Complete Transcript of The Broken Skull Sessions With Goldberg ! This special is now available on-demand on the WWE Network.
– There’s a lot of times where Goldberg will cut in while Austin is speaking.
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Steve Austin: All right, everybody. I’m Stone Cold Steve Austin. Welcome to The Broken Skull Sessions. My next guest had one of the most fascinating runs in the history of the wrestling business. Back in the day when I used to walk through the airports, people used to yell at me, “Goldberg.” Conversely sometimes when he walked through the airports, people would yell “Hey, Stone Cold.”
It pissed both of us off because we were in competition. We worked for opposing companies, WCW vs. WWE. It was The Monday Night Wars. That was an insult. We took it personally. These days when someone calls me Goldberg, I smile and consider it a compliment. My guest today is a guy who I have become really good friends with. One of the most fantastic runs in the history of the business, I introduce Bill Goldberg.
How are you, brother? Do you remember those days?
Goldberg: I’m awesome, man. It’s good to see you. Do I remember those days? It happened last Monday.
Steve Austin: Are you kidding me? Where at?
Goldberg: I was in Milwaukee I think it was. And the Delta agent comes up. And I knew it was itching at him, right. He comes up and he goes, has anybody ever tell you, you look like Steve Austin? And I went ugh, you know, no offense due, but don’t you have a manifest in front of you that you probably should have read prior to putting your foot in your mouth like that. Just like you said a moment ago, back in the day, it used to piss me off exponentially. But you know, I’m honored and privileged, man, to be mistaken for a worldwide movie star and celebrity. It’s an honor, dude.
Steve Austin: On the other side of that, I was like, man, Bill is a lot more jacked up than me. But if you want to call me Goldberg, go ahead.
Goldberg: That’s what pissed me off back in the day because I was like three bills. And I don’t know, what were you, 270 at the moment?
Steve Austin: No, no, man, 250. Depended on how hard I was running.
Goldberg: I felt like — everybody is like, dude, man, you’re all skinny. But look at me, that’s what happens when you get old.
Steve Austin: No, you look great now but back then.
Goldberg: The fact is I always should have looked at it as honor, you know. But every once in a while, it would pissed me off.
Steve Austin: It shows how competitive we were back in the day. Here’s the thing, I’m sitting four feet from you. Goldberg and Stone Cold Steve Austin, the dream match that never happened. What the fuck happened?
Goldberg: It’s your fault that you even brought it back up. What was it a couple of weeks ago, you said that you could possibly be doing a match. And now it’s like i’m 800 years past my prime, if I even ever had a prime. And it’s like now, really?
Steve Austin: Hey, but here’s the thing. I get taken out of context all the time. I say hey, in theory I could have a match. I’m just trying to say I feel okay after all the damage I’ve been through. I’m in no way dangling or trying to tease a match. All these people jump in and let’s fantasy book Steve Austin. Fuck you, I don’t want to be fantasy booked.
Goldberg: Look, here’s the deal. The deal is we should look at it as a huge compliment because there are people who clamor for us doing our thing, you much more so than me. The fact is you still have a huge fan base and anybody would die to see you get back in the ring, as would I.
Steve Austin: Let’s just say okay, Stone Cold versus Goldberg. When you came to the WWE, I was fading out and I was beat up and battered. You were coming in dazed and confused. But in theory, I was thinking man, had you jumped a little sooner, we might have seen that match. But we didn’t see it. But it’s fun to think about it. Do you agree with the windows not lining up?
Goldberg: Well, there’s no question. I don’t know what was going on. But they wouldn’t let me anywhere near you when I went there. Do you remember that?
Steve Austin: But do you remember I welcomed you? We was in the northeast somewhere and I was talking to Vince and I welcomed you aboard.
Goldberg: It was a weird situation. I lien it to if you played college sports, I likened it to being a member of the football team walking into a frat party. I just didn’t feel like I belonged, you know. It was because we were at each others throats company wise, such a fevered pitch. So once I got there, it was weird for me because it was widely documented that I wasn’t the easiest person to get along with. Mainly because 90% of the people who broke me into the business would steer me the wrong way, you know. So I didn’t really trust anybody, except for the Minnesota boys.
Steve Austin: Yeah. I kind of, you know, invented that DTA thing, don’t trust anybody. It was kind of a shoot from me as well. When I think about your wrestling career — and I know back in the day growing up as a kid in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you watched the business. You watched a little bit with your grandmother in Tulsa.
Goldberg: We used to watch Texas Championship Wrestling. Brody and The Von Erichs and Ivan Putski. Man, it was an unbelievable time.
Steve Austin: It was something you watched, but weren’t enamored with. You were a football guy. I think you were destined to get into the wrestling business. Because your great grandfather wrestled Frank Gotch. You start watching with your grandmother, but you were a football guy. You would ultimately end up in Atlanta, and then your football career would stop.
Goldberg: My roommate my rookie year was Kevin Green who did the best Hulk Hogan impression and whose idea it was for me to break into the business to being with.
Steve Austin: And your brother Mike roomed with Ric Flair. Called Flair and said, hey man, Bill might get into the wrestling business. But’s let go back to the football days. Tell me about your love or what you got out of playing football that ignited you, that you were so passionate about.
Goldberg: I remember having no other focus whatsoever, no end game. No light at the end of the tunnel than me putting my helmet on and getting to smash people. For me it was the coolest thing ever, not because of the individual game that I got out of it. I’m a team player. I like being part of a team and us banding together for one common goal. Ain’t got to be the quarterback. Put me in the middle of the nasty stuff. If you want that done, I’ll do it. For me, the average football play is 18 seconds. You can learn a lot about a person, about life and about yourself in those 18 seconds. It was a reset. Every 18 seconds I got to smash a dude again or I got to pay him back.
Steve Austin: What did you enjoy about smashing people?
Goldberg: Man, it’s that feeling. I don’t know what it is. It’s when you walked down the ramp and you take a deep breath and you look at all the people and you just feel that energy, it’s not a dominance thing. It’s just might be a dominance thing.
Steven Austin: It’s competitive.
Goldberg: But there needs to be people in the world that cut me, right. Well, there also needs to be nose guards that weight 275 that will try to rip your face off every play because that’s what he loves to do. Not because of a goal that he attains, but the feeling he gets on that one-on-one competition. I don’t know. It’s archaic. I thrive on it. I really do.
Steve Austin: That’s where all your problems disappeared?
Goldberg: I don’t know if it was a release. I don’t think — even if I had the easiest childhood in the world, I still would have loved to play football. Because there’s nothing — other than stepping on the gas and watching your tires explode, there’s nothing that can give you that feeling. Walking down the ramp in front of 50,000 people that can give you the feeling, too. But it’s a different archaic medieval, just fricking raw feeling that I just love.
Steve Austin: Finally, I want to get into your wrestling career. But you were all SEC in ’88 and ’89. Second team all american in 89. Drafted 302nd in the 11 or 13th round.
