Insane Backstage Fight Involving Goldberg and Chris Jericho

Bill Goldberg and Chris Jericho’s Strained Relationship

Goldberg and Chris Jericho had a long history of not seeing eye to eye. When Goldberg made his way to WWE in 2003, things did not go well.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Dating back to the days of WCW, Bill Goldberg and Chris Jericho did not see eye to eye. This didn’t change when the two wound up in the same WWE locker room in 2003!

Goldberg and Chris Jericho – A History of

Photo Credit: WWE.

Chris Jericho is an outspoken, no-nonsense guy with a history of confronting wrestlers such as Brock Lesnar and Sin Cara when the situation called for it.

On the other hand, Goldberg is a more soft-spoken individual, and he hasn’t gone on record to talk about this fight – to no real surprise. However, after reading Chris’s story on his dance with Goldberg backstage, you will perhaps understand why we haven’t heard from Goldberg on this one.

Chris Jericho’s Account of Goldberg’s Arrival in WWE

Photo Credit: WWE.

In Chris Jericho’s recommended second autobiography, Undisputed: How to Become World Champ in 1,372 Easy Steps, Y2J detailed what happened between the two backstage in WWE in 2003:

Goldberg’s Reluctant Transition to WWE Driven by Rocky’s Persuasion

Photo Credit: WWE.

“Goldberg was coming to the WWE,” Jericho began in his book.

“The announcement jackhammered through my stomach the moment I heard it. Rocky had befriended him and had brokered the deal between Vince and Bill to bring him in.

“Goldberg had been a huge star in WCW and was the prototype of what Vince liked in his superstars: tall, muscular, handsome, and looked like he could tear you apart.

“The problem was, I don’t think Goldberg really wanted to come to the WWE, but Rocky lobbied and convinced him until Bill finally relented.”

Unresolved Animosity: Goldberg’s Provocative Welcome and Chris Jericho’s Uneasy Reception in WWE

Photo Credit: WWE.

“I wasn’t too keen on him coming to the WWE either since the last time I’d worked with him in WCW was a complete disaster. But I had no choice and decided to make the best of it. On his first day, he came up behind me and slapped me on the back as hard as he could.

“‘Hey Chris!’ he said loudly and sarcastically like he was Biff and I was McFly. I could tell he was still miffed about how things had gone with us in WCW.

“I was willing to let the past stay there, but I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to let this guy throw his weight around in the WWE the way he did in WCW.”

Unexpected Task: Vince’s Surprising Request to Chris Jericho Regarding Goldberg’s Arrival in WWE

Photo Credit: WWE.

Jericho continued, “Coincidentally, a few minutes later, Vince asked me for a strange favor. ‘We’ve got Bill Goldberg coming in, and I want you to welcome him and help him out as much as you can.’

“I don’t know if Vince knew about my past with Goldberg—he’d never asked me to help anybody else before. But I told him I’d be happy to do what I could to help him adjust to his new environment. And I intended to do just that.

“Until Milwaukee.”

Lingering Resentment: Goldberg’s Disparaging Remarks and Chris Jericho’s Frustration Post-Match

Photo Credit: WWE.

“It was Goldfinch’s first Raw, and I worked with HHH vs. Shawn and Booker T,” Chris Jericho explained.

“After the match, I was pulled aside and informed that Goldsmith had spent the entire match barking to Nash about how I didn’t know how to sell properly and how I hadn’t wanted to do business with him in WCW.

“This [upset me] because I never had a problem selling for him or anybody else for that matter. I’ve always done business, and it was business I was trying to do when I wanted to put Bill over properly in WCW. But it was obvious that he still had a chip on his shoulder when it came to me.”

Confrontation Brewing: Chris Jericho Takes a Stand Against Goldberg’s Behavior in the Dressing Room

Photo Credit: WWE.

“It made me mad that he had only been with the company for a little over a week, and he was already up to his old tricks. It was time to put a stop to it right now.

“I marched straight into the dressing room and saw Nash sitting in the corner like a giant praying mantis acting like he owned the place, while Billy Boy sat across from him with a self-indulgent smile on his face. Throwing caution to the wind, I stood in front of him and stared directly into his eyes.

“‘I heard you were saying some stuff about me during my match. I don’t know if you realize it, but things have changed. This isn’t WCW. If you have something to say to me, say it to my face.’”

Fiery Exchange: Goldberg and Jericho Confrontation Escalates Over Internet Rumors

Photo Credit: WWE.

“Goldberg gave a shaky laugh and said, ‘I didn’t say anything about you.’

“‘********. I know you did.’

“Something snapped in the Burgermeister, and he jumped to his feet. ‘Oh yeah? What about all that stuff you were saying about me on the Internet?’

