Following WCW's closure in 2001, Goldberg wrestled for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) between 2002 and 2003, and for WWE between 2003 and 2004, becoming a one-time World Heavyweight Champion in the latter. After twelve years away from the company, he returned to WWE in 2016 and won the WWE Universal Championship in February 2017.
Goldberg has headlined multiple pay-per-view events for WCW and WWE, including twice closing WCW's premier annual event, Starrcade. He is the only person to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, WWE's World Heavyweight Championship, and the WWE Universal Championship.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2018 the weekend of WrestleMania 34. During a long interview with Sports Illustrated, he talked about his match with Dolph Ziggler: “It’s by no means my farewell performance, nor was it my best performance, but you have to be realistic and take all things into consideration.
It’s a very good possibility I’ll be back, but you don’t know it until it’s done. That gets lost in the shuffle, but it’s actually the biggest factor. I don’t know of a power wrestler that’s been able to come back after a 12-year hiatus and still be that guy.
I had a really tough time keeping weight on when I was that guy, so now it’s exponentially harder. So I just need to reinvent myself. Instead of being 280 pounds with veins on my traps, I can be 260 with veins on my traps”.