Goldberg: 11th round man that was back then when they had like 10 days.
Steve Austin: With those accolades, why so late?
Goldberg: I think it had to do with my transgressions. At the end of the year prior to the Gator Bowl, we were playing Michigan State and the partying was really heavy at The University of Georgia. I found myself in a position to where I partied a little bit too hard along with a number of other people. But unfortunately, or fortunately for me, I was the only one that kind of got nabbed on the NCAA Drug Test. But it’s the story of my life. You live and learn and you’re on to your next endeavor. And I took a step back. But, you know, the fact is you’ve got to look at it like a learning experience. And hopefully I learned something from it and I came back bigger and better the next year. You know, it is what it is.
Steve Austin: Injures are piling up a little bit. But you end up going to the Los Angeles Rams. And I’ll be damned if you didn’t get cut once, you got cut twice. How crushing of a blow was it to get cut by Robinson and then by Shaw. Your dream is to be a NFL Player, they said see ya later.
Goldberg: That was the only thing I wanted to do. So you talk about depression. You talk about not having an end game. I had no idea what I was going to do. The only dream I ever had was completely taken away from me because of my inability to be good enough to stay. After the second time I was cut from the Rams, I went to the World Football League. And Sacramento Surge, we won the World Championship. And three weeks later after that season was over, I went and signed with The Falcons and went straight into training camp. You’re not going to say anything because, for god’s sake, that spot you have at that one time, you don’t want to lose it.
Steve Austin: Nice hair.
Goldberg: But, you know, I had no choice. I worked my ass off. Then I got hurt in the last preseason game in 94. I tore my abdomen off of my pelvis and I was on the team the whole year. They didn’t know what was wrong with me. It was a little bit painful to say the least. Three weeks after the season, I get cut. They figure it out. Then I get thrown into the supplemental draft and Carolina picks me up and they have no idea what’s going on. And so I’m there where a brand-new team is trying to start from the ground up and I can’t even walk.
I’ll never forget, I walked in and see the head coach and I said, you know, as much as I want to be here, I mean this is not going to work out because I mean i’m not that good to begin with and now i’m already way behind the 8-Ball. So let’s do that. And I left. And my accountant called me and said, hey man, you know, you didn’t make millions of dollars, so you might want to get off your ass and do something. So I went to fricking main event fitness and I lifted more weights than any human being ever should be able to lift as an outlet.
Steve Austin: Okay. So you’re at main event fitness. Again I always think, man, you’re on this track to be a pro wrestler, but you’re not really passionate about the business like you are with football.
Goldberg: The reason why I was not passionate — Well, one reason I was kind of turned off a little bit was when I was at Georgia, we had a day game. We’d have the ability to get in our cars afterwards and drive to Atlanta and party. And you know how Atlanta was during those days. Confettis and all that kind of stuff. Yeah. It was interesting, to say the least.
Steve Austin: So let’s go back to your main event fitness. Sting and Luger, Bagwell is there. You met Diamond Dallas Page out on the town a few times.
Goldberg: I saw some people out. And being a psych major, I mean we’re entertainers, right. But for the most part when i’m not on, I don’t want to be involved with anything. I want to be invisible. I want to be that fly on the wall so that I can just chill, you know and relax. So i’m observing some people and some dude comes in like wearing a belt. Like he’s wearing his belt, dude. There’s no way. And full disclosure — the only guy I knew in the business at that time was Dallas. And Dallas, we all know how Dallas is. He’s the best self promoter in the world. And he’s a carny, you know. That’s his shtick, that’s what he does. I played at Georgia and people knew me for ripping guys’ heads off.
I couldn’t accept the fact that they could see me doing one thing and then doing something completely the opposite in front of them. How can I pull that off, you know? It was just weird for me. And it’s like I didn’t want to walk in and have people go, hey man, that’s a professional wrestler. Because at the time, I didn’t — I knew The Steiners really well. I knew Sting, but all the different personalities were so much different. I really had no indication of what the wrestling business was all about. And what I saw, those couple of times, I was like, man, I don’t want to be called one of those guys. And then lo and behold, here we are.
Steve Austin: Okay. So you end up going down to the world famous power plant. Sergeant Buddy Lee Parker, sarge. Was that a picture of the facility you were trained at? Because I was thinking that looks way more sophisticated.
Goldberg: That’s way nicer thank it looked when I was there.
Steve Austin: When you were there, there might have been one or two rings? Because I remember Van Hammer jumped on a pole one time and it sliced his hand open because it was a much more cramped space. That’s pretty scientific.
Goldberg: Yeah, that’s scientific. Because I remember I think there were two rings at the most at the time because I had a little video camera set up over here. It would video me every single day from the first day. And I’ve still got them. From the first day to the last day. What i’d do is i’d go home — I didn’t know the craft, right? But I had an idea. And i’d go home and i’d watch my video and then i’d watch, you know, Pancrase of UFC stuff — not UFC back in the day. It was different, UWF.
I’d watch those guys. And I knew that MMA was going to be huge one day. And I figured here’s a guy that people already knew played football, so they could get the big monster thing. And then if I go MMA, then that’s new. That’s groundbreaking, that’s what I see for the future. I’ve been trained in it for a long time anyway. If I could learn to do it and do some things without hurting people, it’s a viable character.
Steve Austin: You’re down at the power plant. Sarge is leading the charge and you’re doing the drills. For instance, when I got into wrestling school, The Gentlemen Chris Adams Academy, I stood out just because I had somewhat of a physique and long blond hair. You’re standing out. Have you shaved your head yet?
Goldberg: They had Bob Sapp there.
Steve Austin: Okay, well, Bob Sapp is a different freak in his own universe.
Goldberg: I didn’t stand out at all.
Steve Austin: No, you did dude, look at you.
Goldberg: I did and I didn’t because there were a bunch of big dudes. Chase Hayden was down there. There were a bunch of big monsters and Bob was 375 dude, 360.
Steve Austin: You’re right, I follow you. But also taking into consideration that, your athletic ability was off the charts and the footwork from the D-Line stuff.
Goldberg: It was different and I could do a back fricking handspring at 290, you know. So I brought something to the table.
Steve Austin: So how did you take to the system?
Goldberg: Better question was, how did I take to Sarge? Because if a guy like Sarge didn’t lead the charge, I don’t know if I would have done it because Sarge pushed my ass.
Steve Austin: But you respected him.
Goldberg: Absolutely, I respected the shit out of him. But I didn’t respect a couple of other people down there because of the character that they knew and the way they chose to lead people. I mean I needed somebody like a Heyman, like somebody with an aggressive vision. They tried to kill me down there. They tried to kill everybody, but the fact is that if you come from a professional sport, they think you’re a cocky son of a bitch, right? They think you should have it handed to you.
