What's the story?
The WWE have once again reached out to the representatives of former UFC commentator Mike Goldberg. This story was broken on the “Dirty Sheets’ Podcast, via our “DS Breaking News” show. You can listen to the Podcast, below (length 4 minutes and 32 seconds).
In case you didn't know...
Mike Goldberg left the UFC at the end of 2016. Mike Goldberg began working for the company in 1997. He departed on December 28th at UFC 207, after calling Ronda Rousey’s shocking loss to Amanda Nunes. It was the UFC who opted not to renew the commentator’s contract in a move that left the Goldberg and the entire MMA world in a state of shock and disbelief.
Mike Goldberg was employed by the company for 19 years, however, when he was handed his walking papers, he was never given any reason as to why they were letting him go. Goldberg commented on his departure, stating, “I got the news that my contract would not be renewed, and so I was given about a month's notice,” Goldberg said during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “I was in shock. I was speechless. I didn’t know what type of emotion to have because I was just in a state of shock and disbelief.”
Goldberg was previously targeted by WWE as a replacement for Jim Ross back in 2005, and he even agreed to terms with the company. However, in the end, he changed his mind and ended up remaining with the UFC. Goldberg spoke about the opportunity to join the WWE. Goldberg said:
"When I was approached by WWE, being an old Hulk Hogan guy, I was honored by that," said Goldberg. "...It was surprising, it was an honor, and they were very, very generous with their offer."
The Heart of the matter
Now that Mauro Ranallo is now officially done with the WWE, the company have set their sights on finding a new announcer. Mike Goldberg is said to be the top target. It was also said to us that one of the key reasons Jim Ross was re-hired, aside from the WWE not wanting their former lead announcer on ITV's World of Sport or New Japan, was because of his friendship with Mike Goldberg.
Triple H believes that JR may be able to influence Goldberg to join the company and also assist in bringing him up to speed with the WWE product and the way Vince McMahon wants the commentators to call matches. It's possible Jim Ross could even produce Goldberg and lead him through his first few shows, but that job is more likely to be assigned to Michael Cole, who regularly produces the current crop of announcers.
Nothing is likely to materialise in the coming months. At this stage, Mike Goldberg simply sits at the top of a wish-list. Even though the WWE are keen to have him on board and are already thinking about how they will bring him into the fold, they have not had any conversations with Mike Goldberg himself, only his representatives. In the meantime, it appears that Tom Philips will continue as the voice of SmackDown Live.
Signing Mike Goldberg would make perfect storyline sense on SmackDown because Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are so open about their love of MMA. However, I don't think it would be perfect for a 52-year-old Mike Goldberg. Goldberg only worked once a month for UFC and was paid handsomely for it by the end of tenure. It's unlikely that he would like to take on a role that involves him travelling all around the country on a weekly basis at 52 years of age.
Be sure to check out my Podcast, “The Dirty Sheets” for the latest breaking news, along with rumours and in-depth analysis. It is available via iTunes.
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