The week begins with some expected news because WWE has officially announced Bill Goldberg as the first name being inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2018. Goldberg is likely going to be the headline name for the ceremony that will take place in New Orleans on Friday, April 6, which is two days before WrestleMania 34.
The news was reported first by ESPN because when WWE releases their Hall of Fame news, they like to give the scoop to a company that covers WWE. The reason they announced it today is because WWE HOF tickets go on sale Friday this week and there’s a pre-sale on Wednesday. This news is not a major surprise because it was reported by a writer named Brad Shepard and also in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter last week, which we reported here.
Goldberg is 51 years old and last competed in WWE at last year’s WrestleMania when he lost the Universal Championship to Brock Lesnar. Goldberg won three major titles during his career: The WCW World Heavyweight Championship (from Hulk Hogan) in 1998, WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship (from Triple H) in 2003 and WWE’s Universal Championship (from Kevin Owens) in 2017. The most well-known thing from his career is that he had an undefeated streak of 173-0 at the start of his WCW career. The number was a lie of course, but he was booked to be undefeated for over a year and gained a lot of popularity because of it. There’s no denying that he was one of the most successful wrestlers in WCW history.
Here are some comments from Goldberg to ESPN. This is what he had to say about being honored in WWE’s Hall of Fame.
“The mindset that I have is that I’m as self-deprecating as the next 10 people combined. It’s nice to kind of sit back and stop the teardown of yourself, open up your arms and your heart and say, ‘Hey man, maybe I do deserve something like this.’ To get that type of accolade [from the WWE] is really, really cool, and I’m honored and privileged to again set an example for my son — it makes me very happy.”
Goldberg also discussed how appreciative he was to have his return in 2016-17 because it changed his relationship with WWE.
“In a fairly condensed period of time, my relationship with the WWE did a complete 180 degrees. My comeback had everything to do with a change of heart on both sides. For that, I am greatly appreciative, because that was a dark side in my psyche. When I heard ‘wrestling’ or ‘WWE’ I’d kind of want to put it off to the side and not think about it. It didn’t evoke the most positive of memories, but it’s funny how that’s changed completely in the past couple of years.”
Triple H spoke about Goldberg’s impact in the wrestling business.
“Goldberg’s unique athleticism, persona and intensity captured the imagination of sports entertainment fans around the world throughout his illustrious career. We are honored to have Goldberg take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Goldberg’s in-ring career wasn’t that long, so that’s where people might be critical. He started on screen in WCW in 1997, was on their TV until near the end of 2000, then spent a year in WWE from 2003-04 and then a few matches from Survivor Series 2016 to WrestleMania 33 in 2017 although two of those matches were so short due to his age. I’m not saying he’s not worthy. I’m just saying the length of his career was a lot shorter than most people that are headline names.
In 2010, Triple H and Shawn Michaels said he wasn’t Hall of Fame worthy because of how short his career was. Obviously, that opinion changed from people within WWE. Goldberg complained about his WWE run for over a decade until they finally made up and all was good last year. Time heals all wounds in wrestling, which is something we can say often in this business.
.@Goldberg brings passion and intensity to everything he does…on the field, in the ring, and especially with his family.
His intensity and character made him one of the biggest stars in our industry…so #WhosNext?
The #WWEHOF. Congrats, Bill. pic.twitter.com/pu3OpYAwre
— Triple H (@TripleH) January 15, 2018
Here’s a WWE tweet with info on Hall of Fame tickets.
Don't miss out on your chance to see @Goldberg and others inducted into the @WWE Hall of Fame this year! Get your tickets before anyone by using this code in our online pre-sale starting Wednesday: TWEETS pic.twitter.com/PhospCBIB4
— WWE (@WWE) January 15, 2018
There will likely be a video about Goldberg’s career on Raw tonight to hype up the Hall of Fame ticket announcement.
