Booker T has spoken out about the advice The Rock gave him when he signed with the World Wrestling Federation in March 2001.
With his twentieth anniversary as a WWE Superstar and affiliate approaching in March 2021, Booker has looked back at his initial entry into the WWF following the closure of World Championship Wrestling.
When Vince McMahon bought the rights to his competition, along with it came the contracts of the majority of the roster. Only a few big names – Sting, Goldberg, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan – weren’t eligible, but then WCW World Heavyweight Champion Booker T was eager to continue his career with the biggest promotion in the world.
However, with that came fitting in in different surroundings and the five time WCW World Heavyweight Champion has taken to WWE’s The Bump to discuss the advice he first received from The Rock:
“It’s kind of crazy. I was a little intimidated because I was coming into his backyard. I remember doing a press conference with him sometime, and out of sarcasm, The Rock comes to me and said, ‘Hey kid, if you need any help at this stage, just let me know.’ The thing is that this was my first press conference because, in WCW, we didn’t do that kind of stuff, you know so. I was like, ‘This son of a gun,’ you know what I mean. There was always a respect between myself when we got in the ring to perform at the next level. Him and I, I wouldn’t say we were the best of friends, but when it came to going out and doing the work we went out and did it.
Also, I believe that I gave him a little bit more respect than I should have when I came in and worked with him. Just because, there again, he was the golden boy. I was coming in from the other side. The matches we had, they were really good matches, but I have to go back and watch them because I didn’t feel them. Matches I remember I felt because certain things were happening. In those matches with The Rock I was working so I had to keep my eye on everything going on. So, when he remembers them, he’ll say that the matches were awesome, but it was because I was there for the work.”
The Rock and Booker T have a long and illustrious history that dates back to the WCW/ECW invasion of the WWF. While it was The Rock who dethroned Booker T of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam 2001, the master of the Spinaroonie got the last laugh in 2003 when he eliminated ‘The Great One’ in a Battle Royal which earned him a shot against Triple H at WrestleMania XIX.
Credit for the interview: WWE’s The Bump
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.