Goldberg vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Goldberg vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Goldberg vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Goldberg vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Goldberg vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Goldberg vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Goldberg vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Goldberg vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Goldberg vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
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Dream Rivalry:

WCW’s juggernaut vs WWF’s attitude legend. The match that could have happened in 2001 with the acquisition of WCW, however did not. Could Stone Cold have been “Next”? Would Goldberg have ran into a Stone Cold Stunner for the 1-2-3? The bald-headed, black-trunk wearing main eventers and company carriers.. A dream rivalry, dream match up, that still keeps us wondering of the possibilities..

Timeline:

1964-1996: American Football Steve Austin was born in Austin Texas and spent most of his childhood in Edna Texas where he finished high school and then got a football scholarship at Wharton County Junior College, followed by a full scholarship at the University of North Texas. While Goldberg was born and raised in Tulsa Oklahoma, where he graduated high school, acquired a love for football early in life, and was a bouncer at age 16. Goldberg earned a scholarship to play for the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team where he served as a defensive tackle. He was taken by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round, with the 302nd overall selection, in the 1990 NFL draft. He played for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1990 NFL season, followed by a stint with the CFL Sacramento Gold Miners and Atlanta Falcons from 1992 to 1994. After being cut from the Falcons, in 1995 he was selected by the new expansion team, the Carolina Panthers, in the 1995 NFL expansion draft, but never played a game with the team. He was the first player to have been cut by the Panthers. Goldberg’s NFL career ended when he “tore his lower abdomen off his pelvis”. He had hopes of returning to the league after rehabilitation but, due to his lack of success, was not considered a major asset. Goldberg has described playing in the NFL as “a mixed emotional experience” because, despite reaching the goal of simply playing in the NFL, he did not obtain the level of achievement that he desired.

1989-1991: “Stunning” Steve Austin Steve Austin decided to become a wrestler in 1989 and wrestled for the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) until signing with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) the next year. It was during this time Austin adopted the “Stunning” nickname. Just weeks after his WCW debut, Austin defeated Bobby Eaton for his first WCW World Television Championship, and later that year joined Paul E. Dangerously’s Dangerous Alliance. In 1993, Austin formed a tag team known as The Hollywood Blonds with Brian Pillman and they became the unified NWA and WCW World Tag Team champions. Pillman became injured, and Austin joined Colonel Robert Parker’s Stud Stable, which led to a feud with Pillman on his return. Austin also feuded with Ricky Steamboat and Jim Duggan for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship, until 1995 when Austin was fired by WCW Vice President Eric Bischoff after suffering a triceps injury while wrestling on a Japanese tour—Bischoff and WCW did not see Austin as a marketable wrestler. Additionally, Bischoff thought Austin was hard to work with.

1995: ECW Austin was contacted by Paul Heyman of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), who had managed him in WCW. Heyman hired Austin to do in-ring interviews as he still had not recovered from his injury enough to wrestle. Austin used the platform to develop his future “Stone Cold” persona, as well as a series of vignettes running down WCW in general and Bischoff in particular. Austin has credited Heyman as the man who taught him how to cut a promo and several wrestlers credited ECW as the place where Austin developed his microphone skills. While with ECW, Austin was known as “Superstar” Steve Austin and had a match with The Sandman and feuded with ECW World Heavyweight Champion Mikey Whipwreck. Austin learned Whipwreck’s finishing move (the Whipper-Snapper) and would adopt it and popularize it in his later career as the Stone Cold Stunner. The Sandman defeated Austin and Whipwreck in a triple threat match at December to Dismember on December 9 for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. Heyman would later state that he had wanted Austin to win the title, but Austin had refused because he felt he was more effective as the hunter, rather than the hunted.

