RECAP AND REVIEW: UFC 232, Enzo at MSG, Why A.J. Should Be Happy To Lose, Why Did Booker hit Vince?

Heated Conversations with Booker T – Episode 192

Release Date: January 1st, 2019

Recap By: James Hayes


Booker T and Co-host Brad Gilmore welcome you to the show!

The guys want to wish you a Happy New Year.

Booker had a great Christmas, but unfortunately, a shadow loomed over the festivities, the same shadow that is looming over Reality of Wrestling. The shadow’s name is Rex Andrews.

Booker got Beef

Rex has called Booker out and it’s gotten so bad that at Christmas even family members have brought up the disrespect this scallywag, no this scoundrel, has thrown upon the honorable Booker T Hoffman.

Booker T has decided to answer the call.

Book says, “I’m gonna put it on the line right here on the show. People have been asking me, even my nephews at Christmas. My nephews were telling me, ‘Hey man, Rex Andrews been calling you out a lot.’ He’s very interested in what’s gonna happen. You know how kids are. You young, you know how it is. You probably had a confrontation with Dad sometimes. Dad probably told you, ‘I brought you in. I’ll take you out.’ I brought this kid in fresh from Dothan, Alabama. He’s done a whole lot, but I say it is so much more for him to learn. I’m gonna answer the call. I’m gonna step up to him in his face. I’m the type of man, I don’t like talking behind somebody’s back. I’m gonna see if I can talk him down.”

Brad says, “It’s interesting you use the Father/Son thing because you saw Rex Andrews come in, what is it? Seven years now and train. Why, when you got the call from The Great Khali saying, ‘Hey, I want a couple of your guys to start training some of my guys,’ why was Rex Andrews the guy you thought to send over there first?” Booker answers, “He came here 17 years old, Dothan, Alabama, I mean, the kid didn’t know anything, green as grass, green as baby crap. He learned very quickly. He embraced what the game was about. When he first came I made him a Russian. Russian by way of Dothan, Alabama. Rex Andrews took it all the way. Then he started working on his body. He learned a lot from Gustavo Mendoza and then he has taken it to another level. But one thing about wrestling, one thing about the fight game is it’s all about levels. He’s at a level where he can turn a whole lot of heads. But Rex Andrews got to understand the levels are only going to get higher and higher. To work at that elite level you got to put in a lot of work. I’m talking about since back in the 90’s type work.”

A.J. Styles

“It’s always that moment when one feels like, ‘I made it. I think I made it.’ A.J. Styles, he has had a great year.” Brad agrees, “He’s had a good couple of years.” Booker continues, “He’s done it all. And then to lose the title to Daniel Bryan, I bet he was like, ‘Good God, thank you.’ Brad laughs, ‘I got to get a break.’”

Booker says, “People don’t really understand what that means. I’m sure he was like, ’Will somebody please beat me?’ Because he was running, man. And it can be really tough when you are running like that in a company like that because you are all over the world.'”

(That is an interesting perspective. A.J. was actually glad to have a break from being WWE Champ because of all the demands that come with the title.)

“But, to have that aha moment, that moment when, ‘I’ve made it!’ I think A.J. Styles had that moment just a while back on Smackdown Live, getting a chance to smack Vince McMahon.”

(Booker says working with Vince means you made it, but where is Kevin Owens now? He hit a frog splash on Vince and his career has never recovered.)

Booker resumes, “I had that moment myself. It was my turn to whack Vince McMahon.” Brad asks, “So, they came to you and said this is what we’re thinking?”

“I knew something was up. Vince was telling me himself. This is the only Vince story I ever told, he was like, ‘Book, you gotta do it. You gotta lay it in.’ Then I had to give him the Scissor Kick as well. I didn’t want to hurt him. But he was like, ‘You got to lay it in.’ Before, I gave him the Scissor Kick he had to smack me. Now, before we were getting ready I said to turn my mic up because I can’t hear so well. Vince McMahon slaps me so hard he bursts my left eardrum. The ears were ringing like crazy. I was like, ‘What the heck just happened?’ Literally, I was so mad that I whacked him without thinking about it. I don’t know if he was trying to provoke me to see how I was going to react.”

“A.J. Styles having that moment put the mark on his career. He worked all the independents. Every market AJ styles have touched it,” Booker says. Brad adds, “He told you to lay it in, but he… I don’t know if when he tells someone, that they are really going to slap a man in his 60’s as hard as they can. And he’s the man that signs the checks. I’m sure he’s like, ‘No, it’s okay. I’m showing you by smacking the Hell out of you.’ Booker laughs then says, “It’s a night I’ll remember forever because I can’t hear.”

UFC 232

Booker says, “BJ Penn said this is not his last ride. He said anybody out there speculating he will retire should stop. How old is BJ Penn?” Brad says he is in his forties. “For him to still want to fight, that’s the ultimate warrior mentality. That’s like Spartacus. Fight at all costs. But, I said it before how you gone tell a man he can’t feed his family, how you gone tell a man he can throw hands no more, how you gone tell a man that he ain’t got it no more and he needs to step away? BJ Penn is still fighting at a level to where some rookie run up on him and BJ Penn will put them in their place. BJ Penn will stretch him. Make him tap. Make him say uncle, but BJ Penn 40 years old, fighting these up and comers? I just don’t like it. There are not a lot of statics on UFC guys pass 50. We are gonna get some numbers soon coming about guys like Chuck Liddell, like BJ Penn, Coleman is getting past that point. Guys pass the age of 40 inside that octagon… it’s rough. It’s not a forgiving sport. I haven’t seen one guy over 40 go out and have success other than Randy Couture. And the game has changed so much since Randy Couture.”

Brad says BJ Penn is the underdog in his fight against Ryan Hall, and the last time he won a fight in the UFC was UFC 123 against Matt Hughes.

That was in 2010. 9 years ago.

(This fact rocked Booker’s world.)

Nunes vs Cyborg

Booker already picked Amanda Nunes. Brad wanted to give him an out but Booker is sticking with his pick.

“I look at fighters as thoroughbreds, from an athletic perspective. That’s it. I take their names and put them to the side if they are evenly matched, which these two are. How hard can this thoroughbred run? How much has this thoroughbred been trained? How much time have we put into the nutrition to make sure everything is on point for this night? That’s the way I look at a fighter. Names aside, that thoroughbred for me is Amanda Nunes. I see her taking this thing to another level. I see her pushing Cyborg to the level of her stamina is going to come into play. It’s going to be late, probably the 5th round. Or it will be a decision for Amanda Nunes,” Booker says.

Brad says he does not see this going to 5 rounds, or even 3. He still has Cyborg winning this.

Gustafsson vs Jones

The guys don’t buy this narrative that Jones had drugs still in his system… FROM YEARS AGO!!! Too much smoke around this guy.

Booker says, “Dana White is trying to defend it and that got this guy Jeff Novitzky from USADA, he’s the Vice President of Athlete’s Health and Performance for The UFC. He’s the same guy who had a big part in Lance Armstrong being outed. This guy was influential in taking Lance down. Let’s be honest Jon Jones is no Lance Armstrong. It will blow your mind how far Lance Armstrong went to cheat. And got away with it. These guys were prolific! I don’t put Jon Jones in that category at all. But if you fail a drug test and nearly 2 years later they say there is still a tainted substance floating in you and it’s just a small amount from 2 years ago I think that should be looked into. I don’t think he should get a pass. Do they have to change states to fight? Something wrong about that.”

Brad agrees that Booker has made a lot of good points.

“My thing with Jon Jones is if this were the first time something like this were to have occurred, I would give him the benefit of a doubt. This is the third or fourth time,” Brad adds. Booker says, “They said it was something (turinabol) in his system that re-appeared. How does that happen?”

Booker believes Gustafsson will win. Brad does not see it.

Spoiler Alerts!!!!!!!

BJ tapped.

Jones finished Gustafsson in the third round.

Amanda wrecked Cyborg in 51 seconds!

Spoilers Over

Before The Final Bell:


Booker tells us, “NZO, aka Real 1 is back in the news. At an MSG show, he was hanging out in front greeting fans. Now I’ve been defending this guy. But that is an all-time low. First of all, you buy a $2,500 dollar ticket for the PPV. I don’t know if that’s true or not,” Booker says. Brad think that might have been the price specifically for him. Booker says, “At the MSG show he hung out in the cold to greet fans. I don’t know anybody that ever left WWE that still tries to hang around, other than the Boogie Man when he got kicked off Tough Enough.” Brad says at least he (Boogie Man) got a job out of it.

Booker continues, “That’s an all-time low. He should just move on. Because I don’t think the wrestling world will be too accepting of these ploys, these attention grabs. He’s just trying to stay in the news somehow. Maybe it’s time to start filling out some real applications because those are the real ones. (Get it?) I think NZO is having problems dealing with regular life. Maybe we need to talk about coming from rags to riches to rags.”


Recap: This was a good show to start the year off with. I was hoping they would record this after UFC 232. I was interested in hearing Booker’s thoughts on being right about Amanda Nunes’ destruction of Chris Cyborg. Very few people predicted Nunes winning. I love hearing Booker gloat. Although, he did get Jones vs Gustafsson wrong.

It’s also fun seeing Booker trying to bury his ROW Champ Rex Andrews in an attempt to actually get him over. Check out the scuffle they got into!

And I really enjoyed Booker’s take on working with Vince.

Good stuff! Rating: 8/10

See ya next week!

About James:
Based out of New York, James Hayes is an independent filmmaker and podcaster, currently working on a true crime series focused on African American crime. When he needs a break from the seriousness of true-crime he turns to pro wrestling. James has 27 years of following the sport. Here is a link to his film credits, as well as His Twitter @JamesHa34395813.

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