WWE Hall of Famer and former World Champion Booker T made an appearance on Episode 79 while he was in Cleveland for Absolute Intense Wrestling.

The thirty minute interview consisted everything from retiring, WrestleMania 32, giving advice to today’s wrestlers, and almost getting fired from WCW.


**Interview starts at 20:30 mark of show.**

Below is a transcript highlighting some of his answers:

Ever gets the itch to get back in the ring:

“Not at all, man. I’m one of those guys that lives in seasons. I don’t like to get stuck in one season or anything like that. It’s cool to get the pop of the crowd and go out there and do it for night. I’m sure, for those guys, for one night, like Mick Foley, it’s pretty much enough. It’s nostalgic. But for me, I have so many other irons in the fire right now. I got a bunch of students with my wrestling school. I love actually training with those guys and see them actually go out there and do it. I got a couple of guys, hopefully, to get signed here pretty soon. That’s all about them now, not about me.

You know, that part of my life, I’ve pretty much put it behind me. I still feel great. I still train everyday in the gym. You know, trying to make it to my daughters graduation, to see her wake down the isle one day, that’s my biggest match these days. As far as getting back in the ring and performing, you know, we got a lot of young guys at NXT, we got a of young guys on the roster. Going out there doing their thing, man. It’s their time. It’s their time to fulfill their dreams. Their time to perform at WrestleManias, the grandest stage of them all. Their time to live their Hall of Fame dreams.

I’ve done it. I have nothing to prove in the business anymore at all. And it’s up to me to give those guys the reigns and let them go.”

WrestleMania 32:

“It was awesome. It wasn’t the card that you would see back 10-15 years ago where the card was built three, four months out. Those guys had solid angles. This one was kind of hot-shotted. But you got a chance to see some young talent go out there and perform. We got a chance to see AJ Styles do his first WrestleMania. That’s a nostalgic moment right there in itself. Seeing AJ Styles walk out to a WWE ring for WrestleMania, and then go out and have an awesome match with Chris Jericho, you couldn’t ask for more.”

Shane McMahon leap off Hell in a Cell:

“It’s a rough gig; it’s a mindset. To be able to go out there and pull something off like that, big ups to him for going out there and pulling it off like that. I’d tell you man, it was dangerous. It was scary to see. And hopefully he’s not going to be traumatized from it years for now. A lot of times that stuff don’t hit you until later on. It’s like a car wreck. You could have that wreck that night and you feel pretty good. You wake up the next morning, you got black and blue marks all over you, and you wonder what the hell happened. Hopefully it’s not anything sustaining. It was a feat, man. It was an awesome sight. It was an awesome spectacle to see him pull it off.”

On The New Day and giving them advice:

“You got to give those guys a lot of credit for going out there and creating something. I always tell those guys, you can do all of the stupid, silly antics outside of the ring all you want; you can make people laugh all you want, but when you get in the ring, it’s time to go to work. It’s time to go out there and beat somebody up. And that’s what The New Day does very well, and they actually go out there and beat guys up pretty, pretty good. And I think that is what gotten them over.”

Being entertaining, but still being able to wrestle well, and comparing the past to present:

“I think it’s just the way we were trained. We were trained different. It’s just evolution, I think. You got some guys that go out there, like a Kevin Owens. He can be funny, but when you see him go out in the ring, he doesn’t compromise. He goes out and performs. That’s what I’m talking about. You can see Chris Jericho a lot of crazy, stupid stuff, but when he goes out in the ring, he goes out and performs at a very high level. That’s why it’s called sports entertainment. We still gotta be actors. We still gotta go out and entertain from an out of ring perspective as well. You cannot compromise your in-ring work to make a fan laugh. If you do, there’s a place on the card for that. But if you want to work in the main event, if you want to be a main event performer, you can’t do that.”

Almost getting fired from WCW:

“Almost got us all fired the first night. You know, Sid Vicious is the one that got myself and my brother into WCW. He let us stay at his house. Made sure we got raises on time. Sid was our guy. He’s the reason why we made it to WCW. Him and Rob were really, really good friends. They stayed in this apartment complex in nice part of Atlanta. Rob used to be out at the pool every night drinking his Natural Light, a case of Natural Light every day.

Sid has this great idea. And Sid wanted to be an office guy too. Sid wanted to actually be in the office. We were his first project for WCW. If we make it, we make Sid look good. And Sid would say, ‘We got a guy, we are going to put you with Colonel Robert Parker. And we will make you guys the Chi-town Heat. Two brothers that just got out of prison.”

Normally when you get out of prison, they give you some “getting out of prison” clothes. But they didn’t give us any. We came straight from the yard to WCW with our prison gear on and the number still stenciled on the shirt. The only reason we got out on early-relate program was because of Robert Parker. He was the whole plantation owner. It was the craziest gimmick you could have ever imagined. It was our first gig, let’s see how this thing play out; don’t say nothin.

Man, Human Resources, the powers that be, the dirt sheets back then, which was Meltzer, and man, they wrote about this stuff. Next thing you know, they brought us in the office. Ole Anderson, he tells me, “First thing I think I should send guys back to Texas.”

I go, “Wait a minute, what are you talking about? This was your creation. Sid and you guys sent us out to do this. Ball and chain and everything. We worked it out, and they said, “You can work.” They ended up keeping us around. Dusty Rhodes, God rest his soul, revamped us. Came up with the name Harlem Heat. Took the Kane and Kole off of us and gave us our old names back, which was Booker T and Stevie Ray, that “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert had started us with back in the Global Wrestling Federation. And the rest was history. It was a rocky start. But we weathered the storm and you know, cream always rises to the top.”

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