1996-1997During the rehab following his NFL injury, Goldberg began powerlifting and mixed martial arts training. He was spotted by Lex Luger and Sting who urged him to try professional wrestling. Although not a fan of professional wrestling, he saw it as an alternative to his fledgling football career and began training at the WCW Power Plant. Meanwhile, Kevin Nash and Jim Ross helped convince WWF’s owner Vince McMahon to hire Steve Austin. Austin made his World Wrestling Federation (WWF) debut as “The Ringmaster” and was awarded the Million Dollar Championship by his manager, Ted DiBiase. At the Royal Rumble, he was ‘scripted’ to be in the Final Four, which could have given him an early push, but Austin botched the ringpost save against Fatu and slipped out of the ring early. Austin soon thought the Ringmaster idea was weak and so asked for a change. The WWF gave Austin a list with names inspired by “The Iceman” Richard Kuklinski, including Otto Von Ruthless, Ice Dagger, Fang McFrost and Chilli McFreeze. Austin shaved his head bald and grew a goatee, while on March 11 “The Ringmaster” moniker (now merely a prefix to his ring name) would be discarded in favor of his most famous nickname, “Stone Cold“. The name itself was inspired by a cup of tea, while his persona for the new name was inspired by serial killer Richard Kuklinski. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin won the 1996 King of the Ring by defeating Jake “The Snake” Roberts in the finals. At the time, Roberts was portraying a born-again Christian, so after the match, Austin cut a now famous promo during his coronation, telling Roberts:

“You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn’t get you anywhere! Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16… Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!”

Austin’s win and rise to stardom proved to be an un-telegraphed stroke of luck. Triple H was originally scheduled to win the 1996 King of the Ring, but was punished for the infamous Curtain Call incident that had transpired earlier that year. “Austin 3:16” ultimately became one of the most popular catchphrases in wrestling history and subsequently the slogan became one of the best-selling T-shirts in WWE merchandise history. It is also credited as the iconic moment that began the WWF’s “Attitude Era”. Austin feuded with Bret Hart and Brian Pillman. At WrestleMania 13 (1997) in a match against Bret Hart, Austin had been cut and was bleeding profusely from his face, but he still refused to tap out when Hart locked in his Sharpshooter. Austin finally passed out from blood loss, still held in the Sharpshooter, and lost the match. After the bell, Hart continued to hold the Sharpshooter on Austin, who despite his wounds refused any assistance back to the locker room, thus turning Hart heel and Austin babyface in a rare double-turn. However, Austin portrayed an anti-hero instead of a traditional babyface. Austin managed to win the WWF tag Team Championship. Later at SummerSlam 1997, Austin and Owen Hart faced each other with Hart’s Intercontinental Championship on the line and an added stipulation that Austin would have to kiss Hart’s buttocks if he lost. During the match, Hart botched a piledriver and dropped Austin on his head, resulting in a legitimate broken neck and temporary paralysis for Austin. As Hart stalled by baiting the audience, Austin managed to crawl over and pin Hart using a worst-ever roll-up pin to win the Intercontinental Championship. A visibly injured and dazed Austin was helped to his feet by a number of referees and led to the back. Due to the severity of his neck injury, Austin was forced to relinquish both the Intercontinental Championship and the Tag Team Championships. A month and a half later, Hart was giving a speech while Austin entered the ring with five NYPD officers following, and assaulted Hart. As it looked like Austin was going to fight the officers, Vince McMahon ran into the ring to lecture Austin about why he could not be physically able to compete. After telling McMahon that he respects the fact that he and the WWF cared, Austin attacked McMahon with a Stone Cold Stunner, leaving McMahon in shock. Austin was then arrested as part of the storyline.

