Goldberg Doesn't Care About Your Hate
By Ryan Satin
FOX Sports WWE Analyst
Bill Goldberg is one of the most polarizing figures in WWE at the moment.
This Sunday, he challenges Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble.
It’s a battle of old school vs. new school in which McIntyre will attempt to assert his dominance over a legend of the sport (much like in the upcoming Super Bowl).
However, some fans question whether Goldberg, at 54 years old, should still be competing in world title matches against wrestlers in the prime of their careers, such as McIntyre.
Since his return to WWE in 2016, the former WCW headliner has been a star attraction for the company in programs with Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker.
Along the way, he has defeated young champions on the rise, and some have argued that it might have hurt the championship potential of those Superstars in the long run.
It happened first with Kevin Owens, who has yet to be champion again, and later with "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, when he defeated the unstoppable monster in three minutes at Super ShowDown last year.
How does the WWE Hall of Famer feel about the negative reactions he receives online?
Just days before Goldberg once again challenges a young star at the top of the card for a world title, he joined me this week for a conversation in which we discussed all of these topics and more, including his thoughts on Drew McIntyre as a competitor, whether he cares about fans unhappy with his involvement in WWE, his being unhappy with his WrestleMania match last year and why he'll always hate Roman Reigns.
Watch the interview below, and scroll down for the full transcript.
R.S.: Let’s jump right into things. What are your thoughts on Drew McIntyre as a competitor?
GOLDBERG: He’s the face of a new generation. He is. I really can appreciate a lot of the things that he’s done.
His dedication to the business over the long period of time that he’s been involved, he’s definitely paid his dues.
My question is: Has he paid enough? Is it time? Is it time to give him the reins? Is it time to give this next generation the reins? Are they ready? He may think that he has done everything correctly, but on Sunday, we will find out.
R.S.: When you challenged Drew to a match at the Royal Rumble, he responded by saying that fighting you would be like fighting his dad. How do you react to comments such as that, in which people imply that your age means you can’t still kick a ton of ass?
GOLDBERG: His dad must be one bad sumb----. That’s all I can say — and I’m kicking his ass for his dad.
R.S.: Oh, man. That’s a good one.
GOLDBERG: I just turned it on him. I turned it on him.
R.S.: That is turning it on him. That’s like getting a punishment from your father 20 years later. No one wants that.
R.S.: What do you think about people who complain about you being featured in a title match over newer, younger talent?
GOLDBERG: They can complain all they want. I was brought in for a reason. I’m a relief pitcher.
I’d like to think that I’m the top-echelon relief pitcher, and if they didn’t think there was value in bringing in that relief pitcher to close out the game, then they wouldn’t call me.
I don’t make the decisions. I just follow orders, and I go out and do my job. And I try to do my job to the best of my ability. And though it may be far removed from when I was at my prime, I can still kick 98.9% of their asses. And if they don’t think that, then that’s why I’m back.
If they don’t think that, then walk up to me and ask me. Ask me, "Do you think I’m ready?" Well, I’ll show you, and I’ll find out if you’re ready. And Drew McIntyre is the first one of that next generation.
R.S.: When you have a match such as this, as an older dude, how far out do you start training? It seems like you always stay in shape. I see the videos that you post. You’re always in the gym. You’re kicking ass still. But when it comes to training for wrestling, which is a little bit different, how far out do you start to train and prepare for something like this?
GOLDBERG: Depends on when you get the call, my friend. So let’s just leave it at that.
Let’s just say that I haven’t had nearly the time that I normally would have. I haven’t had the time that makes me feel comfortable. I haven’t had the time to make me not lobotomize myself every day about putting on my BVDs in front of millions of people at my age — or any age.
I don’t have a high opinion of myself, but I have an extremely high standard for myself.
I’m one of the luckiest men in the world. I’m in a great position, and the last thing you’ll listen to me do is complain. So no matter how much time I’ve had, I will make the best use of it.
Especially this last four days. I’m gonna show the world that Goldberg is still walking around and walking with a very heavy footstep because I’m gonna put this foot right up Drew McIntyre’s ass.
R.S.: Do you feel like you have to prove the naysayers wrong when you’re going into something like this? Everyone’s got haters, but you do seem to have a vocal part of the fan base against you.
Do you think you have something to prove against them? You’re a WWE Hall of Famer, so you shouldn’t … but do you?
GOLDBERG: You know, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t want to prove every single person who said one thing negative about you wrong, but I’m not driven by that 5%.
