Goldberg took on all comers saying “who’s next?” after every win, but there is one wrestler from the late ‘90s who he refused to wrestle.
Duane Gill, better known as Gillberg, recently did an interview with Sportskeeda Wrestling’s UnSKripted. During the interview Gill talked about pitching the idea of the two wrestling each other. Goldberg turned down the offer.
Goldberg was one of the most heavily pushed wrestlers of all time in WCW and in general. He amassed an amazing undefeated streak for the modern era of 173 wins. The win streak made him one of the hottest babyfaces in WCW and in wrestling in general in the late ‘90s.
Gillberg Or The Goldberg Of WWF
Gillberg on the other hand was WWE’s, or WWF’s, reaction to Goldberg. Where Goldberg was this big hulking man of muscle, Gillberg was a small and physically unimposing man. Goldberg had a huge win streak, but Gillberg had a big losing streak. He also parodied the Goldberg pyro with sparklers instead of pyro.
Gillberg did have an impressive reign as WWF Light Heavyweight champion. His reign is the longest ever recorded at 448 days. Goldberg only had 174 days as WCW World Heavyweight champion.
The two legends meeting in-person could have ended in disaster especially since Gill built his Gillberg character around Goldberg’s. Gill said the meeting was very civil and the former superstar wrestler even thanked Gill, but still was not interested in a match.
“He said, ‘Thanks a lot!’ I said, ‘For what?’ He said, ‘Man, if you wouldn’t have been doing the gimmick, they might have forgotten about me,'” Gillberg said. “I was like, ‘No problem.’ While you’re in a giving mood, I said, ‘Why don’t we have this match, bro?’ I said, ‘You against me, you can kill Gillberg, get it done. Get it over with; you can get on with your life.’ Nope! He won’t have anything acknowledged or anything to do with me.”
I don’t see a match between either of them being anything other than a win-win-win situation. Goldberg gets a big win over a “rival” he has never faced, Gillberg gets name exposure for indie matches and WWE gets to put it on.
Gill talked about bringing up the idea to Goldberg multiple times, but the famous wrestler just didn’t get it and didn’t understand why it would be appealing for fans. He did say that the meetings were just before his 2016 return to WWE and before he won the WWE Universal Championship.
Gill even talked about a photo which was taken at a wrestling convention where Goldberg lifted him up on his shoulders. The photo showed Gill was willing to “play ball” and take a loss to Goldberg, but still Goldberg just didn’t understand the opportunity which was presented to him.
“He didn’t get it,” Gillberg said. “I mean, a couple of times, I talked to him and I even saw him at an autograph session one time, and I got talking to people, I said, ‘Look, I want to go down and see him.’ I want to talk to him. So we went down there and you’ve probably seen the pictures on the internet or wherever; he is picking me over his head and I walk up and he immediately lifts me right over his head.
So, I sold it; you know what I mean? He put me down and you know, shook hands and everything and gave me a hug. That was just before he got his last run and just before he won his title, remember?”
Who’s Next? Hopefully Gillberg
The Goldberg of now and the Goldberg of pre-2016 are very different people. The old Goldberg had a lot of ego and didn’t want to look weak. I think this is why he refused to wrestle Gillberg. He felt it would tarnish his image because “who cares if he beats Gillberg?” That or he was scared of the most dominate Light Heavyweight champion of all time. However, I think he understands now that wrestling is mostly about showmanship and it is a performance. It doesn’t hurt the former superstar if he squashes Gillberg. If anything it hurts Gillberg, but he wants to do it.
There is still time to put this match together and hopefully we will be able to see a dream match between the two wrestlers to see who would win.
What do you think of this match? Would you like to see it or is it better that it never happened? Do you think Goldberg would accept the match offer if WWE came to him with it today? Don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know if you think Gillberg or other squash match enhancement talent should be in the WWE Hall of Fame.