“Internet? Internet?? You’ve got to be kidding me! I didn’t spend enough time on the Internet to check out Club Jenna properly, let alone talk **** about Bill ******* Goldeye.

“‘What are you talking about?’

“A vein in his neck popped out like a worm as he shouted back, ‘Mike Tenay told me that you said stuff about me on the Internet!’

A Clear Warning: Chris Jericho’s Blunt Ultimatum to Goldberg in the Name of Professionalism

Photo Credit: WWE.

“I looked at him in disbelief and said, ‘Listen, Bill. It’s simple. I could be your best friend in this company or your worst enemy. We’re probably going to be working with each other at some point, and I could either make you look like a million bucks or make you look like ****, and you wouldn’t know the difference! We’re all here to make money and do business together, so just ******** relax!’

“‘You never wanted to do the job for me in WCW! You’re a prima donna!’

“‘You’re totally wrong about th—’ Before I could finish the sentence, Goldfish grunted like a Neanderthal (the vein in his neck now resembling a corpulent slug) and grabbed me by the throat.”

In Defense of Boundaries: Chris Jericho’s Response to Goldberg’s Physical Provocation

Photo Credit: WrestlingNews.

“Now, let me preface the rest of this Goldberg fight story by saying that I’m not the toughest man in the world, nor have I ever claimed to be. However, when someone puts their hand on my throat and begins to squeeze, it’s time to throw hands.

“Am I right? Let’s take a vote to make sure: All in favor that a hand on the throat preceded by a prehistoric growl is a provocation to fight, say aye.

“Okay, we’re all in agreement on that, then—except for that one guy in Peoria, and your case is weak.”

Unexpected Showdown: Chris Jericho’s Impromptu Tussle and Utilizing His Bouncing Skills

Photo Credit: WWE.

“Once Goldster made his move, I reacted the only way I knew how. I swatted his hand off my throat and gave him a two-handed push to the chest. He rushed forward with his head down and tried to tackle me, like the ex– NFL lineman that he was.

“I stepped to the side like the world’s worst matador and grabbed him in a front facelock. It was the only shoot hold I knew, one that harkened back to my days bouncing at Malarkey’s in Calgary. I think I surprised the **** out of him with my lethal hold and was able to power him down to the ground, applying pressure because I knew if I pushed his throat into his chest long enough, he might pass out.”

Against All Odds: Chris Jericho’s Tenacious Battle With Goldberg

Photo Credit: WWE.

“I really hoped that he would go to sleep because I was sure that he was going to fire up and kick the **** out of me. I mean, come on, have you ever seen this guy? He is massive!

“I continued to hold my ground and couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t fighting back. I got a little lazy and released the pressure slightly, and suddenly he rolled on top of me. I was freaking out at this point, convinced that he was going to eat me, but I held on to my patented front facelock.

“He started bucking around like a mechanical bull, but surprisingly I was able to use his momentum against him to roll him over again. Yee-haw!!

“Jericho 2, Goldie 0.”

Shattering Illusions: Chris Jericho’s Revelation and Overpowering Goldberg in Reality

Photo Credit: WWE.

In his book Undisputed, Chris Jericho continued:

“It was like WCW all over again—except this time, it was real.

“I was getting [arrogant] at this point because he wasn’t moving. In the back of my mind, I still had the idea that he was going to morph into a savage animal, throw me off, and draw and quarter me. But he never did.

“It seemed that the Goldschlager was all smoke and mirrors. Maybe he’d always gotten by on the intimidation factor and had never been tested. Maybe he was being nice and didn’t want to fight back because he was the new kid on the block. If that was the case, this muscle-bound Joey McIntyre was getting manhandled.

“With adrenaline surging through my veins and my confidence rolling, I thought of the Japanese magazines Funaki had brought into the dressing room earlier in the day containing pictures of Royce Gracie fighting.”

An Impromptu Showcase: Chris Jericho’s Gracie-Inspired Maneuver and the Chaos that Ensued

Photo Credit: WWE.

“Gracie’s calling card was a front facelock with his legs scissored around his opponent’s midsection, and after seeing photos of him doing the hold, I decided to give it a try. I egged him on as I crossed my legs around his midsection: ‘C’mon, Mr. Shooter! Try to get out of this one!’

“He got to his feet again, and we busted through the doors at the back of the dressing room, straight into the hallway filled with surprised fans who got a bonus match that night.

“We scuffled back into the dressing room and were finally broken up by Arn Anderson, Terry Taylor, Hurricane, Christian, and Booker T. Nash Mantis continued to sit in his chair in the corner of the room watching the festivities.”

Tense Moments: Chris Jericho’s Close Call and Unexpected Twist in the Aftermath of the Brawl

Photo Credit: WWE.