I knew there was no fricking way that Buddy Lee Parker or anybody could do anything to me that I couldn’t handle because of my experiences on the football field. Ain’t nothing tougher than a three a day in Georgia heat, you know pads all day. I’m sorry. I mean you can go to war, yeah. But other than that, good luck. So I kind of smiled at everything he threw at me. And when Bob is yacking in a trash can over there and I’m just looking at him like, yeah, that’s what they want to do to me, but it ain’t happening. But I loved Sarge and everything he taught me.
Steve Austin: You have your camera set up over there. When you go back and watch yourself, what are you thinking? What’s the game plan? Because how long would you be at the power plant before you make your debut in some dark matches?
Goldberg: Six months. That was all. But I worked my ass off everyday. Kenny Chaos and Robbie Rage, those two probably helped me more than ever because they were my guinea pigs and they were MMA guys. Well, Rage was. Because I co-owned the largest MMA Gym in the world at that point before my partner stole money from me. But that was a dream of mine. And I had like a 30,000 square foot MMA Gym in Atlanta right when I broke into the business and I had, you know, Couture and everybody coming down and training at my gym. And so it was a great place for me to test stuff out.
Steve Austin: Okay. So when did they decide it’s time for Bill Goldberg to make his debut? Because I know you had made a couple of dark matches under the name Bill Gold and, all of a sudden, they decided to put you on television. What was the thinking behind that as far as them telling you, hey man, Bill is ready, let’s put him out there and see how he does?
Goldberg: Well, to tell you kind of where they were thought process wise, when I went out to do a dark match at Universal, I remember walking up to Jody Hamilton. He goes, what do you want them to call you? I said call me, The Hybrid. He’s like, The Hybrid, we can’t do that. I said why not? He goes, well, if you ever sell a shirt, we’re going to have a trademark issue, I said merch? I ain’t never going to sell no shirts. Call me Goldberg.
Steve Austin: You were looking at the short game.
Goldberg: He goes what’s your finish? I said what? What are you going to do at the end? It’s got to be big and powerful. I’m like okay, i’ll figure it out. So we go out there. They are introducing us or the referee is going over the particulars and I look — it was Manny Fernandez. And I look at Manny, I go, Manny, do you trust me? What’s he going to say? He said yeah. I said when it comes to the finish, just tuck your chin and spreads your legs and kiss your ass goodbye. He goes, okay whatever. So, man, I ran him over like nobody’s business. I go to the back and everybody was standing there like — I’m like what did I do?
They said whatever you do, do that every single time. I’m like I just did a football tackle. I don’t know what — and so to answer your question, The Streak was organic. My timing was organic. No one had a plan. They just kind of shot from the hip and fed people at a time when satiating people’s desires was the cool thing to do. I think they gave the people what they wanted because they saw how it kind of — there was a glimmer of it in the beginning and people kind of were frenzied because it wasn’t normal. By the time they figured out what was going on, it was over. And it was short and powerful and they wanted more.
Steve Austin: So there was no planning?
Goldberg: There was no planning.
Steve Austin: But Bischoff was in charge, right?
Goldberg: Well, yeah. There was no planning. So I remember there was a Thursday night. I’m sitting at home living in Dawsonville. And i’m looking at Thunder. And J.J. Dillon comes out and he goes we have breaking news, Monday live at The Georgia Dome, Goldberg vs. Hollywood Hogan. What? Who? I had no fricking idea. I found out when everybody else found out. I was just a piece of the puzzle and they figured out on the fly when to plug whatever in. And I just did what they told me.
Steve Austin: Okay, question. Would you call yourself, an overnight sensation?
Goldberg: Depends on your definition of that. I was in the right place at the right time.
Steve Austin: The right time, no doubt.
Goldberg: Hogan and them guys had come down from you guys. It was the perfect timing. They were big heels and they needed someone to be the good guy. And somebody that ironically they made on their own, a homegrown guy that just came out of nowhere. And I guess I was the guy.
Steve Austin: But I would say that you were an overnight sensation. When I started studying your body of work and looking at all the pieces, when you started talking about hybrid, you were right on track with what you ended up doing. You know, I just saw great striking, great kicks. Limited move set, but pure power, pure explosiveness. It wasn’t about you going out there and telling a 20 minute story.
Goldberg: That’s what everyone else does. That’s not good, bad or indifferent. That’s normal wrestling. But mine was kind of like feeding people to the lions. It was completely different. It was shock and awe. And by the time you figured out what was going on, it was gone, so you wanted more. I learned a lot of things from a lot of people. I remember I was training and I threw a guy into the corner. And I hit him 15 times and he’s still on his feet. And they were all powerful body shots and I mean come with an elbow.
Sarge comes up and he goes, why did you do that? I said what do you mean? I wanted to make it look strong. He goes then hit the son of a bitch once and drop him. I’m like hmm. Then i’m doing a match with Barbarian, my second match. I take a belly to belly from the top turnbuckle, right. I get to the back. Eric Bischoff runs up to me and he goes don’t you ever do that. I’m like, what did I do? He goes you’re never climbing up there again. You know, hey man, Barbarian, I love him, I respect him. I just did what he asked me to do.
So I kind of learned a little bit about a lot of things at that time. Slowly but surely, people didn’t have to tell me certain things, but I figured it out. Hogan, less is more. Sarge, when you think you’re going slow, slow down. I’m a very basic person. I truly am. You know, it’s kind of like life. There’s so much bullshit going on right now and people over think everything. If you are a good person and you treat people how you want to be treated, it’s pretty fricking simple. I just had a good work ethic. I tried listen to the right people and I hoped for the best.
Steve Austin: To me, I thought you came out and made maximum impact, you know. Short range of moves, powerful devastating moves.
Goldberg: That was realistic.
Steve Austin: And the intensity factor was off the charts. When I look at you, you first match when you start going to television, you are already in the ring like a jabron. Or they were announcing you as an unknown. It was giving Hugh Morris a little bit of a shove there. Bill is a big dude. There it is. Now, watch. Look, there’s a green guy standing in the corner, not selling nothing. Look at that, menace. No intimidation on your end. Admitting it, but not feeling it. Look at that. You can’t deny that.
Goldberg: And that was different.
Steve Austin: You’re a big dude. Okay, look at where you’re picking him up. Look at the body language.
Goldberg: He didn’t go with me either. I took him dude. Look at that!
Steve Austin: Here’s what I love here. Watch this. Love this. A couple of things going on here from a scouting perspective. Here’s what I’m seeing. Pure power. That was your first match, okay, that wasn’t dark. You dominated that guy and he goes over. We’ve got that. But you didn’t want the referee to raise your hand. I like that.
Goldberg: I didn’t want to talk, nothing.
Steve Austin: It was, hey dude, leave me alone. But it sent out a message, people watched that. It drew them in.
Goldberg: Dude, you can’t go backwards from there, that’s why.