1997-1998: Goldberg Streak Debut “Bill Goldberg” made his Nitro debut to score quick victories over his fellow WCW wrestlers in the range of 1–2 minutes. Goldberg’s succession of wins saw him quickly advance up the card, and he was pushed as a singles wrestler. The newcomer captivated fans with his monstrous yet silent charisma, brute strength, and agility that saw him vault the ropes, perform high kicks and even the occasional backflip. Goldberg made his pay-per-view debut at Starrcade 1997 defeating former football player Steve McMichael. Meanwhile, Austin was sidelined until Survivor Series 1997 where he faced Owen hart again for the Intercontinental Championship. “Stone Cold” would then feud with The Rock over the title. With Bret Hart’s controversial departure for WCW, Austin and Shawn Michaels were the top stars in the company. Austin won the 1998 Royal Rumble, lastly eliminating The Rock. The next night on Raw Is War, Austin interrupted Vince McMahon in his presentation of Mike Tyson, who was making a special appearance, over the objection of McMahon referring to Tyson as “the baddest man on the planet“. Austin flipped off Tyson, which led to Tyson shoving Austin much to McMahon’s embarrassment, who began to publicly disapprove of the prospect of Austin as his champion. Tyson was later announced as “the special enforcer” for the main event at WrestleMania XIV (1998), although he appeared to be aligning himself Shawn Michaels’ stable D-Generation X. This led to Austin’s WWF World Heavyweight Championship match against Michaels at WrestleMania XIV, which he won with help from Tyson, who turned on DX by making the deciding three-count against Michaels and later hit him with his knock-out punch. This was Michaels’ last match until 2002 as he had suffered two legitimate herniated discs and another completely crushed at the hands of The Undertaker in a casket match at the Royal Rumble. With Michaels’ absence and winning the WWF World Heavyweight title, the Austin Era was ushered in. Vince McMahon presented him with a new title belt and warned Austin that he did not approve of his rebellious nature and that things could be done “the easy way or the hard way”. Austin gave his answer in the form of another Stone Cold Stunner. In mid-March, WCW stopped referring to Goldberg by his full name of Bill Goldberg, shortening it to simply Goldberg. Around this time, WCW began counting Goldberg’s consecutive wins on television as he continued to climb up the ranks. Goldberg’s win over Saturn was his 74th consecutive without a loss, and the next night on Nitro he challenged Raven for the United States Heavyweight Championship. Despite interference from Raven’s Flock, Goldberg overpowered them all and defeated Raven to win his first professional wrestling championship. Goldberg continued to make successful title defenses, against Saturn, Raven, Konnan and Curt Hennig By this time, he had adopted the catchphrase “Who’s next?” in reference to his rapidly expanding winning streak. As Goldberg was getting over as a main eventer, he continued to defend the US title and was slowly becoming a contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship that was held by New World Order (nWo) leader Hollywood Hogan. Hogan eventually promised Goldberg a title match. The match was scheduled for the July 6, 1998 episode of Nitro held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta with over 40,000 in attendance, but Hogan insisted that Goldberg first had to defeat his nWo stablemate Scott Hall. Goldberg won and later in the evening was also able to defeat Hogan to become the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, in turn vacating his United States Heavyweight Championship. At Starrcade 1998, Goldberg’s undefeated streak ended at an official count of 173–0, and after 174 days as champion when he lost the title to Kevin Nash, after Scott Hall disguised as a ringside security guard made a run-in and shocked Goldberg with a taser gun. Goldberg, however, got his revenge at Souled Out, when he defeated Hall in a ladder taser match. At the same time, the WWF began mocking Goldberg with the character Gillberg, a perennial jobber who dressed similarly to Goldberg and mocked his signature entrance and mannerisms, but was small and scrawny, using the catchphrase “Who’s First?” since he never won. Both promotions attempted to put over their bald, black-trunk-wearing wrestlers with main event feuds strictly within their promotions.

