“It Was A Good Exit For Me” – WWE Hall Of Famer Confirms Retirement

Stone Cold Steve Austin, Booker T in a WWE ring

The 2023 WWE Royal Rumble was a blockbuster event, featuring heart-wrenching storytelling as Sami Zayn severed ties with The Bloodline as well as the emotional wins of both Rhea Ripley and Cody Rhodes.

With a focus on current storytelling, the event didn’t feature many legends returning to compete in either the men’s or women’s Rumble matches. However, two-time WWE Hall of Famer Booker T did make a return to the ring for the show, entering at number 21 fresh off his appearance on the Kickoff Show and delighting the crowd with a Spinaroonie before being quickly eliminated by GUNTHER.

Answering a listener question on his Hall of Fame podcast, the longtime veteran reflected on his Royal Rumble appearance and said it’s likely the last time fans will see him step inside the squared circle in active competition, squashing hopes of him returning to the ring for one more match at WrestleMania.

“I’m gonna tell you right now, I think that was the last time people are going to see me in the ring,” Booker said. “At Reality of Wrestling, I’m going to work with my students, but as far as putting my boots on again, that was the last time.”

Though there’s an old adage that no wrestler is ever truly retired, Booker T believes his Rumble appearance was

“It’s kind of sad too. I’m kind of choked up about it a little bit. It was a great exit for me. I don’t think it could have been better than that, but putting the old boots up, it’s kind of hard. I think that was the last time putting on the boots and getting back in the ring at that level. I think that’s the last time I really want to do it at that level. I don’t think it can get better than that, seriously. I want to thank all the fans for that moment.” (h/t WrestlingNews.co)

Booker T’s WWE Royal Rumble Entrance Was A Last-Minute Decision

On last week’s episode of Hall of Fame, Booker T revealed that he found out he was going to be a participant in the 2023 Royal Rumble while participating on a panel on the Kickoff Show.

“I was sitting at the table, on the Kickoff Show, and I got a text message. It was the invite telling me, ‘Book, you’re in the Rumble.’ Me, I’m old school. I went down in the Winnebago, right, so something told me, ‘Bring your gear. Make sure you’re ready. Just so you don’t have to get ready. Stay ready.’ Boom, there it was.

“The text message came through, I said okay, here we go. Just like when I won my first world title, I had about ten minutes to warm up. So that’s what happened. I wasn’t warmed up, I went to the ring cold. I didn’t have that gloss, I didn’t have the sheen on me. I wasn’t lathered up and ready to go. I didn’t get a chance to jump rope for 45 minutes to get the heart rate up, get the blood flowing. I didn’t get a chance to do that.

“I would have won that damn Rumble if I would have been able to prepare properly. That last-minute text message definitely slowed me down a little bit.”

Continuing, he revealed that his appearance only came about because Rey Mysterio was injured in his match against Karrion Kross on the previous SmackDown.

“I didn’t have my invitation yet. I think Rey went down, and I think they had to fill that spot. Who better to call than me and say, ‘Hey, let’s give Book a shot at this.’ Like I said, I had my gear with me. I’m old-school. All you young wrestlers out there, don’t show up without your gear, man. I won my first singles championship because Rick Martel did not bring his gear. You gotta be ready. I was ready.

“I was almost ready, and I think I went out there and just got caught up in the moment, that 50-plus-thousand, they were cheering my name. Everybody was wanting it, everybody was feeling it. They had to have that Spinaroonie, so I said let me give it to them early. I didn’t know what I was gonna have in the tank left late in the match. So I said if I’m gonna give then the Spinaroonie, let me do it now because I don’t know how this thing is gonna play out.” (h/t Fightful)