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TSN's Off The Record

Written by: Paul Nemer of
Host: Michael Landsberg

Booker T wanted to get one thing straight, he's a 5-time WCW champion.

Michael Landsberg says they are going behind the scenes for real in this interview, like they have in the past with Angle, Foley, and others.

Michael Landsberg asks him how he got into wrestling.

Booker T starts off by saying that he's the youngest of 8 kids. His mom worked everyday and she died at an early age (50). His mom thought him values, Yes Mame, thank you sir...

His brother wanted to get into wrestling and he followed him and he just got into it. Booker T says when he was in school he was a bad kid and got in trouble all the time. Booker T said he grew up in a poor house hold and has learned the value of a dollar.

Let's talk about wrestling.

Booker T says wrestling is political, but not racial. He talks about him being World Champion, he said a black man being the head of a company (referring to when they gave him the title), they (WCW) wanted to know that it worked...

He talks about his gimmicks, Tough Street Kid, Harlem Heat and G.I. Bro. As far as Harlem Heat goes, he said it stayed booker T and stevie Ray. G.I. Bro was the first gimmick he really had. His trainer gave him the nick name G.I. Bro.

Booker T said that Hogan and Russo collided that night. One guy wanted to do this, and the other wanted to do that and we saw the result. Booker T said that something like that shouldn't of been played on television. It was a bad deal for the fans and for himself, he felt cheated.

They discuss the WCW sale

Booker T felt good about the sale of WCW, but many people felt bad. The ship was sinking, but Booker T was still rising.

What it was like showing up in the WWF?

It was cool, he knew a lot of the guys, and they accepted him, and a lot wanted to work with him.

Michael Landsberg says the roster was full and that's when people lose their jobs.

Booker T says that in WCW you can be held down for being a good wrestler. In the WWF, it's different. Vince knows talent when he sees it.

Booker T vs Bagwell on Raw; The worst match ever?

Booker T said he had worked with Bagwell the night before at a house show. The following night was a test for both men, and he passed the test, but Buff Bagwell didn't.

Michael says that when Booker T walked out on Raw, it was it, the real deal. There is no more WCW, ECW, nowhere to go.

Booker T said it was about the oppurunity. He said that many proved that WCW wrestlers can cut the mustered.

Michael asks him about his first appearance at KOTR when he broke Austin's hand.

Booker T said there wasn't real heat between him and Austin, but there was a concern.

They discuss the InVasion Angle

Booker T said the invasion angle, should have been a big angle, but it did not work.

Michael Landsberg asks him why?

Well one reason, that wasn't the true WCW. They didn't have Sting, Goldberg, Nash...

Do you guys need them back?

For that angle, yes.


Do you consider yourself an actor?

He said he's been acting all his life. It fits him, and he's an athlete also.

WWF has hit a flat spot in the U.S., does he think they have to push the envelop again? Is the dark edge ever going to come back?

They need someone to compete against. It's different without competition. Competition is something this sport needs, to make themselves better.

True wrestling sells PPV, not sketches.

Chris Benoit vs Booker T from WCW was one of his favorites.

Thursday on OTR, Joanie Laurer (Chyna).


Michael Landsberg: Kevin Nash and Scott Hall joining the WWF in February?
Lots of changes will be going on.. (he pushes him for an answer)... but doesn't really get one.

Will there be more cuts in the WWF?
There will be a lot of cuts next year.

Difference between the WWF dressing room and the WCW dressing room?

Booker T: Night and day. You had Goldberg, Nash, guys with their own dressing rooms. but Booker T was with the boys.

They talk about WrestleMania and Booker says it's going to be his first and tells everyone not to miss it.

Michael Landsberg thanks him for being on the show.