continued their assault on him following the match. After scaring off Evolution however, he turned on Goldberg and chokeslammed him. The following week, Kane attacked Goldberg again while he was defending his championship against Triple H in a rematch from Survivor Series and later that night, expressed his desire to face Goldberg for the title. Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff announced that Goldberg would be defending his championship against both Kane and Triple H in a triple threat match at Armageddon. Goldberg teamed with Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam to face Kane, Batista, and Randy Orton in a six-man tag team match. Goldberg's team won when Van Dam pinned Orton. On December 8 on Raw, Goldberg faced Kane in a Lumberjack match which ended in a disqualification when Evolution entered the ring and assaulted Goldberg. At Armageddon, Goldberg ultimately lost the title when Triple H pinned him after interference from Evolution and a Chokeslam from Kane.

Feud with Brock Lesnar and departure

At the Royal Rumble, Goldberg participated in the Rumble match. Goldberg entered as the 30th and final participant, an advantage he earned by defeating both Test and Scott Steiner in an advancement triple threat match and winning a six-man battle royal several days before the Rumble. During the event, he crossed paths with Brock Lesnar for the second time when the latter interrupted Goldberg during a backstage interview. While Goldberg was in the midst of dominating the Royal Rumble, Lesnar interfered in the match and hit Goldberg with the F-5. With his attention turned on Lesnar, Kurt Angle eliminated a distracted Goldberg from behind. Goldberg vowed revenge on Lesnar and after defeating Mark Henry and Jonathan Coachman in a handicap match, he declared Lesnar his next victim. On February 2, Goldberg was given a front row ticket to Smackdown PPV No Way Out by Austin. Smackdown! General Manager Paul Heyman appeared on Raw and, along with Vince McMahon attempted to get Goldberg to back off in his vendetta against Lesnar which resulted in Goldberg spearing Heyman and accidentally spearing Austin when he was aiming for McMahon. Goldberg attended No Way Out confronting Lesnar at the event and attacking him resulting in Goldberg being arrested and escorted out of the arena by Security Guards. During the main event between Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero, Goldberg reemerged and cost Lesnar the WWE Championship. This led to a match between the two being scheduled for WrestleMania XX. Goldberg's match against Lesnar is notable for the crowd becoming aware that this was to be both men's last match in the WWE; it became known shortly before the match that Lesnar was pursuing an NFL career. As a result, the audience turned on them by booing and shouting derogatory chants such as "Na na na na hey hey hey goodbye" and "You sold out" at both participants; although, Lesnar was more of a target of the fans' disdain possibly because he was the intended heel in the match and Goldberg was mildly cheered. Amid the resounding boos, ringside commentator Jim Ross acknowledged Lesnar's plans to leave the company at least. After Goldberg defeated Lesnar, both men were given a Stone Cold Stunner by Austin, who served as the special guest referee for the match, on their way out. One week later, his WWE contract expired and was not renewed, thus ending Goldberg's WWE career.

Post–wrestling activity

Since leaving WWE, Goldberg has primarily focused on his acting career. He has commented on his year with WWE in a highly critical fashion, arguing that his character was poorly utilized.

In February 2006, several media outlets reported that Goldberg was in negotiations with the professional wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling; possibly in response to these rumors, semi-retired wrestler Warrior commented on his website that he would be interested in wrestling Goldberg in WWE should WWE approach him with such an offer. In a series of interviews conducted in June 2006, Goldberg stated that he was mildly interested in working for TNA, particularly since his friend Sting had joined the promotion by then, but had several reservations; he was holding out for a contract similar to the magnitude of Sting's. Goldberg's name has been brought up frequently in TNA during angles and during backstage discussions and rumors. Goldberg's name was first mentioned at Lockdown 2006, as Goldberg became the target of a rumor of him joining Sting's warriors to wage war against Jarrett's army as a result of Steiner being brought in. His name was also brought up as a candidate for the consultant of Christian Cage, along with Brock Lesnar's, but it was later revealed to be Scott Steiner. Goldberg was upset about this, as was Brock Lesnar, as neither of them was informed of their names being on the list (since it was Brock Lesnar himself who informed Goldberg of the list). Another rumor had surfaced about Goldberg being the fifth member of Team Angle for the Lethal Lockdown match at Lockdown 2007, but it was revealed that Jeff Jarrett was that man.

