Booker T and Sharmell Huffman have prided themselves on building Reality of Wrestling to be more than just a pro wrestling company. The entrepreneurs also use it as a vehicle to help bring some good in their Texas neighborhoods and beyond, even amid a pandemic.
Their latest effort is a collaboration with filmmakers Deon and Roxanne Avent Taylor's "Be Woke. Vote" initiative. As part of the "Rep Your City" Tour, ROW is hosting a "Swing Vote" free drive-in event live from the parking lot of the Booker T. World Gym Arena in Texas City this Saturday, October 10 at 8 p.m. local time for the first 500 cars in attendance.
"It's an important election. Probably the most important election of my lifetime," Booker said, explaining his motivations. "My wife and I have 10-year-old twins. The way they see the world is very important to me. The more we can get out and motivate what happens in the future because they are the future. An event like this is something that brings everyone together and helps a cause, which is get out and vote. No matter what side you're on, go out and vote."
The two-time WWE Hall of Famer is passionate about the cause. And as seen in the past this public figure and co-host of ESPN 97.5 Hall of Fame show is not afraid to speak out.
"Everyone has an opinion. Everyone is going to make a comment. But I have a saying that when you're 99 percent sure of something, you may want to keep your mouth shut. But when you are a hundred percent you speak up," he added. "I think in the world we're living in right now where there is so much dissension.
"You can't go outside your house to your neighbor and say, "How's it going?" And then you wonder what they are thinking. I think it's very important for us to be at peace. In the 1960s it was like this. In the 1930's it was like this in Germany as far as people fighting against each other. I think as the human race we really just want to be able to coexist with each other. There are some out there who want to burn this country now. Me, personally, I just don't want to see that happen."
"You can't please everybody," Huffman said. "Somebody is going to find fault in something you say no matter what. That's why Booker and I are just holding steadfast with what we can do. There is so much divisiveness right now, and wrestling historically has brought people together from all walks of life. So we're just trying to mirror that when we go to the polls and encourage everybody from all walks of life to go vote. Have your voice be heard."
As parents it has admittedly been a challenging time for the couple. Huffman believes these are unprecedented circumstances.
"It has been very painful for me because I've had to sit down and have these serious conversations with our 10-year-old children that I didn't have to have with my parents until I was much older," she said. "The good part is that they are being homeschooled, so they are around us all the time. We're their major influence. They are not physically in a school sitting around a whole lot of people.
"There are some very difficult conversations we're having to have with them right now, very adult conversations we're having to have with them right now. It is painful on my end, but they are understanding and grasping what is going on and maybe because we're having to have these conversations with them so early. This is the generation that once and for all can bring change for this world so we can get along and coexist and be at peace."
ROW has done one drive-in show already and found it successful. It's a safe alternative to start running shows again. Booker T found the first one to be really organized in making sure people stayed in their space. It gave them and other decision-makers the idea to expand further for an important reason.
"We're going to try to bring people out to vote," he said. "Wrestling is universal. Wrestling is something that around the world, no matter where I go, the fans seem to be the same exact way. They just want to be entertained. They just want to give back. That's what we want to give back more than anything. This event shows we can coexist with each other no matter where we are from, what religion we are, something like this, it works."
"We definitely want to get back to the fun in a safe manner. Reality of Wrestling is always known for its family-friendly fun events. COVID-19 affected the entire world. Booker and I as small business owners had to adapt," Hoffman added. "We did the drive-in show, and it was a success. We're looking forward to it because in adapting to our business model here we are being able to partner with "Be Woke. Vote" and bring some fun. It has allowed us to broaden our horizons and show how much more we can do."
Among the attractions at the event is ROW champion Ryan Davidson defending against former champion Abel Andrew Jackson. Booker T feels his students and roster know how important it is to put on a quality product and presentation.
"It's what we have been teaching them and training them for over the years," Booker T said. "Andrew Jackson is a guy that has been with me since day one. Ryan Davidson has been with me for about nine years. These guys are still trying to make it to that destination, but that destination for us is Reality of Wrestling. The best we can possibly make it. And if you can do something bigger it's awesome. For my students preparation is the only luck they are going to have. They are highly prepared."
"They stay ready so they don't have to stay ready," Huffman said. "The one thing I love about our students is they are always willing to lend a hand. Reality Wrestling is very active in the community. Our students come out to assist wherever they can. So they were thrilled to spread the message of let's get out and vote. Let's get engaged and vote all the way down the ballot. Educate yourself. Know what's at stake. Let your voice be heard."
Booker T and Sharmell's full interview with Wrestling Inc.'s Scott Fishman will be released on this coming Monday's episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here. You can listen to the most recent episode, featuring Effy, via the embedded player below.