Wrestling / Goldberg

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The destroyer of 173note  wrestlers in a row!
"WHO'S NEXT?!"

William Scott "Bill" Goldberg (born December 27, 1966) is an American professional wrestler, former professional football player, and former mixed martial artist color commentator, who was one of the most popular wrestlers in WCW (where he was known simply as Goldberg) during the Monday Night Wars.

Goldberg became famous for having the longest winning streak ("The Streak" as it was known) in WCW history, having won 173 consecutive matches, and in the process, winning the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship, and later, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship before the streak came to an end at Starrcade 1998; he also became infamous for being the man responsible for retiring Bret Hart, giving him a concussion with a kick to the head that - coupled with other concussions suffered around the same timeframe - forced The Hitman out of the ring for good. (At least until 2010.) Nowadays, Goldberg has semi-retired, and spends time doing television shows centered around motorcycles and automobiles, as well as serving as an MMA commentator.

You can learn more about his career at The Other Wiki.

"THESE TROPES ARE NEXT!":

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Played with. Goldberg left wrestling in 2004 and seemed uninterested in returning to the ring until an interview in 2015 where he expressed interest in wrestling one final match so his son could watch. He's also gone back and forth on this claim, and since he and WWE weren't on very good terms, it seemed a bit unlikely that he'll return. Until he was announced as the Pre-Order Bonus for WWE 2K17, the same deal that led to both Ultimate Warrior and Sting burying the hatchet with WWE. The dirtsheet rumors circulating about WWE trying to contact Goldberg about coming back also don't help matters...and he returned on the October 17 episode of Raw, to accept a challenge from Lesnar for a rematch at Survivor Series.
  • Always Someone Better: Goldberg is the "Someone Better" to Brock Lesnar. According to Paul Heyman, Lesnar has been kept up at night constantly by the fact that Goldberg is one-up on Lesnar for the past 12 years. Goldberg proves to be Lesnar's better once again in Survivor Series 2016 when he pins Lesnar in 86 seconds.
  • Badass Beard: A multicolored beard of brown and grey.
  • Badass Grandpa: Pushing fifty and not only is he still jacked, but still strong enough to hit the Jackhammer on someone as big as Rusev. He later did one better, absolutely flattening Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series, in under two minutes.
  • Badass Israeli: Not Israeli, but proudly and openly Jewish. He even considered calling himself Mossad before going with his own name.
  • Bald of Awesome: Well, he shaved his head before his wrestling career started, and when his entire gimmick is entering a ring, eating somebody alive and leaving...
  • Biography: His autobiography, I'm Next: The Strange Journey of America's Most Unlikely Superhero.
  • Captain Ersatz: In the handheld console Fire Pro Wrestling entries.
  • Catch Phrase: "Who's Next?" and its variants eventually became one as Goldberg's streak grew.
  • Carnival of Killers: Triple H put a bounty on Goldberg that Steven Richards, Thuggin and Buggin Enterprises, La Résistance, Tommy Dreamer and Batista all tried to collect.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, from a distance; both were bald men with beards in black wrestling trunks. During the height of the Monday Night Wars, Goldberg was often mistaken as Steve Austin and vice-versa, with fans even calling them by the other's name.
  • Combat Commentator: In mixed martial arts for EliteXC.
  • Combat Pragmatist: After shoving Brock Lesnar down during their match in Survivor Series 2016, the latter took his sweet time getting up because he didn't see Goldberg as a threat, even giving his "is that all you got?" smirk. Goldberg responded by delivering a Spear to Lesnar as he's getting up rather than let The Beast catch his breath.
  • Crowd Song: "Goldberg! Goldberg! Goldberg!" There were rumors that to help Goldberg's popularity rise, the Goldberg chants were piped in through the sound system. Diamond Dallas Page denied it, saying something to the effect of WCW didn't have the ability or know-how to pipe things in over the sound system.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A lot of his wins from The Streak were this; though how many were against jobbers is debatable.
    • This is how his return match against Brock Lesnar went in Survivor Series 2016. The "match" ended in 86 seconds with Goldberg pinning Lesnar after two Spears and a Jackhammer.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Goldberg beating Hulk Hogan, then Kevin Nash beating Goldberg thanks to Scott Hall and a taser. WCW was not really prepared to figure out what to do with him afterwards, either.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • He defeated Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the July 6, 1998 Nitro, but did not main event on a PPV until his match with Diamond Dallas Page at WCW Halloween Havoc on October 25:
