Bill Goldberg Not Ready to Say Goodbye to WWE, Even After Dolph Ziggler Match

His SummerSlam match against Dolph Ziggler was “by no means my farewell performance.”
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Bill Goldberg last appeared in WWE this past August at SummerSlam, spearing Dolph Ziggler into oblivion. The match didn’t even last two minutes, but Goldberg’s gratitude toward Ziggler remains strong.

“I am greatly appreciative of what he did for me, and for his professionalism,” said Goldberg. “I can’t say thank you enough.”

Dominant and unstoppable, Goldberg’s win at SummerSlam captured the essence of his character. He was in desperate need of a boost following his disappointing match against The Undertaker in June, and he looked like the Goldberg of the late ‘90s against Ziggler.

“I’m never happy with any of my performances, and I’d lost my mojo, I felt like,” said Goldberg. “But the reality is, the older you get, the more you’re going to lose your mojo because you can’t do it like you used to.”

Goldberg is back on television this week, appearing this Wednesday on ABC’s Schooled, reprising his Coach Nick character from The Goldbergs.

His comfortability on-screen is thoroughly apparent, as his time in pro wrestling prepared him for any unforeseen challenges a role could present.

“I’ve been in numerous situations, in front of millions of people, in my underwear,” said Goldberg. “Anything after that is pretty much a walk in the park.

“Some people get intimidated by the roles, but I work backwards from the wrestling experience. It’s given me the opportunity to get front and center in front of millions of people, so to do comedy and to make fun of myself on The Goldbergs, and now Schooled, it’s amazing.”

Goldberg shows off his comedic chops on The Goldbergs and now Schooled. He always knew he was funny, but, until now, it never translated to the Goldberg character.

“Everyone expects me to be this tough guy who rips guys’ heads off, so that gives me a little bit of freedom to be ridiculous,” said Goldberg. “I’ve been a goofball my entire life, but I haven’t shown anybody that in wrestling. It wasn’t conducive to the success of my character. Now, my character is solidified.

“It’s no different than my evolution in wrestling. Never in a million years would Goldberg have had his wife or son next to him during the middle of my monstrous run. It would have taken away from the character. I perfected being a badass with Goldberg, now it’s time to let my proverbial hair down and have some fun.”

Comedy provides a new challenge for the 52-year-old, which he is relishing.

“The writers are tremendous, and I have absolutely no problem being self-deprecating, which catches people off-guard,” said Goldberg. “I’m working beside 24-hour comedians, so if I can somehow steal a laugh, that’s awesome.

“Everyone on set has made me feel so comfortable. I’m the only actual Goldberg on set most of the time, so how can I not feel comfortable? But Bryan Callen [who plays Goldberg’s on-screen brother] and the entire cast have gone above and beyond to make me feel at home.”

Goldberg also admitted that he is never too far from a return to WWE. The match against Ziggler this past summer, he confirmed, was not his finale.

“It’s by no means my farewell performance, nor was it my best performance, but you have to be realistic and take all things into consideration,” said Goldberg. “It’s a very good possibility I’ll be back, but you don’t know it until it’s done.”

A determining factor in Goldberg’s next return to WWE will be his physical condition. He has a certain expectation and standard to uphold in his physique, which makes the Goldberg character a tougher role to play.

“That gets lost in the shuffle, but it’s actually the biggest factor,” said Goldberg. “I don’t know of a power wrestler that’s been able to come back after a 12-year hiatus and still be that guy. I had a really tough time keeping weight on when I was that guy, so now it’s exponentially harder. So I just need to reinvent myself. Instead of being 280 pounds with veins on my traps, I can be 260 with veins on my traps.

“I just moved to Texas, and the first pod that I loaded up was my neck machine, my upright rowing machine, and dumbbells from 60 to 120. Staying in shape and being that role model for my son is my priority. That’s a struggle, and it’s not just physical. It’s also mental. The physique, that was part of the package. If you take away parts of the package, then it isn’t as favorable as it was in the past. But I’m the man of reinvention, and anybody that says I can’t do something can kiss my ass.”

After playing the role of Goldberg for the better part of two decades, his appearance on Schooled allows for a chance to re-engage his audience and reappear in their living rooms.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to have anybody care about what you do, let alone for as long as people have cared about me,” said Goldberg. “The more I reinvent myself, the more familiar people have become with me because they’ve seen different aspects of me as a human being and not just as Goldberg.

“I relish in the fact that I’ve done something that has meant something to people, but I can’t enjoy it for too long. I need to get back in the gym.”

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