Steve Austin: Another thing also, the trademark grapevine of the legs with both legs. At least one all the time. Different and unique, but also ensure that win. So just something that on a technical note that a lot of people might miss, but I loved it as a trademark. It was respect, but here’s what i’ve got to do to get this guy pinned. That’s what i’m going to do after that high impact maneuver.
Goldberg: Make everything mean something.
Steve Austin: You run through Hugh Morris. You do the next match with the Barbarian who I thought was very giving. Yeah, you did the belly to belly, but man, that’s Barbarian. You go through, Roadblock, who weighed over 400 pounds, okay. And then you go through Scotty Riggs, you catch him outside, pure power. Then 168 more would follow. This streak was created. But when I look at your debut and the way you handled yourself in those first five matches, dude, from the word go it just said superstar. And they started feeding the machine and lining up opponents.
Goldberg: Thank You.
Steve Austin: What were you feeling during that? Because green guys have to put in time. Man, you’re lost out there.
Goldberg: I was doing what I thought was right. I was protecting — I know that you can’t go backwards, right. So you can’t go out and start talking and smile and getting punched and get dropped. You can’t come back from that unless you’re, Steve Austin, and you reinvent yourself and you do something down the road. I had to start with the precedent and set the stage. And I couldn’t go backwards from there. And I always got shit because of it because people think like i’m the one who picks it. And the fact that I didn’t take bumps and it’s not my call — I was the guy. I was in that spot. There’s guys to win. There’s guys to lose.
When you’re the guy that wins 110,000 in a row, it’s easy to say, hey, I was just a team player. But i’m a team player. There are a lot of things in my career that people who are fans of me can look at me and give examples as to why they are fans. And there’s a lot of things in my career that people can look at as detractors and say, well, he sucks because of this. There’s a lot of things that I feel like define me, but here’s the one thing that I am going to tell you and everyone else that I truly am more proud of than anything in the world. And I put it out on instagram a couple months ago.
Bobby Eaton, remember? Bobby Eaton taught The Guerreros, The Steiners, Sarge, Dallas, there’s a lot of people who really helped me that a lot of people have no idea about. Like zero. Eaton helped me out so much. Sting so much. We’re in the middle of my streak and I still don’t know shit from Shinoa. And we are in his home fricking town, right, and he is putting me over that night. And I am begging Arn Anderson to let me put him over. Whether it’s a show or not, I wanted him to be the man that night. And it meant everything to me. And in the beginning I don’t know the brevity of the streak. But frick, as a man, I wanted to do that. I don’t want to say that i’m a great guy. I just want people to understand that that’s me. That’s my thought process. And in that night, in that moment, it meant more for me to make him the guy than anything about this streak thing that they were talking about.
Steve Austin: Okay. But how did the match go down? Jack Hammer, but you wanted to do the job.
Goldberg: Yeah, I wanted him to pin me. And it would have killed everything. But for me, it was, man, I don’t know, it was wrestling. But for me, it was the right thing to do. And I loved him and it was the way I could pay him back. But I didn’t know much about the business at that point. I’m like why can’t I do it? Now thinking back on it, it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world. But it just shows my character.
Steve Austin: It shows your true character.
Goldberg: I just love the man and I could never repay guys like that who made me the person and character that I was coming up.
Steve Austin: But I mean I tell you what, when you get a lightning bolt and get a chance to ride on it and stay on it, you’ve got to stay on it.
Goldberg: I get that now.
Steve Austin: Here’s the thing. When you came in, all of a sudden, WCW decides we’re going live on Monday night against Raw and call our show Nitro. Had a pretty damn good show. All of a sudden, here’s Bill Goldberg and The Monday Night Wars ensued. And y’all kicked our ass I think they call it 83 Weeks. I call it two years. Man, it caught me in a shoot. I was like our show is better than theirs.
Now a couple of times for a while, y’all had a pretty hot show and that’s why we was getting our ass handed to us. We had like 10 million people watch. So I was in that for a shoot. As you were coming along, hell, it’s 1998, you’re a year and a half in the business. You were Rookie Of The Year ’98. You are United States Champion and you’re about to beat Hulk Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship. We’ll talk about that in a second. How caught up in The Monday Night Wars did you get? Because I considered it a shoot.
Goldberg: I wanted to kill you.
Steve Austin: Me personally? Well, yeah. You motherfucker.
Goldberg: Because you represented the enemy. That’s all. But I never could have made it where I was without you being Steve Austin and I was the copycat over at WCW.
Steve Austin: Did you feel like that?
Goldberg: Did I feel like it? Only when people said something about it. When I look at it — I’d say there’s a huge fricking difference between those two guys right there. Huge, maybe not that picture.
Steve Austin: And different mindsets, but a parallel.
Goldberg: Absolutely. You and I couldn’t be any more alike, but be more unlike each other than we are.
Steve Austin: I agree. So it was a shoot to you. We were in the trenches. We were doing battle. At some point in time, we ended up kicking y’alls ass and WCW was bought out for pennies on the dollar. Before that happened, it was July 6th, 1998 at The Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Your hometown. And you’ve got to go through Scott Hall to get through Hulk Hogan. You dispatched Scott Hall. You and Hogan arguably the biggest name in the history of the business. You’ve got him up. After you speared him, Jack Hammer, one, two three. Bam! Look at that. Like that.
Goldberg: Lightest spear I’ve ever done.
Steve Austin: Exactly and I know why. Helping a brother out.
Goldberg: Hell yeah. This one, too. Letting him down.
Steve Austin: Normally you kind of a shove a guy under your arm pits.
Goldberg: Well, I catch myself with knees and my shoulders here. You can tell if you like the person or not. Look at that.
Steve Austin: It was like Brody and Hanson when they work with The Funks in Japan. Dude, look at that. Look at the excitement. Look at this. How can you not love that? The intensity, the energy, the adrenaline, the testosterone.
Goldberg: And they announced it Thursday night before. There were 44,000 people that made it there. Just imagine if it was advertised like I mean it would have been huge. It was awesome. It was surreal, you know. I go into the room beforehand and I have to go through Hall first which he and I have never gotten along. And I wanted to eat him more than anybody in the business. Then I have to go with Hogan and i’m scared shitless. I don’t know what’s going on. I just do what everybody tells me to do anyway. And here I got Hogan. So I go in, do you know what we’re doing? He goes, ah, we’ll call it in the ring kid. You’re kidding me right? He’ll tell you this. Fricking lock up, pulls the headlock, icy hot. He’s got it all over his body.
Steve Austin: Rubbing you?
Goldberg: Hell, yeah. I couldn’t see the whole fricking match.
Steve Austin: Yea, but he was a body guy. Bagwell wore the same stuff.
