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By Mike Johnson on 2019-11-07 10:59:00

Last night's edition of ABC's The Goldbergs was built around the main story of the Murray Goldberg, the father of the family, taking a sudden interest in professional wrestling and making the effort to take his sons, Adam and Barry, to Wrestlemania IV.  The boys, not knowing why their father is acting this way (as he has banned wrestling in the house due to all the damage it creates), make plans to ditch him during the show so they can just enjoy themselves only to find out that he was making the sudden interest after the passing of his doctor, which scared him into worrying about his own mortality and whether the boys would have memories of things they all did together if something happened to him.

During the episode, Murray finds out Wrestlemania is sold out and purchases tickets from a scalper, only to learn after they have entered the venue and sat down that their tickets are fake (and actually for WhistleMania.)  They are in the seats of another fan, played by former WWE star Carlito Colon.

After the brothers realize what their father was trying to do for them, they feel awful for wanting to ditch him and as they are leaving the venue, they are coming through a backstage area, where Hulk Hogan overhears them talking about the situation.  He cuts a promo on them and his use of "brother" while talking about their father only confuses the boys before he makes them rush off home to find their dad.  After they apologize and reconcile, it's noted that while they never went to Wrestlemania again, ordering the show on PPV every year became a family tradition for the three of them.

Hogan appears in a quick scene at the end with the idea that Adam has brought him in to wrestle his older brother Barry.  Barry loses it and gives himself the sleeper hold to get out of the match.

The episode featured tons of 1980s WWF references, including footage from that era, Wrestlemania IV posters featuring Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, old LJN rubber WWF action figures, a Roddy Piper stretch figure, a Randy Savage Wrestling Buddy and t-shirts created to invoke WWF from that era.  There were some changes to actual Wrestlemania lore in the episode - Hogan and Andre wrestle in a cage match (unseen), which obviously didn't happen.  VP Jenn sent word that a Macho King Wrestling Buddy was used in the episode, although Randy Savage didn't use that gimmick until a year later.  

The episode was a fictional take on a real life story where Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg attended Wrestlemania IV in Atlantic City with his father and brother in March 1988.

On his appearance, Hogan commented on social media, "Hulkamania is running wild on the @thegoldbergsabc on @abcnetwork , I had a blast with the cast and crew and would go back and work with this crew any time, and you know how much I hate to leave the beach Brother! - HH"

This was not the first time the series has had a pro-wrestling tie-in.  Bill Goldberg appears in a recurring role on the series, playing the older brother of the school's gym coach, who is a coach as well.  

In 2014, the series featured an episode dedicated to the memory of the Ultimate Warrior featuring a plot that featured the Goldber family's oldest son Barry wanting to join the school wrestling theme and believing he was prepared because he knew pro wrestling moves. The story was that he, his father and grandfather were trying to hide the wrestling activity from his mother, knowing she would interfere. That leads to a showdown at a wrestling meet.  The episode featured references to a steel cage match, Hulk Hogan, The Iron Sheik, Jimmy Snuka, George Steele and more.   In an interview with, Goldberg noted that Ultimate Warrior was his all-time favorite wrestler and the series later put Warrior's wife Dana and their daughters in a scene.  Unlike last night's episode, the 2014 pro wrestling tie-in did not feature WWE footage.

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