While he hasn’t wrestled in over a decade and turned 49-years-old in December, wrestling companies are still vying for the services of Bill Goldberg. Not only is TNA interested in acquiring the two-time world champion, but WWE is as well.
WrestleMania 32 is a little over three months away and WWE wants to feature as many marquee names as possible. The company, however, is running low on options at this point. And by options we mean big names you usually don’t see on WWE television.
Vince McMahon has pretty much given up on convincing Steve Austin on wrestling at the event. It is highly unlikely that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will wrestle since he will be busy filming a movie adaptation of Baywatch, though he could appear live to speak. Ronda Rousey, who WWE hoped would face Stephanie McMahon in a match, will be busy shooting a movie in Indonesia. Sting is facing neck surgery to alleviate injuries sustained at Night of Champions. Hulk Hogan is out of the question after WWE cut all ties with the wrestling legend over the summer, his termination coinciding with the publication by the National Enquirer and Radar Online of a racial rant made by him on a leaked sex tape.
This pretty much leaves Goldberg as the biggest outside name who could actually wrestle at WrestleMania 32. WWE believes Goldberg would be a draw for the show after sales of its 2013 DVD and Blu-ray on him were strong. Sales of the title topped 100,000 units and was among the top five sellers of 2013 and 2014. It greatly outsold WWE’s biography on Triple H, Triple H – Thy Kingdom Come, and in less time.
In June, Goldberg stepped back in the ring for a one-off spot where he attacked Scott Steiner and Doc Gallows at Citi Field in New York. When asked about his performance that night and his desire to get back into the ring, Goldberg spoke candidly.
The itch will always be there because I am always a competitor and my wife and son have never seen me wrestle. Let me be clear though, that itch won’t supersede my ability to be a businessman. The itch is always there, it’s there three times a week when I walk into my Muay Thai gym and put the gloves and shin pads on. It was a very special circumstance at Citi Field and ironically now the Mets are in the World Series. It was something I chose to do and thought was appropriate at the time. It was not me coming out of retirement by any means. I am a part owner of Legends of Wrestling so if I want to go out there and pick and choose my spot to do something interesting, then that’s what I do with no motives behind it. I am a competitor and always have that itch until the day I die, but I won’t let the itch supersede being a businessman.
It is said that Goldberg is really only interested stepping foot inside a WWE ring one time, for a match at WrestleMania 32. WWE higher-ups, however, want to sign him to a one-year deal and wrestle multiple times. They’re looking at Goldberg as a special attraction who can be used sporadically throughout the year to pop WWE Network subscriptions. There is discussion within WWE of offering Goldberg a six-month deal, which would run from Wrestlemania season through the summer or fall.
Goldberg normally doesn’t have much leverage with WWE, but with the company running low on names who can add to the bottom line and TNA willing to spend money on acquiring him, he’s in a better negotiating position than in years past.