Goldberg: Did he wear it in his — whatever. It is what it is. I deserved it. It was all good. I was honored and privilege, you know, to be in that spot. And the coolest part was — and you may be getting to it. But it all went full circle. I had tried to play football. I got a certain amount of success. I had that taken away from me. I went into the wrestling business. I had no desire to do it from birth. I didn’t have a love for it. I did as a fan, but I never assumed that I would be one of those guys because I was a football guy. It happened. I started to love it. I love it exponentially. And then I win the biggest night ever and I got the Falcons there with me.
So this isn’t a knock on the business at all, but the coolest part about that night is to have the guys that I always every day woke up to try to emulate and try to be wanting to be me. I’m sitting in that corner — chained to the ring and I’m going, man, there’s like four all-pros right there and they are having the time of there life. And they want to be me. I don’t want to be them at this point, they want to be me. There was just some satisfaction to that. It just was a really cool feeling. There are few things that I bask in. I don’t want to say bask in because that’s not me. I don’t do that. But there are few things that make me just sit back and go be content. That was one of the coolest times of my life.
Steve Austin: So that did mean something to you, at a personal level?
Goldberg: It meant everything to me.
Steve Austin: I was wondering because maybe your difference to the business when you first got in and your ultimate goal and passion was to be a pro football player — if that really meant something to you.
Goldberg: It did. And like my hall of fame speech, I stated the fact that all I ever wanted to do was be a pro football player for many reasons. Obviously, you want to be successful. Obviously, you want to be looked at as a guy who can physically dominate people because you’re that guy. And it’s corny and it’s not me, but it is me. I wanted to be a superhero for kids again. And I thought by me attaining the NFL stardom, that not only could I satiate the things that I really wanted physically, mentally, but I could be that guy. And standing there doing that, I realized that by being in the WWE Hall of Fame was a hell of a lot easier path to become that guy than any NFL Hall of Fame spot would have given me.
Steve Austin: Okay. You are charged full of adrenaline. You have the World Heavyweight Championship, I guess it’s on a Monday Nitro. And you get a cattle prod to the chest by Scott Hall and by Kevin Nash on your birthday.
Goldberg: On my birthday.
Steve Austin: Salt in the wounds.
Goldberg: I love ya.
Steve Austin: So I mean when that happened, and then literally a few weeks later the finger poke of doom would happen and Hogan would regain the World Heavyweight Championship. How did you take that?
Goldberg: Honestly man, at that point in my life, I just looked at it as a loss. I didn’t big picture it by any means because I didn’t know a lot about the business and the more you analyze stuff, the more it pisses you off that it happened this way because of this. And, you know, the front office is going this way now and it’s being run by these guys. I don’t want to lobotomize myself. You do it enough as it is. So I didn’t know enough to really pass judgment and realize anything. I really didn’t.
Steve Austin: At that time, I can understand what you are saying. But now, in retrospect looking back — I know you’re not a guy that lives in the past. But now it’s kind of like really?
Goldberg: The ultimate rib. Now, it needed to happen at some point, but really?
Steve Austin: But to your point, which you kind of stated all along, you got in the business and you always treated the business as a business. So I think that’s helped you make some very sound decisions.
Goldberg: I think so. I mean, it truly is a business. My competitive career ended with football. This is a male soap opera. It’s competitive and your success is based up on partially your ability to be better than people. It’s not a competitive numbers game to where the best man wins every time. It’s just not. So you have to look at it differently.
Steve Austin: I want to exit WCW. But before we do, there’s a limousine and you start punching out windows. And you get to that one side, and mister, some bad shit happens. You pound the hood, blood squirts everywhere.
Goldberg: It was awesome.
Steve Austin: But the ramifications, what happened?
Goldberg: Yeah, you know. I mean you have to be able to go 100 miles an hour like a light switch, to go from one of the spectrum to the next, you have to either be crazy or you have to be extremely controlling or you have to be a little bit of both. With the good comes the bad, right. And some things I may have taken personally and the guy being a piece of shit I take really personally. Scott Hall is a piece of shit. So I wanted to kill that night and he was the reason behind everything that happened. I made poor judgment because I was mad.
And opposed to grabbing a sledgehammer I decided to use my own sledgehammer and some how violent I can be. Well, that was smart. So I hit the big gimmick and it doesn’t break. I’m like, okay, this is live tv and I am going to hit it again. I hit it and go through it like a cheese grater. I look down and I’m like, oh, this is nice, live tv. Grab my hand, white limousine and go to the front. Great video, great shock. Boom, blood everywhere. I just went nuts. Just one of those things where again I took it to another level. Just ignorant.
Steve Austin: But with the healing process, I would imagine some depression set in after the loss to Hogan because you were on this frigging rocket ride that no one had ever been before. So then, all of a sudden, that comes tumbling down and you have been winning, it’s the frigging streak.
Goldberg: It was weird.
Steve Austin: And now you get beat. So, a head fuck?
Goldberg: A little bit. Honestly not nearly as much as people think because, as I said, it’s not based on competition.
Steve Austin: I know. But you are just riding momentum.
Goldberg: But it’s subjective, so I can’t be disappointed in myself because I didn’t lose anything based upon numbers or my outcome. I lost it because of a story line. Being in the middle of that story line, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, advice wise, the people throw at you, that was the luck of the draw. I couldn’t dictate anything because nine times out of 10, I was that guy who was already under the heat, so I just kept my mouth shut and tried to follow directions. And it might have led me in a good place or bad place, but I tried to listen because it wasn’t my place to decide things cause I didn’t know the business.
Steve Austin: Okay, The Monday Night Wars continues and you’re in the healing process. I think you’re getting ready to come back. But point being, WCW goes out of business in 2001.
Goldberg: I had a guaranteed deal. Why would I go back and work for half my money when I had a guaranteed deal to stay at home and recover?
Steve Austin: You had the gold standard, the time warner contract. And so you stayed off instead of jumping in. And a lot of guys missed out on the invasion. A lot of people took part in it, but not everybody succeeded. You weren’t there. So you’re gone for a period of time. Then, all of a sudden, around 03′ you show up at the WWE. What were your thoughts coming in? We have talked about it earlier. Now, let’s just cover it here.
Goldberg: I was the enemy. I came in and, you know, here’s all of these guys that I’ve been saying bad things about and you know trying to beat and kick their ass, move for move, segment for segment and now I’m one of them. Boy, this is going to go over well. And oh, by the way, Hunter and I didn’t get along to begin with. Things were said from afar. And now i’m there and now he’s part of the office.
Oh shit, talk about putting myself out on an island. And I didn’t do nothing but make it worse in the beginning. But it’s tough because people can’t empathize if they haven’t been in your situation. And as great as the situation is, or was, I was still at the mercy of the next person who gave me advice.
Steve Austin: And who was that? I know Arn Anderson helped you.
Goldberg: Depends. It was Arn. You know, it was Arn and Barry Bloom my agent helped me exponentially. And I would call certain guys and asked them certain things. But I mean I really didn’t know who the good guy and the bad guy was.
