Goldberg is a rather polarizing figure in the world of professional wrestling. He seems to have a love/hate relationship with other wrestlers, promoters, and fans alike. Goldberg has been accused of not paying the proper pro wrestling dues by some while others have a great respect for his accomplishments inside the squared circle. Some promoters have found him extremely difficult to work but at the same time can’t help but love his huge drawing power. Some fans fell in love with his larger than life persona while others take issue with his in ring ability and apparent lack of love for the pro wrestling business at times. Some fans have especially taken exception to Goldberg’s years of inactivity since his infamous match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX in 2004.
Love him or hate him, fans want to see him back in the ring and preferably on pro wrestling’s grandest stage in WWE. This all adds up to Goldberg being an extremely interesting figure in the world of professional wrestling. He has some very high profile admirers while he also has a hater’s club that reads like a who’s who of pro wrestling. With that said, let’s take a look at 8 Wrestlers That Love Goldberg & 7 That Hate Him.
15 Love: Sid Vicious
Upon his return to WCW in 1999, Sid Vicious had a heated rivalry with Goldberg. They had two very physical matches both won by Goldberg. Vicious lost the WCW United States Championship at Halloween Havoc 1999 and then lost an “I Quit” match at Mayhem 1999. His in ring persona is probably still bitter about the defeats but outside the ring Big Sid has nothing but love for Goldberg. Vicious had nothing but kind words for his once in ring rival during a shoot interview with RF Video. Vicious said he’s always had a good “rapport” with Goldberg. He said their “friendship” dates back to Goldberg’s NFL days when they met while working out at the gym. Vicious paid Goldberg one of the highest compliments by saying he has “a heart of gold”.
14 Hate: Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon may end up doing business with Goldberg again but there is evidence that he must hate him at least a little bit. During the Monday Night Wars with WCW, McMahon publicly on WWE television attempted to discredit several WCW Superstars. Goldberg was a guy that “Mr. McMahon” went at hard. Gillberg’s arrival in WWE was a direct shot fired at WCW’s biggest star. Veteran jobber Duane Gill played the parody character meant to mock Goldberg. However, it is up for debate if this simply falls into the category of “all’s fair in love and war”. McMahon definitely had to take issue with the way Goldberg left WWE back in 2004. Goldberg’s infamous WrestleMania XX match against Brock Lesnar is forever a stain on WrestleMania history.
13 Love: Rick Steiner
Rick Steiner is one of the most physical pro wrestlers of all time. The former NCAA wrestling star out of the University of Michigan and his brother Scott were known for throwing their opponents around the ring like rag dolls. Goldberg also wrestled a very physical style but didn’t have the amateur wrestling background of The Steiner Brothers. However, when asked about Goldberg’s lack of paying dues in the pro wrestling business during a shoot interview, Steiner defended him and compared him to Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock. He said WCW needed a top guy and Goldberg successfully filled that void. The Dog Faced Gremlin did admit to being a bit partial because Goldberg is a “friend”. It was still very high praise that shows Steiner has a lot of love for Goldberg.
12 Hate: William Regal
William Regal was supposed to be just another speed bump during Goldberg’s late 1990s undefeated streak in WCW. Not so, says Regal. During Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast, the current NXT general manager explained that he was instructed by a WCW agent to have a competitive six-minute match with the rising star. Goldberg has publically claimed that Regal attempted to hurt and embarrass him in a match that was supposed to be a squash. In regard to Regal, Goldberg stated on a separate episode of the Stone Cold podcast that he would “love to scrap with him right now”. Regal seemed a bit annoyed when discussing the nature of his match with Goldberg back in 1998. He referred to any talk of the match being anything but a work as “db talk”. Regal went on to say that Goldberg makes himself sound “silly” when making the accusation of shooting on him. Sounds like there’s no love lost between these two former WCW Superstars.
