Posts Tagged ‘Booker t’

Booker T believes Claudio Castagnoli “could have been made” had WWE just given him “a huge push”.

Catagnoli’s time as Cesaro did lead to several banner moments (WrestleMania 37’s win over Seth Rollins and his subsequent Universal Title shot vs. Roman Reigns being latter examples from his final year alone), but he was never viewed as anything more than a utility player behind the scenes.

Or, at least, that’s what Book thinks. The legend is probably spot on.

Former World Champ Booker told fans tuning into his ‘Hall Of Fame‘ podcast that “it really wouldn’t have mattered how we used him [after that] as long as we kept him at a certain tier”. He’s also slightly shocked that Castagnoli was able to show so much patience despite being consistently-overlooked for a solid decade.

Book isn’t certain he could’ve been so patient. Frustration would’ve taken over, and he might’ve left the promotion long before Claudio did. However, the legend is happy to see Castagnoli land in AEW and make a splash at both Forbidden Door and on Wednesday’s Blood & Guts episode of Dynamite.

On Cesaro’s WWE departure, Booker said: “He’s one that I wouldn’t have wanted to lose”.

Booker T has been critical of AEW in other areas so it should come as no surprise that he is critical of one of their stars.

AEW star Adam Cole has reportedly been dealing with multiple injuries for quite some time now, dating back to his AEW Title program with ‘Hangman’ Adam Page back in February. Two-time WWE Hall of Famer Booker T spoke on the “Reality of Wrestling Podcast” about Cole’s injuries and criticized his build.

“If Adam Cole has to have surgery and he’s down for six, nine months and he, you know, lose any more muscle, it’s going to be hard on this brother,” Booker T stated. ” You know what I’m saying? Right now, he’s about a buck 60.

“… We gotta get more weight on Adam Cole, you know what I mean? That’s his problem, he’s light, bottom light. We gotta get some muscle on this kid. That’s probably one of the reasons why he’s going out there, getting hurt because it can’t be the schedule at AEW.”

Booker T is billed at six foot three and about 250 pounds whereas Adam Cole is billed at five foot 11 and about 200 pounds. Despite his lack of size, since arriving at AEW, Cole has made quite the name for himself. In March of 2022, less than a year after his debut with the company, Cole faced off against ‘Hangman’ Adam Page in the main event of “Revolution”, AEW’s first Pay-Per-View in the calendar year.

Cole went on at the subsequent AEW Pay-Per-View, “Double or Nothing”, to win the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament on the men’s side by defeating Samoa Joe. Cole received a championship and is name engraved on the Owen Cup, as did his girlfriend, Britt Baker, who won on the women’s side. The tournament was created to honor the legacy of Owen Hart, who passed in 1999.

Prior to his AEW run, Cole, along with the rest of his faction known as The Undisputed Era, went head to head with AEW in the ‘Wednesday Night Wars’ as a part of “NXT.” NXT and “AEW: Dynamite” would both premiere on Wednesday nights at 8:00 P.M. E.T., with “NXT” on USA Network and “Dynamite” on TNT. Cole was NXT Champion for a record-setting 396 days.

Before joining the black and gold brand, Cole found success in Ring of Honor, winning their World Championship on three different occasions. Cole’s last, and shortest, reign as ROH World Champion came while the Panama City Playboy was part of the Bullet Club.

Not everybody can be liked in a wrestling locker room all the time, and according to Booker T, one person the roster didn’t always get along with was Melina.

“I really like Melina now,” Booker made clear on his “Hall Of Fame” podcast, but he also claimed that he “did not like Melina in her day, no one did.” He is not the only person to have publicly aired those feelings either, as Candice Michelle has previously stated that they “hated each other,” and almost had a shoot fight inside the ring.

Melina is not someone that often gets brought up by WWE as a legend in the same manner that the likes of Trish Stratus or Lita do, and Booker wonders if that is due to “the departure of Melina more than anything.”

“She was one of those that owned it, she wanted to be the best in the ring and she was hell to deal with in the locker room,” he claimed. “I think she would attest to that, perhaps, these days … And I have always said this, as far as talent go, there was nobody better than Melina.”

Melina may have had her detractors in the locker room, but she was always a hit with fans and that led to her being pushed heavily by management. During her career, she worked as a key part of the MNM faction, before going on to become a three-time Women’s Champion and a two-time Divas Champion.