1999-2000 Goldberg took some time off to prepare for his movie debut in the 1999 film Universal Soldier: The Return alongside Timecop film star Jean-Claude Van Damme. Goldberg returned to feud with Rick Steiner, Sid Vicious, and DDP. Meanwhile, the Stone Cold vs Vince McMahon feud carried on across many feuds for Austin including Dude Love, Shane McMahon, and Triple H. Austin then underwent neck surgery by Dr. Lloyd Youngblood, due to Austin’s injury from the piledriver at SummerSlam two years prior. He was away for a nine-month rehabilitation. While Goldberg in WCW, won the WCW World Tag Team Championship with Bret Hart, before challenging Hart for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Starrcade 1999 where Goldberg delivered a stiff kick to Hart’s head, legitimately giving him a concussion and tearing a muscle in his neck. Goldberg then injured himself on the December 23, 1999 episode of Thunder, during a sequence where he chased the new reformed nWo’s limousine into the parking lot. A spot in the sequence called for Goldberg to pound on the windshield of the limousine with his hands. To ensure his safety, Goldberg had assistance from a piece of metal pipe and his hands were covered in black tape. After this, Goldberg was to break some of the vehicle’s windows. There were four windows on the side of the limousine and Goldberg broke the first two with his hands. He then got aggressive, putting his forearm through the third window and immediately gashing it. Goldberg finished the sequence by pounding on the hood of the limo with his bloody arm, but immediately after it ended he was taken from the arena and rushed to a nearby hospital where the wound was patched. Goldberg lost a large amount of blood due to the accident. The injury caused Goldberg to miss the January 4, 2000 New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) Tokyo Dome show, where he was scheduled to face Manabu Nakanishi.

2000 Goldberg came back to align with The New Blood faction, and then began to rival with Vince Russo which led to feuds with Luger and Bagwell who called themselves “Totally Buffed“. meanwhile, Stone Cold came back to feud with The Rock, Rikishi, Kurt Angle, and Triple H. At Survivor Series 2000, Triple H had plotted to run Austin down again during their match but his plot failed when Austin lifted Triple H’s automobile with a forklift, then let it drop 20 feet. Later, in a deliberate turn from the rebellious and anti-establishment character beloved by the fans, Austin became a whiny, temperamental primadonna who complained incessantly when he felt he was not getting the respect from the fans and wrestlers that he deserved. He also developed an infatuation with McMahon, going to great lengths to impress him and even going so far as to hugging him and bringing him presents. Austin and Triple H as the top heels in the company, aligned together and became known as The Power Trip faction along with Vince and Stephanie. Triple H tore his quadriceps muscle and the injury kept him out for the remainder of the year, forced the WWF to go in another direction.