Steve Austin: You last a year. All of a sudden, it’s time for WrestleMania. WrestleMania XX. Madison Square Garden. And this is going to come full circle. Bill Goldberg or Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar. And there we are. Look what a young buck, Brock Lesnar, is here in this picture. You are primed up as well. Me, I’ve got the double knee braces on. I cut myself skinning a deer, that’s why the hand is all taped up. Two complete studs nose to nose, athletes of a high caliber, wrestling background, football background. And there’s frustration that happens because both of you guys are leaving and everybody knew it. So the crowd checks out.
Goldberg: Vince just hated me a little bit less than he did him.
Steve Austin: Here we are in the garden.
Goldberg: And you’re trying to help going, oh, god, what do I do?
Steve Austin: I’ve got a story for you. Watch this.
Goldberg: I thought Brock was going to kill me because he was so mad at everybody else. I thought he was going to take it out on me. I’m like where I am, what’s going on.
– We get an insert clip of Goldberg saying “Fuck all of these fucking people. Fuck them all. Let’s go”
That’s what I thought I could get him just riled up and we just go. And he was consumed by it. It fed me. We should have just gone into the crowd and started tagging people.
Steve Austin: The story I was going to tell you, at one point during that match — because y’all were pacing and pacing and pacing. I was really over it in the garden. I’m thinking, man, something has got to happen. I’m just going to take off and start hitting the ropes. Believe it or not, it was no WCW spot. They were having a battle royal down at The Citadel and half a house. And Bobby Eaton just started running the ropes.
I had already blown out my knee and someone had thrown me over the rope. And finally, someone threw him out. I said, Bobby, what were you doing? He goes, hell, boy, if nobody is going to grab something, I’m going to start grabbing the ropes. I laughed my ass off. I figured, man, if I start hitting the ropes, the place will just come like that. But I said I wasn’t going to steal these guys moment. These guys are my friends of mine and I respect them too much. It was weird, though, right?
Goldberg: Weird is an understatement.
Steve Austin: For 12 years, dude, 04′ and we are about to go film, The Longest Yard. We are about to get together. We don’t really know each other yet. How did that resonate with you for a long time?
Goldberg: It did not sit well with me for a long time. I had nothing but animosity towards the WWE and anybody and everybody associated with it. I mean I had my friends, you know, that were kind of excluded from that. But you know, it was just a really bad taste in my mouth. I mean I spent the whole year there being defensive. And it translated as offensive. Man, in all honesty man, I just wanted to get along. I wanted to be part of the team. Hey, give me some responsibility. I can tow it, but it was different.
Steve Austin: But at this point because you had some success in WCW, where you were just revered by the fans and then you get to the WWE and the run is not so much. Then you get booed out of the garden. This isn’t a short window of time. That’s what’s fascinating about your career.
Goldberg: Well it felt like they had accomplished what they wanted to accomplish with me for years and complete discount what I had gained prior to that and then have me next to you and have me fail miserably and have you be the king.
Steve Austin: But how were you mentally? The Falcons said, hey, it’s to go. Carolina says you’re out. And now wrestling says you’re out.
Goldberg: Well, I had an opportunity to do something still. You know, I went to Japan. Which was the fricking coolest thing ever in the wrestling business.
Steve Austin: Well, the style that’s right up your alley.
Goldberg: Perfectly. It messed with me throughout the years. But it didn’t define me. It just left a really bad taste in my mouth. I felt like it was unfinished business, but it was unfinished business that was never going to be finished.
Steve Austin: So you are working on a movie, Santa’s Sleigh and you met your wife, Wanda. She’s a stunt woman. So you decided here she is. And she’s wonderful. What was that all about? In three months, you decided this is the woman. You guys were both in a relationship at the time. Love at first sight and communication.
Goldberg: Hopefully I don’t say anything that can incriminate — the statue of limitations is over here, right? It had better be. We were all in differing relationships and differing parts of our life. I wasn’t in the healthiest one at the time. I signed on to do this movie. Bret Ratner’s understudy and got to do this movie up in Edmonton. It was cool. I had the lead. I got to be a jewish guy playing a killer Santa Claus. That’s the coolest thing ever. There was a strip club scene. Extremely long story short. We go do this scene. There’s 49 naked girls in the room and there’s one with a blue robe on and it’s the stunt woman.
So come back and we were walking through the scene rehearsing it. And the scene is, I’m Santa Claus, and I come in front of the door of the strip club. I kill the first two bouncers. Then i’m chased by the patron and the bartender throughout the bar. So they chase me and I go up on a table, I nip up from the table. And I land and jump to a swing. She’s sitting on the swing. We hadn’t met before. So you could do the logistics. I mean I can’t look up. Let’s just put it that way. So she taps me on the shoulder after some five minutes of very uneasy silence. She says, you know, usually before a guy sticks his head in my legs he buys me a beer first. I looked up and I went, I love you. Do you want a beer? She only did the movie — she’s a stunt woman, right.
She had to have pasties and she had a skirt. She’s usually crashed and stuff. She’s not doing a strip club scene, but she agreed to do the movie because she thought she was doing it with Jeff Goldblum. I swear to god. She walks in. This gets better. She walks in and goes where is Jeff Goldblum? They go what? They go you mean Goldberg? She says, who the hell is that? They say, well, he’s a famous wrestler. She goes, you mean that fake shit. I don’t hear any of this and I don’t know any of it. So then we went and rehearsed the scene and she had three rules. She didn’t date a stuntman, a professional athlete or an actor. I guess I was all of them at tie. So three months later we get married and I have lived a fantasy life ever since.
Steve Austin: And so obviously, to me, when I talk about some of the things that you are most passionate about, cars and football immediately come to mind. But now that I know you as a husband of Wanda and the father of Gage, that is your number one priority.
Goldberg: Yeah our priorities have changed throughout the years. I knew that there were so many things I wanted to accomplish before I started a family. But once you start a family, you’re all in. There’s only one way to do it. And so the right time, right place. More than the right woman. She’s blessed me with an unbelievable son, just every day of my life, man, I get to spend some time with him. Hopefully, he’ll be an extension of me a little bit, the good part. And the bad part, hopefully he takes after his mom.
Steve Austin: Many years ago, in about 1999 I came to your place out there. And then a few years later I would come when Gage was just a youngster. But now he’s 13, 14 years old. But going back to 2016, they know as this guy that used to wrestle. They have never been around it. Wanda wasn’t a fan of wrestling. Didn’t watch it. What’s going on here? Because you get a call from WWE or whatever. Explain to me how you got back in the business after a 12-year absence cause your 12 year absence basically represents almost the length of my career with an injury and an FU to the company when I thought I was being wronged. You have laid off for a long time and now you’re back. Something to prove? Or something to show them?
