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COMPLETE WWE HALL OF FAME COVERAGE

By Stuart Carapola on 2018-04-07 00:25:00

We see a clip from Paige's upcoming biography movie, Fighting With My Family, and then Jerry leads us into our final inductee of the evening, Bill Goldberg.  We see a vidoe package of Goldberg highlights, including comments from Eric Bischoff, and his big 2016-17 return and Universal Title win.  Jerry says he'd normally introduce the person doing the inducting, but he's pretty sure he'll do it himself, and out comes Paul Heyman.  He says people have wondered why the former owner of ECW is inducting the biggest WCW star ever into WWE's Hall of Fame, and he says it's because he aspired to be half the father to his children that Goldberg is to his.  But on a professional level, it's a little tough to find oppoents for his client, Brock Lesnar, and after taking the Streak, and after taking John Cena to Suplex City, they needed to find someone to kick Brock Lesnar's ass, someone to beat up Brock Lesnar, to beat Brock Lesnar, in such an authentic and credible fashion that we would all believe in it and buy into it, and that sure as hell isn't Roman Reigns.  We chanted his name when he ran up the streak, when he speared Hulk Hogan, when he came to WWE and jackhammered all of Evolution, when he had the greatest comeback in WWE history, when he took the fight to Brock Lesnar like nobody else, and he gives to us the main event of the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame, Goldberg!