2001-2002 A “fan” maced Goldberg as a storyline to enable Goldberg to have shoulder surgery, but WCW was sold to the WWF in March 2001, while Goldberg was still recuperating. The WWF did not buy out Goldberg’s contract with Time Warner (the parent company of WCW) as they had done with several other WCW employees. Goldberg instead remained under contract to Time Warner until May 2002, when he agreed on a contract buyout. He was WCW’s highest paid athlete, alongside Bret Hart, earning 2.5 million dollars per year, a sum which would have risen to 3.5 million in the final year of his contract, due to have expired in July 2003. The Invasion story angle began in WWF to include WCW and ECW talent. Austin was made as the Alliance’s leader. Austin and Booker T began feuding which led to various fights in strange venues, such as a church confessional, a bingo hall and a supermarket. In August 2001, Austin cut a promo, debuting his catchphrase “What?”, which is used today by fans when they want to mock wrestlers during promos. Beginning 2002, although Austin’s character remained with the WWF’s most popular wrestlers as top face, his upcoming storylines in the build-up to WrestleMania were somewhat questionable compared to those of his previous years. Austin feuded with the nWo but refused to agree with creative on losing to Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8 (2002). The match was re-billed as The Rock defeating Hogan, whilst Austin defeated Scott Hall, climaxing his feud with the nWo. In a surprise altercation, the next night on Raw, Austin refused to show up and took a week-long break without the company’s consent, claiming exhaustion. McMahon claimed his actions caused fury among fans who had paid to see him that night. Austin returned on the first RAW of the new “brand extension” era. he feuded with The Undertaker for the Undisputed WWF Championship, and then once again put in a feud with the nWo. In May 2002, Austin stunned the company and fans by launching a verbal attack on the direction the company was heading in and slated the creative team for not using him the way he felt they previously did. The commentators struggled to keep Austin’s opinions on a neutral wavelength, leading to the WWE apologizing to fans for the outburst and stated it was not part of Austin’s current or upcoming storylines. McMahon responded a week later on the same show playing down the outburst, claiming that Austin was merely the type of wrestler who was occasionally difficult to work with. The WWE rehired Eddie Guerrero for Austin to feud with, while also prepping Austin for a feud with Brock Lesnar. However, Austin vetoed any matches that would result in him losing to Lesnar and ultimately walked out of the company. Austin later explained that he thought hot-shotting a rookie made Austin look weak and did not give Lesnar a proper stage for such a big win over a star of the magnitude that Austin held. Further fanning the flames amongst Austin’s growing number of detractors was a well-publicized domestic dispute incident between Austin and his wife Debra. After Austin no-showed the June 10 episode of Raw, his storylines were dropped. Austin walked out again, publicly stating he felt bad storylines were presented to him by the creative team. This time his departure was for good. McMahon, along with longtime Austin supporter and real-life friend Jim Ross, buried Austin on WWE programming, referring to him as “taking his ball and going home” because he was not getting his way, whilst also explaining to the fans that neither he nor Ross were able to persuade Austin to change his mind. McMahon insisted that Austin owed an apology to all the fans across the world, especially those who paid solely to see him that night. McMahon toasted to Austin’s career with a beer thanking him for all his hard work nonetheless. The same night, Austin’s entrance theme was played during an in-ring segment by Ric Flair, but it was transitioned to Eddie Guerrero’s theme and he entered the arena. The Rock also made an appearance on Raw that night, despite being drafted to SmackDown!, and announced his frustrations towards Austin and threw a can of beer at McMahon. Austin’s merchandise continued to sell greatly in the weeks following his departure, however with no sign of a return likely to be seen, the company stopped marketing his character, his merchandise, and removed his profile from WWE.com. For the remainder of 2002, Austin kept a low profile and did not make any public appearances. It was reported, however, by the end of the year, Austin and McMahon met and resolved their differences. He then agreed to return to the company in early 2003. In an interview with WWE Raw Magazine, he announced deep regret over the situation that led to his departure and the way in which he had left, and deeper regret over inaccurate speculation regarding his alleged grudges held against other WWE wrestlers, claiming he had no problem with Scott Hall rejoining the company. However, he admitted he still held strong reservations about his singles match with Hall at WrestleMania only lasting seven minutes and felt the build-up to the match did not live up to the expectations of his fans or Hall’s, and was angered by speculation suggesting he disagreed with Kevin Nash re-joining the company, insisting he and Nash have always been good friends. In an interview with Vince McMahon on his podcast in 2014, Austin revealed for the first time that McMahon had fined him $650,000 upon his return, but he was able to lower the amount to $250,000. Austin confessed he had a major rift with Triple H’s role in the company upon his return in 2002, but insisted as of 2003 they resolved their issues. In addition, he claimed a brief dispute with The Rock was resolved quickly upon his return, and that none of his disputes with the talent roster continued or played the major part in his departure.

