Last week, one of the most revered wrestlers to ever step foot in the squared circle, The Undertaker, made headlines when he spoke of how wrestling has become “soft” and how the locker room has changed throughout decades and generations – and The Deadman seems to have some backup in the form of Goldberg!
Speaking on After The Bell With Corey Graves, WWE Hall of Famer and two-time Universal Champion Goldberg would open up about the changes he’s witnessed, telling today’s talents to “get thicker skin” and speaking of how the locker room has changed and “not for the better” in 2021.
After Goldberg said, “I don’t think things could go like they did back in the day in the current day,” Graves would ask The Icon about Undertaker’s comments.
“When you hear the comments about me coming back and doing one or two matches a year, how people are like, ‘He doesn’t deserve it, he never paid his dues, he was never on the road and these people are on the road…’ Hey, man, people forget very quickly what all of us did back in the day to earn the spot we are in the now – and I am one of the luckiest guys in the world.
“But, yes, I believe, comparatively, the business is soft – but the business is in 2021, so things have to change and things have to be different.
The WCW legend would open up about how it’s seemingly more difficult to build larger-than-life stars than it was in the past, before praising Drew and clarifying that his promo about respecting legends to the WWE Champion was actually to the locker room as a whole.
“Mega superstars that are bigger than life, it’s hard in this generation, seemingly, to build those people. There are a couple of people who have made it beyond relying upon the public to do that and they have forced their way up and they’ve earned their shot, and Drew McIntyre was one of them. I think mainly, when I was talking to Drew in the beginning, I was speaking to the locker room, I was speaking to everybody and he is the leader, right? So you’ve got to go to the leader and make sure that everything is taken care of in the right way.”
Goldberg then went on to say, “Get thicker skin,” when addressing the current generation, implying they should be appreciative of the eyes he brings to the product.
“Like I said, times are quite different than they were back then today but people are soft, people take offence to things way too quickly. Get a little thicker skin, boys and girls, that’s all I can say. When legends came in when I was in the business, in the beginning, I was greatly appreciative of the eyes they brought to our product and one day those young kids are going to be just like me and I hope that karma comes back to bite them in the ass, that’s all I can say. Because at 54 years old, I don’t know one of them that could be doing what I do.”
Vic Joseph would bring up that he and Corey Graves were brought up old school and how what was said in the car stays in the car, to which Goldberg interjected, “Not any more” before speaking more to his thoughts on trust in wrestling.
“It’s disheartening, it really is, because it breaks up comradery-ship of the guys and girls backstage. There’s not much trust left. You can’t confide in people without them trying to get likes and putting it on their social media. It’s a ridiculous thing, it really is.”
The WWE Hall of Famer went on to speak to his upbringing, before saying wrestling has changed and, for him, it isn’t for the better.
“Everybody’s got to pay their dues and they pay them in a different way. I came from the NFL were every 18 seconds, I had two 350-pound guys trying to rip my face off. If you think I haven’t paid dues, you’ve got to be crazy. It was a little different when I came in because I was a professional athlete but yet I stepped back and I did whatever I could to make sure that I solidified my place correctly – as opposed to just stepping in and saying, ‘Here I am.’ There were a lot of badass dudes in that locker room and, when I came in, the heels and the babyfaces were never seen in public together. Things have changed exponentially and I can’t say it’s for the better.”
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