TSC Interviews: Former WCW/WWE World Champion Booker T
Politics are going to be in every workplace. I never played the political game. I kind of just let my talents speak for themselves when I worked above and beyond everybody else. Politics came into play as far as job security goes, but I always felt like if you were talented, you didn't have to worry about that. I just also went out and performed and let everything else play itself out. I never got into the politics game.
Thoughts on your WWE run: What went right and what went wrong?
I don't think anything went wrong. I had a great WWE run. It was a long run—seven years straight of wrestling without any breaks. That can be really, really hard on you as far as your body goes. It can mentally break you.
That's why a lot of WCW guys didn't make it in WWE because they weren't prepared. They may have been physically, but if you're not mentally prepared, that schedule could wear on you, chew you up, and spit you back out.
I had a lot of great moments in WWE: winning the World Title, becoming the Champion of Champions (defeating then-ECW Champion The Big Show and then-WWE Champion John Cena at Cyber Sunday 2006, in a match in which King Booker's World Heavyweight Championship was on the line). I had a lot of great moments with Goldust, as well as my “Stone Cold” Steve Austin episodes.
I had a lot of great moments in WWE. I wouldn't say there was anything bad about it at all.
Do you think WWE waited too long to give you the World Heavyweight Title? Besides Great American Bash 2006, the last time you had won the Big Gold Belt was 2001. Do you feel as though you should have won it from Triple H at WrestleMania XIX in 2003?
A lot of people ask me that question on whether I should have won the title at WrestleMania XIX against Triple H. I always say “Everything happens for a reason.” I was totally cool going out there and putting Triple H over, but more importantly, I just wanted to go out there and have the best match on the card and I really think we did that.
We went out there and put in a lot of effort. I did walk away without the title that night, but when I finally did win it [from Rey Mysterio at Great American Bash 2006 as King Booker], it was perfect timing for me. Should I have won it before? Who knows, but when I did win it, it was perfect timing for me.
Like I said before, coming out the Champion of Champions, before that winning the King of The Ring and then becoming World Champion—that just put me in a category that no wrestler is in as far as what I accomplished [during that run as King Booker].
Even now, after it's all over with, people are going to remember that more than anything. It was perfect timing. Should I have won the title earlier? That's really not for me to say.
Booker T.'s finest hour.
What brand did you like more? Raw or Smackdown?
I had a much better time on Smackdown. It was a lot more relaxed. You could make some mistakes on Smackdown that you couldn't make on Raw. Raw was a brand that was definitely more cutthroat. You got to be totally on your game and mistake free. Backstage in Smackdown was a lot more chilled out and relaxed, so I guess I can say I preferred Smackdown.
Thoughts on your TNA Wrestling run: You had a pretty good couple of years. Why did it abruptly end?