“I know it’s hard to believe this, but Brock is a caring person underneath all that big giant monster’s body.”

By Justin Barrasso
April 17, 2018

Bill Goldberg headlined the WWE’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony during WrestleMania 34 weekend, and the former face of WCW wanted to extend his gratitude to one man:

Brock Lesnar.

“If it wasn’t for Brock, it would not have happened,” said Goldberg. “Period, end of story.”

Goldberg, who premieres tonight as the new host of HISTORY’s Forged in Fire: Knife or Death series, worked a memorable run with Lesnar that kicked off in November 2016 and ran all the way to WrestleMania 33 the following April.

Goldberg was even able to share the ride, which included a brief run as WWE Universal champion, with his son.

“I know it’s hard to believe this, but Brock is a caring person underneath all that big giant monster’s body,” said Goldberg. “The relationship he has with his sons parallels my relationship with my son, and I think Brock may have understood what I was going through. Maybe he put himself in my position, saw a little bit of himself later in life in me, and saw how much this meant to me. For that, I can never repay Brock.”

Goldberg is eager to show the world his work on Forged in Fire, beginning Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET.

The show is a six-episode competition series featuring bladesmiths, martial artists, and knife experts using their weapons to cut through a variety of obstacles, like blocks of ice and flying watermelons, in timed challenges.

In addition to adding range to the 51-year-old Goldberg’s acting portfolio, the show is a good fit for his ultra-competitive personality.

“I found myself very intrigued,” said Goldberg. “We live in a day and age where everybody gets a reward for just participating. But I live by the adage that, unless you strive for success daily, then you’ll spin around the wheel like a hamster.

“You’re only as good as your next venture, not your last. I’m always searching to expand my resume, and at the end of the day, I love to learn. Along with martial arts, I now find myself a student of blade sports. I’m very excited to learn even more.”

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Goldberg relished the chance to work with his co-host Tu Lam, a martial artist and edged weapons expert who also spent 23 years serving in the Special Forces for the United States.

“He is a hero and a great human being,” said Goldberg. “I was honored to befriend him and learn from his philosophy on life. He and I make a great team.

“The tone we’re trying to set is a heavy one. You have a big, burly ex-wrestler and an ex-special forces Green Beret. We’re two guys extremely high on the testosterone level, but we have no problem emasculating ourselves. The audience will feel comfortable with us, and we essentially magnify our shortcomings.”

The decision by Vince McMahon to induct Goldberg into the WWE Hall of Fame was an honor, but the former WCW champ noted that he remains open to a wrestling return under the right circumstances.

“I never close the door,” said Goldberg. “The Hall is a very wonderful accolade to receive, but it’s not the stamp on the end of my career. I continue to grow, continue to entertain, and I don’t like bookending anything.”

Goldberg distanced himself from pro wrestling after exiting WWE under less-than-favorable conditions in 2004, but his last run—one which solidified his standing as a Hall of Famer in the eyes of the WWE—finished on a far more positive note.

“That comeback made me realize I do love the business and I do appreciate the business,” said Goldberg. “Just because you don’t grow up wanting to do something doesn’t mean you can’t have a wholehearted appreciation for it.

“The sole reason I came back and went through what I went through was to show my son, in present time, that stage and make it as similar to the one I made in WCW. But that never would have happened if Brock didn’t have the idea to bring me back and if Vince hadn’t accepted it. We’d had our issues in the past, but we wiped our hands from it and moved on.”

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Goldberg capitalized on the run to the best of his ability. He was fortunate that the timing was perfect, as he was able to formulate a game plan with Lesnar, McMahon, and Paul Heyman, who were all invested in the success of the program.

“At the end of the day, in a business that is not predicated on true competition as far as your status is concerned, it’s a hell of an orchestration of people needed to make things happen,” said Goldberg. “I don’t know of many characters that were more dependent upon the whole process as Goldberg. It was a symphony of people coming together, creating a situation that was undeniable. For all those people to help me along the way in the way they did, I will forever be grateful.”

Away from a WWE ring, Goldberg now looks to conquer his next challenge on HISTORY’s Forged in Fire: Knife or Death.

“At the end of the day, we just want people to give the show a shot,” said Goldberg. “This is a reality show that’s a combination between the original Forged in Fire and Ninja Warrior. Who can’t turn that on?”

Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.

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