Booker T Talks Backstage Fight With Batista, Joining TNA, Vince Vs. Dixie, WWE HOF Induction, More

I recently spoke with WWE Hall of Famer and SmackDown General Manager Booker T. In the second part of the interview below, 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.


Click here for the first part of our interview, where Booker discussed his early career, his book, signing with WCW, winning the WCW World title and the craziness behind that night, why he didn't want to leave WCW for the WWF, WCW folding, signing with WWE, facing Triple H at WrestleMania and more.

You can follow Booker on Twitter @BookerT5x, and you can purchase his book From Prison to Promise: Life Before the Squared Circle at by clicking here. You can also watch Booker T's wrestling promotion, Reality of Wrestling, at

WrestlingINC: Shortly after that [facing Triple H at WrestleMania], you had that famous fight with Batista. I know you get asked about this a lot, but was that something that had been building for a while between you two?


Booker T: No. I never had a problem with him or anything. I mean, certain things once you get into the business — and I'm all about tradition and I'm all about respect as far as the guys that came before me and put in work. That pretty much was what that thing was about, it was about respect not just for myself but for all of the rest of the boys in the locker room.

That's just the way things happen, a lot of testosterone in the locker room and we all don't get along. We all don't like each other, we just have to work with each other. Sometimes, fights will break out and that's what happened with him and I. We're both men and, sometimes, men fight. [Laughs.]

WrestlingINC: There have been different stories about who came out on top. How did it end up?

Booker T: I mean, I'm a pretty good fighter. I don't like bragging or anything like that but I've always been a really good fighter. I've always fought my whole life even though I was a drum major in school and I was a breakdancer. But, I always liked fighting, it's always been a passion of mine.

A lot of people don't know it but they should be able to see it in my flavor as far as the way that I bounce around in the ring and the way I wrestle. You can look at a person and tell if they know what they're doing with their hands and with their feet. Most people in the street can sense something like that.


He took a good beating, but he's a man. I watched his last [MMA] fight and he took a good beating and he actually came back and won. So, I give him a lot of credit for even stepping in that cage. Most men aren't willing to go that far.

But, it was about respect. Even to this day, I respect him and I'm sure he respects me.

WrestlingINC: You mentioned his MMA fight and I know you've been to MMA fights in the past. Is that something you're a fan of?

Booker T: I'm definitely a fan to a certain degree, but it's not something that I would want to do. It's not something that I would want my kid to do. It's a gladiator sport. Back in the days, when one guy lost, he got killed, he got thrown to the lions. That's pretty much what UFC is.

You see guys get their arms broken, you see these guys get their knees torn out. And it leaves them in a certain position for the rest of their lives. So, I'm thinking about the livelihood being more important than anything.

To see a guy get kneed in the nose — you know, that could really screw him up for the rest of his life. I'm not a fan of certain parts of it, but I'm a fan of the warrior spirit.

WrestlingINC: Also during that time, you became King of the Ring and you had your run as King Booker which is probably one of the most memorable runs that people really remember with you winning the World title as King Booker. How much of that was you as far as coming up with the accent, the pinky and things like that?


Booker T: All of it. [Laughs.]

WrestlingINC: No one suggested that you do the pinky and stuff like that?

Booker T: No one suggested any of my antics as King Booker. None, zero. They were writing words for me, but then I would change the words and say them however I wanted to. Creatively, the origins of King Booker was something I thought about because when everybody would win the King of the Ring tournament, their character would act the same. They would never act like a king.

I was like, 'I'm going to act like a king if I become King Booker.' I thought about it and I studied the Pope, the King of Scotland just as far as people to watch. I just took on a different persona that people could remember forever more. With everybody that won the King of the Ring, they're not going to think about them first, they're going to think about King Booker. Then, they're going to think about who (else) won the King of the Ring.

WrestlingINC: Right. I think with the Kings of the Ring, yourself along with Macho Man when he did the Macho King thing and Harley Race back in the day...

Booker T: Yeah, I think we're the three most revered kings. It's a close race between myself and Macho Man, I think I got him beat on antics alone.


WrestlingINC: You were pretty much on top and having your best WWE run and then you went to TNA for a few years. How would you describe that run with TNA?

Booker T: Eh, it was like a vacation, like a paid vacation. I didn't do much there and I wasn't in a lot of angles or anything there and they didn't know what to do with me. I really wanted to help the AJ's and the Bobby Roode's and guys like that but they didn't have any direction.

So, for me, I just came to work, did my antics — I had an African accent there. [Laughs.] So, I'd come to work, do my deal and go home for two weeks. So, it was easy and I needed the detox, I needed a breather.