Booker admitted that she was “very controversial in WWE when she was there,” but he didn’t doubt her skill level, and he once told her that, and Melina, “almost started crying.”

“None of it had to do with her in-ring prowess or anything like that,” he stated about her backstage heat. “… I said, ‘Melina, I always thought you were the best female wrestler in that damn locker room in your time,’ and I really believe that.”

Melina has not been a full-time talent with WWE since 2011, but there were rumors of her returning to the company back in 2020. That never ended up happening, but she did confirm talks between her and the company took place, and Melina was involved in the 2022 Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant.

WWE legend Booker T has publicly criticised the company’s decision to unify both its Raw and SmackDown Tag-Team Titles.

Book told fans tuning into his ‘Hall Of Fame’ podcast that he liked the separation between both sets of belts across WWE’s major brands. Explaining, the former 11-time WCW Tag and three-time WWE World Tag-Team Champ said it’ll take a bigger toll on The Usos physically because they’ll be expected to work more.

“They’re going to have to defend those championships on the house shows, European tours, Monday night, Friday night…and that puts those guys in a position where they’ve got to work all week long”, the icon added.

Booker is mindful of the toll working so much could have on Jimmy and Jey – of course, WWE probably won’t expect The Usos to work on Raw and SmackDown every single week, or wrestle every single live event going either, but Book is concerned by the lack of time off generally.

He closed his rant by saying, “I’m going to tell you that right now. They’re going to have about one day at home to prepare and one day to get ready to get back on the road”.

WWE star Seth Rollins has taken issue with Booker T’s suggestion that he took an easy road to the top of professional wrestling.

Booker’s comments came during last night’s episode of Raw Talk. Speaking following the announcement that Rollins and Cody Rhodes will wrestle for a third time at Hell In A Cell 2022 (5 June), the WWE Hall of Famer gave the following answer when asked who needed the win more:

“Of course Seth Rollins needs this win more. I mean, Cody Rhodes right now is 2-0 heading into the rubber match and I must say, Cody Rhodes, he’s not one of those guys that had that easy route. He had to work for everything. Seth Rollins is a guy that made it to the top relatively easy but I must say, he had a lot of help. Cody had to break himself down and rebuild himself and that’s the Cody Rhodes that we see today.”

Rollins caught wind of this soon after WWE uploaded the relevant clip to Twitter. He proceeded with a fierce rebuttal, calling Booker’s narrative “false” before summarising his pre-WWE experiences:

A wrestler since 2005, Rollins has been signed to WWE since first entering the developmental system in 2010. Prior to that, he had made his name as Tyler Black under such banners as Ring Of Honor, Full Impact Pro, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.

Recent premium live events have not been kind to Seth, who lost to Rhodes at both WrestleMania 38 and WrestleMania Backlash in April and May respectively.

During the latest Hall Of Fame podcast, Booker T gave his thoughts on Sammy Guevara, and fans turning on him.

In recent weeks the AEW audience has begun booing the TNT Champion and Tay Conti. For the former WWE Superstar, his decision to showcase his relationships has turned some fans away.

“Sammy is a young guy, a young guy that, let’s just say it, is striking, he’s a good-looking kid. There’s a lot of ladies out there that want to jump on the Sammy Guevara bandwagon,” he said. “And then, Sammy Guevara, he proposed to his longtime girlfriend in Houston, Texas, in the middle of the ring. I was like, ‘what the hell is he doing?’

“Okay, not that it’s a bad thing for him to have a girlfriend, not that it’s a bad thing for him to have a long-term girlfriend, there’s nothing wrong with that. But when you’re an entertainer, when you’re the Spanish God, the last thing that you need to be doing is proposing to your long-time girlfriend. Then, that didn’t work out for him, and he got with Tay Conti.

“There was a lot of rumor there, he was with Tay, he wasn’t, he was, then it came out, boom, he and Tay are together. Now they’re posting photos on social media, now every young girl in the country that watched AEW, that perhaps thought they had a chance to get a date with Sammy Guevara, all of that has gone out the window now.”

While Booker T thinks there are no issues with relationships, he doesn’t think talent should show it. Booker believes those fans were buying the tickets to cheer talent because they think they could be with them.