My life is not dictated, my daily mood is not dictated by those people. So in all honesty, they wouldn’t be around if they didn’t have a computer to block them and what they say and how I react. So in all honesty, I couldn't really care less about ‘em. I really don’t care.
They make no difference to me whatsoever. I’m out there to provide entertainment to the best of my ability, and the one thing that you can always get from me is that I’m going to do my damndest to provide that.
R.S.: Going back to your last stint in WWE, you defeated the Fiend for the Universal Championship at Super ShowDown in February 2020. Until that point, though, the Fiend had been pretty unstoppable in WWE — not quite undefeated but very protected. How did you feel being the one to end that?
GOLDBERG: You know, again, at the end of the day, Ryan, I do a job, right? I’m asked to go out and perform, and I don’t pass judgment on it. I don’t worry about a finish.
I don’t worry about who’s winning.
I don’t worry about who’s losing.
At the end of the day, I’m there to provide a service, and I do it with a smile on my face either way. And I’m not a booker. I don’t make the decisions. I really don’t. I just come in and provide "that guy," and the only thing I can do in a situation like that is be the best package that they remember.
R.S.: The reason I asked that is because even though he wasn’t undefeated, I think that you know more than anyone else how crucial the end of a dominant streak can be.
That’s really why I was asking — because of your own streak. I didn’t know if maybe you had any hesitation going into it since you know how important the end of something like that can be.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, there’s no question I always have a feeling. I’m a psychology major, man.
I have an opinion about everything, and it’s when to vocalize it and when not to. It’s when to elocute your feelings and when not to. It’s when are you out of place, when is it not your job to voice an opinion?
I’m a soldier. I’m not the general.
R.S.: Not long after that, a match between you and Roman Reigns for the title at WrestleMania 36 was announced. But for a number of reasons, that never happened, and you instead went up against Braun Strowman. What do you think about the match you two had?
GOLDBERG: It was miserable. It was very – you know, that situation was extremely difficult.
Whether it was just dealing with the COVID, whether it was dealing with the last-minute change of the opponent, whether it was dealing with having to stay and change my itinerary literally on the fly when I hit the ground.
It was a very stressful 48 hours, and again, I’m a soldier. I’m not the general. I may have an opinion about it, but it’s not my place to voice it because my opinion makes no difference in that situation.
I always, when I’m brought back, would like to have had a very meaningful storyline and build up to every match or potential match that I’m involved in.
It’s only fair to the fans. It’s only fair to my opponent, and it’s only fair to me. But sometimes, that’s not the case.
Sometimes things have to be changed on the fly, and you know, it is what it is. You know, Braun and I had the matchup. I wasn’t prepared for Braun. I wasn’t prepared for a 3400-pound guy. I just wasn’t. I was completely locked in on Roman Reigns.
To have that switched at the last second, it was not the best day I had in the wrestling business by any stretch of the imagination. Because I think it took my passion out of it that day. There were so many circumstances surrounding what happened that day, it was something I’d just rather forget.
R.S.: Does it bother you that you never got that match against Roman Reigns, too?
GOLDBERG: Oh, always, yeah.
'Cause I’m always going to have that ingrained hatred for him by playing football 60 minutes away from where I played football with Georgia. And by the hatred we had for Georgia Tech, it’s just one of those things that people don’t understand it, and it’s one of the best back stories professional wrestling could ever have.
Because there are two schools that I cannot stand. I cannot stand the colors. I may be 54 years old, 34 years removed from when I was playing football against them, but anything from Georgia Tech and anything from the University of Florida makes me want to vomit, OK?
So Roman Reigns, knowing that he wore that helmet and that uniform, I want to take him apart for no other reason.
Not to mention the fact that he spears people. Well, he tries to spear people, and it is what it is. People don’t get it unless they’re sports people. But I cannot stand those two schools, and he went to one of them, and I can’t stand Roman Reigns. We don’t have Gatorade in my house, for God’s sake!
R.S.: Well, I interviewed Roman Reigns last week, and it’s funny that you threw a bit of shade at him there because he threw a little bit of shade at you as well when I was talking to him about your spear. Do you want to hear what he said?
GOLDBERG: Enlighten me, please.
R.S.: All right, so he said, "There’s always this debate to the spear. ‘Well, you don’t do it like Goldberg.’ Like, that’s because I’m a really good performer.
