The act of one wrestling promotion parodying someone in another promotion certainly isn't new. WWE infamously created the "Huckster" and the "Nacho Man" in the mid-90s to mock Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, respectively, after they had left for WCW.
Those were WWE stars who jumped ship and became stars in a rival promotion. But a couple of years later WWE went after a homegrown WCW star in Bill Goldberg. When Goldberg was at his peak in WCW and riding his undefeated streak, WWE transformed jobber Duane Gill into "Gillberg" and parodied everything about Goldberg from his entrance to his histrionics.
"I wanted to cut his head off, and then I wanted to cut everyone's head off that came up with the idea," Goldberg said of Gillberg and WWE. "You can take it a number of ways. I took it violently in the beginning."
Over time, Goldberg came to realize that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and WWE wouldn't have wasted time in creating the Gillberg character had he, himself, not reached unprecedented success.
"I should have been honored that they would think enough of me to copy, in a negative way, and try to poke fun at me," Goldberg revealed. "Because if I didn't evoke a feeling in them, then they wouldn't have done that. So, there was a reason for it, and I hold nothing against the guy, and I'm greatly appreciative that one more person in the professional wrestling business got a job because I don't know what he was doing prior to that. Hey man, good for him."
Those comments jibe with what Gillberg recently said about the instances in which he met Goldberg. Gillberg was interviewed by Andy Malnoske of Wrestling Inc. where he discussed how Goldberg's perception of him changed over time.
"I met Goldberg twice. One time he told me he hated my guts and I had an a**-kicking coming," revealed Gillberg. "About five years later I met him and he was super cool and understood everything. He's really cool about everything now."