“Goldfinger and I were separated, and if you’ve ever been in a fight that’s been broken up by your friends, you can probably relate to what happened next.

“As Christian and Hurricane were restraining me, they were inadvertently setting me up to be murdered at the same time because when Goldsworthy broke free of the pack, they still had my arms pinned to my sides.

“‘Let go! Let go! He’s going to kill me!’ I screamed, closing my eyes and preparing to have my face caved in.

“They realized what was going on and let me go at the last minute, but it was too late. He broke through and reared his fist back. I tensed up and prepared for him to knock my block off, but—he started pulling my hair instead.

“I couldn’t believe that the mighty Berggold was tugging at my hair like a five-year-old during playtime. What was up with this guy?

“I figured if he hadn’t knocked me out yet, he was never going to. So I pried his hand out of my hair and pie-faced him as hard as I could. He stumbled back and stared at me in surprise.”

A Heated Exchange Resolved: Chris Jericho’s Ultimatum and the Surprising Truce with Goldberg

Photo Credit: WWE.

“I was done with this ***** fight,” Jericho went on to explain. “I screamed, ‘What the hell is wrong with you, man? You’re acting like a goof!’ Goldrush screamed back, ‘Your mother is a ******* goof!’

“Booker T got the most quizzical look on his face as he chewed on the unlit cigar he always seemed to have in his mouth and said, ‘Hold up! Did you just say his mother is a ******* goof? That’s the worst insult I ever heard, man.’

“We continued jaw-jacking back and forth until we both calmed down. We were separated into our respective corners, and after a few minutes, I walked back over to Billbo.

“”Matter-of-factly, I said, ‘Here’s the deal. You can shake my hand right now, and we can forget about this. Or we can come to work and do this every single week. I don’t give a **** either way. Your call.’

GoGoBoy looked me in the eye, stuck out his hand to shake mine, and we called a truce.”

Ric Flair Offers Advice to Chris Jericho After His Fight With Goldberg

Photo Credit: WWE.

"I walked back to my chair and saw a text on my phone from Disco Inferno, who had already heard that Goldbone and I had gotten into a fight. It had been ten minutes.

“Telephone, telegraph, tell a wrestler. For the next week, everybody I knew in the business called or pulled me aside to ask me about the BIG FIGHT.

“I was forced to relay the lion’s tale over and over again to everyone from Bruce Prichard to Jim Ross to Gerry Brisco to the champ himself.

Wise Words from The Nature Boy

Photo Credit: WWE.

“I was surprised when I answered the phone a few days later and heard Ric Flair’s distinctive voice.

“‘Chris, there are guys in this business who want to bring you down, but when you’re a great worker, nobody can ever touch that. Don’t fall into these traps. Don’t let these guys get into your head. You’re too good for that; you’re too talented. It’s beneath you.’

“Once again, Flair’s words put perspective on things. I had just bested Vince’s new acquisition, and I wasn’t sure how everybody would feel about it.

“The gossip girls were in full force for this juicy tidbit, and I still get asked about it all the time. In a way, I feel bad for Bill, as deep down I know he’s got a good heart, but when our international incident happened, it really got him off on the wrong foot with a lot of guys in the dressing room.

“When the word got out that David had taken down Goliath, I gained admiration while Goldberg gained more resentment than he already had.

“But not everybody admired me after the brawl.”

Vince’s Displeasure: Chris Jericho’s Conversation with McMahon and the Importance of Open Communication

Photo Credit: WWE.

“A week later, in Richmond, Virginia, I got word that Vince wanted to talk to me. ‘I’ve got a bone to pick with you.’

“‘I’m sorry about the fight, boss.’

“Vince replied, ‘That’s not why I’m upset with you. I’m upset because you didn’t tell me about it yourself.’

“‘I didn’t think you’d want to hear that I just took down Goldberg."

“Vince replied in a stern voice, ‘Chris, I need to know these things.’

“He then repeated one of his favorite themes, ‘I’m not just trying to teach you wrestling lessons, I’m trying to teach you about life. I’m your boss, and if something like that happens, I should be the first person you call. And if anything like that ever happens again, I want to hear it from you.’

“His words made sense, and I nodded in agreement. But I had to throw one back at him.

“‘Okay, Vince. Now I have a bone to pick with you. Have you watched my WrestleMania match with Shawn yet?’”

Chris Jericho’s Request to Watch His Favorite Match

Photo Credit: WWE.

“Vince had worked with Hogan that night and didn’t watch any of the matches before his. But he still hadn’t seen the whole show and was the only person in the company who hadn’t complimented me or Shawn on our show-stealing match on the biggest stage of them all.

“‘No. I haven’t had a chance.’

“‘You should watch it. It was my favorite match ever, and I’d like you to see it.’

“Vince said, ‘I promise to watch your match.’

