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Bill Goldberg

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William Scott ("Bill") Goldberg (born December 27, 1966 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American professional wrestler and retired American football player. Goldberg is best known for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling between September 1997 and January 2001 and with World Wrestling Entertainment between March 2003 and March 2004. In addition to his sporting pursuits, he is also an actor and an advocate for animal rights.

American football career

Goldberg attended the University of Georgia from 1986 to 1989, earning a degree in psychology. While at university, Goldberg played college football as a nose tackle for the Georgia Bulldogs, and was named an All-American.

After graduating, Goldberg declared for the NFL Draft where he was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the eleventh round. In addition to playing in the National Football League, he competed in the World League of American Football, winning the World Bowl as a nose guard for the Sacramento Surge. In 1991 he signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a defensive lineman and played for them until 1994, when he suffered a torn abdominal muscle. He attended the first Carolina Panthers training camp in 1995 and was given a contract, but became the first player cut by the Panthers in team history after failing to fully recover from his abdominal injury. He later successfully sued the Panthers for misdiagnosing his abdominal injury and for loss of earnings. With his football career cut short, Goldberg worked as a personal trainer considering his future career options.

Professional wrestling career

World Championship Wrestling

Goldberg had met several employees of the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) professional wrestling promotion while living in Atlanta, Georgia, and decided to pursue a career in wrestling after meeting WCW employees Sting and Lex Luger in a gym. He was quickly signed to a contract by WCW and sent to the WCW Power Plant, a professional wrestling school owned by WCW and operated by former wrestlers such as Dwayne Bruce.

After training in the Power Plant for several months, Goldberg debuted on June 24, 1997, defeating Buddy Landell in a dark match under the ring name Bill Gold. He made his first appearance on WCW television on the September 22, 1997 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, defeating Hugh Morrus as Goldberg. This match marked the first victory of Goldberg's "streak"a series of 173 consecutive victories that took place on WCW television, pay-per-views and at house shows.

Bill Goldberg
Statistics
Ring name(s) Bill Gold,
Bill Goldberg,
Goldberg
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 285 lb (129 kg)
Born December 27, 1966
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Resides Atlanta, Georgia
Trained by WCW Power Plant
Debut June 24, 1997

With his bald head, goatee and utilitarian black trunks, Goldberg was often compared to Stone Cold Steve Austin, a prominent wrestler in the rival World Wrestling Federation (WWF). However, WCW President Eric Bischoff later claimed that the original character of Goldberg was based not on Austin but on Ken Shamrock, another WWF employee and famed mixed martial artist. During his "streak" Goldberg also became known for his ring entrance, which saw him walk from his locker room to the stage with a police escort, exit the "tunnel" with pyrotechnics exploding around him while he screamed and proceed to walk to the ring while fans chanted "Goldberg, Goldberg".

Goldberg's succession of wins saw him quickly advance up the card, and he won the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship on April 20, 1998, defeating Raven. He vacated the title after winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Hollywood Hogan on July 6, 1998. His reign, along with his streak, lasted until December 27, 1998, when he suffered his first defeat, losing to Kevin Nash at StarrCade 1998 after Scott Hall interfered, electrically shocking him with a cattle prod. At the same time, the WWF began lampooning Goldberg with the character Gillberg, a perennial jobber who dressed similarly to Goldberg and mocked his signature entrance and mannerisms.

Goldberg became a two-time United States Heavyweight Champion on October 24, 1999 at Halloween Havoc by defeating Sid Vicious in an "I Quit" match. Later that evening, he answered an open challenge from WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sting, and defeated him within minutes of the opening bell. However, on the next night's episode of Nitro, commissioner J.J. Dillon ruled that the match had not been sanctioned by WCW and that, therefore, Goldberg's victory was void. Goldberg lost a second title that same evening when Bret Hart defeated him for the United States Heavyweight Championship. Shortly thereafter, Goldberg joined forces with Hart, teaming with him to defeat Creative Control for the WCW World Tag Team Championship on December 7, 1999. One week later, they lost the titles to The Outsiders.

At StarrCade 1999 on December 19, 1999, Goldberg challenged Hart for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. In the course of the match, which was won by Hart, Goldberg delivered a stiff kick to Hart's head, legitimately concussing him and tearing a muscle in his neck. This injury, combined with the various injuries Hart had suffered in the course of his lengthy career and the additional blows to the head he absorbed before being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, forced Hart into retirement several weeks later.

Throughout 2000, Goldberg feuded with members of the nWo and the Millionaires Club. In October 2000 he began a new undefeated streak, with Vince Russo threatening to "fire" him if he lost. The streak was broken after thirty five straight victories on January 14, 2001 at WCW Sin when Goldberg, teaming with his Power Plant trainer, Dwayne Bruce, lost to Totally Buff in a tag team 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, with 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, and 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.

