Bill Goldberg initially had no interest in becoming part of the “fake” wrestling business, according to former WCW and WWE wrestler Erik Watts.
Watts, the son of legendary wrestling promoter Bill Watts, had a passion for the industry from a young age. By contrast, Goldberg only began wrestling aged 30 after his football career ended.
In a recent WSI interview, Watts recalled a conversation he once had with the WWE Hall of Famer at a gym in Tulsa, Oklahoma:
“I said, ‘What do you think about pro wrestling?’ He said, ‘Erik, I love you and I love your dad, he’s a legend. There’s no way I’m gonna do that fake bulls**t.’ I go, ‘Excuse me?’ He goes, ‘Oh, no, no, no, what I’m saying is, with all due respect, Erik.’ I go, ‘What?’ He goes, ”I think I wanna train for the UFC.’ I said, ‘Bill, you’re never gonna be in the UFC or nothing like this. You’ve gotta be doing that since you were a kid.'” [1:26 – 1:44]
Goldberg debuted in WCW on the September 22, 1997, episode of Nitro. He quickly became one of the company’s top stars, largely thanks to his 173-match undefeated streak.
How Goldberg was recommended to WCW
After their conversation at the gym, Erik Watts put the former football player in touch with fellow WCW wrestler Diamond Dallas Page (DDP).
DDP then contacted former WCW executive Eric Bischoff, who met with Goldberg to discuss a possible career in wrestling:
“I told DDP about Bill Goldberg, DDP told Bischoff, Bischoff then came to Main Event Fitness to meet him because he was working out, and that’s how they got him,” Watts continued. [1:48 – 2:00]
Goldberg has not competed in a match since losing to Roman Reigns at Elimination Chamber in February 2022. The 56-year-old will appear at the WrestleCon convention next month on WrestleMania 39 weekend.
What are your thoughts on Goldberg as a wrestler? Let us know in the comments section below.