Jim Ross has discussed which WWE legend had a “great influence” on Goldberg deciding to join WWE for his initial run in the company in 2003.
Following the demise of WCW, wrestling fans waited and hoped that Goldberg would one day make his way to WWE. In 2003, he answered their prayers as he shocked the world when he turned up on Monday Night Raw to tell The Rock – who was gloating after a huge win over Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 19 – that he was next.
That led to the two stars facing off at Backlash with Goldberg picking up the first win of his WWE career over The People’s Champion.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross explained that as well as being Goldberg’s first WWE opponent that The Rock also had a big influence in bringing the former WCW World Champion into the company:
“Yeah, Rock had a great influence and impact in that whole negotiation, because he was a top guy. He was The Rock, and anytime you can get, you know, anytime you can get the top guy to vouch for you and want to work with you at the biggest event of the year? How could it not make you feel pretty good?”
Goldberg left WWE just one year after joining the company under something of a cloud after his infamous match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 20.
He returned 12 years later, winning an incredible rematch with Lesnar at Survivor Series 2016 before going on to claim the Universal Championship twice over the next few years. His last match (so far) in WWE came at the Elimination Chamber 2022 in Saudi Arabia where he unsuccessfully challenged Roman Reigns in his quest to become a three-time Universal Champion.
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