Goldberg had suffered an arm injury during a celebrity car racing event in April 2002, but in August 2002, he returned to the ring in Japan. He initially joined All Japan Pro Wrestling, defeating Satoshi Kojima on August 30, 2002. He went on to defeat Rick Steiner in Yokohama in a match for the W-1 promotion, and teamed with Keiji Mutoh to defeat KroniK in Tokyo. His success in Japan led to the World Wrestling Federation - now renamed World Wrestling Entertainment - beginning contract negotations with him.

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

World Wrestling Entertainment

Goldberg was signed to a one year contract by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in March 2003. He debuted in WWE on the March 31, 2003 episode of RAW, the night after WrestleMania XIX, and immediately began a feud with The Rock by spearing him. His feud with The Rock culminated in a match at Backlash 2003, which was won by Goldberg. His first match on RAW saw him defeat Three Minute Warning in a handicap match.

Goldberg went undefeated over the subsequent half-year, feuding with Christian and Chris Jericho. He first challenged for the World Heavyweight Championship on August 24, 2003 at SummerSlam 2003 in the second Elimination Chamber match, but was pinned by the defending champion, Triple H, thus ending his undefeated streak. On September 21, 2003 he defeated Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship at Unforgiven 2003. He successfully retained the title in a match with Triple H at the 2003 Survivor Series on November 16, 2003, but lost the title to Triple H at Armageddon 2003 on December 14, 2003 when Triple H pinned him in a triple threat match which also included Kane.

Goldberg entered the 2004 Royal Rumble in an attempt to regain the World Heavyweight Championship, but was eliminated after Brock Lesnar entered the ring and hit Goldberg with the F-5, enabling Kurt Angle to eliminate him. Goldberg gained revenge by attending No Way Out 2004 the following month and costing Lesnar his WWE Championship by interfering in a match between Lesnar and the challenger to the title, Eddie Guerrero. This led to a match between the two being scheduled for WrestleMania XX. Goldberg was not seen on WWE television for several weeks before the event, as he had already worked the maximum number of dates (bar one, his WrestleMania appearance) stipulated by his contract and would have had to have been paid a supplementary salary in order to make extra appearances. This may have hurt the build to the WrestleMania match, with the last episode of SmackDown! before WrestleMania featuring a confrontation between Lesnar and Stone Cold Steve Austin, the guest referee of the match, not Lesnar and Goldberg.

At WrestleMania, Goldberg defeated Lesnar, with both men receiving a Stone Cold Stunner from Austin after the match. Lesnar and Goldberg had both gone undefeated for long periods of time, leading many fans to label a match between the two a "dream match". However, as both Lesnar and Goldberg were known to be leaving the company immediately after WrestleMania, the match was poorly received by the audience, who soundly booed both competitors (in subsequent video releases of the show the sound has been "sweetened" to make the crowd seem more into the match). On March 31, 2004, Goldberg's contract expired and, following a short period of negotiations, was not renewed.

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.

TNA Wrestling

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 TNA should TNA approach him with such an offer. In a series of interviews conducted in June 2006, Goldberg stated that he was mildy interested in working for TNA, particularly since his friend Sting had joined the promotion by then, but had several reservations.

On August 12, 2006 Goldberg posted the following on his website [1]: "I was all set to wrestle August 20th for Gladiator Championship Wrestling, which would have been awesome, mostly because it would have been a one-shot appearance for that promotion. However, it will not happen because I signed a 90-day holding deal with Spike TV, so I could not do the Gladiator event because it eventually would go on TV and it conflicted with my Spike deal. A holding deal means that I am contractually-bound to not working for another network for the 90 days. And that's anything, not just wrestling. I cannot appear on another cable network during the holding deal. The holding deal definitely means that I now will talk with TNA Wrestling, but nothing further than that." "I'm meeting with Spike next week. More soon...."

Acting career

Goldberg was the first-ever guest on the "Pain Clinic", a professional wrestling radio talk show based in Rochester, New York 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 for the Megadeth song "Crush 'Em," which was featured on the film's soundtrack. He went on to temporarily use "Crush 'Em" as his entrance music.

In 2003, Goldberg appeared on Punk'd, with Ashton Kutcher instructing a stunt performer to run over a replica of Goldberg's motorcycle with a truck while he watched. However, the prank went awry when the stunt performer missed the bike.

In June 2005, Goldberg began hosting a television program on The History Channel called Automaniac. He described the series as "a thirty minute show with thirteen episodes, talking about the history of automobiles and motorcycles, and what's their historical perspective." The series was cancelled in August 2005 after eleven episodes.

