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In recent years, a featured spot on a WWE video game has become a pathway to enter or return to WWE.
Randy Savage appeared in commercials for WWE All-Stars in 2011, which led to new action figures, official WWE merchandise, and a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame. The Ultimate Warrior was used extensively in the marketing of “WWE 2K14,” followed by Sting for “WWE 2K15;” both men eventually entered the WWE Hall of Fame.
If those recent examples are any indication, the prominent positioning of Bill Goldberg in the advertising for “WWE 2K17” could be a sign of things to come – specifically, more trading cards, new t-shirts, his first Mattel WWE action figures, and, quite possibly, a return to the ring or entrance into the WWE Hall of Fame.
While the wrestling world speculates as to what’s next for Goldberg, here’s a look at five cool collectible items from Goldberg’s career.
(1) Vintage WCW “Who’s Next?” t-shirt. Wrestling was white hot in the summer of 1998, and no two men were bigger stars than Steve Austin and Bill Goldberg. Wrestling t-shirts were sold everywhere, from live events to Walmart, from shopping mall sports stores to JCPenney, to bootleg shirts on the street.
One of the most popular shirts of the time was a basic black t-shirt with “Goldberg” in gold block letters on the front, with the words “Who’s Next?” superimposed over Goldberg’s tribal tattoo logo on the back. There are plenty of these shirts out there today, usually for $10 to $20, depending on the condition.
One interesting note: the WWF in 1998 sold a licensed shirt that read “Austin Rules” on the front and “Goldberg Sucks” on the back. These shirts weren’t sold at live events or through official WWF merchandise catalogues, but could be found at t-shirt shops.
(2) 1988 McDag Georgia Bulldogs Football Card. Ten years before his big WCW World Title win, Bill Goldberg was a standout noseguard for the Georgia Bulldogs. His lone football card pictures him in a red number 99 Bulldogs jersey.
This card has been a hot item for nearly 20 years, often fluctuating in value. Raw, ungraded copies usually sell for $15-25, with gem mint graded cards commanding upwards of $150.
(3) 1998 Topps WCW/NWO Autograph. This landmark set includes autographs from most of the top names from WCW in the late-1990s, which was arguably the deepest talent roster in wrestling history. Goldberg’s is one of the toughest signatures to find, often selling for $200-300.
More affordable Goldberg autographs have also popped up in a variety of Leaf trading card sets since 2014, and he was also featured in a Looney Toons: Back in Action set in 2003.
(4) Jakks Pacific Classic WWE Superstars Series 25. Goldberg has yet to debut in Mattel’s WWE toy line, but he did have a few cool figures from Jakks in the mid-2000s. His most popular figure comes from the 255th series of Classic WWE Superstars. It’s a basic figure with black boots and trunks, and usually sells for around $50.
(5) Toy Biz WCW Fear the Spear box set. Toy Biz made plenty of Goldberg toys from about 1998 to 2001, most of which weren’t of the best quality. This cool figure, however, comes packaged with a folding chair, locker, breakaway table and WCW World title belt. It’s tough to find and usually sells for $40-50.