It took five seasons, but it is finally happening: Bill Goldberg makes his first appearance on ABC's The Goldbergs in this week's episode, fittingly titled "Goldberg on The Goldbergs."
The multi-time pro wrestling champion portrays Coach Nick, the brother of Coach Rick Mellor (Bryan Callen). Of course, when Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) finds out about the brothers' strained relationship, she intervenes, with Adam (Sean Giambrone) and Barry (Troy Gentile) in the middle.
From the moment Goldberg walked on set, he says he felt like family. And being a fan of The Goldbergs prior to his guest stint made it that much better for the popular performer.
“Within each segment, you can find some relation to your upbringing,” he said. “Whether it is being a brother, sister or any other family member. It’s as if there is a part of me that I can relate to, as many other viewers can. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to be on the show. I just can’t tell you enough what wonderful people that show consists of, which includes people in front of the camera and behind the camera. I mean, I showed up and everywhere had my name on it. Doesn’t get any better."
The show will pay tribute to Mitchell-Smith's 1985 sci-fi comedy, 'Weird Science.'
Having brothers of his own and being a former football player, Goldberg’s character wasn’t much of a stretch to play. The experience brought back flashbacks to his time on the gridiron.
“All the dynamics are pretty hilarious and transfer over,” he said. “I think the best part was I was able to inject and infuse most, if not all, of the sayings coaches throughout my entire career used to utter or yell at me. It was kind of an homage of all the people who turned me into Goldberg throughout the years. It was really cool to yell and scream like they did to me. I was laughing the whole time.”
Goldberg gained worldwide fame 20 years ago, enjoying success in WCW and later WWE. The job saw him work live in front of millions of people each week.
“When you do that basically in your underwear it kind of prepares you for anything,” he said. “[The Goldbergs crew] were so surprised about my ability to memorize my lines prior. I just want to be prepared and on top of my game professionally.”
The role comes off Goldberg wrapping up a successful return to WWE after more than a decade. The 50-year-old was proud of what he accomplished and proving age is but a number. He ended the latest stint during the Raw after WrestleMania.
“I was there and left before, but this time it was kind of tough because my son had such a wonderful experience,” Goldberg said. “There was the feeling that the book was closed after. For me, I was just lucky to get the opportunity to go back and do what I did in the past. Any opportunity that I get to showcase my ‘talent’ in real-time, where my wife and son get to experience it, it’s a blessing.”
But the door isn’t completely closed for another match, as he repeats what he said when he walked off stage: Never say never. But right now, Goldberg is excited about other television projects such as appearing on The Goldbergs, which includes at least two credits.
“We did the Thanksgiving episode coming up, and I heard rumors of putting more opportunities together for me,” he said. “But if two is all I got, then I am greatly appreciative of that. I hope there will be more in the pipeline.”
Another priority Goldberg makes time for is to show appreciation to military and first responders. In this day and age, he believes it’s important to recognize those who keep people safe.
“We found that out once again in Las Vegas, how crucial they are. It’s a shame we have to see situations like that tragedy for people to band together and turn it into something positive,” Goldberg said. “That’s their job and what they do. They don’t get enough credit.
"If there is one thing I can pass on, it’s take the time to stop and thank the people who protect you…Sometimes just a handshake and smile goes a long way for those who put their lives on the line for us. That’s where my emphasis lies right now in these trying times. It has been a shame what we have seen. We all need to come together.”
The Goldbergs, Wednesdays, 8/7c, ABC. Bill Goldberg makes his first appearance in the Oct. 11 episode.