2003 Goldberg returned to the ring in Japan. He initially joined All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), defeating Satoshi Kojima and Taiyō Kea. He went on to defeat Rick Steiner in a match for the W-1 promotion, and teamed with Keiji Mutoh to defeat KroniK. Goldberg’s success in Japan led to the WWF – now renamed World Wrestling Entertainment – to begin contract negotiations with him. In February, Steve Austin returned at No Way Out by defeating Eric Bischoff. Austin would wrestle only one match between then and WrestleMania in another short match against Bischoff on Raw, but was then defeated by The Rock at WrestleMania XIX (2003), who returned about the same time as a smug, “sell out” villain. Goldberg signed a one-year contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in March 2003, debuting on the March 31 episode of Raw (the night after WrestleMania XIX) and starting a feud with The Rock by spearing him, while Stone Cold Steve Austin was fired in the storyline by Bischoff on medical grounds. Goldberg’s rivalry with The Rock intensified when The Rock held a segment entitled The Rock Concert, where he taunted Goldberg along with Gillberg, but Goldberg defeated him in his debut match at Backlash, following three spears and a Jackhammer. Golberg faced 3-Minute Warning in his first match on Raw, which was interrupted by Stone Cold Steve Austin. (Video) Goldberg went undefeated over the subsequent half-year, defeating .
The day after his firing, Steve Austin gave an interview on WWE.com announcing his retirement from wrestling, although he stated that he and Vince McMahon had reached an agreement seeing him only appear in non-wrestling roles on a weekly basis. In reference to Bischoff firing him on Raw that week, he said that although firing was for storyline purposes, he admitted the medical problems read out on Raw were legitimate and mainly related back to his injury sustained at SummerSlam in a match with Owen Hart in August 1997, and had begun to seriously plague him since late 2001. He confessed wrestling against the advice of his doctors up until his departure in 2002, which forced him to quit wrestling, and cited this as the sole reason as to why he suddenly departed, with doctors advising an awkward or violent move performed on him could have resulted in Austin being permanently disabled or resulting in death. Austin began his non-wrestling career with WWE and began a fresh storyline when he was brought back by Linda McMahon as the Raw Co-General Manager. On the May 12 episode of Raw, a mystery assailant attempted to run over Goldberg with a limousine. The following week on Raw, the Raw Co-General Manager Stone Cold Steve Austin interrogated several superstars to find out who was driving the car. One of the interrogates was Lance Storm, who admitted that he was the assailant. Austin forced Storm into a match with Goldberg, who defeated Storm, immediately after which Goldberg forced Storm to admit that Jericho was the superstar who conspired Storm into running him over. After teh feud with Jericho, Goldberg entered a rivalry with Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H issued a $100,000 bounty to anybody who could take Goldberg out. Steven Richards, Mark Henry, La Résistance and Tommy Dreamer all attempted to collect the bounty, but they were unsuccessful. Batista later collected the bounty as Goldberg feuded with the Evolution faction. (Video with Stone Cold.) Stone Cold continued the GM storyline for the remainder of the year, still showing wrestling moves including the Stone Cold Stunner and several exchanges of punches and kicks, although limiting regularity of these being performed. Goldberg and Stone Cold crossed paths many times building tension but a match was never had. The story ended and Stone Cold continued to make sporadic appearances in various angles.

2004 Goldberg declared Lesnar his next victim. On February 2, Goldberg was given a front row ticket to No Way Out by Stone Cold Steve Austin. SmackDown! General Manager Paul Heyman appeared on Raw, and along with Mr. McMahon attempted to get Goldberg to leave Lesnar, but Goldberg executed a spear on Heyman and accidentally executed a spear on Austin when he was aiming for McMahon (Video). Goldberg attended No Way Out as a fan, confronting Lesnar at the event and, after several insults by Lesnar, entered the ring and countered a F-5 from Lesnar with a Jackhammer, before being detained and escorted out of the arena by security guards. During the main event between Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero on February 15, Goldberg reemerged from the crowd and cost Lesnar the title. Lesnar then demanded a match with Goldberg at WrestleMania XX (2004), with Austin serving as special guest referee. Fans knew this would be the final WWE match for both Goldberg and Lesnar, and thus gave largely negative reactions throughout the performance. Goldberg won the match, causing Lesnar to show Austin a middle finger, but he instead received a Stone Cold Stunner in return, and as Goldberg celebrated his victory with Austin, he also received a Stone Cold Stunner. On April 17, WWE announced that they were unable to settle long-running contract disputes with Austin and had again parted ways. In 2005 however, Stone Cold began making the sporadic appearances in angles and storylines, going forward.

2009 “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame. He was inducted by his long-term on-screen rival Vince McMahon, who referred to Austin as “the greatest WWE [wrestler] of all time”. During the induction, Austin said he was officially closing the door on his wrestling career and starting a new chapter in his life. Steve Austin is now known for his “The Steve Austin Show” podcast and other media venues such as the Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge and co-hosting WWE’s Tough Enough in 2011.

