Booker T. shocked the world in 2011 by returning to WWE as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble.
It’s a night the veteran performer will never forget. The minute his music hit a new phase of his career began.
“I didn’t expect the ovation that I got from fans,” Booker T. said during a conference call to promote his involvement in the “WCW and Monday Night Wars” panel which is 9 a.m.-noon Sunday, Jan. 27 during the Royal Rumble Fan Fest in Phoenix.
“I was totally taken aback from it, but it really put that stamp, as far as my career goes. What I have given to the fans, they gave it back to me that night, just from an applause and ovation standpoint. Just letting me know that they appreciate what I have done in my 22-year career. That right there was a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Despite enjoying that moment, the Smackdown general manager is looking forward to watching from the sidelines at this year’s 30-superstar over-the-top battle royal for a title shot at WrestleMania. If he had his way, Booker T. would have loved to see Junkyard Dog come back from the grave and compete on Sunday.
“Royal Rumble is one of the biggest times of the year, next to WrestleMania,” Booker T. said. “I’m sorry I’m not going to be participating this year. Normally I’m a special guest entry, but this year I’m going to sit it out and do my duty as [SmackDown] general manager and see how exactly the big Smackdown matches are going to play out. That is what I’m looking forward to first and foremost.”
Looking at the field thus far for the Royal Rumble, Booker T. doesn’t have a favorite.
“It’s really hard to pick a winner for the Rumble,” Booker T. said. “It’s an unpredictable match. Anybody can win on any given occasion. It’s one of those nights where luck has to play in your favor. Whoever is in the right place at the right time, that’s who is going to win. Picking a winner? I just can’t call it.”
Although the well-spoken superstar doesn’t anticipate being a part of the Royal Rumble, Booker T. will join Kevin Nash and the Big Show to field questions from fans about his time in WCW hours before the pay-per-view. Whether it’s addressing his use of the ‘N’ word on a broadcast or reflecting on the Shockmaster’s famous debut, the WWE onscreen figurehead is prepared for anything. There will be no holding back
“It’s great to go back in time, so to speak,” Booker T. said. “People always say there should be a WCW reunion or WCW invasion. I don’t think we should go that far, but as far as sitting down and talking about what went down back then from a real perspective, from a shoot perspective, I think it’s going to be really good. There have been questions fans have wanted to ask for so many years, and now they are going to get those answers.
“So I’m looking forward to actually answer all the questions. I’m sure there are going to be some crazy ones that will come up, but I will be prepared for them. I’m sure it’s going to be a great time.”
Despite not wanting to see a full-on WCW reunion, he hopes he and his brother, Stevie Ray, can reignite Harlem Heat one last time down the line.