11 Love: Diamond Dallas Page
At Fall Brawl 1998, Diamond Dallas Page scored the winning pin for Team WCW in the War Games main event to earn a WCW Championship opportunity. Page challenged WCW Champion Goldberg at Halloween Havoc 1998. Page talked about this match in very high regard on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast. Despite not winning the WCW Championship, he said the match is one of the top five favorites of his career. DDP spoke fondly of collaborating with Goldberg on match ideas and the match itself. He said Goldberg missing the spear and the crowd response to the “Diamond Cutter” were big match high lights. Backstage after the match, he said that he gave Goldberg a hug and called the match “damn good”. DDP also takes pride that many within the wrestling business have said that was the best match anyone ever had with Goldberg.
10 Hate: Triple H
Triple H might be the most hated man in pro wrestling; inside the ring and out. It probably comes as no surprise that “The Game” and Goldberg have real life issues with each other. Jason Solomon of the Solomonster Sounds Off show talked about an incident that happened between the two when Goldberg was still in WCW. HHH received a verbal tongue lashing from Goldberg at a promotional event. Apparently, this was in response to HHH’s comments about Goldberg on a radio show. He called him a “prim donna” among other disparaging remarks. Whether HHH meant those word or they were simply a spirited part of the Monday Night Wars is up for debate. However, he couldn’t have been a big fan of Golderg publicly stating he would like to “rip his head off his body”.
9 Love: Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner is a very volatile personality in pro wrestling. He has been involved in a number of backstage feuds over the years. Steiner’s very physical style inside the ring is also legendary. It may have been that physical style that led to a friendship between Steiner and Goldberg who also has a very physical style. Goldberg has very high praise for the brutal matches the two had in WCW. During one such physical encounter, he accidentally broke Steiner’s orbital bone with a punch. Goldberg stated that he felt bad about hurting his friend but that Steiner totally approved of the physicality of their matches. More recently, in June of 2015, Goldberg made a very rare in ring appearance at an indy pro wrestling show in New York. He used his famous spear on none other than Big Poppa Pump. It would appear that Steiner has a lot of love for Goldberg.
8 Hate: Kevin Nash
Kevin Nash is certainly no friend of Goldberg. During a shoot interview with Joe Dombrowski, one of the founding fathers of the nWo let his unfiltered feelings be known concerning Goldberg taking issue with him for ending his famous WCW undefeated streak. Nash referred to Goldberg as “a mark” for thinking he cared that he was the one to end the streak. One of the most inflammatory things a pro wrestler can call another pro wrestler is a mark. He said the streak was ended to help build towards a big money pay-per view match between Goldberg and Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Nash said the time was just right for Goldberg to lose because he had become the “New York Yankees” of pro wrestling. He also called out Goldberg for losing his temper and putting his arm through a limo window during a worked WCW segment gone wrong. Nash can definitely be counted among the Goldberg haters.
7 Love: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan was the mastermind behind one of the greatest heel stables in pro wrestling history, The Heenan Family. The brilliant manager guided the careers of some of the all time great WWE rule breakers such as Andre the Giant, Ravishing Rich Rude, and Mr.Perfect Curt Hennig. Heenan was also the villain’s voice on commentary during his runs with both WWE and WCW. However, Heenan had nothing but kind words for one of WCW’s greatest heroes, Goldberg. During a shoot interview, The Brain said Goldberg should have went “3,000-0” and it was a foolish decision for him to lose when he did in reference to the undefeated streak. He also called the decision to end the streak “selfish” and was one of the factors that led to the demise of WCW. Heenan couldn’t have made a greater compliment about the former WCW Champion.
