The Royal Ramblings team recently had the privilege of interviewing the highly decorated, world renowned superstar and Hall of Famer Booker T. Whilst continuing to contribute to WWE programming, Booker has founded the widely respected Reality of Wrestling promotion in Texas. With its first major online iPPV event 'Summer of Champions' days away (available 27th July 7pm CST/28 July 1am GMT from realityofwrestling.com), we wanted to find out more about the company
What sets Reality of Wrestling apart from other promotions and what does it mean for the company that you are moving to iPPV?
Well, the iPPV shows that the company is moving onwards and upwards. What makes us different from most independent wrestling promotions is what we put into our wrestling. The storyline and psychology based approach - we go out and entertain the fans first and foremost. I always say that people remember not just what they saw in a show but how they felt, so we try to bring a feeling to wrestling that's a little bit different. That's my approach and that was my training, I try to train my students to act and really put themselves in the moment, not just go out and play a wrestler. Even though this is entertainment, I want young people to know that it's something that's attainable for them. For many years, people will watch wrestling and see superstars as unattainable figures and think 'man there's no way that I could ever be a professional wrestler' but I try to make it so everyone that's watching - the young guys and girls , - will say 'man, I can do that.' That's what Reality of Wrestling is about.
We're quite excited about the 'Summer of Champions' main event, the Samoan Beast is taking on Mysterious Q. Does Q stand a chance given the Samoan Beast can Samoan drop 2 men at once!?
The Samoan Beast IS a monster, but Mysterious Q has proved that he's a major player. He's young, he's fast, he's energetic and he's one of those guys that takes a lot of high risks by going up to the top rope. The guy is phenomenal, and if anybody has a chance in Reality of Wrestling right now, it's got to be Mysterious Q. Not to mention, that he'll have Diamond Dallas Page in his corner who will be trying to guide him through that storm.
Stevie Ray will be advising the Samoan Beast. We were interested to see you're teaming up with him soon, for the first time in 14 years. We wondered how easy it will be to recapture the magic?
Well actually we're not reforming as a tag team to wrestle but just to do a signing together. That said, a lot of people actually want to see the return of Harlem Heat, so my brother is in the gym training and getting in shape and so am I. We're getting ready for exactly that - a Harlem Heat return. We won't go back to the ring to wrestle full time but the fans never really got the chance to see Harlem Heat go off into the sunset, so we definitely want to give them that one last match. We don't know who it's going to be with. We want to make it a dream tag-team match - maybe with the Dudleys, maybe with Cryme Tyme or maybe with some big time tag team out there, maybe with the Steiner brothers! Maybe we'll do that one more time! You know in this business, you never know.
That would be awesome, it could be a Reality of Wrestling exclusive!
Exactly my point.
Stevie Ray inducted you into the Hall of Fame, is it time for Paul Boesch to enter and what does he mean to you?
You know I think Paul Boesch should have gone into the Hall of Fame many, many years ago. Well before I should have been inducted. He's definitely a Hall of Fame figure in my eyes. You know, Paul Boesch gives me a lot of inner strength. I was a kid when he was working here, in the city of Houston. I never got a chance to meet him but I watched him and I saw as a kid - even a troubled kid from the other side of the tracks - I saw exactly what he was doing and how he went out there and tried to help so many people, wrestlers and others. I've never heard one bad thing said about Paul Boesch from a guy who worked for him. So definitely, I'm walking in his shoes and I hope to be half the man that Paul Boesch was one day. Hopefully I can fulfil his dream here in Houston and keep professional wrestling alive.
What's your view on this latest WWE faction (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods)?
You know, I got mixed feelings about it. They're forming this faction but I'm not sure exactly where it's going, especially with Kofi Kingston being part of it. Kofi has always been the ultimate babyface, the ultimate good guy and now I'm going to see Kofi with a dark hat on. I don't want to see that right there out of Kofi Kingston. So as far as exactly where it's going to go, I don't know. We're going to find out in the coming months, we're going to see if a couple more guys join that faction as well. So we'll see in the future.
