Forced to leave the National Football League through injury, Goldberg turned his hand to professional wrestling at the request of Sting and Lex Luger, joining the WCW Power Plant in the mid-nineties. Little did he know that awaiting him was a fruitful career, one of the most notable in WCW history.
‘Da Man’ formally debuted on the September 22nd, 1997 edition of WCW Monday Nitro, going 161-0 across company programming until being felled by Kevin Nash at Starrcade 1998. Though he had mass success in the promotion, WCW wasn’t the only choice for Goldberg; he was initially open to a deal with WWE.
“I’m Gonna Make A Difference In This Business” – Goldberg
Goldberg explained during a recent appearance on The Roman Atwood Podcast how he met with WWE officials before he did with WCW representatives. Though he was offered a training deal, something didn’t sit right with the future WWE Hall of Famer:
“I lived in Atlanta where WCW was and it was based, and all those guys I knew. [Goldberg noted to Jim Ross that he didn’t have an agent] ‘Oh no, Mr. McMahon hates agents.’ So I immediately thought, ‘Okay, I gotta get one, right now.’ So I go in there and I meet with [Vince] and Jim Ross, and they offer me a training deal, and I flew back to Atlanta and I called the owner or the President of WCW [Eric Bischoff].”
Elaborating, Goldberg explained how a pre-existing relationship with Eric Bischoff led to him signing with World Championship Wrestling, later becoming one of their top faces:
“Our paths had crossed, I’m not gonna tell you how, but we had seen each other a number of times in a number [of] places. I called him and said, ‘Listen, here’s the deal. I want to do this wrestling gig. I’m not gonna be one of those $500 throw-around-the-ring punks, I’m gonna make a difference in this business.’ And that’s just the confidence that I had.”
Goldberg went on to become one of the top wrestling stars of the nineties, being a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion and reaching number two in the 1998 PWI 500.