June 12, 2005; Hosted by Tim Stein, Jason Clevett, Harmony & JJ Sexay
Listen to the full show by clicking here.
As the rest of the world went on a One Night Stand, WTR Sunday Nights was joined by current SmackDown superstar and former 5-time (5-time, 5-time, 5-time, 5-time) WCW champion Booker T.
WTR played the Pulp Fiction spoof advert for WrestleMania 21 as Booker T arrived to the show, who said from the start that he was watching the NBA finals over the ECW PPV. The hosts joked with Booker that since Kurt Angle was leading the assault on ECW and he and Booker were at odds it wasn’t likely they would be teaming up. JJ mentioned Rob Van Dam’s promo and action from the PPV against Rhyno, before bringing up the wrestling school that Booker and Stevie Ray have just opened. Booker mentioned that he spoke to the likes of Steve Keirn and Dean Malenko about getting the right trainers. Jason Clevett (who finally showed up) compared Booker’s new school to the one that Lance Storm is opening in Calgary this fall – saying that it’s better to have a wrestling school run by a wrestler, rather than someone who knows nothing about or has had little time in the business. Booker said he wanted to leave wrestling "the right way"
Clevett brought up Booker’s solo career in WCW, and asked whether he thought he’d get to the main event level in a company like WCW back when he was starting out, in the "Kane and Cole days". Booker said that he always prepared himself so that he was ready for when he was elevated to that spot. JJ brought up the Book-End finishing move, which Booker said wasn’t a direct rip-off of the Rock’s move.
JJ then asked Booker whether he preferred live promos on Raw, or the luxury of being able to edit them on SmackDown. Booker said he didn’t need them edited, but said it was a little different from doing the one live and one taped show for WCW (when they did Nitro and Thunder on the same day).
Jason remembered meeting Booker outside a hotel before WrestleMania 19, and said that Booker always seemed to sign autographs or shake the hands of fans whenever they were around. Booker said it was part of giving back to the fans – and said that it was just a part of his job. Listen to the full show by clicking here.
JJ went back to Booker’s days in the Ebony Experience – and Booker said that WCW were just going to bring them in as "a couple of guys who got out of jail", before they went with the Harlem Heat gimmick after they got a ton of heat for the first, stereotypical idea. He then said that WCW went with the Harlem Heat name because "Houston didn’t sound tough enough".
Jason asked if Bad News Allen/Brown was an influence on Booker’s career. Booker said he wasn’t, but he preferred the likes of JYD when he was growing up. Jason then asked about Booker’s moveset, which has changed a lot throughout the years, with stuff like the Houston Hangover being phased out of his regular arsenal of spots. They spoke of the rumours of Kidman retiring, and Booker agreed that a lot of Kidman’s injuries would have been self-inflicted from the missed Shooting Star Presses.
WTR then moved over to Booker’s marriage with Sharmell. Booker said that he’s always been able to keep his personal and private lives separate, and said that his relationship with Sharmell wasn’t a Cinderella story – saying he’d known her for six years before getting married. He said that the night he won the WCW title was the loneliest night of his life, because he had nobody to celebrate the win with.
MJJ asked some questions from the chat room, starting with "are you comfortable with the current angle involving Kurt Angle and your wife?" Booker surprisingly said he was, because he didn’t take the whole thing seriously or personally. Tim Stein asked if Booker had any say in the writing of that storyline – to which he said that he only had a say in what he’d be willing to do, but not the actual content of it. Listen to the full show by clicking here.
Jason asked Booker about the best-of-five series with John Cena last year – Booker said he enjoyed putting Cena over as a main-event player. He said he wasn’t worried about putting people over, because "I’ll always get my turn, because I’ve got talent." Another question asked Booker who he’d love to face in a Harlem Heat reunion match – but he said the Nasty Boyz, but they were all beat up.
Jason asked Booker for his thoughts with wrestling the Road Warriors – although he’d wrestled a few matches with them, Harlem Heat had never wrestled the Warriors, and Booker lamented that. Tim asked why Booker phased out the missile dropkick when he moved over to Raw; Booker said he stopped doing it to make the move more special when he did bust that one out.
Moving onto his WrestleMania matches, Booker said that being a part of the shows was something he’d always wanted to. He admitted that before WrestleMania 21, he contemplated retirement – especially as he was only put in the pre-PPV battle royal – but he’s hoping to get back into a spot where he leaves WrestleMania 22 with the gold.
JJ asked Booker about the final Nitro show. Booker said the atmosphere was somber at the show, as WCW was coming to an end – comparing it to Mike Tyson’s loss to Kevin McBride on Saturday night. They moved onto the replacement of WCW with the brand-extension – Booker said he didn’t expect WCW to die just like that, and that they all expected Vince’s WWF to go against Shane’s WCW in a war. Back to the final Nitro, Booker talked about working with Scott Steiner, and winning the World title.
Another chat-room question asked why the WWE seemed to enjoy trashing WCW in public – especially as they owned all 3 brand names – and whether Booker could see a WCW reunion show happen based on the success of the ECW show. Booker said it’d be "something cool" if it did happen, but didn’t know if there were any plans for a WCW reunion.
Jason asked Booker to name some of the new WWE guys who could be carrying the company in the future. Booker named Randy Orton as one of them, along with Carlito and Mark Jindrak – but he admitted WWE was still looking for the next really big star. This turned into a plug for his wrestling school, before saying that they would be featuring guest trainers once every 3 months-or-so. Booker said that the wrestling school would be working with the local community to get kids involved, but warned that while he can’t teach you how to wrestle in four months, he can teach you the basics.
Wrapping up his segment, Tim asked Booker if he’d be interested in moving into movies, after seeing his work on the WrestleMania 21 adverts. Booker said he wants to finish his wrestling career first before moving onto movies, as he feels that he can make it on his talent alone, rather than being used for his name value for his wrestling career. Jason asked Booker if he’s thought about postponing his retirement – Booker said he’s signed for two years, and he’ll be around for at least that long. Jason ended the segment by asking where Booker wants to go in the draft lottery – stay on SmackDown or going back over to Raw? Booker said he wants to stay on SmackDown, and hopefully recreate the best-of-seven series with Chris Benoit.
They wrapped up the show by announcing next week’s guests: Prince Nana and Matt Hardy. You definitely won’t want to miss out as Prince Nana will fill us all in on the fall-out from ROH’s Death Before Dishonor III event, while WTR will be trying to get a totally different interview out of "The Angelic Diablo". Tune in to WTR Sunday Nights next Sunday at 8pm EST, only on wrestletalkradio.com
-Philly markets are now advertising Triple H & JBL vs Batista & John Cena as well.
-The Boston Globe ran an article on WWE moving to USA Networks this fall and the re-branding of USA Networks in the process. You can read the article here.