He was scheduled to appear at WrestleFanFest Malice in the Palace on October 19, 2007, but did not attend. However, he did attend the autograph signing session earlier in the day.

On August 22, 2008, Goldberg announced on the Fight Network Radio that he had been training for three weeks to make his long awaited professional wrestling return, but Goldberg has stated that his return would not involve WWE or TNA.

Goldberg was a special guest star on Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling.

Mixed Martial Arts

On July 22, 2006, Goldberg served as color commentator in mixed martial arts promotion World Fighting Alliance (WFA) King of the Streets pay-per-view in Los Angeles, Californiamarker.

Goldberg became a color commentator for the EliteXC Mixed martial arts organization during their inaugural event. The event, EliteXC Destiny, was broadcast live on Showtime, on February 10, 2007. He has continued in this role through all of EliteXC's showcase and combined cards, including Dynamite!! USA, Strikeforce Shamrock vs. Baroni, EliteXC: Renegade, and EliteXC: Street Certified.

When asked whether he was interested in becoming a mixed martial artist, Goldberg stated, "I'd love to, especially if I was 21 or even 29, but these guys are so far ahead of me in terms of experience. I never say never, though. But I don’t see myself stopping my movies, my shows, my commentating, or being a dad to do that".

Goldberg is also the Vice President of Public Relations for World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA), an organization intended to provide universal rankings for fighters and organize cross-promotional title fights and defenses.

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves




  • Signature moves








Championships and accomplishments



Media

Goldberg was the first-ever guest on the "Pain Clinic," a professional wrestling radio talk show based in Rochester, New Yorkmarker that debuted on November 14, 1998. He made several more appearances on the show, with his final appearance taking place on November 19, 2005.

Goldberg began acting while working for WCW in 1999. His appearance in Universal Soldier: The Return corresponded with him being featured in the music video.

Filmography



Television appearances



In popular culture

Former street fighter-turned Mixed Martial Artist Kimbo Slice has publicly referred to himself as the "Original Black Goldberg" on at least one occasion.

Personal life

Goldberg's mother, Ethel, is a classical violinist, while his father, Jed, a graduate of Harvard Universitymarker, was an obstetrician and gynecologist (they divorced). Jed died in late 2006. In addition to playing the violin, Ethel breeds flowers, and once succeeded in creating an award-winning hybrid orchid which she named after Goldberg. Bill is also proud of his Jewish religion and became well-known for his Jewish identity during his wrestling career. He was raised in Tulsa, Oklahomamarker, where he was bar mitzvah at Temple Israel and graduated from Tulsa Edison High Schoolmarker. Goldberg played football at the University of Georgiamarker, which later led to him playing with the Los Angeles Rams (1990-91), Atlanta Falcons (1992-94), and Carolina Panthers (1995).

On April 10, 2005, Goldberg married Wanda Ferraton, a stunt double whom he met while filming Santa's Slay, as stated in this movie's audio commentary. They have a son together, Gage A.J. Goldberg, who was born on May 10, 2006.

Goldberg is an animal welfare advocate and an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animalsmarker (ASPCA) spokesman, and has addressed the United States Congress in order to raise awareness of illegal animal fighting. Every year, Goldberg also plays golf in the Jimmy V Golf Classic and visits with children in local hospitals who are undergoing cancer treatment. The Jimmy V Foundation raises money for cancer research and is named after Jim Valvano, the former NC State Coach who passed away from the disease.

Goldberg co-owns and operates the " Extreme Power Gym" Muay Thai and Amateur boxing training facility in Oceanside, Californiamarker. Goldberg owns over 25 vintage cars.

Books

  • Goldberg, Bill and Goldberg, Steve (2000) I'm Next: The Strange Journey of America's Most Unlikely Superhero, ISBN 0-609-60780-4


References

  1. World Fighting Alliance " Bill Goldberg Wrestles with New Gig for WFA", WFA.tv
  2. Forman, Ross " Exclusive interview", BillGoldberg.com
  3. Handler, Judd " The Hebrew Hulk", San Diego Jewish Journal
  4. Reilly, Rick " Wrestling with Their Son's Career", Sports Illustrated
  5. Paul Farhi, "Goldberg: A David in Goliath's Shoes", Washington Post, December 9, 1999.
  6. Crevar, Alex " Goldberg Rules the Ring", University of Georgia
  7. Kurtzman, Daniels " Jewish pro-wrestling star goes to the mat for animals", Jewish Telegraphic Agency


External links




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