And still be on television. I didn't want to not be on television because, like I said, out of sight is out of mind. So, I just wanted to take a break but still be on television to keep people thinking about me. Even though the television exposure was not that relevant, I was still doing my thing. I was still in the mix and wrestling on a fairly regular basis. So, I was still in the game, I didn't let the machine get all rusty.

But, like I said, taking a break was something that I needed. I had been going strong for about 17 years straight without a break. Thank little bit of a break was something that I needed just to re-energize myself.


WrestlingINC: Having worked there for Dixie Carter and having worked for Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon, how would you compare the three and their styles?

Booker T: Man, like night and day really. Dixie Carter, she's a nice lady, a really nice lady. She's got a good heart and she really wants to do the right thing for the guys. Does she have the right guys doing things? That might be another story. Is Eric Bischoff the right guy for the job? I don't know, you've got to weigh your options as far as that right there. Look at the track record. [Laughs.]

As far as working for Vince McMahon, it's always been a business. It's always been a working relationship, I tried not to become friends or anything like that with anybody that I'm working under. I always know that it's about business, it's not about friendship. That's Vince, he's always about business. It's all about getting the job done, it's all about going out and being number one every week no matter what.

I adapted that concept myself into pretty much everything that I do. I just go out and work the hardest and be the best.

WrestlingINC: It looked like they were going to reform the Main Event Mafia there for a little bit. Were you approached about re-signing just a couple of years ago?


Booker T: Yeah, they asked me to come back and put me in the Mafia thing. But they wanted to pay me a cheaper fee to come back. I just didn't think it was the right thing to do for my family to go back there. And I thought about my career and how I wanted to end my career. And how I wanted to make sure that at the end, when it's all over, I'm happy with what's going on.

WrestlingINC: Did you approach WWE or did they approach you about returning at the Royal Rumble?

Booker T: No, they actually approached me about doing Tough Enough. So, I was definitely willing to do that. Then, as soon as I signed on to do that, the Rumble was just the next choice. 'How would you like to be in the Rumble?' 'Yeah, I can give you five minutes.' [Laughs.]

It was great to come back that way, the fans were happy to see me back. That was the coolest thing about that night, it wasn't about me wrestling. It was just, man, Booker T. is back. That was the best part for me, the fans paying homage and giving me respect. It wasn't about me going out there and doing any wrestling moves in the ring, they were just happy to see me walking out that curtain.

That right there was — wow — electrifying. With all the years in the business, I had done something special.


WrestlingINC: The fan reaction was insane. Was there reaction what lead to WWE's decision to approach you about color commentary?

Booker T: They just said, 'Hey, how about you do this here?' [Laughs.] That's the thing with me, I'm just glad that I've always had good standings. I've always looked a person in their eyes and told them exactly how I felt. Just to have their respect and for the company to utilize me in one position and then to utulize me now as general manager — and to have Vince McMahon actually appoint me, to come out and say those words and put me in that position.

I'm just fortunate at to be relevant at 23 years in the business, I'm just blessed. At 23 years in the business, most guys...they don't last as long. I keep wondering it myself what makes it all work.

WrestlingINC: You had the program with Cody Rhodes and you looked in fantastic shape. Do you ever think about returning to the ring?

Booker T: Nope. I don't think about returning to the ring — at all. I've had my time and I don't have anything more to prove in the wrestling ring. Coming up, I always had something to prove. I was always looking for what's next. Where can I go and how far can I push myself.


I don't have those wants anymore to go out and push myself like that anymore. I want to see the young guys come up and take that step and move into Hall of Fame status and whatnot; become World champion...Hopefully, I can help some of them do that through my wrestling school and my training. And my mental grasp of the game, helping them make it from that perspective.

But it's not about me anymore and I don't want it to be about me. I'm so glad to be in the position that I'm in right now and to have made it this far and to get to the other side. I don't want to go back.

WrestlingINC: You released your book last year. When did you come up with the idea for the book?

Booker T: I had some time off when I left TNA and I took a trip from Houston to California in a winnebago by myself. It took my three days to get there and I just had a lot of thoughts come into my head and I thought I had to put it on paper and we had to get it out there and, hopefully, help somebody else.

WrestlingINC: Your book covers up until you sign with WCW. Do you have plans to write a sequel?

Booker T: Yeah, I'm actually writing the sequel right now. Right now, I'm in the process of doing that as we speak. I don't have a date on it but it's going to be 2014.


WrestlingINC: When did you come up with the idea for your wrestling school?

Booker T: Well, I've had my school since 2005 and it's just something that I thought I wanted to do. I wanted to do it way before I retired. I didn't want to be one of those guys that had a wrestling school when he retired just because you ain't got nothing else to do.

I did my wrestling school just to help some kids get into the business first and foremost, keep myself young being around young people and training them. My wrestling promotion, Reality Of Wrestling, is a springboard where kids can be seen and hopefully moved to the next level.

