Pictured: Booker T | Send Us Your Photo
Make sure to check back tomorrow for the second part of our interview, where Booker discussed his backstage fight with Batista and who came out on top, if there is still any heat with Batista, coming up with King Booker, his run with TNA, working for Vince McMahon vs. Dixie Carter, Eric Bischoff, if he was going to return to TNA to re-form the Main Event Mafia, returning to WWE, when he was approached about being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, his other projects and much more.
You can follow him on Twitter @BookerT5x, and you can purchase his book From Prison to Promise: Life Before the Squared Circle at Amazon.com by clicking here. You can also watch Booker T's wrestling promotion, Reality of Wrestling, at Youtube.com/BookerTROW.
WrestlingINC: You used the G.I. Bro character very early in your career, which you brought back in WCW. Was that something that you came up with?
Booker T: Actually, when I first got into wrestling, I was working at this warehouse and I was cleaning out one of the storage units and I found this army hat. I liked it and it fit me, and I had it on one night when I went to wrestling school. My trainer, Scott Casey, he saw me with it on and he said, 'Now, you're going to be G.I. Bro.'
So, I was like, 'Alright, I'll be G.I. Bro.' I started doing the character and it was actually pretty fun. It was something I did way before I ever got into the big time. Then, I got a chance to do it in WCW which was really cool. A lot of people thought I was crazy at that time, wondering what I was doing and why I was doing it. But, I was just paying homage to my mentor and my trainer.
WrestlingINC: You were actually pretty new to the business when you signed with WCW. Wasn't it only a couple of years?
Booker T: When I signed with WCW, I hadn't been in the business for two years.
WrestlingINC: So, what was your reaction when you and your brother were signed?
Booker T: Well, I really didn't know you could make that kind of money doing wrestling to be honest. I was just doing it as a hobby. It was something I was dreaming about, to be in WCW or WWE. At that time, it was an escape for me, out of the norm from being a neighborhood kid. I was getting a chance to do other things and meet other people. So, it was secondary to me.
Then, when I found out you could make money doing this, I was like, 'Wow.' My first contract with WCW was like $70,000 a year. I didn't know you could make that kind of money doing this. I was like, 'Wow. I think I'm going to stick around for a long time.' [Laughs.] That's what I did. I started planning, motivating myself and putting myself in the right positions to go for the long haul.
WrestlingINC: You mentioned in your book book From Prison to Promise: Life Before the Squared Circle (purchase at Amazon.com) that your parents passed at a young age and your brother took care of you and your siblings. What was your family's reaction to you and Stevie Ray signing with WCW?
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