Monday, January 15, 2018

Goldberg spears his way into the Hall of Fame

Goldberg in WWE (2017)
Courtesy: WWE


By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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WWE and ESPN announced Monday morning that former WCW, WWE and Universal Champion Goldberg is going into the WWE Hall of Fame. No doubt he'll be the "main event" of the Class of 2018 when the ceremony is held the Friday night prior to WrestleMania 34. There had been rumors circulating for weeks, maybe even months that Goldberg would go in this year. 

When he returned to WWE in late 2016 it was clear any tensions between he and the company were put aside. That is often the case as we've seen mended fences come between WWE and the likes of Kurt Angle, Bruno Sammartino and The Ultimate Warrior in recent years. Goldberg's induction is well deserved. I know some reading that sentence may be surprised as I've been a pretty outspoken Goldberg critic on this blog and on the My 1-2-3 Cents podcast. Despite not being a fan of the performer, it's hard to argue the contributions he made to the business during his brief run in the late 90s.

Goldberg vs. Kendall Windham
Courtesy: WWE
I actually met Goldberg when he was still using Bill as his first name in the ring. It was at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville, Alabama. WCW was broadcasting Thursday Night Thunder on January 21, 1998. I was able to interview a handful of WCW wrestlers, the first being Goldberg. However, my videographer and I recorded some video of the ring being set up that night and Doug Dillinger took our tape and erased it. The Goldberg interview was lost forever, but my interviews with Bobby Heenan, Buff Bagwell and Ray Traylor will live on YouTube. 

Goldberg was a nice guy and treated me well throughout the course of the interview. However, his character never resonated with me. I will admit that's likely a bias on my part as I grew up a wrestling fan but always put WWF first. Goldberg's rise was at the peak of the Monday Night Wars and I was firmly behind Vince McMahon and company.

Rock vs. Goldberg
Courtesy: WWE
Even years later when Goldberg appeared in WWE I was less than thrilled and to no fact of his own. My thoughts were that ship had sailed. I wanted to see the big names from WCW come over immediately, but because many of the top guys had big-time contracts with AOL/Time Warner they opted to stay on the sidelines and continue to get paid. Dream matches like Goldberg vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin never happened.

Courtesy: WWE
Goldberg made a difference in the business and deserves the recognition he receives as a result. The man behind the character appears to be a standup guy and I'm happy he was able to come back and win the Universal Championship in front of his young son who had never seen him wrestle. Congrats to Goldberg as he takes his official place in wrestling (sports entertainment) history.

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