It would be easy to assume Toronto’s annual Fan Expo Canada convention is only for fans of comics or sci-fi. However, in the past few years, the event – which concludes on Sunday – has hosted some of the biggest names in professional wrestling. From Hulk Hogan to Trish Stratus to Batista, to this year’s big name, WCW legend Bill Goldberg.
Goldberg made a special appearance on Friday at the EB Games booth to promote the upcoming WWE 2K17 video game, in which he makes his first appearance in the 2K series. After an autograph session where hundreds of fans got their photos and memorabilia signed by the former WCW champion, the big man held an exclusive Q&A session for a limited number of EB Games Platinum members where he touched on a number of topics, including whether or not his appearance in the game may lead to other things in WWE, including a return to the ring.
“I don’t know,” he told the crowd. “Ask Vince McMahon. I’d really like to. At 49 years old, the clock’s ticking. I have a boy who’s ten years old who never saw daddy in the ring doing what he used to do. So that was a driving force behind me getting involved in the video game. But another matchh? It’s like getting struck by lightning — it’s possible, it may happen, but the chances aren’t very great.”
If that match ever does take place, Goldberg has a couple of ideas as to who his ideal opponent would be.
“(Stone Cold Steve) Austin, in a heartbeat,” he said without hesitation. “Because it’s the match that you guys have always wanted to see.”
The other fantasy opponent mentioned was another iconic great, the Undertaker.
“I’d love to wrestle him,” he revealed. “It’s funny, because (it was printed) that I’d love to kick (Undertaker)’s ass. But they don’t print the stuff you say afterwards. Because the amount of respect I have for (him) is unbelievable. I’ve known him for a long time, and I followed in his footsteps. The respect I have for him and the guys who came before me… who created a better landscape for guys like me to come in… I stand in awe for him. So when I say I’d like to kick his ass, that’s wrestling. But I have more respect for him than anyone in the business.”
Undoubtedly, Goldberg also respects Undertaker’s legendary toughness, given his appreciation for others who share that trait.
“Nikita Koloff, Bruiser Brody, Dick the Bruiser, and Stan Hansen,” he listed off as his ideal Survivor Series team. “Who’d we face? It wouldn’t matter,” he laughed. “You could put fifty guys in front of us, and they wouldn’t stand a chance.”
Though it’s clear that if he had his druthers, he’s relish the chance to settle some grudges from his heyday.
“Let’s see, ” he thought, “who would we face? Number one would be Chris Jericho. Number two would be Hunter (Triple H). Number three would be Scott Hall… actually, Scott Hall would be numbers one, two, and three.”
Personal matters aside, Goldberg did name Scott Steiner as one of his favourite opponents from his WCW days.
“Any match I had with Scott Steiner was one of the best matches ever, because there’s no way anybody could tell whether it was real or fake. Because Scott tried to kick my head off every single time. I loved it, because it gave you guys a different form of entertainment. It wasn’t the hilarity of watching Ric Flair running around all over the ring at fifty years old with his boobies bouncing up and down. It was a completely different thing.”
On the other hand, he found being in the ring with Hulk Hogan more of a challenge, again based on that opponent’s particular in-ring style.
“My moves were all about power, and it was hard to do that with him. I wasn’t the greatest wrestler, most of my matches were only five minutes long. The reality is that I was only as good as the guy I was wrestling. Diamond Dallas Page, Raven, Perry Saturn, Curt Hennig… (they were some) great partners.”
While it was clear that the crowd in attendance would love to see some of today’s superstars added to the list, Goldberg isn’t able to necessarily comment about them, since he doesn’t watch the current product.
“I haven’t (watched wrestling) since I left,” he admitted. “It’s not because I don’t like the business. But I have a lot of other things (going on). On Monday nights, my son and I are doing Muay Thai (training). Besides, at the end of the day, it’s time to let the young guys do their thing, it’s time for a new generation of superstars. I think the state of the union is a lot different now.”
Which doesn’t mean that he doesn’t think he could hang with the boys today. Indeed, Goldberg feels he could even compete even in a mixed martial arts “shoot” fight.
“I’d love to do (MMA),” he said. “I can take a punch, I promise you that. And I can throw a few as well. I can kick you in the head. I can do things I couldn’t do back in the day… I’m 25 pounds lighter now than I was, and I’ve discovered this thing called cardio, which has allowed me to do a lot of things I couldn’t do before. I’d really love to do it. I love Muay Thai, I like kickboxing. There’s something really primal about being kicked in the head or kicked in the stomach, and giving it right back. It’s like if you’re a car enthusiast, and you climb into an 800-horsepower car and slam on the throttle and sit there and smoke the tires until they explode. That’s how I feel when I’m in the ring.”
Whether or not he does get back into the ring – wrestling or otherwise – it’s clear that Goldberg is going to pursue whatever makes him happy. And that was his parting advice for the crowd on hand.
“Go out and do what you to make yourself happy. Because at the end of the day, you don’t know what might happen. You may go outside and get hit by a truck.” Adding, with a wink and a smile, “or me.”