RECAP AND REVIEW: Heated Conversations with Booker T Episode 166: Hulk Hogan back in WWE, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson interview, Cain Velasquez coming to the WWE? Dana vs. Vince management style, David Arquette finally returns

Heated Conversations with Booker T

Release Date: July 22nd, 2018

Recap by: James Hayes


Booker T instructs you to “Kick back and relax in the old Lazy Boy and let it ride!”

Summer of Champions goes down August 11th and is Reality of Wrestling’s version of WrestleMania.

Just a heads up.

One of Booker’s wrestlers has been injured. Co-host Brad Gilbert wondered how that affects athletes.

Booker says it can be a vacation or a source of stress. You end up watching the parade go by. Booker also believes it is hard to stay in shape too. When he came back from injury he blew up in his first match. He was wrestling Matt Hardy and his groin got pulled from a hip toss. He never wanted to take another. There is a psychological aspect you must get over when you come back.

I know everyone wants to talk about the big return that just happened.

David Arquette is back in pro wrestling! (I’m glad I am alive to see it.) He jumped in the ring at Championship Wrestling from Hollywood’s Peter and Ray Surprise Birthday Party Spectacular”. The 46 year old hit a double Stunner on his two opponents. Arquette actually teased a comeback earlier because he wanted to earn respect from the haters… um… the fans. “People have been giving me a hard time for 18 years and I’m sick of it.” He is serious.

Booker always liked David. He says anyone else would have done the same. Take the WCW belt and be a star. It’s a dream come true. Booker cannot hate him for that. He wonders what the reaction would be if something like that happened now. What would happen with today’s social media?  It would be a madhouse! Booker remembers David put him over and said Booker should have the title. Not him. Booker says Arquette was always humble and respectful of the company, as well as the boys in the back. Why not come back and play around?

Here is the return.

Oh, and I guess Hulk is back.

Booker says everyone has been asking him about it all this week. He says that Hulk will have to wear it as a black eye, just like he has to wear a black eye for saying the N word years ago. Own it.

Booker welcomes him back. He says it’s not worth his time to hold this grudge. Hulk says he didn’t know he was being recorded. But Brad says who cares. He still had it in him to say it. Booker responds that he may act different in his home than he does in public. People do stuff behind closed doors that they would never do in public. Booker says it’s not on him to deem Hogan’s level of sincerity. He admits he recently said something on television that he should not have. He apologized and was forgiven. He made no excuses. (Hulk, however has made a ton of excuses.)

Booker T looks backs and acknowledges he has worked with several racist people. He does not believe just because someone is racist that you cannot make money together. Brad says that the words Hulk used were awful. He hates hearing it. And that Hogan saying it privately is especially offensive. Booker loves Tupac, but would never play Pac around white people. He does not want them to think that it’s okay to say the N word, just because Pac said it. He also believes that if Tupac was around today he would think twice about using that word. Pac was young (26 when he died) and was still learning. Brad points out that Hulk is a lot older yet had no problems saying it. Booker agrees there are counter arguments to every point in this topic.

Booker and Gilbert now discuss Michael Richards of Seinfeld. Booker says comics should maybe get a pass on the word. (But Richards did not use it in his act, he used it in a rant against African American hecklers.)

Brad brought out another point that Booker once made regarding Hulk. “If people still judged me from things I did 30 years ago I would not be here today. There must be room for forgiveness. Look at the person I am today. And I don’t think he should have been removed from The Hall of Fame. But WWE made the right decision.”

Booker would love to go on a tour with Hulk to discuss the damage of that word. He thinks they could help young people. Booker believes there is a message to be learned here. He wants Hulk on the show. He makes it clear he has never heard anyone call Hulk racist. And back in WCW there was a lot of racism. He believes Hulk deserves the benefit of a doubt.

(If Hulk is smart he will take Booker up on his offer to come on the show and go on tour with him. A year or so ago Randy Orton got into some trouble regarding Black Lives Matter and went on Booker’s show to clear things up. It worked for him. It can only help Hulk.)

Booker feels Hulk has helped him in his career and he does not deserve to lose everything because of what he said.

(Respectfully, I wonder if Booker T and Mark Henry’s continued employment with WWE, Hall of Fame status, and their age is why they are so willing to turn the page on Hogan. Unfortunately the older generation has had to tolerate racism that these younger guys, like New Day, would never accept.)

Interview Segment:

Former UFC star Anthony “Rumble” Johnson calls in.

Booker: How you feel, Dog?

Johnson: I’m blessed.

Booker: Last time we talked you were about to open a shop in Canada. Hybrids and Indicas are different than the punch game.

Johnson: It’s fun. It’s something new. Like every other business there are a bunch of snakes. But it’s cool.

Booker: Are you retired?

Johnson: I’m retired but still in the gym. If I come back it will be at heavyweight.

Booker: I been looking at pics of you. You look like a bodybuilder. Ain’t no money in that. You know that like I do. You coming back as heavyweight.

Johnson: I do train like a bodybuilder. There is money in it. It’s a billion dollar business. You gotta get repped but I have name recognition, so… I never limit myself when it comes to making money. Fighting is a possibility. I’m just living life. Honestly.

Booker: Take time off and let your body recoup. Let’s talk the fight game. Stipe and Cormier.

Johnson: I thought Stipe would run. He has been on such a roll. He proved everyone wrong. I’m happy for him. He is two division champ. Conor proved it. Randy proved it. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Hopefully he fights Brock, but Stipe deserves a rematch. He makes that weight class exciting.  Brock does not deserve it. That’s a gimmick.

Brad: Why doesn’t he deserve it?

Johnson: Cause he didn’t do s**t!

The phone call suddenly drops.