2014 Like Stone Cold, Goldberg started his own podcast entitled “Who’s Next?! With Bill Goldberg”, which includes weekly guest interviews.

2015-2016 Goldberg made his return to professional wrestling on June 7, 2015 at the Legends of Wrestling show at Citi Field in New York. While he was not scheduled to wrestle at the event, Goldberg came to the aid of Rob Van Dam after his match with Scott Steiner. He performed a spear on Steiner and a Jackhammer on Doc Gallows. On January 23, 2016, Goldberg made a second return for the Legends of Wrestling event in Miami, where he delivered another spear to Steiner after his match with Chavo Guerrero.

2016-2017 On May 31, 2016, Goldberg was announced as the pre-order bonus for the upcoming WWE 2K17 video game. Throughout the summer, Goldberg and WWE 2K17 cover star and former rival Brock Lesnar traded insults with each other through social media and WWE 2K events such as Gamescom. Goldberg then appeared on the October 3 episode of SportsCenter, where he contemplated a return to WWE. This led to Paul Heyman challenging Goldberg to face Lesnar on the October 10 episode of Raw, with Heyman stating that Goldberg was the one blemish on Lesnar’s WWE career, as Goldberg had defeated Lesnar at WrestleMania XX in 2004. The following week on Raw, Goldberg returned to WWE for the first time in twelve years, accepting Heyman’s challenge and stating that Lesnar is “Next, and Last”. At Survivor Series on November 20, Goldberg defeated Lesnar in one minute and twenty-six seconds. Goldberg celebrated his victory over Lesnar and declared himself the first participant in the 2017 Royal Rumble match. Goldberg would go on to do just as he said he would, win the Rumble and the win the WWE Universal Championship. Last at WrestleMania 33 (2017), despite performing four spears and a Jackhammer, Goldberg lost the title to Lesnar in what was also his first clean singles loss. Goldberg appeared the following night on Raw Talk (which aired on the WWE Network after the Raw broadcast) to wish the fans farewell, but ultimately did not rule out a return in the future.

2018 ESPN announced that Goldberg would be inducted as the headliner of the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2018. On March 25, WWE announced that Paul Heyman would be inducting Goldberg into the Hall of Fame. During his speech accepted the award, he discussed the various wrestlers that helped him attain his public status, and his view on professional wrestling as a whole, which had become much more positive over the years.
In August 2018, Stone Cold tweeted “Just got mistaken for @Goldberg at Denny’s this morning. I’ve never been so insulted. #whosnext?“. Goldberg responded with: “Hell….you should’ve thanked them for the compliment…😬 Plus I’m a #WaffleHouse kinda guy.” Steve Austin followed with: “Hard to find a Waffle House in Cali. Thanks for the message. I am still traumatized by the whole incident. I’ll be fine in a couple days.” Goldberg’s response: “All good big brother I’ll send you a care package of scattered smothered and covered!!! 🤙😜“. This twitter interaction got attention of wrestling sites including WWE’s own website which posted an article on it. “It might not be the Austin vs. Goldberg dream match we’ve always wanted, but it’s delicious all the same.”

Tale of the tape:

Goldberg vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
WCW, WWE Known In WWE, WCW, ECW
1966 Born 1964
6’4″ Height 6’2″
285 Weight (lb) 252
1997 Debut 1989
WCW Power Plant Trained by Chris Adams
Jackhammer, Spear, Ankle Lock Signature Moves Stone Cold Stunner, Thesz Press & Punches, Boston Crab
Who would win this rivalry?

Can it happen?

If it didn’t happen then, it really won’t happen now, and it’s less possible to happen tomorrow. By technicality however, it’s not impossible. Goldberg can still go, and altho Steve Austin clearly has not been a wrestler for a long time now and has no need to do 1 more match, Steve Austin could technically have one more match. It may be past the point of where it’s ridiculous to happen or even to think of it still happening, but as far as the technical possibility is measured, it’s not “impossible”.

Likelihood Level: Unlikely

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