The Strange Story of America's Most Unlikely Superhero
Bill Goldberg (with Steve Goldberg)
Synopsis: The early autobiography of WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg.
I showed up for the match and Hogan attempted to calm me down. He told me to relax and leave it all up to him. What an honor to be in the ring with the man who made wrestling what it is today. There was a stipulation that in order to face Hogan, I first had to beat Scott Hall.
Scott and I concentrated on trying to have a good match. But Scott is Scott, and sometimes it's difficult to communicate with him. Unfortunately, we got to a certain point in the match and I got lost. I just went blank. He was lying on his back, and he accused me of not wanting to run the spot. That's not what happened - I just totally forgot it. I was young and green and it was unfortunate. But anyway, somehow we finished the match. I beat him, and I was tired - exhausted physically and mentally. But this was only the beginning.
Bill Goldberg is one of those wrestlers that pretty much everyone has an opinion on. He burst on the scene in 1997, at a time where World Championship Wrestling desperately needed to create new stars. He was given the push of a lifetime and, to his credit, made the absolute most of his initial success.
After that success (and namely when his legendary "winning streak" ended), Goldberg's career took a hit -- it had to -- from which he never recovered. Sure, he made an impact in WWE and briefly held the World Title, but it wasn't the same thing. His comments about the pro wrestling industry didn't help; thankfully, his return to WWE circa 2016 did and set him up as a WWE Hall of Famer.
That said, I wondered what value there was in a book about Goldberg's career - particularly when it was published in 2000. Turns out, not much.
Sure, his career as a football player was interesting and ended prematurely, but I'm assuming most wrestling fans want less football and more wrestling in their wrestling autobiographies. And while "Da Man" is a decent-enough storyteller, there's not nearly enough content to keep you satisfied.
The biggest gripe: Goldberg treats his wrestling career as a shameful afterthought, something he got into because he could, not something he got into because he wanted it. That's his opinion and it's totally fine... but how many fans are going to feel happy about that kind of response for someone they liked so much?
Adding to that - he doesn't have a lot of nice things to say about most people, outside of Hulk Hogan, Sting, his coaches, and a handful of celebrities. Again, that's fine.. but you'd think someone who had just been in the sport for less than three years would have a tad more respect for the people who brought him to the dance.
One interesting thing - celebrities such as Jimmy Buffett and former Raw General Manager Shaquille O'Neal add their two cents to Goldberg's story, mostly reinforcing how popular he was in the day. Had WCW published more autobiographies (I believe this was the only one presented under the company's banner), it would have been an interesting direction to take things in.
Rating: Bowling-Shoe Ugly. It's not that the book is terrible on its own, but when there are so many biographies out there that are better.... it's hard to recommend this bad boy. WHO'S NEXT?