Stevie Ray Reveals That Harlem Heat Almost Went To The WWF

The Harlem Heat amassed a lot of success in WCW, enjoying as many as ten reigns as WCW World Tag Team Champions. In recognition of their illustrious careers, Booker T and Stevie Ray were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the 2019 class, a move that solidified them as one of the greatest tag teams of the modern era.

Despite all their success in WCW, The Harlem Heat never actually stepped foot inside a WWE ring as a duo. In a recent interview with the "Wrestling Then And Now" podcast, Ray revealed that he and his brother were very close to joining the WWE in the early 1990s, which could have set up potential matches against the likes of Demolition, The Nasty Boys, and even their old WCW foes, The Steiner Brothers. 

"Actually, we were about to go to WWF at one point," Ray revealed. "A lot of people don't know that. We had already done all we could possibly do [in WCW] and WWE was talking to us. We were talking behind the scenes, through a liaison, when we were still under contract. Then, all of a sudden, a bunch of people came up to us and said, 'I heard you guys are going to WWF.' I was shocked to hear that. We denied the rumors.

"We would just never admit to it. I'm like OJ [Simpson], bro. I'm obviously admitting to it years later, but at the time, I wasn't going to tell a soul."

Ray admitted that The Harlem Heat "wanted to play their contracts out" and jump to the WWE while still "on good terms" with WCW management. He added that the brothers still had "eight months to a year" left on their WCW deals.

'Book might have leaked it'

Ultimately, the word of Harlem Heat possibly deflecting to the competition reached the WCW higher-ups, forcing the latter to summon an emergency meeting with Ray and Booker.

"We got called to the office, and they go, 'We want to give you guys new contracts,'" Ray recalled. "And we were like, 'Nah, that's okay. We just want to play out our contracts.' And then, they threw some numbers at us [and we had a change of heart]. So, my brother and I decided to stay [with WCW]. That's why we never went to WWE!"

Ray then jokingly suggested that his brother, Booker, was the person who "leaked" the story of their discussions with WWE — in a bid to secure more lucrative contracts with WCW.

"Book might have leaked it — I'm serious. I think he might have leaked it to somebody, either intentionally or unintentionally," Ray said. "Again, I don't know. He never admitted it to me. However, I know my brother, and he might have done that on purpose."

Ray remains perplexed as to how the rumor reached WCW higher-ups, seeing as only he and his brother were aware of their talks with WWE. However, Ray acknowledged that "a lot of the boys" were good friends despite working for two promotions, and could have leaked the story through hearsay. 

Nearly a decade later, when WCW was purchased by WWE, Ray had another opportunity to wrestle for the Stamford-based wrestling juggernaut. However, Ray would pass up on the chance to wrestle for WWE.

"I wasn't interested," Ray concluded, without elaborating on his thought process.