Story by Chris Graham
Bill Goldberg is thinking about getting back in the ring – but it’s not necessarily a wrestling ring that has his eye right now.
“My relationship from the beginning with Jeremy is as color commentator – but if I was to participate in the MMA world as a fighter, I guess we figured out where I’m going to be,” said Goldberg, who will serve as a color commentator on the World Fighting Alliance’s “King of the Streets” pay-per-view scheduled for July 22.
The former WCW and WWE heavyweight champion was contacted by WFA chief executive officer Jeremy Lappen about his interest in the mixed martial-arts broadcast. It didn’t take much for Lappen to sell Goldberg – who will join veteran boxing play-by-play man Barry Tompkins on the broadcast – on getting involved.
“I had an affiliation with the Pride organization over in Japan – I did a little bit of color with them. I’ve always looked to expand that – and when Mr. Lappen gave me a ring and gave me the opportunity to step on board, after knowing his background and seeing the card, I think it was pretty much a no-brainer. It’s about time that in the States that there’s a very viable competitor to the UFC – and I think that we’ve got it now,” Goldberg told reporters on a conference call last week.
Goldberg, who owns a martial-arts school in Oceanside, Calif., is a long-time MMA devotee – “I’ve trained throughout my football career, my wrestling career and my normal human existence just for the entertainment value of it, and I find that it’s an area where you can never have all of the knowledge. There’s always something more to learn.”
The 39-year-old’s education is extending to life outside the squared circle – he has been working to make a name for himself in Hollywood, where he will begin filming on a remake of the 1980s Steven Seagal star vehicle “Half Past Dead” next month.
His busy schedule – which includes spending time with his son, Gage, who was born last month – might preclude him from getting back into a wrestling ring anytime soon.
“You never say never. I would love to be part of somebody competing against the tyrant, shall we say,” Goldberg said, referring to the WWE, which he left in 2004 after a tumultuous year-long run.
Goldberg addressed reports that he has been in talks with TNA Wrestling – stopping short of confirming the reports while conceding that he has given the idea some serious consideration.
“Look at Sting – he went over there, he’s the one that opened my eyes to the possibility of me coming out of retirement,” Goldberg said.
“There were many other business deals that had to be made with Spike TV prior to me to even considering stepping in the ring with TNA. But first and foremost, if there’s a viable competitor out there, and they really want to compete against the best, then that’s the place for me,” Goldberg said.
“Not to say it’s out of the question, but I really don’t have plans to be doing it any time in the near future. I’ve got this movie coming up, and another TV series. I’ve got to find the time,” Goldberg said.