While making an appearance on Uncut with Jay Cutler, WCW legend Bill Goldberg spoke in-depth about his Hall of Fame wrestling career. He opens up about creating his Goldberg character, shares some of his best moments as a wrestler, and even touches on some of his struggles within the sport.
As a former NFL defensive lineman, Goldberg made the transition from the gridiron to the wrestling ring in the mid-’90s. At first, he had no desire to get into the sport, but once his NFL opportunities dried up he decided to give it a shot.
Goldberg entered the ring for the first time in June 1997 and quickly moved up as a singles wrestler on WCW Nitro. His ascent to the top included more than 70 consecutive wins without a loss and culminated in his first heavyweight championship belt in early 1998. Goldberg didn’t just arrive in wrestling, he took it by storm in less than a year. However, there were still some ups and downs as he adjusted to his new profession and created his new wrestling character and on-camera personality.
“I had a good work ethic and I try to be a perfectionist,” Goldberg said on Uncut with Jay Cutler. “I’m a martial artist and I tried to combine a lot of different things that were hot at the moment. Put it into one package and not speak for 6 months and go out there and rip guys faces off. I thought that would work. But I’m not going to say it was an easy transition by any stretch of the imagination.”
That’s right. Goldberg didn’t even speak for months when he debuted in the WCW. He let his menacing look and work in the ring speak for itself. To this day, Goldberg is still developing the character he’s played for 25 years.
“I’ve never [fully] developed it. To this day I’m still working on it,” Goldberg said of his wrestling character. “I like to say that my character is an extension of myself just ramped up to 10. So all I’ve got to do is go out and be me.”
Bill Goldberg Talks About His Early Struggles On ‘Uncut with Jay Cutler’
Early on his career, Goldberg said that he mainly had trouble adjusting to the locker room. As any fan knows, there’s a lot of personalities with a lot of testosterone in wrestling. Goldberg went on to share an analogy he’s used for years to describe it. Coming into the WCW from the NFL, he said it felt like being a college football player attending a frat party. He didn’t exactly belong since he wasn’t part of the fraternity. Therefore he was viewed as bit of an outsider.
“As a football player walking into a frat party in college. That’s how I felt walking into the wrestling locker room. So that was my biggest obstacle,” Goldberg explained on Uncut with Jay Cutler. “My biggest obstacle [wasn’t performing in the ring.] I could line up and there was nothing they could do to me getting out of an NFL camp that could make me quit. There just wasn’t.”
Yet throughout his career, the grind of the sport and the constant physicality is something that Goldberg had to adjust to as well. But to this day, the locker room and staying on the same page as the rest of the talent is something he’s still getting used to years later.
“Being a professional wrestler is like being a football player and rock star built into one,” he added. “You’re on the road 200 days a year. So it’s tough on your body. I’d say that was the biggest obstacle, and I still deal with it. Having the same mind wavelength as the guys in the locker room.”
Goldberg Shares One of His Favorite Career Moments, Realized He Belonged As a Wrestler
It must be hard to pick a favorite career moment when you’ve got so many accolades to choose from. Goldberg is still the only man in history to have earned the WCW World Heavyweight, WWE World Heavyweight, and WWE Universal Champion belts. But that first title not only meant the world to him, it helped prove to Goldberg that he belonged among wrestling’s elite.
“I knew it was for me when [in] Colorado Springs against Raven and his flock when I was at WCW. It was for the U.S. Championship,” Goldberg shared. “It was the first title I went up and tried to win, and I won it, and the reaction was pretty cool. And I’m like, you know what, maybe this is the way to go.”
“And it’s luck. You’re in the right place at the right time,” Goldberg continued. “I had [Hulk Hogan] and the big boys down there to kinda show me the ropes.”
Goldberg talks about that and much more in this week’s new episode. Make sure to check out his full conversation in the video above, or tune in and listen to Uncut with Jay Cutler on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.