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Goldberg is officially announced as the first member of the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame class

WWE’s Instagram

Royal Rumble is still almost two weeks away, but The Road to WrestleMania is starting a little early this year. WWE revealed to ESPN this morning (Jan. 15) that Goldberg will headline the Hall of Fame class at this year’s ceremony in New Orleans.

The 51 year old who carried the company’s Universal title into Orlando for WrestleMania 33 last Spring has been rumored as the main 2018 inductee for several weeks. The former NFL football player who rose to wrestling fame with a legendary undefeated streak gimmick for WCW during The Monday Night War era told ESPN:

“At the end of the day, any business, any venture that you embark upon, you want some type of acknowledgement. You always try to make it to a top. There’s no reason to do anything unless you want to be the best.”

The news caps a pretty amazing comeback story for Goldberg’s relationship with WWE. After sitting out for a while after WCW closed, he joined Vince McMahon’s company in 2003 for a brief run which included a World Heavyweight Championship win and big matches with The Rock and Chris Jericho. That ended a little more than a year later, however, amidst rumors of backstage strife and following a widely panned ‘Mania XX match with Brock Lesnar, who also left WWE following that event.

After spending more than a decade away from wrestling focusing on television and movie work, Goldberg returned to the fold in 2016 via WWE’s video game partnership with 2K. Promotion for the game set up a feud with Lesnar, and Goldberg’s run from Survivor Series to WrestleMania was a box office hit which also mended fences with management.

Triple H is quoted in the ESPN announcement as saying:

“Goldberg’s unique athleticism, persona and intensity captured the imagination of sports entertainment fans around the world throughout his illustrious career. We are honored to have Goldberg take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.”

Goldberg will almost certainly be the big name on the marquee for WWE’s Hall of Fame Ceremony on Friday, April 6, at New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center.

We’ll see what other names are added over the coming weeks and months. Until then, what do you think of the news that Goldberg will be the NEXT guy added to Vince’s Club?