Booker T was on the Notsam Wrestling Podcast this week where he spoke about the competitive aspect of wrestling. He revealed that when he first met William Regal, the two men almost ended up having a fight.
“The first time I met Regal, we almost got into a fight, I swear, the first time,” Booker stated. “I remember so vividly, it was Main Event gym, Sting and Lex Luger had a gym and my brother and I walk in with Sid Vicious and Regal is walking out the door. I look at Regal, and he looks at me and we look like we want to kill each other.
“From that point on, we really didn’t have a great relationship, we wasn’t friends, we wasn’t pals, we wasn’t buddies or anything like that. Then, all of a sudden as King Booker we are working together. Man, we had one of the greatest runs ever as far as King of the Ring goes, so you know, he’s a good friend of mine, William Regal now.”
Booker then revealed another reason why Regal didn’t like him. This all had to do with how Booker T would brag about his ability in the locker room.
“I would say it every time, ‘top that, go and top that.’ I would push the guys in the locker room to work as hard as they could when I was working,” Booker said. “I was very braggadocios, William Regal used to want to kill me. I would be in the locker room, one of the youngest guys in there and I would say, ‘I am one of the top five workers in the world.’ That was my slogan, ‘I am one of the top five workers in the world.’ In the locker room, as loud as I could.
“Because, I believed it, and then I would go in the ring and I felt like I proved it. A lot of people don’t look at my wrestling these days and say, ‘well Booker T was one of the great wrestlers,'” he confessed. “But I tell you, in my day, nobody went out and stole the show from me, bro, nobody. I don’t care who was on the card, I went out and rocked it every night and that’s why the fans still represent the five-time champ today.”
Despite the issues, he and Regal had, a lot of that boiled down to the fact that Booker T actually thought he was one of the best workers. Booker revealed that because he wanted to compete with Regal, they couldn’t be friends.
“I thought William Regal was one of the best. Before I got to WCW, I saw William Regal, the Television Champion, William Regal from England. I thought this guy was so real,” he said. “His wrestling made me say, ‘good god, I don’t know what I would do if I am working with this guy,’ and I am thinking like that in my mind like it’s real. Because I am watching this guy do it like it’s real.
“I’m like, ‘wait a minute, I know what wrestling is’ but he made me believe so much that I could not be his friend when I got to WCW, I had to be better than him. There’s no way I could be his friend and think I was competing with him. That made everybody in the locker room better. Chris Jericho and I, we wasn’t best friends back then, but we would go out and have some hell of a matches,” Booker stated. “But Chris wanted to be better than me and I wanted to be better than him.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Notsam Wrestling Podcast, with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.