Even if you don't plan on going to the next level, the learning and camaraderie that you can be a part of with my school — it's like a ministry as well as a school. It's like a mentorship more than just a wrestling facility. It's got a whole lot going on and that's what it's really about. It's about passing it on and giving somebody else a chance and giving my blessings through passing it on.

WrestlingINC: How difficult is it writing this book, running the wrestling school and also appearing on Raw and Smackdown! every week? Do you ever have thoughts of slowing down?

Booker T: No. If I slow down, I'll be six feet under in that box, you know? Life is too short to not do as much as you possibly can. I don't see it as me doing a whole lot, maybe I am. Maybe I'm pushing myself but I don't know. I don't think too much is enough.


I just finished having a meeting with TDC, the Texas Department of Corrections, and I'm going to be going in there and doing some motivational speaking with inmates getting ready to be released. They've only been in there a short term and they're wondering where they're going to go when they get out. So, I'm getting ready to start doing that.

I'm doing my mentoring for the Medallion/Triple Threat mentoring as well from city to city, mentoring kids as well. So, I just hope God gives me enough time to finish my work. That's when it'll be all over with.

WrestlingINC: When were you approached about being in the WWE Hall of Fame?

Booker T: Two weeks before the ceremony.

WrestlingINC: And what was your reaction?

Booker T: I was pretty shocked. I was pretty over-joyed, but shocked more than anything else. I just didn't see myself going into the Hall of Fame, at least not now. I thought maybe many years down the road, maybe even after I was gone already. [Laughs.]

I just never looked at myself as being a Hall of Famer, never looked at myself as being in the same breath as the Hall of Fame guys. I don't know, I just never say that coming. But, it's a great honor to be looked upon as one of the greats. It's a great honor to be a part of history in the business.


Like I said, I never saw this coming — never in a million years. I'll take it just like I've taken everything else. Still, even though I'm in the Hall of Fame, I feel my work is far from being done.

WrestlingINC: I've got to say that I thought your speech and Stevie Ray's speech at the ceremony were fantastic. How would you rate that night? You've had so many memorable nights in your career. Where would that night rank?

Booker T: It's probably all-time, number for me. My family was there; my wife, my kids. The fans finally got a chance to see Booker T. Huffman in his raw form.

And that's the thing right there, the fans never got a chance to see me really. I always sort of act on stage. That's the one night I couldn't act, the one night I couldn't have a script to go off of. I just had my bullet points on what I wanted to go off of, who I wanted to thank and that was it. The rest of it was just from my heart and just as true as it could possibly be.

It was a great, great night for me and the fans. And my peers to praise me and thank me for the speech. It was really cool because I didn't know I had that in me myself. I didn't know I had that in me, for me to go out and pull that out of myself. But, I pulled it off.


WrestlingINC: Yeah, and I hope everyone checks it out. I know they're streaming it right now and it's going to be on the BluRay. I thought it was amazing and the highlights they show on TV definitely doesn't do it justice.

Booker T: Yeah, it didn't and I was a little hot about that [Laughs.] But, you know, they've got to make their money out of it. And that'll be good for me because I get some royalties off of that. [Laughs.] So, I'm not opposed to people buying the DVD or checking it out right now on

I'm just fortunate, man, I'm just so fortunate and blessed to be among some of the greatest names the business has every seen. I'm just so honored to be among them.

WrestlingINC: Well, it's been an amazing career and you're still going. I just want to say thanks again for taking the time to speak with me. I know you're really busy, you just recently had a Reality of Wrestling taping, right?

Booker T: Yeah, we had one last Saturday night that we taped. We filmed and the next one will be on the 13th — thank God. But, we're rolling.

Our last show, we made a really good connection with the National Guard, so we're going to be doing some shows from the military guys and their families in the future. All of Reality of Wrestling is really just taking off. Everybody can watch that on YouTube of course at


Check it out, support the cause and se what we're doing. We're doing a lot of stuff. We got a breakdancing show that we're getting ready to film real soon. I want people to support that as well. We're just doing everything, we're doing as much as we possibly can. The work never ends. If you go to, you're going to see everything about my wrestling school. If you're thinking about joining a wrestling school and getting the knowledge and going on this journey of professional wrestling, give me a call. We sign new students on a weekly basis.

Click here for the first part of our interview, where Booker discussed his early career, his book, signing with WCW, winning the WCW World title and the craziness behind that night, why he didn't want to leave WCW for the WWF, WCW folding, signing with WWE, facing Triple H at WrestleMania and more.

You can follow Booker on Twitter @BookerT5x, and you can purchase his book From Prison to Promise: Life Before the Squared Circle at by clicking here. You can also watch Booker T's wrestling promotion, Reality of Wrestling, at