Goldberg: You know, after my last performance, you would think that it would be something to prove. But in all honesty — and I can tell you this with 100% confidence. I didn’t feel as though I needed to prove anything after WrestleMania 20. It wasn’t on me. It wasn’t on Brock. It was situational. It is what it is. I had moved on that aspect. But I still harbor the negative feelings for the business for Vince McMahon and for everybody associated with it. I get married and, you know, people come up to me all the time. And when they don’t ask if i’m, Steve Austin, they say hey, Goldberg — so there are stories out there. There’s obviously documentation. There’s the internet.
So they knew me as someone completely different than this guy who had been terrorizing the wrestling ring and the football field for years. I’m sick and flipping tired of saying, well, when I was playing … So I got the opportunity. Unbeknownst to me, 16 years removed and i’m old and i’m small and i’m hurt, but hey you’ve got an opportunity. You can hopefully set the stage to show your family a little bit about what you did. Well, you know, there is stuff that comes with that. It’s not like it’s 2003 again. Wasn’t like I said, oh yeah, sure, absolutely, let’s do it. I had to think of a lot of things.
Physically is only part of it. I retired from football for a career ending injury before I got into the wrestling business Not many people will say that or acknowledge that. But I mean I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t run. There were things that I could not physically do, but I sucked it up and I became this other person and I went into a different endeavor. Well, 16 years removed, you can only imagine the injuries and how they compile, Mr. Austin. And the familiarity you once had with the business — you never made it to the point where you were a good worker and people could rely on you running matches.
Okay, there’s that. And there’s 16 years older, then limited move set. Then, hey, i’m a power wrestler. Not really easy to come back at 50 years old weighing 295 having veins popping out of your neck. So there was just so many things that I had to take into consideration, but I sucked it up and I made a decision and I put it all out there on the line to hopefully give my family a glimpse. That’s all. I didn’t do it to come back and try to be the guy again and be Goldberg, you know, whatever. Because I needed that. I just wanted them to see a little bit of it.
Steve Austin: But like you said — and we were talking on the phone earlier. You making a comeback and going back just like you said all those years removed, 290 jacked with veins everywhere and traps, you know, that were about a foot tall and you’re not that guy anymore, but that’s the guy everybody is wanting to come through there. Goldberg! Goldberg! Goldberg!
Goldberg: You think I didn’t want to be that guy? And then there’s this old fricking man coming through there and he’s all gray. So I mean it’s tough, man. It’s tough.
Steve Austin: But leading into that, you seriously doubted yourself. And I pull up my phone because you made an appearance in Denver and you set the stage to take on Brock Lesnar. And, man, when you walked out there, you looked good. But I could see the doubt in your eyes. I could see that you needed that.
Goldberg: That was the first time that the wrestling business had seen someone other than the ass kicking machine that blows smoke out of his nose. And that was all by design because if you are a power wrestler and you come back 16 years far removed and you used to eat fricking people and spit them out of your ass, you have to have an excuse to not be that guy. So I added a layer to my character.
And I let my family in on it. When I never in a trillion years would have let my family be on camera prior to the situation that I found myself in where Goldberg needed an excuse to not be 295. I had to be vulnerable because what I presented was a different package that couldn’t attain what he attained before based upon his ferocity, his mental makeup and physicality because I wasn’t that guy. I needed a crutch.
Steve Austin: It was a hook. I don’t think it’s a crutch. It was smart. Here’s the thing about you. You pull off the dumb jock really well, but you’re anything but. You know what I mean.
Goldberg: I like to be the antithesis of what people think I am.
Steve Austin: But this time when you came out there and that Denver Crowd, they really gave you love.
Goldberg: I mean, truthfully full disclosure, every single time I go out there I think they are going to boo me. Every single time, you know. So i’m pleasantly surprised if something positive happens. And thank god for that crowd that night because they really made me feel as though I had never left.
Steve Austin: In reading your book, you say you’re pessimistic by nature. Why? You have some many things going for you.
Goldberg: Absolutely. That makes you who you are. You’re only as good as your next performance. Living in yesterday and all that shit is for people who don’t strive to be the best. I am only as good as I strive to be the next five minutes.
Steve Austin: You know one of the things you have said — maybe for the first time this isn’t about me with reference to Wanda and Gage. Then you also said you don’t foresee myself having any fun during this entire process. You were just a ball of nerves. You admitted being scared.
Goldberg: I called you. You remember that. I called CT (CT Fletcher). I called all the people that could help me build me back up again. If that was the case, if I still had the ability to do that. And give me the ability to be me. I remember when CT was one the phone and he goes, man, just be Goldberg. I’m like, well, okay then. That’s easy. It’s not that easy.
Steve Austin: No, it ain’t. And you questioned my ability to pull this off. Because you wanted Wanda and Gage to see you be successful. But you questioned if you could pull it off or not. You said it’s something that I am terrified of, absolutely. Stop me if i’m boring you, but you said i’m an emotional wreck. You finally said so much pressure.
Goldberg: But here’s the deal, too, right. I’m just answering a question. I’m not going out and saying, hey man here’s my little violin, please feel sorry for me — hold on for a second. But it comes across like that sometimes. People have to understand if, you ask me a question, I don’t give a shit what it is, i’m going to give you an answer. It might not be what you want to hear. But my answer might feed into what people perceive. That’s all.
So I don’t give a shit if it’s brushing my teeth or filling pods or going out and playing football. I don’t care. I’m going to give 100% I’m going to represent the team. And I’m going to make sure — my name is on the back of my shirt. I have an image to uphold. And that image is not of me. It’s of the people that walked this earth before me with my last name. And I have a responsibility. And I’m not going to stop at anything that I do, striving to be the best until I’m dead.
Steve Austin: One of the guys I think who was instrumental in helping you during that time was probably, I think someone — you can tell me — that you trust in all, a guy who helped me back in my formative years is Paul Heyman. Would you say that he helped in this process? Like I said, no excuses. It was a high pressure situation.
Goldberg: If it was not for Heyman, my comeback wouldn’t have happened. Not that he made the call to happen. But creatively, that’s part of my deal, right. And there’s certain people that you know and certain people that don’t know you. Therefore, you try to set the stage in a situation to where if things can go wrong, they can go really wrong with the most qualified people who know you more than anyone on the planet. It’s not the time for a booker to come in and try to learn about you. We have to know what worked and apply it immediately. There is no trial and error. I mean I trust him exponentially with my career.
Steve Austin: So you went out there with Brock. In short fashion, you dominated him one, two, three. On top of the world. How did that feel?
Goldberg: It was the coolest thing in the world, man. For Brock, man, and Heyman, they made it happen. And Vince and those, they made it happen. They made it work. And I just am forever indebted. And hey, let’s be honest. If it didn’t make money, they wouldn’t have done it, right? So I was in the right place at the right time again. Thank god that I have kept the mentality that I have throughout the years because it made it possible to step into that right and being be a part of that guy.
