After Big E made news by stating that WWE needed to step up their game due to the introduction of AEW, Booker T responded on the latest episode of the Hall of Fame Podcast to the WWE Champion’s request. The 2x WWE Hall of Famer reacted to Big E’s comments about WWE superstars being forced by AEW to step up their game. As someone involved in the Monday Night Wars, Booker T spoke about the aftermath of WWE winning the wrestling war and why it put the roster into a level of laziness. The former King of the Ring said the current WWE roster has been in that same mode of laziness for some time now and since the inception of AEW, they’ve been forced to act differently.
“After there was no competition, I never thought about it,” Booker said. “I never thought about whether I needed to work hard or not. I just knew I went out and worked, I knew I didn’t have to go out there and think about doing anything extra. I probably did put the brakes on a little bit just because I knew my job was secure. I knew I was high up on the card, I wasn’t thinking about getting fired or anything like that.
“Maybe everybody did and they’ve been in that mode for quite some time. I can say that because I was there when WCW took over also. I remember when we were on top, guys, they didn’t start working harder, they put it on the cruise control man. It was party time, they didn’t even care about wrestling anymore. I’ve been on both sides and I’ve seen how it is.”
Booker T continued to talk about the differences between the wrestling landscape today and what it was like during the Attitude Era. The 2x WWE Hall of Famer advised current talent to go back and watch shows from back in the day and recognize the key differences between crowds and shows today compared to the 90s.
“All they got to do is look at some old footage of the crowds WWE would draw and how rabid those people would be in Madison Square Garden man, it was so fricken real,” Booker T said. “You could feel the energy radiating off the people, yanno just walked across the street from the parking lot. It was like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier was in the building, that’s the way it was. The NYPD would be on the street directing traffic just so the boys [would be fine]. I’m telling you, we were like rock stars and the fans really made us feel that way.
“All these guys have got to do is go back and look at that and wonder why it was like that back then. Then of course you’re going to have the ones that say ‘They didn’t have social media back then. They didn’t have this, they didn’t’ have that, they didn’t have this much to compete with as we do.’ Or anything like that. I’ll tell you what, what we did have to compete with, the next guy on that damn roster that was trying his best to get to the top of the roster. The one way he was going to do it was going to be something different than anybody else on the card. What we didn’t have, we definitely made up for it.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Hall of Fame Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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