Booker T says WrestleMania 19 storyline with Triple H came about because Jim Ross encouraged him to share his real-life story

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It was Jim Ross who encouraged Booker to share his real-life story and it led to WrestleMania 19. 

On a number of occasions, WWE Hall of Famer Booker T has talked about his match against Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque from WrestleMania 19 and the storyline leading up to it. 

He further dove it while being interviewed by Adrian Hernandez. He touched on the fans’ reaction to him losing that match. He reiterated that he thought it was a win to be in that spot. He added that he understands the racial components of the storyline that are often brought up. 

Booker feels that storyline nor the outcome was meant to embarrass him. He said the company could’ve got rid of him a long time ago, adding that he’s one of the most outspoken people in the business. He then shared that the storyline with Triple H came about because Jim Ross encouraged him to share his real-life story. He doesn’t know if he would have done that if not for Ross. Circling back to the outcome, Booker remembers an ‘office’ person telling him he should’ve won. 

I understand how people feel and think (about WrestleMania 19 versus Triple H) but, you know, I don’t think it was any mal-intent that went into that match as far as, let’s go out here and purposely make Book look — I refuse to believe that just because I’ve been around the company for way too long and they could’ve got rid of my ass a long time ago and the thing is I’ve been one of the most — and a lot of people don’t know it — but I’m like one of the most outspoken guys in this business. I should’ve got fired a long time ago (he laughed). I’m serious. Just because I’ve been known to just blow up, but I’ve always had my respect and the thing is I’ve always looked at the business, there again, as a job… and I understand the racial components that went along with that storyline but at that moment in time, a lot of people don’t understand and this is a part of the story that a lot of people don’t know about, so, you’re getting a spoiler here — I mean, not a spoiler, a scoop. You’re getting a scoop. At that time, I’d came from WCW and no one in the world knew my real story, no one knew about my prison life, no one knew about any of that stuff, no one knew about my background, and Jim Ross said, ‘Book, this is something you gotta talk about. This is something the world needs to hear. Some kid that’s going through something really needs to hear your story’ and that’s why that whole story came to what it was. A lot of people don’t know that. This is the first time I’m actually really talking about that and that’s when after that, I wrote my book, ‘From Prison to Promise’. So a lot of components played into that because the one line I think people might remember the most is when Triple H said, ‘People like you don’t deserve to be here’. That’s motivation for all of us to get up off our asses and prove ‘em wrong. Whether I won or lost that night, didn’t matter. I kicked his ass all over that arena. ‘Harlem Hangover’, everything so, it was real as it could possibly be for me from an emotional perspective and a lot of stuff that went into the angle, I approved all of it. 

I was hiding it (my real-life story). I didn’t want people to know about that part of my life… I needed that motivation to actually do that and J.R. was the motivating factor. I give him a lot of credit, because I don’t know if I (would) have ever did it…

Oh! It’s no doubt (in hindsight, I should’ve won). You know what? I remember one of the office guys… I’m walking through the hallway and he goes, ‘Book, you should’ve won’. I said, ‘Thanks man, I appreciate it’. 

In addition to running his Reality of Wrestling promotion, Booker is the color commentator for WWE’s NXT brand. He’ll be present on the Stand & Deliver go-home episode of the program. To keep up with the NXT product, check out the Poisonrana Podcast’s weekly review here on POST Wrestling

If the quote(s) in this article are used, please credit Adrian Hernandez with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription.

About Andrew Thompson 8594 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.