It is rumored that Goldberg is going to be in a fighting movie as an evil fighter many fans think he is Hsu Hao in Mortal Kombat

Filmography

  • The Jesse Ventura Story (1999) as "Luger"
  • Universal Soldier: The Return (1999) as "Romeo"
  • Ready to Rumble (2000) as himself
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) as "Mr. Smith"
  • The Longest Yard (2005) as "Battle"
  • Santa's Slay (2005) as "Santa Claus"
  • The Kid & I (2005) as himself
  • Half Past Dead 2 (announced)

Goldberg has announced that he will be playing a Gay Actor. He cannot name the real name of the movie. So its being credited as Bill Goldberg Untitled Project.

Television appearances

  • The Love Boat: The Next Wave (1998) in episode "Captains Courageous" as "Lou 'The Pariah' Maguire"
  • The Man Show (2000) in episode "Holiday Show II"
  • Yes, Dear (2002) in episode "Walk Like a Man" as "Big Guy"
  • Family Guy (2002) in episode "Family Guy Viewer Mail #1" as "Angry Bus Passenger" (voice)
  • Arliss (2002) in episode "In with the New"
  • Kim Possible (2002) in episode "Pain King vs. Cleopatra" as "Pain King"
  • Modern Marvels (2004) in episode "Private Collections" as himself
  • Punk'd (2003)
  • Desperate Housewives (2005) in episode "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" as "Inmate #2"
  • Automaniac (2005) as himself (host)
  • The Contender (2005) in episode "Who's Playing The Game?" as himself (uncredited)
  • Pros vs. Joes (2006) as himself

MMA career

On June 14, 2006, the mixed martial arts promotion World Fighting Alliance (WFA) announced that Goldberg would serve as color commentator for their July 22, 2006 King of the Streets pay-per-view in Los Angeles, California.

In a news article releasd by WFA on July 11, 2006, it was revealed that Goldberg is interested in fighting in the World Fighting Alliance (WFA), but has doubts since the training he requires to get in fighting shape again would be too time consuming and it would require for him to quit several of his projects, something that he refuses to do.

Wrestling facts

Finishing and signature moves

  • Jackhammer (Suplex powerslam)
  • Spear
  • Double underhook suplex
  • Pumphandle fallaway slam
  • Single arm choke into gorilla press powerslam
  • Superkick

Championships and accomplishments

  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
  • PWI ranked Goldberg # 75 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003
  • PWI ranked him #2 in the 1998 PWI 500 (his highest-ever ranking)
  • PWI Rookie of the Year (1998)
  • PWI Most Inspirational (1998)
  • World Championship Wrestling
  • WCW United States Heavyweight Championship
Defeated Raven on April 20, 1998 in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Vacated on July 6, 1998
  • WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Defeated Hulk Hogan on July 6, 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia
Lost to Kevin Nash on December 27, 1998 in Washington, D.C.
  • WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (2)
Defeated Sid Vicious on October 24, 1999 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Lost to Bret Hart on October 25, 1999 in Phoenix, Arizona
  • WCW World Tag Team Championship (with Bret Hart)
Defeated Creative Control on December 7, 1999 in Madison, Wisconsin
Lost to The Outsiders on December 13, 1999 in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • World Wrestling Entertainment
  • World Heavyweight Championship
Defeated Triple H on September 21, 2003 in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Lost to Triple H on December 14, 2003 in Orlando, Florida
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
  • 1998 Rookie of the Year

Personal life

Goldberg's mother, Ethel, is a classical violinist, while his father, Jed, a graduate of Harvard University, is an obstetrician and gynaecologist. His brother, Michael, owns a cargo plane leasing company with close ties to former President of the United States Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party. He has two other siblings, Steven and Barbara.

On April 10, 2005, Goldberg was married to Wanda Ferraton, a stunt double who he met while filming The Longest Yard. He and Ferraton have a son together, Gage A.J. Goldberg, who was born one month prematurely on May 10, 2006.

Goldberg is an animal rights advocate and an ASPCA spokesperson, and has addressed the United States Congress in order to raise awareness of illegal animal fighting.

Goldberg owns and operates the "Extreme Power" Muay Thai training facility in Oceanside, California.

Goldberg is a known Car Enthusiast, and has been sighted on TV at the Barrett Jackson Auctions on Speed Channel helping auction off a Corvette Indy Pace Car for charity.

Books

  • Goldberg, Bill and Goldberg, Steve (2000) I'm Next: The Strange Journey of America's Most Unlikely Superstar, ISBN 0609607804

References

  • Goldberg at Accelerator3359.com
  • Goldberg at Bodyslamming.com
  • Goldberg at Canoe.ca
  • Goldberg at Gerweck.net
  • Goldberg at ObsessedWithWrestling.com
  • The Hebrew Hulk
  • The history of the Carolina Panthers
  • An interview with Goldberg, conducted by Ross Forman
  • Miami Herald's article on Bill Goldberg's WFA color commentator deal and acting projects
  • Wrestling with Their Son's Career
  • WFA's article that mentions Goldberg's interest in wrestling in WFA

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