During Booker T’s lengthy in-ring career, he accomplished pretty much everything there is to accomplish. He won a record 21 WCW championships as part of his total of 35 championships, and he is also a two-time WWE Hall of Famer.
But does Booker have any regrets over his wrestling career? He was asked if there is anything he would have done differently during his career on his The Hall of Fame with Booker T and Brad Gilmore podcast.
“I really don’t think so. I really don’t think there’s anything I would do differently? I would change the outcome of the WrestleMania  match with Triple H. That’s about the only thing I would do differently,” said Booker. “Anything other than that right there, I don’t think I would change it at all because getting into the business was all about a means of support for the fam.”
At WrestleMania 19 Booker challenged Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. It was one of the co-main events of the show and The Game was victorious, retaining the title. The leadup to the match was controversial as it had racial undertones, such as Triple H referencing Booker’s “nappy” hair and saying that he was just there to dance and entertain “people like” Triple H.
Booker’s co-host asked him if he and Triple H ever discussed the match or the storyline which led up to it.
“It was business. Until I had Jeff Jarrett on the show and we talked about [Booker winning the WCW World Title at] Bash at the Beach, it was the first time that Jeff and I had ever uttered a word about it. It wasn’t about us getting our thrills about what happened that night. At the end of the night, Jeff got paid, I got paid, and we all went home and lived to do it another day,” stated Booker.
“That’s what, for me, it was all about. Even with the Triple H match ? I’ve said this several times, but I forgot all about that match after I got the check. I’m serious, man. When you get a check big enough that can pay for your house, you don’t think about the title or match or anything like that. You think about, ‘Good God!'”
Booker noted that he’s from Texas, and growing up, the checks weren’t that large and didn’t have that many zeroes in them.
“When I got in the wrestling business and I started seeing those checks, man, the last thing I was thinking about was the title other than being the best guy in the locker room so I could keep getting those checks [laughs], that was it,” Booker said before being asked about him saying it’s about checks and championships.
“The two go together. You can’t get the check if you ain’t championship quality. You gotta be the guy they are giving the ball too. It’s like the running back, quarterback, or wide receiver – you ain’t gotta think about how much money that guys are making and what kinda contracts those guys are getting because you know they’re getting paid. It’s the guys playing in the middle, it’s those guys who have to be extraordinary before you start hearing about how much money they’re getting paid.
“For me, it was about being the best guy in the locker room and having a title around my waist, because if I had a title around my waist, then that meant I had a certain position in the company and I was gonna have a certain position as far as how much money I was gonna be making. So, at the end of the day, I was strategizing on the checks and the championships. Preferably, the championships and the checks.”
If Booker would have beaten Triple H for the heavyweight title, he would have been the first black Superstar to win a World Championship at WrestleMania. It would be another 16 years until Kofi Kingston accomplished that feat at WrestleMania 35, and Booker was asked if Kofi’s win would have received the same attention had Booker pulled off the feat first.
“I think it wouldn’t have been as celebratory as people make it out to be. I think a lot of people did want me to win that night. A lot of people didn’t care if I lost or not. I think the moment we’re in right now in society, that’s one of the really big reasons we needed Kofi to win that night, with that’s going on in our culture. The moment for Kofi winning was so much more important for him winning than it was for me,” stated Booker.
“That moment solidified Kofi Kingston as being a guy who came through this business and won a world championship. For me, I won so many World Titles it ain’t even funny, so there’s a big difference. I won all of the titles except that one. Kofi hadn’t had that chance to win all of the other titles that I did, and do the things that I did at the top level. Taking nothing away from Kofi, but his moment and my moment were two different things.
“Would it have been great for a lot of people? I think so, but there again, I think as far as it being as important, what moment needed it the most? I think Kofi Kingston’s moment needed it more than my moment.”
Booker added that he’s never lost any sleep over losing a wrestling match, and if wrestling was real, then he would have been a one-time world champion, as he would have retired right after winning the belt.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Hall of Fame with Booker T and Brad Gilmore with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.