Xavier Woods came from NXT and Kenta has just joined but who do you think we ought to be looking out for?
You've definitely got to be looking out for Adrian Neville. He's going to be a big star as soon as they release him to the main WWE roster. I heard they've also signed Prince Devitt and man, he's awesome. I've watched him working. In fact, I actually watched he and Adrian Neville work together in a match from 2009 and I thought it was the best match that I had ever seen before in professional wrestling. I give those guys great props for knowing how to go out there and keep a storyline, to work the psychology and not let the fans work them but rather to work the fans throughout the gig. So I'm looking forward to those guys coming up and making a huge, huge splash in the WWE real soon.
As one half of Book-Dust what do you think of Cody Rhodes becoming Stardust and working with Goldust in the Dust Brothers tag team?
I expected Cody Rhodes to be one of those guys who was going to go straight to the top in this business, given the chance. I thought by this time he would be at least a two-time world champion. But it hasn't happened for him and now he's formed the team with Goldust - well let's see exactly where it goes. Of course he's got the right person on his team. Goldust and I went on to become tag team champions so if anybody can lead Cody to the Promised Land it's going to be his brother. So far as stepping up and doing something different is concerned - I can't look down on Cody for that because looking back at Booker T's career, he was GI Bro! and he became 6 time world champion, so never judge a book by its cover!
We've asked many wrestlers what their favourite rib story is, what's yours?
I'll tell you honestly, throughout my whole career, I've not had too many ribs pulled on me and I never was a big ribber. The only rib that ever really got pulled on me, I always thought was by Brian Knobbs, but I never got any confirmation. We were on a flight overseas and he put two pieces of cheese in my vest pocket and it made big round strains on my shirt. He painted my fingernails red and put shaving cream on top of my head! I woke up and I asked the director of the tour to get somebody to take control of things somehow - and he held up his hand and his fingernails were painted red as well! So the lesson is don't fall asleep on a plane, especially if you're travelling with the Nasty Boys because anything can happen
Brock Lesnar is back in the WWE, is criticism of part-time superstars valid?
I look at guys like Brock Lesnar, guys like the Rock, like RVD and Chris Jericho who make their return briefly and then go off again, I look at those guys and think they are still willing to go out and help the product first and foremost. I tell the young guys on the roster that when they start selling tickets, selling out Pay-Per-Views and bringing up merchandise revenue, then they can start talking. Until then they should just shut up and enjoy the ride. That's the way I look at guys like Brock Lesnar coming back. He's a major big time superstar. A guy who's done it in the WWE, who's gone to MMA and done it and now he's back again trying to complete the trifecta. So I give guys like Brock Lesnar big, big props for still wanting to be around and do this and bring revenue into the business. When the young guys start selling tickets and creating a buzz for PPVs then we won't have to bring back guys like the Rock. Until then, just keep quiet and enjoy the ride.
You're going to be in the UK for the Welsh Comic Con in late November right?
Yep, I'll be coming, I'll be there signing my book 'From Prison to Promise' and I'll be talking about my new book that's coming out. I'll be signing autographs and you know making the fans happy, that's what I do.
Any last thoughts?
Make sure to go to realityofwrestling.com log on and enjoy the ride, see exactly what 'the flagship of Texas wrestling' is all about. Hopefully we will be airing over in London soon. That's my mark - to make it into the international market, so make sure to support Reality of Wrestling. Look at soulofthesouthnetwork.com - that's our network, log on and watch our weekly episodes and give us feedback. Let us know what you like and what you don't like and what we need to change - that's what Reality of Wrestling is all about, we listen to the fans.
Our conversation with the warm, engaging and entertaining Booker ended on that positive note. Reality of Wrestling is his baby and one that he is nurturing to succeed. It's certainly going to be an entertaining ride. We'll be logging in and watching and encourage all our readers to do so too!