“You don’t need to be talking about that on television,” he said. “Because there again, you’ve got a lot of young people that wish they could be next to you. The reason why they buy the merch is because of that one reason. The reason why they buy the ticket, is so they can come and cheer for you for that one reason. When you take all of that away from them, that could be the beginning of the end.”

Booker T then speculated about the reasons Sammy’s engagement didn’t work out. The Hall Of Famer discussed the number of temptations that are around on the road for talent.

“We do know why, because there’s a lot of temptation out on the road, and that temptation was Tay Conti. She was hot, she was looking good, and something happened,” Booker claimed. “He got with her, and then next thing you know he said, ‘I am sorry baby, but it ain’t working out.’ That’s exactly what happened, move on.”

Sammy has recently begun leaning into the crowd reaction, but Booker T questioned what type of heat he’s getting. He believes it is a similar situation to what Cody Rhodes was dealing with before he left.

“Would that be good heat, or go-away heat? That’s the question right there because Cody Rhodes seemed like he had that same problem. Was it go-away heat, or was it good heat? Cody said, ‘let me get the hell up out of here because I don’t know what the hell these people are talking about.’”

During the latest installment of the Hall Of Fame podcast, Booker T spoke about the future of the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Cody Rhodes has made it clear he wants that title, and Booker believes that could be done. Even if WWE wants Roman to be champion to possibly face The Rock, this could be done in his opinion.

“Yeah, we talked about that, we talked about Cody may be able to slip in there,” he said. “Then somehow maybe it will be able to flip back before WrestleMania, and we can still do The Rock. But, of course, right now Cody Rhodes coming back and saying, ‘the title that my dad didn’t win,’ it seems like we are going that route and doing something along that route, I don’t know.”

While Booker T believes that it is easy to believe Roman Reigns will be champion for the foreseeable future. “I would not be surprised, I’ll tell you right now, I know Cody what he wants. But, I would not be surprised if Roman had the title for the next two years. Card subject to change,” he said.

Booker T also discussed the future of The Bloodline as a faction in WWE. While he wouldn’t be shocked to see new members added, Booker is not sure if that is needed.

“I am not going to sit here and say I would be surprised if I saw something like that. But, I would not want to just start adding members to The Bloodline. It ain’t broke,” he said. “I was reading I think Naomi was considering, they were considering putting her in The Bloodline at one point. You go, okay, ‘what will that do for The Bloodline? What is that going to bring to The Bloodline?’

“It’s just going to bring another element, is it another element that we need? That’s the question, so, I don’t know. I do know this, there’s enough Samoans out there to where if Roman Reigns and The Bloodline and the family was to find themselves in a predicament to be able to insert certain factors at certain times, I could tell you this, wouldn’t be a bad idea.”

During the latest Hall Of Fame podcast, Booker T spoke about The IInspiration leaving Impact Wrestling. The news came yesterday that the former Knockouts Tag Team Champions have departed the company. For Booker T, he isn’t overly surprised by the announcement.

“You know what, I am not surprised or anything like that. They were in WWE for what, seven, eight years? They had been in the company for quite some time,” he said. “And to be a part of the machine for seven to eight years, that right there is a run in itself. A lot of females don’t even have seven, eight-year run careers. For those two to just be in WWE for seven, eight years, that was a hell of a run for them. Then to work at that level is something as well.”

Booker T didn’t take anything away from being able to work for Impact Wrestling. But, he did point out that there is a difference for being with them and WWE. He believes that could be the reason that they’ve come to the decision they have made recently.

“Taking nothing away from Impact, it’s a hell of a different ride,” Booker said. “Back in the day we had the Texas Cyclone and you wanted to jump on it, that was the WWE. I am not even going to make a comparison there, but Impact is not the Texas Cyclone. When you’re stepping down to a different level, the crowds are different, the shows are different, and more importantly, the pay is different.

“That right there might be the one thing you can’t get past. When you’ve got road expenses, car, hotel, food, they’re going to take care of your airfare and stuff like that, and then pay your check, and you’ve got bills to pay at home. Sometimes you’ve got to rethink the situation, that may be the place that they’re in right now.”

The IInspiration have claimed that they are stepping away from the ring for the upcoming future. But for Booker T, that does not mean they’re on forever.

“To take an indefinite break doesn’t mean that you can’t come back if somebody gives you a phone call,” he said.

