Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Hit The Ropes Radio, Booker T Interview
Hit The Ropes Radio: Hey Book, Thanks for coming on.
Booker T: No problem man.
HTR: Now we’ve had you’re boys from the PWA on for a while and they’re pretty talented. Now I’ve seen this big freakish guy down there, he goes by the name Psycho Cyrus. Is he as good as he looks?
BT: He’s one of those guys who are a diamond in the rough but he’s still got a lot of rough around the edges, but there are few that can compare to him.
HTR: You’ve got a lot of things going on there. April 3rd you’ve got a huge charity promotion right?
BT: Yeah, we’ve got the Booker T Fights for the Kids foundation. We’ve got our drop out program, our mentoring program and the wrestling school’s going pretty good. But we could always use a little help. We’re running shows on a monthly basis. Doing things for our charity, but there aren’t a lot of proceeds right now. But with WWE being in town it’s a good time to create a buzz and raise money for our foundation.
HTR: You’re hosting your Legends of Wrestling card, who’s all slated to appear on that card?
BT: Oh, man, I don’t know the whole card right off hand. But we’ve got Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Sting, the Nasty Boys, a list of matches that I know a whole lot of people still want to see. Go to the website www.BookerTLow.com and check out all the talent.
HTR: And the proceeds go to the Drop Out Recovery program, tell us a little about that.
BT: Well, we try to get drop outs back into school by helping them with their finances, because the kids have knowledge and the means and the support. And we try to be that support. We go into the school districts, and I’ve actually gone into the schools and told the kids my story and tell them where I’ve been and what I’ve been through.
HTR: Great. Now right before your Legends of Wrestling program you have March Mayhem. It looks like you’ll be on the card, and is it true that Mick Foley will also be on the card?
BT: Mick Foley will be there, I won’t say necessarily on the card, but he will be there. All the proceeds will go to the Fight for the Kids foundation. In fact Mick is giving the money we were going to pay him back to the foundation, and we are paying him a big fat salary, and he wants to donate it to the foundation. So it’s good having people on our side to help with the kids around the city.
HTR: Is there a way for people to donate if they can’t go to the show?
BT: Yeah, just go to the www.BookerTLow.com site and they can send a donation through there.
HTR: Now you’re one of the reasons why we started watching wrestling, going back to your Harlem Heat days, so we appreciate you for coming on.
BT: Thanks man. My career’s doing pretty good. 19, 20 years and I’ve still got fans. Creating new fans. Feeling pretty cool. Still in pretty good shape. Making the shape from WWE to TNA has helped out a whole lot as far as how I feel. Look forward to seeing Booker T for a little while longer.
HTR: Now I have to ask this question, Where’s Stevie Ray?
BT: Well he’s got a trucking company in Houston. Been out of wrestling since 2000 so. It’s just one of those businesses that… Ric Flair always said “Time off is your worst enemy” because it’s so hard to come back to because you know what it takes to get back out there and hit the road.
HTR: We talked about African Americans in the wrestling business, and you and your multiple championships, is there someone in the business right now that could potentially be a world champion?
BT: Ahh, it’s at a brink right now to be honest. There are a couple guys you know. MVP could step into the role. Because he’s a worker, he’s a true worker. Sheldon Benjamin, if he can stay on the grind. But a lot of the guys are playing characters, just looking to keep a job. Just looking to support themselves anyway possible. A lot of guys I really don’t see making that crossover.
HTR: You’ve been everywhere and won every title, what’s left for you? Who are you looking to face in the ring?
BT: To be honest there’s nothing really left as far as championships or anything like that. I’m at that stage of the game where I’m helping the younger guys. If I can do that I’ll be doing my part. Every wrestler, the code in this business, is stepping down and passing the torch. Putting the young guys in position.
HTR: One of the greatest feuds you’ve had was the best of 7 with Chris Benoit. Who’s out there that you would do a new best of 7 with?
BT: Uhh... probably, if I was a good guy, Randy Orton. A guy who can get into the ring and perform at a level that can bring me up to another level. It’s about competing with the best. When I watch the shows, the young wrestlers, he’s one of the guys that stands out. Definitely a technician, just like his dad.
HTR: Now the theme for March 28 March Madness is being dubbed the Night of the Ladies, what’s behind that theme?
BT: We’re crowing our first PWA women’s champ. We’re bringing a lot of girls to be a part of the event. It’s gonna be a great night. Looking forward to see who’s going to be the first PWA champ.
HTR: Will we se Sharmell come into action and steal the title?
BT: *laughs* No, Sharmell, just like myself, you’ll never see me as PWA champion. I’m an honorary PWA champion, that’s about as far as it goes. It’s not for me, it’s for my students. Get the young wrestlers a platform to see who rises to the top. Like my dad says, the cream always rises to the top. So we’ll see.
HTR: Now Lita’s out there. Would she make a good addition to TNA’s Knockout Division?
BT: Definitely she’d be great for the TNA roster. It would be more if that’s something she wants to do. But she would be a great addition. We had a void with the loss of Gail Kim, and she would fill that void I think.
HTR: Now you might hate me, but the fans want to know, what’s up with your accent?
BT: It’s something that I play with. Hollywood is always looking, I don’t just think about the wrestling audience. There are a lot of roles that need to be filled. So they’re looking for people that can who can do the scenes as well. Putting myself in a position to do a whole lot more. I’m always thinking about my next career.
HTR: Has anyone approached you about a role yet?
BT: I haven’t got them just yet. I’m going to finish one thing before I step into the next.
HTR: You’ve got your Legends of Wrestling coming up the same weekend of Wrestlemania. Tell us the atmosphere around Wrestlemania.
BT: It’s gonna be a great night for those guys who’ve never done it. It’s a night to remember. It’s a yearlong dash to Wrestlemania, it’s not just one night. It’s a big payoff Sunday night, then Monday it’s 365, 364, all over again. It’s one of the greatest days you can have being a wrestler. But it’s a rough week, so I’d say be careful what you wish for.
HTR: Well TNA has had their higher ratings ever. What will it take for them to stay at that level?
BT: That’s a TNA question. I don’t put myself in that position. They’re getting some great ratings now. Hopefully I have something to do with that, hopefully I’m doing my job. Hopefully they’ll keep it going and keep getting bigger and bigger. That’s my goal anyways.
HTR: What are the next steps for PWA, local TV?
BT: We definitely want to get on TV, but we want to make sure we are ready for it more than anything. I don’t want to get on TV and not be ready for it. Not the talent not the other part. Because we do a lot with our local talent, our students. We like to use our own local talent, our students, not to bring in people to do our local show. We want to keep it local. We just want to be in the right position, the right place, before we take the next step. But TV is something we want to look into. DVD we’ve got to make it a lot better. Our first DVD as an experiment, as far as commentary is concern. We are not going to leap into something because you can get burnt like that. We want to crawl before we walk.
HTR: Well, we want to thank you for taking time out to speak with us and to your fans.
BT: Definitely, no problem man.
For more info on Booker T's charities and how you can help, visit www.BookerTLOW.com
To learn about his school and upcoming shows visit www.BookerTPWA.com