The world of wrestling is huge, with wrestling promotions existing on virtually every continent on the planet. Many of these promotions are independent entities, but there are others that function as big corporations. Two of the biggest promotions to have ever existed were World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment, and they were both each other’s biggest rival, to the point that their ratings competition incited what has come to be known as “The Monday Night War”. The WWE came out of the “war” victorious, purchasing their former rival, and then signing many of their star wrestlers.
One of these stars was Goldberg, whose popularity among the fans was virtually on the same level as other greats like The Rock and Hulk Hogan. Goldberg was known for his intimidating and physical demeanor, and for his jackhammer and spear finishers. This past week, the two-time World Heavyweight Champion entered back into the wrestling limelight when he appeared in a commercial for WWE’s new video game, an appearance that has ignited speculation on whether he will be returning for one more match. In light of this speculation, it seems only fair that people get to know a few interesting things about the future Hall of Famer, so here is a list of 15 things you did not know about Goldberg.
15 He Played In The NFL
Over the last two decades or so, there have been a few wrestlers who played football when they were younger, in either high school or college, and out of those few, barely even a handful of them had what it took to make it into the NFL before becoming a wrestler, but Goldberg did. Goldberg was drafted by the L.A. Rams in 1990 as a defensive back, and played with the team for a full year. The next year, he joined the Atlanta Falcons and went on to play in fourteen games with the team. During a preseason game, he suffered an abdominal tear which ultimately ended his NFL career, but luckily, the injury would unexpectedly lead him into wrestling.
14 He Was 173-0 After His WCW Debut
Everyone knew that The Undertaker was once undefeated at WrestleMania for over two decades, and everyone remembers how upsetting it was when the streak was broken, but Taker was not the only wrestler who had an incredibly impressive unbeaten streak. Goldberg debuted in 1997 with WCW, and for the first year and a half of his career, he was undefeated, and went 173-0. His undefeated streak ultimately ended in 1998, when he was beaten by Kevin Nash thanks to interference from Scott Hall.
13 He Has His Own Podcast
Over the last couple of years, there has been an incredible increase in the number of podcasts available for people to both listen to and watch over the internet. Interestingly enough, it appears as though both semi-retired and fully retired wrestlers like the podcast format, as several have gone on to create their own, with Mick Foley, Chris Jericho, and Stone Cold Steve Austin being the primary examples; but Goldberg has his own podcast as well. His podcast is called “Who’s Next With Goldberg”, and on it he talks about his wrestlings days, cars, and engages in conversations with fans.
12 He Has Starred In Multiple Movies
By now it should come as no surprise that wrestlers have gone on to appear or star in movies, with The Rock being the most successful wrestler to venture into film. Other wrestlers have starred in movies too, like Kane, Randy Orton, and John Cena, but few can say that they have been in ten or more movies, but Goldberg can. His most memorable movie roles came in the Adam Sandler reboot of The Longest Yard, and the horror movie Santa’s Slay where he played a murderous Santa Claus. He has also appeared in several television shows like Desperate Housewives.
11 He Sparred With Kimbo Slice
There are times when the worlds of wrestling and mixed martial arts come together in some sort of partnership, like what happened with CM Punk and Brock Lesnar. Goldberg has also been involved with mixed martial arts, but to a much lesser degree than those just mentioned as he was never contracted to actually fight. After he retired from wrestling, Goldberg spent some time with SHOWTIME where he served as an analyst. During this time, he got to do many things, and one of those things was the opportunity to spar with recently deceased MMA fighter Kimbo Slice when he was training for a fight in 2008.
10 He Has Three Cats And A Goat
What many people may not know is that Goldberg really loves animals, to the degree that he is a vocal member of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; and he has even lobbied in congress against illegal animal fighting. Now, when looking at Goldberg, you would think that he has a bunch of big dogs as pets, but he actually likes cats more, and in fact has three cats with each being named after one of the Three Stooges. Cats are not the only animal he shares his home with however, as he also had a pet goat which he comically named Goatberg.
9 He Speared A Guy After Throwing A First Pitch
In baseball, there is something called “the first pitch” which involves a former player, an athlete from a different sport, a celebrity, or a regular person, throwing a pitch from the mound to a member of the home team’s active roster. The Miami Marlins asked Goldberg to throw out the first pitch before one of their games, but they also asked if something extra could be added to the pitch, which is not all that uncommon when someone who is known for something is asked to do it. After Goldberg threw the pitch, a man approached a cameraman and acted in a way similar to a wrestling heel, and Goldberg responded by giving him one of his patented spears.