"I do it like I do it, so I do a launch, and I make it very aesthetic. I’m not on a gridiron. If I want to push somebody’s organs through their spine, I can do that. There’s no problem. I’ll run through your ass. But I try to launch it and make it look as Superman-esque as possible."
What do you think about that?
GOLDBERG: Bravo. He’s doing the best of his ability, and I’m doing mine to the best of my ability.
He does it like a moron from Georgia Tech, and I do it like a bulldog from Georgia. Period. End of story.
If you’re gonna do your signature move, you’re going to move people’s organs. But, besides, I haven’t hurt that many people. I really haven’t. And I’ve been doing it for a long, long time, right?
So I must be a pretty damn good performer to keep everybody safe when it looks like I’m killing ‘em.
So take that, Roman Reigns. Shove that up your Georgia Tech whatever the hell you got.
R.S.: You competed in two Royal Rumble matches, one in 2004 and one in 2017. Both included memorable appearances for you in the match, thanks to your interactions with Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker.
I know you weren’t in either match for very long, but are there any memorable moments that stick out at you from those matches?
GOLDBERG: No. I’ll be perfectly honest with you, no.
Because I didn’t win, and I was in for a very short period of time. So it’s like I said about Braun: I tried to just throw those out of my memory bank and go on to the next.
R.S.: Well, I rewatched them both last night, and even though they were short, both of those moments were awesome.
I loved them because you come in with so much energy and just kick the crap out of everyone, which is always fun to watch. So I enjoyed them.
GOLDBERG: But that’s different. That’s not going in and giving a 15-minute match, blowing my wad, giving you every single move to keep you on the edge of your seat, but then completely satiate you to where the next time you come out, all you’re doing is replicating the same stuff, right?
So I wanted to be different, and I thought that it worked, and there were two or three people that believed it worked. And so, hey, chastise me for trying to be different.
R.S.: OK, so last question here. It’s a three-part question regarding your finishing move, the Jackhammer.
I want you to single out three specific Jackhammers.
1) What’s the best Jackhammer you ever delivered?
2) Who takes the move the best?
3) What’s one Jackhammer you wish you could have back?
Let’s start with the first one.
GOLDBERG: Oh, it has to be on the Big Show. I mean, there’s no question about that.
It doesn’t even – no one else comes to mind other than being able to pick a guy up when he weighs 530 pounds. I mean, show me another guy who did that. Didn’t happen.
And what was your second question – who took it the best?
R.S.: Yeah, who takes the move the best?
GOLDBERG: That would be the Big Show. Because if he didn’t take it the best, it never could have happened, correct?
R.S.: Absolutely. I rewatched that the other day. It’s one of the coolest moments in wrestling to me. I was like, "God, this got me so hyped when I was a kid." I love when you did that. So I’m glad you picked that for both of these.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, no question. And truth be told, let’s be honest: It never could have happened unless No. 2 was the Big Show being the guy who could take it the best.
It’s just physics. The guy’s an unbelievable freak of nature as far as his athletic ability and the size he has.
R.S.: Lastly, what’s one Jackhammer you wish you could have back?
GOLDBERG: Well, what do you think it is?!?
R.S.: I think I know the answer. It’s probably against the Undertaker?
GOLDBERG: 100 percent. 100 percent. And what people don’t understand about that is that, you know, people b---- and moan about me hurting myself prior to getting into the ring and bleeding and gigging myself.
Hey, man, I do that for y’all. They don’t understand. I do that for them because I have to do something beyond human belief to get myself into the "Goldberg Zone."
And if they think … here I am caring about what people say ... but what could be the other reason for that happening other than me trying to get in that zone to provide them with the best character humanly possible?
Unfortunately, I knocked myself kind of silly that night and then hitting the turnbuckle and that post, ripping my head open, I didn’t know what was going on. My equilibrium was completely off.
Whatever. Anyway, it’s that one.
R.S.: That definitely makes sense, but I think you’re going to redeem yourself from that and from WrestleMania since I know you weren’t stoked on that match either, like you said.
I’m excited to see what you and Drew McIntyre pull off Sunday. I think you guys are going to have a hell of a match, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. Thank you so much for doing this today. I appreciate it.
GOLDBERG: Ryan, honestly, I’m not sucking up to you, dude, but as long as you care, as long as you’re entertained, I’m pretty much satisfied.
Watch Goldberg challenge Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship on Sunday at the Royal Rumble on WWE Network.
The event also includes the annual men and women's Royal Rumble matches to determine who will earn a title shot in the main events of WrestleMania 37 in April at Raymond James Stadium.