Everyone seems to have an opinion about Joey Janela’s “flaming superkick” spot over the weekend, and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T is no exception.
During the latest edition of his “Hall Of Fame” podcast, the six-time world champion discussed the controversial incident that set the wrestling world (and part of a wrestling ring) aflame. At Game Changer Wrestling’s Maniac event, Janela poured lighter fluid on his foot and lit on fire before delivering a superkick to his opponent, Drew Parker. Janela then visibly (and ineffectively) struggled to put out the flame as it spread across the canvas. There was no fire extinguisher on hand and staff members were seen pouring bottles of water on Janela’s foot and the mat to try and extinguish the blaze.
“I am always willing to say in somebody’s face what I am willing to say on this show,” Booker said. “Joey Janela, that was the stupidest thing I ever seen in my career. I’m serious”
“He didn’t have on like a boot where it could actually fend off the flames for a minute,” Booker continued. “He had a kick pad on and a tennis shoe. And he put so much damn lighter fluid on his foot, I mean it probably soaked all the way through to his foot. And the thing is, I don’t know how many seconds it was … in flame, but it was more than 20 seconds. And fire can get hot in about 20 seconds.”
Booker T owns his own wrestling school associated with his Texas-based promotion Reality Of Wrestling, where he gets to train young talent the basics and fundamentals of the business. Some of his students, including AQA and Roxanne Perez, have earned contracts with AEW and WWE. Booker sees the Janela situation as something of a teachable moment.
“Hey, if this the route you want to go, that’s on you,” he said. “But plan on working that scene forever, because this is not stuff that they do in the major leagues … It just makes zero sense, and that’s what I to try and teach my wrestlers. ‘Hey, stay away from that, don’t go that route, because at the end of the day you’re not going to make a whole lot of money doing it and you can screw something up permanently doing something like that.’”
Despite the fact the kind of violent, dangerous spots Janela is known for don’t typically take place on WWE shows, particularly since Vince McMahon’s product went PG, hardcore and death match wrestling has recently seen a rise in popularity. GCW has played a big part in that, featuring the likes of Matt Cardona and Jon Moxley, who cut his teeth in the hardcore promotion Combat Zone Wrestling, and violent spots have also been seen regularly in AEW, Janela’s former employer.
“I know there’s a market out there for it,” Booker T said. “But it was probably 150 people, maybe 200, in that hall where they were doing this, and there couldn’t have been that much money in that little hall. Couldn’t have been.”
— José (@mcjoerules) May 22, 2022
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit the Hall Of Fame podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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