He's one of the most intense wrestlers to ever set foot in the ring and someone who, with his short-spanned career, achieved much more than others spend their entire pro wrestling careers desiring.
None other than Bill Goldberg.
In 1997, Goldberg was an unknown who stepped in the ring against a popular midcard wrestler named Hugh Morrus. Even with a lack of hype, he defeated Morrus and immediately impressed the audience and viewers watching at home.
He then began to squash other midcard wrestlers, climbing his way to the main event picture. Along the way, he began his first notable feud against Steve "Mongo" McMichael and won the U.S. title from Raven.
Less than a year after his debut, Goldberg became so popular that he defeated "Hollywood" Hogan on an episode of Monday Nitro to become the WCW World Heavyweight champion while also carrying the U.S. title (which he was forced to vacate).
After he lost the title to Kevin Nash five months later, his steam slowly started to sizzle, but he did continue to be one of the most popular wrestlers in the WCW, even with a failed heel turn in the process. His popularity easily made him one of the biggest targets for the WWE after WCW folded in 2001.
After a short stint in Japan, Goldberg debuted in the WWE in 2003. This shortly became a regrettable decision, as his tenure there was quite embarrassing. Especially from his participation in one of the biggest letdowns in WrestleMania history, competing against Brock Lesnar at WM XX.
WWE.com even had some disparaging words about his WWE tenure:
Goldberg was not presented as the silent mauler he had been in his early WCW days. Instead, he picked up where he left off in Atlanta as a grappler who was both vocal and, at times, vulnerable. Announcer Jim Ross may have awkwardly dubbed him “the creature from planet Goldberg,” but the competitor audiences saw in WWE was clearly just a man.
Goldberg retired after his match with Lesnar in 2004 and has not returned since. However, he may be the next blast from the past to be resurrected in the squared circle.
In a recent interview conducted by WQAM radio (via WrestlingInc.), Goldberg admitted he was open to return to the ring after a near 10-year absence. Goldberg turns 47 this year, but he stated he is still in great shape.
Interestingly enough, despite the feverish intensity he had as a babyface—with the crowd reaction adding more fuel to the tank—he said he would prefer returning as a heel.
He also had some choice words to say about Ryback, saying his character is merely a Goldberg rip-off. However, Goldberg stated he had no ill feelings toward Ryback.
Ryback is in desperate need to add more interest to his character, because the WWE totally bombed with his overall buildup and subsequent payoff. Last October, he was one of the top babyfaces in the company. Nearly a year and a number of Shield attacks and losses later, he is scratching his way to being a credible heel.
No matter if you like or dislike one or both of them, Goldberg vs. Ryback at WrestleMania XXX would draw. The both have monstrous personas and physiques, as well as a high level of intensity. Goldberg would come back for maybe a few dates next year but not be heavily involved in the product.
Oftentimes, with the advent of the part-time wrestlers, less is more. It creates a mystique that would be quickly extinguished if we saw them every week.
Unless you are a world champion—that is a different story.
Goldberg would be a good name to bring back from the vault, and hopefully we will get to see him soon in a WWE ring.
Sound off (civilly) with your thoughts on Goldberg potentially returning to the ring.