During the latest installment of the Hall Of Fame podcast, Booker T recalled how his career changed drastically at different points. He spoke specifically about his WCW tenure where he went from dominating the tag team division to portraying the GI Bro gimmick.

“Me personally, we are just talking about me, there have been times in my career where I wasn’t the focal point of the show,” he said. “I tell this story all the time. Being tag team champion with my brother so many times, and taking the tag team division to another level, then after that, I was GI Bro.

“I was in the locker room, actually in the bathroom putting paint on my face, and Dallas Page, he walks by, and he goes, ‘bro, what are you doing?’ Almost like, you’re wasting your time here man, what the hell are you doing? I looked at him, and I go, ‘man, I am just having some fun,’ and he goes, ‘alright, bro.’”

Booker T reflected on how it used to be refreshing to not always be the main part of the show when referencing Alexa Bliss’ current situation and her reported frustration with WWE creative.

The former Raw Women’s Champion hasn’t been used by WWE since the Elimination Chamber premium event. He pointed out that you still got to make money, and didn’t have the pressure of being a champion, which is the hardest job.

“I was making a lot of money, and I am sure Alexa Bliss, she’s not hurting. She’s doing okay as far as that goes. Sometimes, to be able to take a step back, to not be the focal point of everything, is refreshing, it feels good,” he said. “You’re still making money, you’re still part of the show. You’re just not the main focus of it, you’re not in the main event. There again, being in the main event, being the champion, it’s the hardest job you’re ever going to have in the business.”

The two-time Hall Of Famer then admitted that he always believed he was talented enough for his position to change. Right now, Booker T thinks that is the case with Alexa Bliss, but he also pointed out that he was sometimes glad to be in the background.

“If she’s anything like me, I always thought, ‘man, my time is going to come back around. I am talented, I am too talented to just be doing this forever, so my time is going to come back around.’ I think the same thing about Alexa Bliss,” he said. “It seems like a long time ago when Alexa Bliss was the champ, and the only person that we were talking about was Alexa Bliss.

“I am sure that time was hectic, I am sure being in that position for her was hectic. I don’t know how she feels, but for me, I was always kind of glad when I was in the background watching everything go on. There again, she could have a different take on it, but that’s the way I felt about it.”

During the latest episode of his Hall Of Fame podcast, Booker T questioned Tony Khan’s recent social media comments that got people talking by claiming an army of bots is signal boosting anti-AEW comments online.

Booker believes this could back up Eric Bischoff’s recent comments about Khan having thin skin.

“Is Tony Khan losing his damn mind? I know he’s off into analytics, I think he works in that field, but people are going to hate, okay? Everybody is not going to like ya,” Booker T said. “I know Eric Bischoff said that Tony Khan had thin skin, and this came out right after that. I don’t know if that proves that or not.”

Booker T went on to urge Tony Khan not to concentrate on the negative comments via social media noting he gets online hate too, but he has love at the same time. He’s sure that the situation is the same for the AEW President.

“If you think they’re not going to talk about you, you’re wrong,” he said. “And if you think they are talking about you, there again, they say any news is good news, right? So, if they’re talking about you, good or bad, for me it’s good. You should look at my Twitter account, Tony, they hate me. But I’ve got so much love from so many people at the same time.

“I am sure Tony Khan has got a lot of love from so many people, because this guy is delivering jobs. So think about that, not thinking about how people on Twitter, because you will lose your mind thinking about people that is saying negative comments about you.”

While Khan is focusing on those negative comments at the moment, Booker T claimed he has only seen positives about the company. He urged Tony to, ‘kick out,’ as they say in the business.

“That’s all it has got to be, is comments. Because I haven’t seen anything but pretty much good stories about AEW in the social media sphere. So I don’t know, man,” he said. “Kick out, that’s what we say in the wrestling business. You’ll be alright.”

Even though fans have criticized the tweet from Khan, Booker T does believe there are negative comments. He sees them all the time, with fans changing their opinions and used Cody Rhodes as an example.

“I believe it. I believe it as far as people having negative comments because I see them all the time. Cody Rhodes right now is a pariah as far as AEW fans go, they hate him. It’s amazing how one minute they can love you, and the next minute they can hate you,” he said. “But then again, that’s what the wrestling business is. You can be a heel one day, and you can be a babyface the next, I love it, man. If you’re tuning in, it’s good, that’s the way I look at it.”