Eric Bischoff Recalls Goldberg’s WCW Heel Turn – “He Wasn’t Comfortable”

goldberg wcw bischoff russo

Eric Bischoff has reflected on the time when Goldberg turned heel in WCW even though he wasn’t thrilled about it.

In the spring and summer of 2000, World Championship relaunched to try to their struggling business around. Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo were two of the guys running the show behind the scenes, so they would create a heel stable called the New Blood on television to go against babyfaces that were part of the Millionaire’s Club.

At the Great American Bash pay-per-view in June 2000, Jeff Jarrett defended the WCW World Title against Kevin Nash. After a referee bump, Bill Goldberg went into the ring and people thought he’d attack Jarrett the heel since Goldberg was a top face in WCW. Nope. Goldberg hit Nash with a Spear instead. After Bill helped the referee back up, Jarrett covered Nash to keep his title while Goldberg celebrated with Russo and Bischoff.

The turn by Goldberg, who was arguably the most popular wrestler in WCW for over two years at that point, meant that he was joining the New Blood stable that was run by Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo. During his 83 Weeks podcast about Great American Bash 2000, Bischoff talked about trying to convince Goldberg to turn heel.

“We were desperate. I was very much involved in convincing Bill Goldberg to do this. I wasn’t by myself, but I did support it. I remember talking to Bill about it. Bill at that time, he wasn’t against doing it, he just was not comfortable doing it because he didn’t feel it.

Bill Goldberg only knew at this point, a two and a half year career from when he started, but he had been in a business for a whole less than 36 months, so he didn’t have a sense of when something was right in terms of timing, or wrong.”

“Because he was insecure about it, it took a little nurturing to get him on board. I remember talking to Bill that night. I had a motorhome there that I was using as an office and brought Bill into the motorhome and sat down and talked to him. Obviously not putting up a fight, wasn’t resisting doing it, but he clearly was not comfortable doing it.”

“I think one of the reasons, again, was that we needed believable heels. We needed credible, believable, badass heels. I don’t think it was a bad decision. I think the timing sucked, the execution might not have been the best, but I think the idea at that point of turning Goldberg had we not seen a plethora of turns that made absolutely no sense, I think Bill Goldberg turning heel would have made more sense because it certainly did on paper. It’s what we needed to go forward.”

The Goldberg heel run in this era didn’t last long. He was back in babyface mode within two months and as we all know, WCW would go out of business by March 2001. Many people will point to this failed heel turn as one of the final nails in the WCW coffin.

H/T WrestlingNewsco