It’s not every day that a 14-minute live set by an R&B singer elicits a direct response from a former U.S. President and an ex-WWE World Heavyweight Champion within one week, but Rihanna has earned that unusual distinction after her highly anticipated Super Bowl LVII performance. Last Sunday, the nine-time Grammy-award winner took the stage at State Farm Stadium and performed a medley of her greatest hits while carrying her second child. Although many sports/music fans hold the Super Bowl halftime show of the previous year (featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar) in higher regard, Rihanna’s solo act shattered the record books with 118.7 million viewers. Her halftime show was the second-most-watched affair in the history of the NFL’s grand spectacle behind Katy Pery’s halftime show during Super Bowl XLIX, which attracted 121 million viewers.
Rihanna’s halftime show during Super Bowl LVII marked the first time she performed live in nearly five years. She hasn’t released a new album in about eight years, which is why many of her supporters were delighted by the mere sight of the billionaire as she graced the stage with her backup dancers. Nevertheless, among the millions of viewers that tuned in, some commentators expressed disappointment that the Barbados-born singer did not feature any of the iconic recording artists that she has collaborated with over the years, such as Jay-Z, Drake, Eminem, and Future. Other critics of RiRi’s halftime show, like former U.S. President Donald Trump, were blatantly disdainful with their choice of words about the performance, calling it an “Epic Fail.”
This week, another polarizing figure in pop culture added his name to the list of skeptics about the Super Bowl LVII halftime show. WWE legend Bill Goldberg recently appeared as a guest on the CarCast podcast, where he shared his thoughts on Rihanna’s stage presence.
“I thought Rihanna was fricken horrible,” Goldberg said. “I was disgusted by it, let’s just say that.”
In response, the co-host, Matt “The Motorator” D’Andria indicated that he was in agreement with the sentiment that his guest expressed. To that, Goldberg doubled down.
“That’s the understatement of the year,” said the former WWE & WCW World Heavyweight Champion. “I thought it was disgusting. I thought it was horrible.”
Long before Goldberg’s heyday as a professional wrestler on WCW Monday Nitro, he was a teammate of Deion Sanders with the Atlanta Falcons in the 1990s; the two remain close friends to this very day. Goldberg’s career as a defensive tackle in the NFL lasted for about seven seasons. But unfortunately, his teams never reached the Super Bowl.
Despite the criticism from celebrities like Donald Trump and Goldberg, several stars such as Ellen DeGeneres and Zendaya have praised Rihanna for her record-breaking Super Bowl halftime show.