Booker T Talks Crazy Night He Won WCW Title, If He Wanted To Leave For WWE, Facing HHH At WM, More
I tell a lot of these young guys that the only luck you're ever going to have is how prepared you are. If you're not prepared to go out and steal the show every night, your job is going to be much more on the line on a regular basis. If you can master that, that's something that you never really have to worry about.
So, learning your craft and knowing your craft to the best of your abilities -- and looking at the guy next to you and knowing if you're better than him or not.
WrestlingINC: And there were a lot of stories about the night you won the World title at Bash At The Beach in 2000 when you beat Jeff Jarrett. How far in advance did you know you were going to be winning the World title that night? What was the backstage atmosphere like?
Booker T: The backstage atmosphere was chaos pretty much. Not with myself, I really didn't care. It wasn't my ball, so to speak, I was just playing in the game. The beef was with Russo and Hogan and creative control Hogan had in his contract -- I'm not sure exactly what that was. But, I knew that Hogan wanted to win the title that night.
I'm not sure if he was trying to step on my grave or throw a monkey wrench into me winning the championship; it was just something that he felt was owed to him at that time. So, I let everything play out. I found out maybe 5, maybe 6 or 7 minutes before I went out that I was going to win the title and that I was going to be champ that night.
WrestlingINC: How did you react when you were told?
Booker T: Well, I found out that they were planning to do it. Then, when everything got thrown up into the air, I thought I wasn't going to be winning it. Then, they told me to stick around because I was going to be winning it. Man, I just wanted to get it over with. They had their [questions] and I had my questions as well.
My questions were: are the fans going to even want me to be the champion? [Laughs.] Those were my thoughts. I didn't care what they were thinking. So, I just let everything play out and then when it was time to come out and win, all my questions were answered.
Those fans went crazy, everybody raised the roof, everybody was happy that I won -- even after the controversial night. Everybody was still partying at the end of the night and happy that Booker T had finally crashed the glass ceiling.
WrestlingINC: During those last years of WCW, there were guys coming and going for a while, but you were consistent. What were those last couple of years like?
Booker T: The last couple of years were really easy, we had a lot of time off. Guys were making good money, I was making really good money and I had time off and I was in a great position. I got my knee scoped right around that last year, maybe a year and four months.
I was sitting on the bench and they were like, 'Just sit it out.' I was like, 'Nah, I got to get back to work.' Ric Flair told me a long time ago that a wrestler's worst enemy is time off. That was something I thought about all the time. I made sure I was ready to perform all the time. Out of sight was out of mind for me. So, being in the game all the time was very important to me just to keep my household name status. That's what I was worried about more than anything.
But, for those good times, those easy times for those last few years, I was out on my boat fishing a whole lot. It was good times.
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