Goldberg does the full entrance from his dressing room to the stage in his fancy suit, and a big Goldberg chant starts as he asks how the hell this happened.  He tells us that, in the spirit of his matches, not to worry because this will be short.  He is the first Jewish WWE and WCW World Champion to have ever had a bar mitzvah.  His journey began in Tulsa, Oklahoma where his parents instilled in him the tools to be successful, to be passionate at all time, to never give up, always be polite (well, he's not perfect), and to ultimately treat people how he wanted to be treated.  His sister raised him while his parents duked it out in a bitter divorce.  His brothers were great people to look up to, and all he ever wanted to do was follow in their footsteps.  But he wanted to take it further and get to the NFL where he could be a role model for kids, because that was very important to him.  He was extremely fortunate, and he knows he's in enemy territory, to have a great career at the University of Georgia and then played for the Atlanta Falcons, but unfortunately, an injury and a lack of talent ended that career, so he had to move on and find something else to fill that void.  He had no job and no money, and Diamond Dallas Page knows because he knew him in those days, and always threw it out there that he should come to wrestle.  His brothers roomed with Ric Flair and Ken Patera in college, and he used to watch the Von Erichs, Ivan Putski, Ernie Ladd, andh is favorite, Bruiser Brody on Dallas TV back when he was young.  He had nothing to lose and nowhere to go but down, and with a lot of help from others, they came up with a character that became the Mike Tyson of wrestling.  His spear was so fast, so brutal and so easy to copy (he pauses to ask where Roman is), then one night, he was home watching Thunder when he saw that he was going to be wrestling Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Title on Nitro in the Georgia Dome.  He had no idea, but he owes Hogan one.  Everything was going great, but then WCW came crashing down, and he won't go into all the stories of its demise, but one of the things was Kevin Nash ending his streak on his birthday, and he owes Kevin one too.  People in WCW tried to help him, like DDP, Bischoff gave him his shot and he greatly appreciates that, and he also says Sarge and Jody Hamilton gave him a strong base, as did Arn Anderson, Kevin Sullivan, Bobby Heenan, and their Halloween Havoc match where he came to him wanting to do 14 spears.  He owes thanks to so many people, and he truly doesn't believe there was a character that depended on so many moving parts to get over, including hte announcers, the referees acting like he got speared during the match, he also thanks Lex Luger, the crazy Steiner Brothers, the Guerrero family, Ron Simmons, and this may surprise us a little bit, but Curt Hennig and Rick Rude were a huge influence on him early in his career.  Big Show and their 30 second matches they took around the country.  Big Show hated to be upside down ,but he loved picking him up and holding him up there.  At the end of the day, he had incredible success in WCW, and a lot of people were instrumental in that.  He and Jim Ross go way back, and the first call he made about getting in the business was to Jim Ross, and he thanks Jim for that.  He was right in the middle of the Monday Night Wars, and he came in a bit spoiled because he didn't know anything about the down times and never really experienced any of that stuff, so when he came to WWE, he knew there was a price to pay.  He screamed at Triple H at a toy convention in front of his future wife, and that wasn't going to help me.  He knew he'd get a number of receipts, especially since he copied a guy who is bald and looks like him a little bit, and he started to realize that he owed a hell of a lot of people a thank you.  He doesn't want to dwell on his first WWE run because it sucked, he sucked, but it can only suck so much when you share a locker room with the Rock, Dean Malenko, the Undertaker, Booker T, and others who were willing to teach him.  Although he resents it to this day, he has to thank Steve Austin for helping him out all along the way even to this day, and he can still smash him, but he loves him.  He'll be the first to admit that after the first WWE run, he walked around with a small chip on his shoulder about the wrestling business and tried to repress everything.  It was a difficult time for him, he wasn't proud of how he performed, and how he acted during that first run, and when he left, he put wrestling completely aside, and then he had a family, and wondered what his son would think when he grew up because he knew he'd have to address it sometime, and it all started with a simple phone call asking to put him in the WWE video game.  Time helaed wounds, he and WWE had different feelings about each other, and he started training again.  He worked his ass off to get back in shape, and it wasn't just a job, because he loves the people and wanted to be that for them.  His wife changed his life completely, and he hopes his son is happy because he did all this for him, and it wasn't painless.  He always swore he wouldn't get his family involved in the business, but they became the storyline and turned him back into a monster, and he thanks them for sticking him during his training because he was a miserable dude.  The run was great, he was miserable because he worked so hard, but that made what he did worth it.  His wife wanted him to be in peace and exorcise his wrestling demons, and now she can rest in peace.  He's so proud every single day to be his father because he is his world, and every day is something enw and exciting.  Plus, now he'll have a target on his back, so he better be a badass.  The support from his in-laws has been great, and he thanks them for allowing him to marry their daughter and showing her this crazy business.  He always thought he'd follow a football dream, but that didn't work out so well, but as a number of people said tonight, it's all about the fans, and they made him love wrestling too.  He was away for so long and all he heard was people asking him to go back, and he'll do anything for the fans (though he quickly realizes he shouldn't have said that).  He can't leave here without at least one McMahon story: it's local lore that he headbutts the door before each match, and one night, Stephanie comes up to ask him about that and says he can't do that anymore.  He says he needs to get into character, and he'll pay for the doors, but he's gotta be Goldberg.  He's not sure what to do, and can't headbutt doors anymore, so he punched it instead...and broke his hand.  He must be a better actor than he thought, because nobody knew it until tonight.  He finally had his beer bash that night, and he had about 13 beers to dull the pain in his hand.  He apologizes to Ric Flair for all the times he called him old since he was in his 50s when he made his comeback.  There is no way he can do this without thanking Sting because Sting inspired him, and between Sting and DDP, those two made him, and he'll be grateful forever for that.  He used to look at wrestlig like a business, but he was selling himself short because he has a love for wrestling, for the fans, the others who do what he did, and what he learned in the business better prepared him for the journeys he has ahead.  It's funny since his original dream was to be in the NFL Hall of Fame, but he guarantees that this has a better payoff than the NFL ever would have, and he realizes moreso than ever before that this is where he belongs.  This has been one hell of a journey, and as long as he's 2-1 over Brock Lesnar, have the strength to Jackhammer anyone in this room, and have the knowledge and wisdom that there is no way in hell that a Georgia Yellowjacket can never be as badass as a Georgia Bulldog, he'll never say never.  Taht leads him to his final question: WHO'S NEXT?

Thanks for following PWInsider.com's live coverage of the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony!


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