      • At the July PPV, Bash at the Beach, the "main event" was Hogan and pro basketball player Dennis Rodman defeating Diamond Dallas Page and pro basketball player Karl Malone. Goldberg was second from the top, defeating Curt Hennig.
      • The August PPV, Road Wild, had Page and The Tonight Show host Jay Leno defeating Hogan and WCW boss Eric Bischoff, who had been mocking Leno on Nitro, as the "main event," with Goldberg second from the top again winning a meaningless battle royal against a bunch of nWo guys. (For contrast, consider that WWF's SummerSlam PPV the same month had WWF Champion "Stone Cold" Steve Austin defeating The Undertaker in Taker's first 100% clean PPV loss ever as its main event.)
      • Goldberg did not even appear at WCW Fall Brawl 1998, which had as its "main event" the all-time worst War Games match in the match's 11-year history. It was Team WCW (Page/"Rowdy" Roddy Piper/The (Ultimate) Warrior) vs. Team nWo Hollywood ("Hollywood" Hulk Hogan/Bret Hart/Stevie Ray [Booker T's brother] vs. Team nWo Wolfpac (Kevin Nash/Lex Luger/Sting) in a match that featured Warrior expy The Renegade making a surprise appearance imitating the Warrior and everyone in the match having to "play dead" for Warrior's "magic smoke." Page won the match by pinning Stevie Ray, after Hogan and UW had broken out of the cage. This monstrous idiocy DID lead to the great Goldberg-DDP match at Havoc, as the match had a stipulation that whoever got the pinfall victory would earn a shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Havoc, plus they had to save the show after the disastrous Hogan-Warrior rematch (Hulk wanted UW to job for him in return for him jobbing for UW way back at WrestleMania VI).
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He became the first man to defeat Lesnar cleanly since the end of 'Taker's streak in a stunningly one-sided contest; and remains undefeated by Brock.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Goldberg didn't start using the spear until after his first two dozen or so matches, and some of his early matches were back and forth rather than the squashes he'd become famous for.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Kicking out of Hugh Morrus' finishing move (the "No Laughing Matter" moonsault) in his first match, then shocking the crowd by winning decisively. The kicker is when he says into the camera afterward, "that's number 1."
  • Expy: While most often denounced at the time as a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin copy due to his shaved head and similar outfit, his squash-heavy style was much closer to that of 1980s Foreign Wrestling Heel Nikita Koloff. Goldberg admits to patterning himself off of Dan "The Beast" Severn, particularly his early UFC run.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Had a very ill-advised one late in his WCW career thanks to the typical Heel–Face Revolving Door booking of Vince Russo. Goldberg was the one last wrestler fans could count on to cheer for. Quite literally eating Scott Hall's contract certainly didn't help, either, and feuding with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in the first place with them as the faces was never going to go over the way Russo wanted it to. WCW fans just gave up altogether and it was, in some respects, the final nail in the company's coffin.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Mixed martial arts inspired gloves, back when it was a sport hardly anyone cared about, no less.
  • Finishing Move: The Spear followed by the Jackhammer (suplex powerslam).
  • I Know Karate: According to the commentators, he knew Sambo. He actually knew some Sambo through looking martial arts tapes, but had no formal training. For what is worth, Goldberg currently owns a Muay Thai training center.
  • Implacable Man: This is his shtick, really. Generally, the worst parts of Goldberg's career are when he's doing anything else but this.
  • Jobber Entrance: How he started on WCW, though in a subversion of expectations, he won and kept on winning.
  • The Juggernaut: Said by WCW to be the first undefeated world champion in the history of pro wrestling, as in he never lost at any time prior to getting the belt.
  • Large Ham: On the microphone he's pretty subdued and laconic, by pro wrestling standards. Trash Talk isn't really his thing. In the ring however, he's excessively vocal and animated, which makes sense considering how short his matches usually are.
  • Last Name Basis: Though referred to as Bill Goldberg on numerous occasions, he's mostly known by his last name alone.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Agile enough to do a backflip (which he did against Hugh Morrus, and in his title match against DDP), was also a pro football player, so he had explosive speed and power. Could lift The Giant and Jackhammer him with one arm, and was able to tear a limo's glass with his bare hands, although it cut his flesh.
  • Made of Iron: Kicked out of a sledge hammer shot from Triple H, though the first time Triple H did this he did get a three count, probably because at that moment Goldberg was running towards him for a Spear.