Steve Austin: But people cared and emotions sell tickets. And they are emotionally involved. Look at the setup here. The look on Paul Heyman’s eyes, Brock just incredulous, I can’t believed he just did that. And Brock is like — some people don’t give that guy credit for being as great of a worker as he is. But what a great talent and an explosive talent. And to be able to go against a guy that could finally, you know, give him a sense of some physicality. Yeah, you’re not at your prime here, but there’s not too many guys on the roster that are built like you are at this moment in time. So it was a very short match, shocked the world. And people went away happy and it was a happy story.
Goldberg: There’s no reason to put more into it. But, you know, a lot of people do.
Steve Austin: So you end up coming back. And you decide there’s going to be another match or somehow you take the Universal Title from Kevin Owens. And then we’re going to WrestleMania 33 where it’s going to be Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar. And this, to me — you tell me.
Goldberg: This was the first time — about 10 minutes before that shot or 10 seconds before that right when I got into gorilla. So we talked about going into gorilla a lot. Obviously, it’s not a lot of kayfabe any more. So I go into gorilla. And that walk in Orlando was flipping a mile and a half. And everybody is like, is Goldberg going to gas out? Is he going to pass out? I just get amped up. People don’t understand. They say i’m all sweaty and tired before I go to the ring. Hey guys, I pour water on my body so I don’t catch fire in my sparks.
So I have had this mental thing going on and like this is going to be different. This is my last one ever. I’m going to try to enjoy some semblance of it. I was smiling because i’m usually — I go into gorilla, man. I had already head butted something. I got blood working. I’m doing my thing. I’ve got to be that apex ass-kicking person. It’s not easy. I can’t just turn it on and off like a light. I have to have 20 seconds or 30, give me a little bit of time. I walk in there and I’m hugging and i was laughing. I’m like, hey man, it’s all good. I’m going to have fun this time. And he’s worried, right? Completely worried.
I go through that curtain, man and I took a couple of steps. I looked down at the people and I smiled. And I for the first time truthfully, I think for the first time walking into the ring I enjoyed it. I just enjoyed being in that moment at that time. And I enjoyed the ability to be give an opportunity from whoever it was from to be able to be in the situation I am and provide something for my family that a father and a husband, you know, rarely gets an opportunity to do. And for me, that meant everything. I have accomplished everything in the world that I ever could imagine. But if I can give to my family something thankfully with everyone’s help, another way to make them smile to make them proud of me, I guess, at the end of the day, it was cool.
Steve Austin: You guys went out there and rocked the house.
Goldberg: She was pissed because she thought I ripped my ear off.
Steve Austin: It was a short, but violent explosive impactful match that needed to be. Y’all had that much that you needed to have. We didn’t need to see Goldberg and Lesnar go 15, 20 with a bunch of arm drags. You had these two fricking battering rams going out there. And after Suplex City, spear out of nowhere, a bunch of suplexes and then back in to you. And then ultimately you do the favors. One, two, three. Brock is the Universal Champion. As you’re laying there and you have accomplished everything and you’re giving back, what were you thinking? Sense of relief?
Goldberg: Is this how I lose? I don’t know. Am I doing it right? No, I don’t know. It happened so infrequently. It was just weird. When I lose, I feel like i’m completely out — I don’t know what to do. It’s weird. So immediately, I was just trying to play it right. I mean how do I act? I mean it’s weird.
Steve Austin: It’s fascinating to hear you say that. You hardly ever lost.
Goldberg: I know. How am I supposed to react, you know? It’s just a weird deal.
Steve Austin: To me, when I stopped at WrestleMania XIX with The Rock, when they the three count, it was like 1,000 pounds was lifted off my back. I had a lot of neck issues and a lot of other issues. I knew I was riding off in the sunset so to me it was relief.
Goldberg: I, you know, truthfully don’t know. I was cleansed. It wasn’t relief. You know what. It was relief in that my performance was culminated with all that training and rehab and everything just to get to that night. That was an accomplishment. I guess is what it is. I mean really nothing I really do has a stamp on it, right. This isn’t a retirement match. It was just like there’s Goldberg again.
Steve Austin: Going back to what you’re saying, I have told many people along the way — you pass down knowledge to the next generations, it’s like anybody can learn how to win. You can really learn something by losing. And to your point, here you are against a guy in 20, you could have knocked the roof off the place and now 33, you do. And then you get beat, but it’s like hey this is so unfamiliar, what’s up?
Goldberg: I mean as stupid as it sounds, honestly, it’s very strange. How long do I stay here? Is it disrespectful — he just beat me. I’ve never been beat decisively. It’s all a story line thing. And you just don’t want to do anything to supersede the ability for you to do it again. I don’t know. I’m still learning the business. I am, honest to god. I’m the first one to tell you that i’m still green and I always will be. It’s always a learning experience. It’s something that I didn’t aspire to do so. I was in my 30s. I got a really late start.
Steve Austin: Man, i’ll tell you what. I’ve been looking forward to having this conversation. And again, I think you’ve had one of the most fascinating careers of all-time. And just reached a zenith of hotness. As you would say to an opponent, or to someone in the locker room, who is next? What’s next for Bill Goldberg?
Goldberg: Oh, let’s see here. We’ve got dodge coming out here again. I’m Santa Claus, the Mayor of Muscleville, the nice jewish representation of my faith around Christmas holiday, Hanukkah Season. Got the recurring role in “The Goldbergs” sometimes and “NCIS.” We hopefully have another car show coming up the pike. And I’m moving to Texas, boy. Right down the road from where you used to be. So my Oklahoma roots are coming back. I’m moving back to that part of the country. Cannot wait to start that new chapter.
Steve Austin: Man, it’s been an absolute pleasure talking with you. If you need any hook ups in Texas, I’m heavily connected down there. You know people everywhere, so don’t kayfabe me. You’ve probably got some roots down there. If you need my help, I’m sure they will welcome you with open arms. But thank you for coming down here to The Broken Skull Sessions.
Goldberg: I will tell you that there is no other time that I have actually smiled driving up to this part of California because I knew i was going to be able to hang out with you. And from afar, I have always been a fan. We have go to be good friends throughout the years and I got to tell you man, I greatly appreciate your friendship. And I’m a huge fan of yours. We have so many parallels, it’s absolutely hilarious. And you’re just as good of a guy as you were a worker. And for that I appreciate it. And, you know, they say sometimes when you meet your idols, you’re disappointed. But it’s so nice to meet you, it’s all good. It’s an honor and privilege, it really is. I love hanging out, man. We need to spend more time together.
Steve Austin: We will, we will. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. My name is Stone Cold Steve Austin and if i’m mistaken in an airport tomorrow and someone calls me, Goldberg, I will smile at them and say thank you. Thanks for joining us. It’s been a pleasure talking with Goldberg. And that’s the bottom line. Why? ‘Cause Stone Cold said so.
Checkout Episode 185 of The Hoots Podcast