At WCW Starrcade in 1999, Bret Hart would suffer an injury that would lead to the end of his wrestling career in the main event against Bill Goldberg.
Speaking to Inside The Ropes, Goldberg spoke openly about feeling honored to wrestle Bret Hart and the unfortunate incident being one of the few things Goldberg wishes he could take back about his career.
“Yeah, I mean, Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and I mean his name and moniker speak for themselves. A staple in the business. The lineage is unparalleled. And it was an honor and a privilege and I very much looked up to him and listen to everything he said,” the WWE Hall of Fame Superstar said. “Like you said at the time, there were many people who gave opinions and you did not know whether they had their best interests at heart, you don’t know whether they had the company’s best interests at heart or your best interests at heart. I still don’t know, but I don’t care because at the end of the day, I can control what I can control and that is it. I’m not going to sit and complain about anything. I’m just going to try to go on and do my job. I would have loved to have worked a little bit more with Bret Hart, and I would have loved more than anything to have not kicked Bret Hart in the head.”
Carrying on, Goldberg would insist that the kick was incidental and addressed some of the slanderous criticism he’s received over the years for the mishap.
“There have been things said on the internet, either by Bret or other people that I was malicious and he shouldn’t have been in the ring with me. Hey, I’m really sorry, man. But if I really wanted to hurt the guy, he would never have gotten up, okay? And I’m no joke. He would never have gotten up,” he continued.
“But accidents happen. And he was an idol of mine and still is. And that’s one thing that I’ll forever be remorseful for, is the misplaced kick. And he did kind of know it was coming. But, you know, there are a couple of things in my career that I wish I could have changed, that was one of them. The length that I had an angle with him and my inability to be professional enough to pull the kick. But it meant very much to me to be believable. I didn’t want to present a character that, no offense, but was like a Ric Flair. You know, I don’t run around and be goofy and, you know, entertain people like that. I’m a competitor. I’m not an entertainer. So if what I do in competing entertains that I’m ecstatic. But I didn’t set out to be a sideshow by any stretch of the imagination. My two to five to 10-minute, I’m stretching it a little bit, matches were basically like throwing people to the lions. It was messy and it was violent. And it was over before you knew it. And that’s what people loved. It was something different.”
Goldberg last wrestled at WWE SummerSlam 2019 when he defeated Dolph Ziggler and a very quick match. Goldberg has said that this match with Ziggler was not his last.
(Transcription credit for the above quotes should go to Robert DeFelice of WrestleZone)