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW TONIGHT
This week’s Raw takes place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. There’s only one match advertised on WWE.com as of this writing. It’s Asuka vs. Nia Jax, which was announced last week. I can see them going with a disqualification or countout finish or Asuka will win.
I assume that tonight’s Raw will be used to heavily promote the massive Raw 25 show next Monday and also the Mixed Match Challenge, which debuts on Tuesday night.
There is no Brock Lesnar on this week’s show. He will be back next week.
This week’swill probably feature long matches to fill the time due to injuries on the brand (sometimes a good thing, but sometimes boring) and a lot of hype for Raw 25 next week and the Mixed Match Challenge starting tomorrow.
I will write a live Raw Deal review here on TJRWrestling tonight.
IN OTHER NEWS
– In case you missed it on late Friday afternoon, Paige is no longer going to be allowed to wrestle in WWE. She hasn’t commented on it on social media, but she did post this on Twitter.
— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) January 15, 2018
It’s very sad that her career is over at 25 years of age. Way too early. I hope she can still find things to keep her busy and happy because we all know how much she loved the wrestling business.
What isn’t known is if WWE is going to mention it on Raw or if she’ll even be there. Find out on Raw tonight.
– Jason Jordan missed this weekend’s Raw live events due to an injury according to PWInsider. No word on what the injury is or how long he may be out.
– Two former WWE names wrapped up their time with Impact Wrestling this week: EC3, who wrestled as Derrick Bateman in WWE, and Bobby Lashley. Both men have drawn interest from WWE, so we could see them back in the company in a few months. There will probably be Royal Rumble rumors about both men, but I don’t think they can appear until after their last appearances on Impact in a few months. I’m not sure on that, though.
– WWE announced the signing of Rinku Singh, who is known from the baseball movie “Million Dollar Arm” as a former baseball pitcher from India that was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has reported to WWE’s Performance Center to train as a wrestler. At 6’3″ and 256 pounds, he certainly has the physique that WWE likes. He’s certainly got the right attitude for it.
“As long I stay focused and stay strong, just as I have over the past 10 years with baseball or track and field … it will lead me in the right direction. Obviously, it’s going to be a totally different training program [at the WWE Performance Center]. But it does not matter where you came from. You’re trying to be something bigger than yourself, and you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got.” (WWE.com)
– John Cena and Nikki Bella had an engagement party on Saturday and WWE.com wrote about it. It was probably filmed for Total Divas or Total Bellas (starring John Laurinaitis!) and I will definitely not watch it.
– It’s expected that Ricochet, War Machine tag team (Ray Rowe & Warbeard Hanson) and Candice LeRae will be announced as new WWE signings this week. No word on if any of them will have name changes. (PWInsider)
THE VIDEO SECTION
– WWE produced a video informing fans of the history of Finn Balor, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows forming the Bullet Club in Japan and now they are together on Raw as the Balor Club.
– The Saturday Top 10 video that WWE posted looks at some wild confrontations during the Royal Rumble match over the last 30 years.
– Here’s a new video from Matt Hardy encouraging all of us to delete our stupor.
THE PLUG ZONE
– The Mixed Match Challenge will see WWE working with 12 charities for the tournament. Here’s a listing of the charities involved.
– Triple H was interviewed about 25 years of Raw and put over Triple H big time saying there has never been a bigger star than Steve Austin.
– Here is Marc Madison’s look at the latest Strange Things in Wrestling from the past week.
– I brought back the Q&A this week with questions covering a lot of interesting topics, so please check it out.
I’ll leave you today with this image shared by Tim Hornbaker on Twitter that showed what Ric Flair’s schedule was like as the World Champion for the NWA in 1983. He was working nearly every day. It’s insane to see the type of schedule he had. We have heard him talk about it many times over the years, but I don’t everybody believed it. This is some good proof that shows what the schedule was like.
— Tim Hornbaker (@TimHornbaker) January 14, 2018
That’s all for now. I’ll be back tonight for a live WWE Raw Deal review.