When it comes time for the annual WWE Hall of Fame inductee announcements, there's just one question everyone wants to know: Who's next?
The first name announced for the 2018 Hall of Fame Class was a big one: the intense, magnetic Goldberg, known for a stunning 173-match undefeated streak in the late 1990s and a shocking 2016-2017 comeback run that included winning the WWE Universal Championship and defeating Brock Lesnar in under two minutes.
The 2018 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place this Friday at the Smoothie King Center. Amid the excitement and action of WrestleMania week, the WWE Hall of Fame is an opportunity to honor the men and women who have made WWE what it is, paving the way for the Superstars of today and tomorrow.
It's a night for both celebration and reflection. Every WWE Hall-of-Famer has played a unique role in the success of live entertainment; each contributed a unique personality and flavor. This year's inductees have taken many roads to achieve WWE Hall of Fame immortality.
Superstars, Legends, past Hall of Famers and fans will gather in New Orleans to celebrate Goldberg's meteoric rampage through WCW and his awesome return to the ring after 12 years away, Ivory's path through the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling into the edginess of the WWE Attitude Era, Jeff Jarret's globe-spanning, multifaceted body of work both in and outside the ring. and the gritty tag-team longevity of ECW Originals the Dudley Boyz. Mark Henry's decades of dominance within WWE showcased his versatility; he proved he was not only the World's Strongest Man but an inspiring Superstar both inside and outside the ring. Hillbilly Jim, lovable icon of the '80s, is a perfect example of the sport-entertainers who helped WWE break out into new markets.
Goldberg, this year's headliner, is eloquent when asked about what the induction means to him. "If this was a one word answer I would say startled, honored, flabbergasted, appreciative or all of the above. Pick one word that encompasses all of those feelings."
The WWE Hall of Fame ring is the ultimate honor, the biggest possible capstone to a career in sports entertainment. While it might have been hard to imagine achieving Hall of Fame status back when he was just starting out, Goldberg says,"Reaching the pinnacle of your profession is something everyone should aim for. The aim is to be the best. So, I would say I indirectly pursued the Hall of Fame in the vein of perfection in what I do."
Goldberg's career in WCW was notable for a 173-0 undefeated streak, an accomplishment only one other Superstar has ever matched, albeit in a different division. Asked about Asuka's ongoing win streak, Goldberg says, ""It's extremely impressive. Anyone who can accumulate such dominance nowadays is very special!"
When Goldberg stepped away from in-ring competition after WrestleMania 20, few expected to see him return to WWE, let alone create one of WrestleMania 33's standout matches. This late-career comeback burnished Goldberg's reputation as one of the all-time greats with a whole new generation, including Goldberg's young son, who for the first time got to see his Dad perform in the ring. "That is the reason why I came back and did it," Goldberg says of competing in front of his son. "It means everything to me, meant everything to me and will always mean everything to me."
This Friday, at the Smoothie King Center and streaming live on WWE Network, the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will give the families and fans of the 2018 inductees one more big reason to be proud.