Working with her husband Booker T on the Reality of Wrestling has given Sharmell a front seat to the future of the business. An industry she recalls breaking into now more than 20 years ago. First as a member of the Nitro Girls, then a performer as the Prince-inspired Paisley and King Booka’s beloved Queen. On today’s The Wrestling Inc. Daily she looks proudly at the diverse collection of talent today and how they’ve run with the ball.
“I’m so excited because I would like to think maybe by doing the best we could, being professional, always showing up, entertaining the crowd. That maybe in some small way we paved the way for this moment here,” she said. “We really are in a diversity and inclusion moment. I’m so happy it’s here. I literally was in tears watching Bobby [Lahsley] win the title and Bianca Belair, who is absolutely phenomenal.
“That is a woman whose talent is undeniable. Any title she wins is well deserved. I was in tears for her and Sasha Banks at WrestleMania. It was one of those kinds of moments. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it. I’m so happy that we are here and in this moment. That talent is being recognized no matter your race or sexual orientation or whatever. We’re all just coming together. It makes me very happy.”
Sharmell looks back at working with her husband Booker with a smile, calling him a once in a lifetime performer. Whether it was in the ring or during other segments, the Queen enjoyed watching the King at work.
“I really liked the supermarket with ‘Stone Cold.’ When he was in the Bingo hall,” Sharmell said, naming favorite segments. “He stole the lady’s Bingo card. I don’t know why, but that moment tickled me to no end because you have this sweet old lady, and he is stealing her Bingo card. I don’t know why that just… it makes me chuckle. That alone and the grocery store are two of my favorites.”
Booker also helped Sharmell learn valuable lessons as a performer. One pearl of wisdom came on WWE’s biggest show of the year, WrestleMania.
“Your character is what will give you a lasting career. Booker told me, ‘Don’t take yourself so seriously. Just relax and have fun.’ I’ll never forget when they had WrestleMania one year and had a really long ramp. I’m trying to rush down the ramp, and he stops me in the middle of WrestleMania. He says, ‘Take a minute and just look around.’ I slowed my walk and got it,” she said.
“I don’t know if people realize, but it’s a very stressful job being a sports entertainer. A lot of times there are nerves and stress levels and to be the best it puts on a lot of stress levels. If you take a deep breath and calm down and remember it’s about having fun. That’s what happened with the King and Queen gimmick. Booker and I were able to have fun and that translates. It makes the fans feel something. Whether they want to cheer or boo you, it makes them feel. That’s where the magic comes from.”
You can follow Sharmell on Twitter @RealSharmell
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