8 He Wrestled Under A Different Name At The Beginning
One of the things that help to make a wrestler popular is their name, and often times wrestlers undergo multiple name changes until a name sticks, and it has happened to the likes of The Rock, Sting, and Triple H. Goldberg is also among these popular wrestlers who started out with a different in-ring name before going by the name everyone remembers him by. Before being called Goldberg, he went by the name Bill Gold, a fact that many people are unaware of, as all of his Bill Gold matches were untelevised and were basically just matches to test his abilities and to get the crowd ready for the main roster guys.
7 He Got Into A Fight With Chris Jericho Backstage
The whole point of professional wrestling is to fight another person inside of a ring, a fight that for all intents and purposes , is staged with a fixed outcome. Sometimes though, unscripted alterations do occur between wrestlers backstage away from the cameras and the eyes of fans, and Goldberg was seemingly involved in one such altercation with Chris Jericho. There are some who say that the two did not really fight, but Jericho has given details about the event. Apparently, while Jericho was in the ring, Goldberg was talking him down backstage to other people, including one of Jericho’s friends, and this friend told Jericho about it. He and Goldberg met up backstage later, exchanged words, and then Jericho put Goldberg into a headlock.
6 Sting And Lex Luger Discovered Him In A Gym
In an earlier entry on this list, it was mentioned that Goldberg sustained a torn abdominal, which effectively ended his NFL career, but luckily for him, the saying “when one door closes, another one opens” was true. He knew how hard it would be to make it back to the NFL after that type of injury, but that did not stop him from rehabbing it. While rehabbing at an Atlanta gym, he caught the eye of both Lex Luger and Sting who just happened to also be in the same gym at the same time. The two wrestling legends approached Goldberg and suggested to him that he should try wrestling, a suggestion that paid off in a really big way.
5 He Loves Vintage Cars
There are many men, and some women, who have an extreme liking towards all cars from every decade. Some of these people attend vintage car shows, auctions, perform rebuild projects, or even own their own collections of vintage cars; and Goldberg is one of these people. He owns a collection of more than 25 vintage cars, which includes a Plymouth Barracuda, a Super Boss 429 Mustang, and a Shelby Cobra 427. If that were not enough, he also hosts a show called Garage Mahal where he helps people to remodel their garages.
4 He Almost Had A Degree In Psychology
As mentioned earlier, Goldberg was in the NFL, but before that, he played his football at the University of Georgia. He got into the school thanks to a football scholarship, but unlike other people who take these scholarships and use them simply as pathways to the NFL while barely attending any classes, Goldberg was one of the few who actually used the scholarship to learn something. As it turns out, Goldberg actually got good grades, grades that were good enough to get him a degree in psychology; unfortunately, he was drafted, and left for the NFL before he could complete his last few classes, and he still has not completed them.
3 He Ended Bret Hart’s Career
We all know that there is an inherent “fakeness” within wrestling, but that does not mean that wrestlers do not get severely injured in the ring. Injuries are actually a much more common thing in wrestling than people might think; Triple H has been out numerous times, and just recently Seth Rollins returned from a major injury. Some of these injuries can even end careers, like with what happened recently with Sting and Daniel Bryan, and Goldberg was involved in one of these career ending injuries. At a WCW Starrcade, Goldberg and Bret Hart fought for the world heavyweight title, and near the end of the match, Goldberg delivered a mule kick to Hart’s head. After the match, Hart was diagnosed with a severe concussion, so severe, that it led him to have to retire shortly after. Goldberg has expressed remorse for unintentionally injuring the Hitman.
2 He Is A Vegetarian
Earlier on the list, it was mentioned that Goldberg loves animals, and that is a fact that is proven to be even more true with this entry on the list, as he loves them so much, that he even refuses to eat them. Yes, Goldberg is in fact a vegetarian, and he has even appeared in one of PETA’s celebrity cookbooks where he showcased the recipe for one of his soy dishes. Anyone who has seen Goldberg in the ring, cannot deny his physical fitness, and the fact that he is a vegetarian, is a prime example of how fit someone can be when they do not eat any meat.
1 He's Only Been Pinned 5 Times In His Career
Earlier, it was stated that Goldberg had an incredibly long undefeated streak, but what is even more surprising, and even quite astonishing, is the fact that he barely ever lost a match period. Throughout the entirety of his main roster career in both WCW and WWE, Goldberg was only pinned 5 times, a feat that sounds absurd in today's wrestling world, but which is also completely true. Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Booker T, Bret Hart and Triple H are the only men to ever beat Goldberg in a match, and they did so with aid from someone else. Had there not been any outside interference whatsoever, it is quite possible that Goldberg could have gone his entire career without a loss.