When Goldberg was quickly becoming one of the top stars in WCW during the late 90s, WWE decided to counter with Gillberg. The gimmick was portrayed by Duane Gill who actually had done numerous parodies of other wrestlers throughout his career.
Andy Malnoske of Wrestling Inc. caught up with Gill who discussed the origin of his most infamous parody.
“I was actually doing [Gillberg] on the independents,” stated Gill. “Me and a buddy came up with it. We did The Underfaker, we did ‘Stone Old’ and we did Gillberg.”
Gill actually had a couple of WWE stints before becoming Gillberg and was part of the J.O.B. Squad when he got the call to become Gillberg.
“I was talking to Paul Bearer and Kane in the locker room one night and Paul Bearer goes [in his classic voice], ‘Ohhh, Duane Gill. You may have something there,'” Gill said of Bearer seeing his Goldberg imitation. “The next thing I know the office is calling me and telling me ‘Bring your Gillberg stuff. You’re gonna be Gillberg.'”
Gillberg caught on with the fans and caused WWE to change its plans. Gill’s character was supposed to be a one-off appearance, but it ended up lasting for over a year.
“It was supposed to be one-time,” Gill says. Of course you see it didn’t happen one time.”
As for the man he was mocking, Gillberg was able to meet Golberg and the WWE Hall of Famer’s perception of Gillberg changed over time.
“I met Goldberg twice. One time he told me he hated my guts and I had an a**-kicking coming,” revealed Gill. “About five years later I met him and he was super cool and understood everything. He’s really cool about everything now.”
You can check out the full interview in the video above.