Former WWE champ Goldberg transitions to ABC comedy

By Dan Gelston Ap Sports Writer

Bill Goldberg is on another winning streak.

The former WCW and WWE heavyweight champion can follow another, albeit less punishing, script on a show with an easy enough name for him to remember.

Goldberg, meet "The Goldbergs."

Goldberg, 51, has a co-starring role on the ABC comedy when he appears as coach Nick Mellor on Wednesday's episode. He plays the brother of series regular Rick Mellor (Bryan Callen), the gym coach. The brothers have a strained relationship that can only be patched up by Beverly Goldberg when they are forced to temporarily move into the Goldbergs' house.

"I felt like I was at home. Everywhere I turned, I saw my name," Goldberg said, laughing in a phone interview. "It gave me an opportunity to show the lighter side of Goldberg."

He built his reputation as one of the baddest men in pro wrestling. Goldberg, who had a brief NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons, burst onto the wrestling scene with the now-defunct WCW on a 173-0 winning streak capped by a win over "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan for the championship. He moved on to WWE and won the championship before he took a 12-year hiatus from the sport.

Goldberg returned in 2016 and would become the company's universal champion. He lost the championship to Brock Lesnar at last year's WrestleMania in what stands as his last match.

Goldberg made his surprise return in large part to get the chance to wrestle in front of his wife and young son. The son turned 11 last year and had never seen his dad wrestle. Goldberg often hoisted his son on his shoulders, brought him into the ring or gave him a shoutout during his comeback run.

"The angle was real and it was touching and it was true. I kind of left it all out there. It was a cleansing experience," Goldberg said. "I owe it all to Vince McMahon and Brock Lesnar. They gave me the opportunity to be one of the coolest dads in the world and they didn't have to do that."

He has more big days ahead.

Goldberg is set to co-host the History Channel show, "Forged in Fire: Knife or Death," he hosts the automotive podcast "CarCast" and he has an April 6 date at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans set for his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. He'll headline a class that includes Mark Henry, Hillbilly Jim, the Dudley Boyz and celebrity inductee Kid Rock.

"Thankfully for the people that didn't forget about me, they welcomed me with open arms," Goldberg said.