  • No Sell: Particularly memorable were his no sells to Glacier and, when The Rock brought him out to mock Goldberg, Gillberg.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Halloween Havoc 1998 match with DDP, largely thought to be the best of his career, wasn't seen by many fans because WCW's management was so inept at the time that the show ran over its time limit badly and the broadcast cut off. The recorded match was shown the following night on Nitro, but that was well after fans knew the outcome, so much of the emotional impact of the match (see Enforced Method Acting on the Trivia page) was lost.
  • Oh Crap!: Just hearing his music could have this effect on opponents.
  • One Last Job: Goldberg announced his return to face off one last time against Brock Lesner, deciding he still had enough gas in the can for one last fight.
  • Pet the Dog: He may have a mercenary attitude towards the wrestling business, but he's extremely devoted to charities, particularly the Make A Wish foundation. He's also very nice to fans as long as they don't approach him when he's with his family. He's also a spokesman for the ASPCA, making this a literal case.
  • The Quiet One: He didn't talk very often. His actions did the talking for him.
  • Rated M for Manly: Without any single shred of doubt. It's the one thing, according to some fans, that separates Goldberg from the likes of other wrestlers with a similar build or physique— Goldberg's aura of intensity and savagery makes his invincibility more believable.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Megadeth's "Crush 'Em" (as a tie-in with Goldberg's appearance in the 1999 movie Universal Soldier: The Return. After the movie ran its course, he went back to his usual production theme.)
  • Red Baron: "The Man"
  • The Rival: Meng, Diamond Dallas Page, Hulk Hogan, Sid Vicious, Sting, The Rock, Triple H, Brock Lesnar.
  • Rule of Cool: His whole entrance, where they basically threw everything the set budget had. Includes a hefty dose of Ominous Fog and an Out of the Inferno walk through a fireworks shower, where he would then INHALE THE PYROTECHNICS SMOKE AND EXHALE IT LIKE A FRIGGIN' DRAGON!
  • Screaming Warrior: A great moment, from the 2004 Royal Rumble: [loud cobra hiss] "YOU SON OF A BITCH!"
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Part of Goldberg's appeal was watching his matches to see what moves he'd come up with to hurt the poor sap stuck in the ring with him this time and how quickly he could do it. Despite having all the trappings of an Invincible Hero, the fans mostly couldn't get enough of him, for the first year, anyway. And after two years of Hulk Hogan and the nWo making chumps of the entire WCW roster, Goldberg was a fresh face with an aura of invincibility. By this point, wrestling fans were dying for a person who could finally end Hogan's title reign. He did, and for a short while, it was good.
  • Signature Move: Canadian fans generally disliked him for a mule kick they claim ended Bret Hart's career. Also, a gorilla press transitioned into either an Oklahoma slam or spinebuster in WWE with no controversy surrounding it.
  • Sitcom: There's a clip of him in the opening credits sequence for Malcolm in the Middle.
  • Soft Glass: Apparently, Goldberg was supposed to smash several limousine windows with a pipe concealed in his hand, and he lost the pipe. He decided to punch through the window with his bare hands. He seriously injured himself, and Goldberg was out of action for nearly six months.
  • Squash Match: What the majority of his matches in WCW were during his first streak.
  • Take That:
    • At WCW Fall Brawl 1998, Chris Jericho brought out a midget version and easily "defeated" him.
    • On the January 11, 1999 Raw, WWF World Light Heavyweight Champion Duane Gill was reintroduced as "Gillberg," complete with similar mannerisms, guided entrance, his J.O.B. Squad stablemates The Blue Meanie, 2 Cold Scorpio and Bob Holly holding little sparklers around his head as he choked on the smoke. Gillberg entered the ring and said, "Gillberg doesn't wanna know who's next - Gillberg wants to know WHO'S FIRST?" Luna Vachon answered and promptly squashed Gillberg in 1:04.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Tended to induce this in his opponents. For example, Van Hammer once hit Goldberg with an Alabama Slam, and instead of following up, decided to climb up on the turnbuckle to celebrate, not only giving Goldberg time to recover but enough distance to hit the Spear.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Is a big, muscular tough dude with a higher-pitched, slightly nasal voice. Though he put a growl in his voice when cutting promos perhaps because of this trope.
  • The Worf Effect: Goldberg served as the Worf for Meng and Batista. None of them were actually able to beat him, but simply being able to beat up Goldberg a little was enough to get them over. Goldberg also sold for jobber-to-the-stars Jerry Flynn,note  which was enough to get Flynn promoted to midcarder for a little while.
  • Wrestling Monster: One of the more mundane examples but also one of the most famous. A very rare face example of one as well.

Alternative Title(s): Bill Goldberg

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Wrestling/Goldberg