Booker T Welcomes a War Between AEW and WWE
During last week’s edition of Booker T’s The Hall of Fame podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Booker T discussed AEW announcing its TV deal with TNT and a potential war between AEW and WWE similar to WCW and WWF in the 1990s. Below are some highlights.
Booker T on wrestling being back on TNT: “It’s not something they are unfamiliar with. They know exactly what they are going to get out of professional wrestling. They don’t know exactly what they’re going to get out of this product, but they are willing to move into this venture with AEW and see if it’s something that can bring something totally new and something fresh to the table. And that’s the thing right there. So many people out there, they want to see exactly what’s going on. I’ve been listening to a lot of talking and talking saying wrestling is back. If that’s the case man, it’s going to step up everyone’s game everywhere. Everyone is going to have to start thinking in a different direction, It’s always going to be sports entertainment. But for me personally — ME PERSONALLY — Booker T, six-time World Heavyweight Champion, I always thought man, at the end of the day, the payoff was always going out there, Steamboat/Savage WrestleMania 3, and giving it to these guys right in the middle of that squared circle. Giving these guys a moment that they are going to remember for the rest of their lives. I’m talking about a moment that is frozen in time in their minds because it was something they had never seen before in their lives. That’s what wrestling was and hopefully, that’s what wrestling always will be. Hopefully, like I say, the bar will be raised in the weeks and months to come.”
Booker T on how wrestlers will raise their game with AEW on primetime on TNT and the war being on: “It’s not a competition or anything like that. But from a wrestling perspective, I know when I was in WCW and I was watching WWF — now WWE — I knew when I was watching it, I wanted to be better than those guys. I wanted to know if I could compete with those guys. I wanted to know exactly how good I was. That’s where we are right now. We’re at that stage where the guys are really going to have to think totally different as far as how do I go out there and make the fans cheer my name, how do I make the fans think of me as an entity, as someone that they’re going to be bringing the signs for? How do I tap into that? You know what I mean? The this is awesome thing is gonna go out the window now — the this is awesome chant. It’s going out of the window. Wrestling’s back. The war is on, and I’m looking forward to seeing exactly what happens man, but from the outside.”
Booker T on AEW: “One thing about companies out there right now is they can bring it if they want to go that route. But I’m thinking, they want to go that route. I think they want to carve their own niche and stay in their own lane and do their own thing. That would be the smart thing to do because — because WWE got the most talent in the world. We got everybody on the roster and it wouldn’t be that hard to flip the script and go a different route. The Ricochets on the roster, those guys can go man. The Roman Reigns on that roster, Seth Rollins, man. Those guys can really flat out go. They really can. [Aleister] Black, the [Kofi] Kingstons off — these can actually really, really go. And you say, ‘Do we really want to let them loose?’ That is the question.”
Booker T on welcoming a war between WWE and AEW: “That happened. I was a part of that happening back when WCW — what’s the name of Bischoff’s show? 68 Weeks? 83 Weeks. I don’t know what I’m saying, 68 weeks. Yeah, 83 weeks. I was a part the 83-week run, and it was good. But I’m going to tell you, those horses back in WWE — WWF back then — they started running and you, I must say man, I give to Triple H and those guys man then man because I was on the other side of it. I was in WCW locker room because they had it on monitor, and we had to actually watch it. Man, those guys would be in blood, sweat, and tears, man. They would be going all out. So me personally, I welcome the war. I would love to see the war come back, and if that’s what we gotta do, then that’s what we gotta do man.”