Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Goldberg's Next

Here's our interview with former wrestling star Goldberg...

Martial arts and Steven Seagel for starters

By Jon Chattman, for
July 2006

Apparently mixed martial arts (MMA) is next for former wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Bill Goldberg. The former WCW and WWE grappler will serve as a color commentator for the recently launched World Fighting Alliance's (WFA) upcoming pay-per-view event "King of the Streets," which airs live from the Forum in Los Angeles on July 22. While his career has been dominated by wrestling, Goldberg said he's always been a fan of martial arts and the MMA style and grapplers like Bas Rutten and Ron Waterman.

Goldberg said he's also psyched to join a broadcasting team led by boxing play-by-play man Barry Tompkins. The move behind the booth is just another example of how the former Atlanta Falcon is taking his career well beyond the wrestling ring. Since leaving the WWE two years ago, he's focused on film work, family (who recently became a father for the first time), and involvement in various charities. He's been featured in such films as "Santa's Slay," and last spring's Adam Sandler hit comedy "The Longest Yard," and is set to begin filming a remake of the martial arts film, "Half Past Dead," which originally starred Steven Seagal.

We recently chatted with "The Man" and asked him about the WFA, his movie career, and whether or not he'd ever jump in the ring again beit with WFA or another wrestling organization. Taking a page from the wrestling cliche book, Goldberg told us, "never say never." Having said that, one thing's clear, you won't ever see him get in a WWE ring again.

Q) Why'd you decide to get involved with the WFA?
A) My interest in the martial arts has run pretty deep for a long period of time. I own a martial arts school in Oceanside, CA. called Extreme Power. I've trained throughout my football career, wrestling career, and my normal human existence just for entertainment value of it. I find it's an area you can never have all of the knowledge. It was a no brainer. It's about time there was a viable competitor to the UFC in the states.

Q) True, but you're getting into the broadcast booth instead of competing. Why'd you decide to commentate rather than kicking ass?
A) First and foremost, I think I'm too old to be a participant. We all know I had an affiliation with the Pride organization in Japan. I did a little bit of color with them.
For me, I'm learning to reinvent myself a little more. I have a relationship with 90 percent of these guys already. Whether it be WFA guys or MMA guys around the world. I have been a fan since the inception of my wrestling career. For me to be part of the color commentary, it's the next best thing than being in there.

Q) What can you bring to the table as an announcer?
A) I can bring my insights on what I think as an objective observer. I can bring my relationship with all the fighters to forefront and give these guys some shit. Not too many other guys can do that.

Q) These days, the wrestling industry has been dubbed as stale. Do you think you can help lure wrestling fans away from the WWE and TNA?
A) I do believe my presence will not hurt by any stretch of the imagination. We are definitely looking for the crossover from the wrestling fan. I would think it's the same fan base.These guys really know what they're doing. The card that WFA has come up with for its inaugural fight is an unbelievable break out card. Any organization in the world would love to have the list of fighters they have on this card.

Q) There were rumors that you'd be joining TNA Wrestling. Will that ever come into fruition?
A) I would love to be part of somebody competing against the tyrant. There are many other business deals that have to be made for Spike TV prior to me even considering stepping in the ring for TNA. I really don't have plans to do it anytime in the near future. [But] who knows. You look at Sting, [and] he went over there. He's the one that opened my eyes to the possibility of me coming out of retirement.

Q) What do you think of the product over there?
A) I've stomached a little bit of it. They definitely need some help whether its production, whether it's talent, or a [new] timeslot.

Q) Your last wrestling match (against Brock Lesner at Wrestlemania XX) didn't go that well. Were you surprised by the fans reaction?
A) It was tough for the fans. It wasn't fair to the fans. It wasn't fair to us. Truthfully,I really didn't hear it (fans booing). I was so disappointed with what was going on...I pretty much zoned everything out. I could tell in [Lesner's] eyes as the bell rang, it was going to be a long night [and] we just kind of wanted to get out of the ring. The match definitely was not booked and publicized like it should have been. That could have been the match of the century. Obviously, we were both leaving, but you would've thought they would've put a little bit more into it seeing as how it equated to money in their pocket.

Q) Brock's a free agent now, what are the chances you could face him again in the WFA?
A) Brock is a terrific friend of mine. For me to be able to get in the ring with somebody, I'm going to have to dislike the human being as much as possible. He's too good of a guy. He really is a good friend of mine. Let's get Vince McMahon in there. You'd have to tie both hands behind my back. Guys like that are all show and no go.

Q) When asked if you'd come out of retirement, you say "never say never," but is it safe to assume you'll never wrestle in a WWE ring ever again?
A) That's a fact. I wont say never say never there. There's no question that I would never step foot in that ring again.

Q) Were there any positives in the WWE?
A) Yeah. It thought me there was good and bad in the wrestling business. The good was in WCW. The bad was my entire tenure in WWE.

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