Although Booker T is best remembered by a number of fans for his time in WWE, it was in WCW where he rose to stardom.
Booker signed with the company in 1993 alongside his brother Stevie Ray and the pair known as Harlem Heat went on to win the World Tag Team titles on ten occasions. However, come 1997, Booker was transitioning into becoming a singles star, something he would quickly accomplish.
The star famously won the World Championship five times, including a win against Scott Steiner on the final episode of Nitro.
Speaking on a recent episode of his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker recalled his time in WCW and his contract negotiations with Eric Bischoff. The veteran said although he initially used an agent, he started negotiating his own deals as his career went on. This included agreeing a contract worth $1.3 million which would have kicked in had WCW not collapsed and been purchased by WWE in March 2001.
“I had an agent in WCW. In the beginning, he handled all of my contracts until I went singles. I handled my biggest contract, I negotiated my biggest contract. it was well above all the money that my agent had ever negotiated for me, sometimes twice as much, maybe three times.
The way I did it was, I remember being asked how much was it going to take to keep me in WCW. I go, ‘How much am I worth?’ They came back with a number well above what I was thinking of. ‘You’re kidding me, right?’ I was like, Wow, they think of me that much. I can tell it, it was $750,000. My next contract, it was $1.3 million.
If the company wouldn’t have folded, my next contract was $1.3 million. It was a great time back then, Eric Bischoff was making us all rich. He said he was going to do that. He said, ‘Book, I’m going to make you rich.’ His goal was to make all wrestlers to be paid like NFL players. I give him a lot of credit for that.”
Booker T Later Found Success In WWE
Following WWE’s purchase of WCW, Booker T formed part of The Alliance and feuded with The Rock and Steve Austin. Although the storyline is remembered as something of a failure, Booker was one of the angle’s few success stories. Over the next six years, the star went on to win multiple championships before heading to TNA in 2007.
Booker eventually returned to WWE in 2011 and has remained with the company in some capacity ever since.
H/t to Fightful