“‘And I promise if I ever beat up somebody in your locker room, you’ll be the first to know.’”

Have Goldberg and Chris Jericho Patched Things Up?

Photo Credit: WWE.

“After our brawl, Goldberg and I became very cordial with each other, almost friendly. We ended up having a good match at a PPV in Houston (when I walked into Gorilla afterward, I received no reaction, and when Goldberg walked through, Vince gave him a standing ovation—grrrrr).

“Bill even invited me to fly on his private plane a few times. I think he was embarrassed that he got into the fight with me during his very first week of work with the WWE and wanted to show his good side.

“I think it still bothers him that his status as a bad *** (great album title) will always be tarnished by the fact that Chris Jericho took him down. Bret Hart wrote an article in the Calgary Sun about how ‘Jericho used the moves that Stu Hart taught him in the dungeon to stretch Goldberg.’

“If I died tomorrow, it would probably be my biggest legacy among other wrestlers.

“But let’s be honest. I’d like to say that in no way, shape, or form would I want to go through that with Goldberg again. He’s a big man, and he studies the art of fighting. I’m just a wiry guy from Winnipeg who was sick of being buried and reacted accordingly.

“I surprised him with my ruthless aggression, and he was stuck in a moment that he couldn’t get out of and didn’t know what to do. I basically held on for dear life and was credited with the win.

“Suffice it to say there will never be a rematch.

“But for the record, the final score of the Jericho vs. Goldberg Fight is Jericho 1, Goldberg 0.”

Aftermath

Photo Caption: WWE.

This fight between Goldberg and Chris Jericho is certainly one of the more fascinating and buzzed-about backstage debacles.

“Of course, somehow, in this crazy world of pro wrestling, they managed to patch things up like most superstars with intense beef seem to do eventually.

The Night Goldberg’s Streak Died

Goldberg and Kevin Nash - The Night The Streak Died
Photo Credit: WWE.

GOLDBERG: “I didn’t know what was going on. Every time I went to the building, I thought I was going to lose.”

KEVIN NASH: “Goldberg got [angry], and then he got hurt. People say that killed WCW. Well, no, it didn’t!”

At Starrcade 1998, an undefeated Goldberg defended his WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Kevin Nash. Goldberg was 173-0. Nothing could stop him. Or so we thought.

This is the true story behind the ending of the streak. In the end, it would all be for nothing!

Read: Goldberg and Kevin Nash – The Night The Streak Died

The Fingerpoke of Doom!

Hulk Hogan pokes Kevin Nash in the chest on the January 4th, 1999 episode of WCW Monday Nitro. It is a moment that has since been remembered as the infamous Fingerpoke of Doom.
Photo Credit: WWE.

HULK HOGAN: “It happened so fast. We really didn’t know enough about the business back then to take care of it.”

Ten days removed from WCW Starrcade 1998 (where Kevin Nash ended the infamous undefeated streak of Bill Goldberg), two significant blunders occurred: one involving Tony Schiavone and another involving Hulk Hogan, which led to the infamous Fingerpoke of Doom.

It is a moment forever burned in the minds of wrestling fans and considered by many the beginning of the end for WCW.

Learn more: Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and the Fingerpoke of Doom!

Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat: The Surprising Tale Behind The Magic

Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair lock-up at Chi-Town Rumble, February 20, 1989.
Photo Credit: WWE

RIC FLAIR: "One of my greatest blessings was the day Ricky Steamboat walked into the office of Jimmy Crockett in Charlotte, North Carolina."

1989 was a special year that saw Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat have a trilogy of matches for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

At one end of the feud was Flair, one of the most iconic figures in professional wrestling history, the poster boy of the NWA (and WCW later on) whose promos and heartfelt passion for the world title were always evident.

Learn more about the surprising story behind their trilogy of matches.

Ric Flair and Terry Funk: Another Feud to Remember

In 1989, Ric Flair and Terry Funk had the unenviable task of trying to top the legendary Flair versus Steamboat trilogy of matches. They did that (and then some)!

In 1989, Ric Flair and Terry Funk had the unenviable task of trying to top the legendary Flair versus Steamboat trilogy of matches. They did that (and then some)!

It was a rivalry that almost became too much to handle for Ric Flair.

Read: Ric Flair and Terry Funk – Another Feud to Remember

Wrestling Injuries That Ended Careers Too Soon

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro with some tandem offense on Kofi Kingston.
Photo Credit: WWE.

“When I hit the mat, I knew my neck was broken and that I was paralyzed.”

These individuals’ lives were irrevocably altered while doing what they loved.

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Braeden Farrell is a senior writer for Pro Wrestling Stories. He is a long-time fan of wrestling based out of Adelaide, Australia. He can be reached on Twitter @braedenfazza.