The boys continue the discussion as they try to get Johnson back.

Booker agrees that Brock has not done anything to deserve it. Gilbert feels Stipe deserves a rematch also. Booker says Stipe finished everyone and was close to making history. Stipe is angry that he is not getting a rematch.  Booker says that makes no sense. Gilbert responds that Cormier has said he does not want to fight Stipe again. He only wants big fights because he is retiring.

Johnson is back.

Booker: Sorry about that. You were saying Brock doesn’t deserve a shot.

Johnson: He doesn’t.

Booker: Stipe says he deserves it. He is the one guy that does. It’s not fair. Lots of things aren’t fair. Let’s talk Francis Ngannou fighting Derrick Lewis.

Johnson starts to laugh hysterically.

Booker: Come on. Let me get it…

Brad: I think he laughed at the word “fighting”. They shared the octagan, but…

Booker: It was a dud. But what did you think about Dana White calling out all his fighters?

Johnson: He is paying them money. I won’t say it is good money. That’s his right. If he thinks it’s gonna be a banger and it’s a snoozefest. But he can’t complain when people clap back. Just because you’re the boss and you give your opinion, don’t think no one else has a right to give their opinion. You get what you give.

Booker: I feel that you guys, that put your lives on the lines. Like you. You can put them in another world. In one shot. Put you to sleep. I don’t feel a person that has never been in that situation can talk about it. Do you agree with me or not?

Johnson: I agree. One hundred percent.

Booker: To have the boss berate and talk about them like that. It is a bad look for Dana White to do that. What do you think of the fight game since you been away?

Johnson: A lot of great up and comers.

Booker: What do you think of DC having to move up to heavyweight to fight Stipe and they call that a super-fight.

Johnson: It was a super-fight. Stipe seemed indestructible, and the one guy that was king of the light heavyweights who was unbeatable. DC going up in weight is a super-fight?

Booker: Do you agree that they had to goat the Light Heavyweight fight in that division? Where are all the stars? They are fading away.

Johnson: You have to push those young guys. Razorblade beat the heck out of Alistair. Francis is still around. Stipe. Mark Hunt. Derrick. It’s legit! It’s the Light Heavyweight that needs more power. DC fought everyone and did his thing. He deserves to go up and have new challenges.

It sounds like pots and pans are hitting the floor.

Booker: You cookin?

Brad laughs.

Brad: You’re okay.

Johnson giggles.

Brad. Before we get you outta here. If you return as a heavyweight who do you want to fight?

Johnson: Alistair.

Brad: Overeem.

Booker: Get your feet wet. I like it. You come back and knock him out!

Johnson laughs again.

Booker: I know it’s nice in Canada right now. Hopefully I can come over and we can kick back. Thanks for coming on.

Johnson: You got my number. You can always call me.

Booker: Thank you.

Booker is back on Dana White. He says when Vinnie Mac has a problem he comes to you and asks to see you in his office. Vince would never publically bash his talent. Dana is childish. He is 60. Brad corrects Booker and tells him Dana is actually 48. Booker responds with shock and awe. “Oh my god!! With a 40 inch waist. You know he ain’t fighting anyone.” (Ha!)

Vince deserves respect because he knows when and how to address his talent. And he never would ask you to do something, he himself would not do.

He remembers talking to Steve Austin. He asked him, can you imagine a ref telling us to do more spots in our match? Brad clarifies that Herb Dean and others will often tell the fighters to be more active. Booker feels it’s insulting.

Cain Velasquez was spotted at the WWE Performance Center.

Cain says. “I’d like to get in the ring and take another title off Brock!”

Brad thinks it’s a smart move for Cain. He was at Wrestle Mania and saw Ronda’s debut. Why not come to WWE? It’s a career extender. It’s smart. Booker agrees and says Ronda had nothing left to prove. She put women fighters on the map. It made sense for her to transition.

Cain coming into the Center says a lot. But maybe he was just there to train for a MMA fight? Brad does not agree.

Cain was quoted as saying. “My experience here has just been amazing. I’m looking forward to being here and learning as much as I can. I have been a fan of the sport since I was a little kid, and now I’m getting to participate in it.”

Of course WWE issued a statement on Cain. “Two time UFC Heavyweight Champ stepped inside the ring to learn some techniques from WWE PC Coach Norman Smiley and participated in a session of DDP Yoga led by WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Paige. He also worked out in the WWE PC weight room and attended last night’s NXT taping.”

Booker gets excited and concedes it sounds like Cain is gonna debut at NXT soon. Booker predicts this will become a trend. There will be a lot more MMA fighters making the transition over to try WWE. Like Matt Riddle. It can only help WWE get richer. Brad says it goes both ways. He recalls Booker telling him that his TNA residual checks were bigger than his paychecks. Booker feels all the merch is what makes wrestlers rich. No UFC fighter has seen that kind of money. He believes being a wrestler is like being a superhero in the fans eyes. Look at Comic Con. It’s the same fans.

Before the Final Bell:

Booker informs us that Terrell Owens has supposedly turned down the chance to go to The NFL Hall of Fame. Owens is angry he did not make first ballet. Only 25% of players make the first ballet. He should not be insulted. NFL will send him the jacket in the mail.

Booker sees it as an insult to the sport. One of the great moments of his career was getting into the Hall. He knew friends like Curt Hennig and Eddie Guerrero never got that chance to thank friends and family, and it made him even more appreciative. (Facts!)

Score: 8.0 out of 10

Overall Thoughts:

Good show. This was a very interesting discussion on Hulk Hogan. Given Booker’s past he was the perfect person to ask about Hulk’s return. He did not run from the issue. Much respect.

See ya next week!

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