One WWE Hall of Famer gave backstage details on the real-life heat between Chris Jericho and Goldberg.
During their time in WCW, Chris Jericho had his sights set on a feud with Goldberg, even going so far as to put his WCW Television Title on the line against a Goldberg impersonator at Fall Brawl in 1998 in an attempt to goad Goldberg into facing him. A match between the two men never came to pass, however, as Goldberg didn’t see Jericho as an opponent worthy of his time.
In 2003, tensions surfaced again when Jericho and Goldberg got into a fight backstage during Monday Night Raw, something the two men have since discussed to clear the air.
Speaking on the latest edition of 83 Weeks, former WCW President Eric Bischoff opened up about the backstage heat between the two men, saying he believes Goldberg disrespected Jericho at the time, something Jericho wasn’t going to take lightly.
“Jericho doesn’t take sh*t from anybody. I think at his core, I don’t think Chris wants to fight anybody or is a fighter by choice, but it doesn’t mean he’s not good at it.
“I think Bill disrespected Chris. I know he did and Chris wasn’t gonna tolerate that. I think the reason Bill disrespected Chris, and this is going to come out so fu**ing wrong, it’s going to come out right the way I mean it, but it’s going to be heard differently by different people, probably certainly by Bill himself. Just add another guy to the list I used to work with that’s pissed off at me. But I gotta call it like I feel it.
“I think Bill was intimidated by Chris, not in a physical count, not in a real fight, necessarily, but I think Chris was so good and has so much depth, not only as a performer, what he could do tactically in the ring, I mean, he was really, really gifted at an early age, but I think Bill was intimidated by that and Bill’s way of dealing with being intimidated is to go into Bill Goldberg mode and shut it all down. That’s what happened.”
Why Did Goldberg Disrespect Chris Jericho?
Continuing, Bischoff said Goldberg suffered from a lack of respect borne from insecurity.
“It’s just lack of respect and insecurity on Bill’s part. When I say insecurity, I mean as a performer, because let’s face it, Bill was still really new at this point. It’s not like Bill had been in the business for five or six or eight years at this point like Chris had. Bill was still learning every single minute. From the minute he walked into the building to the minute he went home, he was in a learning mode.
“He compensated for that because he was Bill, he was intimidating, he could be, but at his core, I think at this stage of his career, he was insecure with what, he was aware of what he didn’t know, and what he wasn’t capable of, and didn’t want to compromise that because it might expose him. I sound like a shrink, but that’s my honest feeling.”
“Chris was a great guy is a great guy to this day, and so is Bill, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t insecurities at this point in Bill’s career.
“And again, not because Bill had any doubt in his physical ability or his ability as a man, but because he knew he was limited in the ring and Chris wanted to have a match with him and a program with him which would have required that Bill adapt his style and work differently in order to work with a guy like Chris and make it work and make it make sense, and I don’t think Bill was ready for that, consciously or maybe it was subconsciously. That’s what I think happened.”