6 Hate: Scott Hall
Scott Hall helped his nWo buddy Kevin Nash to end Goldberg’s famous WCW undefeated streak. According to both Hall and Nash, Goldberg took the booking decision to end the streak personal. As a result, Hall had some not so nice things to say about Goldberg during a shoot interview. Hall dropped the pro wrestling equivalent of a nuclear bomb on him when he said Goldberg “became a mark for himself”. The Outsider also implied that Goldberg was overrated. He said Goldberg was the benefit of an already hot WCW product with capacity crowds to perform in front of. Hall also delivered a verbal “Razor’s Edge” when he said Goldberg probably wasn’t capable of making a crowd hot without help. Harsh words that indicate Hall is a member of the Goldberg haters’ club.
5 Love: Eric Bischoff
Eric Bischoff used Goldberg as one of his primary weapons against WWE during the Monday Night Wars. When speaking of Goldberg in WCW on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast, he said, “we knew we had something special”. Bischoff signed Goldberg and admitted that at the time he was very green inside the ring. However, Goldberg’s larger than life persona and look were more than ready to help WCW according to Bischoff.To be fair, Bischoff also said Goldberg became increasingly more difficult to work with as he became a bigger star. He also noted that Goldberg is one of the strongest guys he has ever worked with in pro wrestling. Bischoff bragged of being able to take a good bump but was legitimately roughed up by a Goldberg spear. How can Bischoff not help but have love for the man that nearly helped him take down the mighty Vince McMahon?
4 Hate: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho had an epic backstage feud with Goldberg that spilled over from WCW into WWE. Jericho talked about creative differences with Goldberg in WCW on Ric Flair’s podcast. Y2J spoke of an angle that had management approval but didn’t have the blessings of then WCW Champion Goldberg. According to Jericho, the angle was supposed to climax with a pay-per view match in 1998. However, the payoff match never took place and Jericho claims this was a big reason why he left WCW for WWE. He talked about Goldberg arriving in WWE in 2003 and a backstage brawl on Konnan’s podcast. Jericho said he confronted Goldberg about some alleged trash talk. The confrontation quickly turned physical and had to be broken up by several WWE Superstars. The fight was high lighted by Goldberg grabbing Jericho by the throat and Y2J countering with a MMA style front face lock.
3 Love: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar and Goldberg share a similar no nonsense, realistic in ring style. They have also competed in pro sports (Lesnar in UFC and Goldberg in the NFL) outside of pro wrestling. These similarities may have led to their friendship. During an interview, Goldberg spoke of his relationship with the Beast Incarnate. Goldberg said they are tight because they talk about everything with the exception of the pro wrestling business. However, one has to wonder if that could change with the Goldberg WWE return rumors heating up and a Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg match making a whole lot of sense. Many fans feel there is some unfinished business given the way their last match ended at WrestleMania XX in 2004. Maybe, their friendship will help this high profile rematch become a reality.
2 Hate: Bret Hart
Bret Hart defended the WCW Championship against Goldberg at Starrcade 1999. During the match, Hart was on the receiving end of a stiff thrust kick to the head that effectively ended his in ring career. It was bitter irony for someone who took great pride in being a safe worker inside the squared circle. On Jim Ross’ podcast, The Hit Man had a few things to say about his career-ending encounter with Goldberg. Hart said that he has discussed the incident on a number of occasions with Goldberg. According to Hart, Goldberg has been extremely apologetic. Despite his apologies, Hart described what Goldberg did to him as “inexcusable”. Inexcusable is a very strong word to use and sends an obvious message. Hart is no fan of the man who ended his career.
1 Love: Stone Cold Steve Austin
On an episode of his podcast, Stone Cold Steve Austin talked about his respect for and friendship with Goldberg. He joked about the days when both were on top of their respective pro wrestling companies. Austin said hardcore WCW fans would bust him in airports by calling him “Goldberg” while hardcore WWE fans would give Goldberg the same treatment with “Stone Cold” chants. He joked that despite liking each other, neither wanted to be called by the other’s name. Austin added that he wished that he and Goldberg had a program together in WWE because it would have been huge money. That was a huge sign of love from The Texas Rattlesnake. Two of the Monday Night Wars biggest stars certainly appear to have a mutual respect for one other.