Scowling WWE superstar Bill Goldberg, who spent 12 years away from the squared circle before a brief but memorable return that began in 2016, is the first announced member of the WWE's 2018 Hall of Fame class.
"I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you who has ever been a fan," Goldberg wrote on Instagram. "This accomplishment could not of been made without you all. I’m very honored and humbled to be inducted!"
After a short NFL career, Goldberg came to wrestling in 1997, beginning his run with the WCW during the height of the so-called "Monday night wars." He quickly became known for short matches, burst of intensity and his spear.
After the WCW dissolved in 2001, Goldberg made the transition to the WWE, but it didn't last long. In 2004, he walked away after Wrestlemania XX, where he took on Brock Lesnar and was booed out of Madison Square Garden.
Goldberg spent the next decade acting in B-movies, hosting shows on The History Channel and appearing on Celebrity Apprentice, among other things. But as time wore on the animosity between him and the WWE faded.
"In a fairly condensed period of time, my relationship with the WWE did a complete 180 degrees," he told ESPN. "My comeback had everything to do with a change of heart on both sides. For that, I am greatly appreciative, because that was a dark side in my psyche. When I heard 'wrestling' or 'WWE' I'd kind of want to put it off to the side and not think about it. It didn't evoke the most positive of memories, but it's funny how that's changed completely in the past couple of years."
Goldberg's most recent run in the WWE brought back memories of his first. His matches were short and intense, always putting his physical power on full display.
"Goldberg's unique athleticism, persona and intensity captured the imagination of sports entertainment fans around the world throughout his illustrious career," Triple H told ESPN. "We are honored to have Goldberg take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame."