Episode 221: Booker T returns, Sasha Banks is a Heel, Finn Balor vs. Brock and The State of Wrestling
Release Date: January 17th, 2019
Recap by: James Hayes
From New York Sam welcome you to the show!
On the show today we have Booker T. He is here to discuss his return to the squared circle. Sam will also get into Raw, Finn Balor, and Sasha Banks.
There is also a live show with Corey Graves at Copper Blues Live this Friday. This is all building up to The Royal Rumble.
Let’s get right to it with Booker. It’s his 4th time on the show and Sam can’t wait until he has him on the show 5 TIMES!!!
Who is his opponent, Rex Andrews:
“He is one of those young guys that been with me since he was 17 years old. He moved from Dothan Alabama, totally just picked up and moved to Houston, Texas to learn the art of professional wrestling. He’s a grown man now and he has given me an ultimatum. Either I wrestle him or he’s going to leave Reality of Wrestling. I can’t just let him leave without giving him a little taste of what he wants, but I don’t think he’s gonna like the taste. He has a business. He trains in Jiu Jitsu. He’s a kid that I have big dreams for making it to the next level.”
Pressure on being a dream maker:
“There is this one guy that said he came from Africa. He didn’t pan out He didn’t last a week and he blamed me. He blamed me for not making it into the WWE. But in Reality of Wrestling, we don’t sell dreams. We don’t give promises we can’t keep or anything like that. We give it straight down the line. This is what you can expect. It’s about paying your dues. You may never make it to the next level, that’s all on you. Just like that song goes, ‘It’s on you baby.’ That’s all on those guys as far as how far they go. If they have the tools, if they have the attitude, if they have that it-factor, I will be the first to say. ‘Hey, take a look at this guy.’”
How long does it take to get WWE:
“I go,’Wait a minute you don’t see a crystal ball in here. I don’t have any tricks up my sleeve to make that happen.’ I’ve had them come out to my office and they don’t have any aspirations other than being the best at Reality of Wrestling and then they go out there and exceed in the highest way. And then they go on and exceed like an Ember Moon, like Brandon Williams, the ones that want it.”
What he told Ember Moon:
“When Ember Moon made it to the main roster I congratulated her and I said, ‘You did all the work yourself. Don’t think I did anything for you. You did this for yourself.”
The trainer I had or the one I wish I had:
“I need to be the trainer I wish I had. I want to give these kids half a chance at making it in this business. You know how hard it is. There are so many guys out there trying to make it in this business. There are so many shows where they can get so much misdirection as well as pick up so many bad habits along the way. I want to alleviate that problem. I want to give them a chance at coming to a proper school. I tell my students that if you can make it at Reality of Wrestling you may have what it takes to make it to the next level. Because there’s so many that have been there for four years, five years and never got a chance to be on the show. They were not Reality of Wrestling material.”
What WWE Taught:
“When I first got to WWE I was a guy that was seasoned. I had been in the business for a long time. When I got there I realized I was just a wrestler, I didn’t know anything about television wrestling. I didn’t know how to go out and create as much as I possibly can. I didn’t know the character building side. I didn’t know a whole lot about that.”
“You may have never heard of them from a superstar status but trust me they played on the big game and know exactly what it took to get to the level. That’s what I think I bring more than anything. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, and I worked with the current champions of today like A.J. Styles as well as past champions like Ric Flair. I’ve seen it from so many different perspectives, so I teach not just what we did in the past but what it is today, then I try to mix it together. And take it to the next level.”
This is Awesome:
“I love the ‘This is Awesome’ chants, but I need the ‘Booker T’ chants before the ‘This is awesome’ chants.”
Blackjack Lanza Lessons:
“I remember Black Jack Lanza, I was at a house show and I lost the match and I pretty much just got up and came to the back. Jack Lanza pulled me to the side, ‘Kid, you just missed a moment.’ He told me what to do the following night. I went out there and did exactly what he said. I’m a guy that’s 12 years in the business now, and I did what Blackjack told me to do and the crowd was giving me a standing ovation by the time I git to one knee. By the time I got to my feet, people were literally clapping like crazy. I’m walking back and my head is down and I realized I just learned something I did not know for that many years.”
Lessons from Vince:
“I remember doing something in a match one time and I screwed up and I came back and I didn’t know what happened or how I got to that position and Mr. McMahon told me, ‘You should’ve done this when you did that.’ And I go, ‘Man, how did he know and I didn’t?’ When you are watching from an outside perspective you know what you are doing and you know what you are seeing. It’s so vivid to you. And that’s what I’ve learned.”
Adapting to WWE:
“I wanted to be able to learn their style of working. If I wasn’t willing to do that I probably would’ve been on the outside looking in just like all the rest of those WCW guys. I remember Marcus Bagwell telling Pat Paterson,’You don’t have to worry about me getting over.’ (Booker and Sam both laugh.) You got to keep your mouth shut and go out and see if you are gonna get over or not.”
(That humility is why Booker T is Booker T.)
Wrestlers Get Over Not Writers:
“Back in the day, we didn’t worry about the writers writing anything for us, we went out there and got ourselves over. The fans were bringing the signs and we were going out there and getting compelling matches. You know drama, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, we knew we were going ti get out in a good spot. That’s the way the wrestling business worked then and I really think the business still works that way today.”
For more of this interview including Booker’s thoughts on All Elite Wrestling hit the link at the top!
State of Wrestling
5. NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool
Sam talks about how much he loves the show and how and in particular the appearance of WALTER. He says they (WWE) are expanding the brand into other areas of the world. He compares WWE to Disney in that they are creating things for all fans, whether hardcore or casual.
4. NXT Call-ups
Sam thinks the way the call-ups are being done is throwing everyone for a loop. He discussed how Nikki Cross, EC3, Heavy Machinery, and Lacey Evans. However, Lars Sullivan has been a non-factor. There are rumors he walked out or maybe they are planning on giving him a bigger debut.
WWE has decided to have the Call-ups on both shows to see who fits in where. Sam agrees with this tactic because frankly there has not been that much success in bringing in this new talent.
Sam says, “Doing things this way allows fans to slowly get familiar, not only with them but their characters.”
3. Raw was great
Bobby Lashley winning the IC title was a good decision as far as Sam is concerned. He thinks ending the Rollins/Ambrose feud was a good idea. It was just not working. Better to move on and transition Rollins back into the main event scene. Give Dean something new to do. (This is actually not number 3.)
The real number 3 is the fact that we are getting Women’s Tag Team Championships at the Elimination Chamber. This means the title will move between both brands. Sam loves this idea and he is looking forward to it.
Wanna see the belts?
But this is really about Sasha Banks and the way she becomes cocky when gets confident. Sam says, “That’s the way she comes across naturally and she does that it’s believable and I think we should have, if we left them together this long, they should be going for those Women’s Tag-Team Championships. We should end up with a relationship where Sasha is in charge and treats Bayley like crap.”
Sam wants Sasha to slowly become natural heel she already is. Sasha is the one that holds both titles and Bayley goes with it until it goes too far.
Then have the blow-off match that has been building for years.
2. “AEW has some of the best wrestlers in the world… and Cody”
Sam does not like the shot taken at Cody and demands an audience with the author. (The author is Alfred Konuwa, who also wrote for Bleacher Report and is a bit of a character.)
Finn finally makes his way back into the Universal Championship scene.
Braun loses his spot and Finn takes it.
Sam loves it and says, “What a night for Finn Balor.”
(I predict Finn Balor beats Brock Lesnar at The Royal Rumble.)
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Good show. It’s always great to have Booker and Sam together. They have great chemistry. And Booker is always funny. What I really like is how in-depth Booker gets while discussing how he learned and now teaches the little things that matter to his students.
And as always The State Of Wrestling segment is always worth listening to.
See ya next week!
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 https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2026980/, as well as His Twitter twitter.com/JamesHa34395813