Heated Conversations with Booker T (Ep. 196)
Hurricane Helms and Booker talk AEW, Dean Ambrose, Nia Jax
Release Date: 02/09/19
Recap by: James Hayes
Booker and Brad welcome us to the show!
The guys are in good spirits. Let’s get right into it.
Nia Jax enters…
Brad wants Booker’s thoughts on Nia Jax entering the men’s Royal Rumble.
Booker says, “I don’t look at that as intergender wrestling. I look at Nia Jax differently than I do any other female on the roster. When I looked at Chyna make her entrance in the Royal Rumble, it was fitting because she was “The 9th Wonder in the World.” She was different than any other female that we had ever seen in the business. Intergender, to see two, on a decent show male against female… I don’t like it. It does nothing for our business. What it does do for the wrestler because, and I can say this because on Youtube Gino and Kylie Rae was wrestling each other on an independent show. The only reason that’s good is that Kylie can learn so much being in the ring with a guy like Gino, but they can do that in the school. There will never ever ever be an intergender wrestling show or programming because I just don’t think it’s good for the business.”
(So, it’s okay if the women have a certain body type? If they enjoyed certain body types doing it, is it fair to exclude the women who don’t have that body type? They will make less money and garner less experience. Is that fair? To tell someone like Sasha Banks she just has to watch other women rise to new heights, but not her is… biased.)
Brad agrees with him, but then brings up Awesome Kong, which triggers a story from Booker.)
“When I was in TNA Awesome Kong had to do a thing with me. Awesome Kong was like, ‘I’ll hit you a couple times.’ I was like, ‘No. No. No. I need you to shoot me, then give me that big splash. I’ll feed out to you. Pick me up and give me a slam. Then hit the ropes and give me that big splash.’ She was like… She almost started crying. She had so much fun.”
(So, the smaller women don’t get to have all this fun and wrestle with legends like Booker T?)
Booker says it worked because the fans could buy that.
(Have these guys looked at the people Rey Mysterio has beat?)
Here is the video of Booker and Awesome Kong!
Hurricane Helms Interview
Booker starts off playing music from 3 Count, the boy band that Hurricane Helms was in. Here they are.
(Wow! Check out the choreography. The sexiness. The sensuality. The timing… that makes me want to put a fork in my ears, then take out my eyeballs and wash them in bleach.)
Booker: I told you I have a special guest. One part the greatest boy band in the history of the business, 3 Count. Ladies and gentlemen give it up for Gregory “Sugar Shane” Helms.
Helms: I wasn’t expecting that. You got me.
Booker: When Michael Cole came on what did I have on? Some Steely Dan?
Brad and Helms laugh.
Booker: What’s going on, dawg?
Helms: Nothing much just keeping up with this UFC Fight Night that’s on tonight. I didn’t even know what ESPN 1 was. I thought I would just have this fight and I can’t even see it?
Booker: Did you order it?
Helms: Na. It’s not order-worthy. Not gonna spend no money on it.
Booker: My thing is this ESPN Plus… It’s different than watching it on Fox or HBO. Does it feel different to you?
Helms: It does. But it’s the future too. At first I I could n’t get used to E-books because I Iike the feel of a book in my hands. But now I always have my iPad with me with a bunch of e-books on it. It’s the future. That’s just how it is. That DAZN group just offered Triple G 45 million for three fights. You hear that?
Booker: Yeah I know it’s different. Everybody is looking to step into that spot. HBO said, “I’m out of the business you guys can have it.” I think that ‘s a huge mistake. I’m canceling my HBO because they don’t have boxing anymore. Huge mistake.
Helms: They didn’t take Macho’s advice. Remember Macho Man was like, “Never take yourself out the game, brother.”
Booker: That 3 count song, did that bring back any memories?
Helms: You know that was only 9 months. To this day I still hear 3 count stuff. We just got a new 3 Count shirt, and at the beginning, it was outselling my Hurricane stuff.
Booker: Brad doesn’t remember Evan Karagias.
Brad: A little before me.
Booker: You ever see any of those guys?
Helms: I see Shannon all the time. Shannon is all yoked up. Tattoos from head to toe. Looking great. Just got back in the business. Found his second wind. Evan is out of the game completely. He works… I don’t know if he owns, but he works as an accountant because a group from up North had reached out to me to do a 3 Count reunion for Wrestlemania weekend. I tried to get Evan, but that’s tax season he can’t get away.
Brad: He gotta make his money, man. He knows where the money’s at.
Helms: That’s what he said. I told him to come. I used to do all the work anyway. He can come and stand on the apron.
Booker: Imma tell ya right now he probably don’t realize how much money he left on the table. That’s big money.
Helms: Yeah, because that group was gonna have Tank Abbott.
Booker: Hey man, Evan Karagias, did he think he was a huge star back in the day or what? He thought he was the leader of 3 Count. You weren’t the leader. Am I right?
Helms: Yeah, he did think he was the leader. He was just young into the game. He came in a different way. It was frustrating back then, but as I got older I realized you can’t blame somebody for how they came up. They didn’t have any choice. He came in the only way he knew how. Guys like you and I, we had to fight for everything. His way into the business, not in life. I’m not talking about life… When I came in there were no cruiserweights around so I had to fight all these people all the time. So I had a little more respect for how the game was played.
Booker: Almost like Bobby Brown and Ralph Tresvant. You know what I’m saying.
(I can’t wait to hear this one.)
Helms starts laughing.
Helms: Yeah, there you go.
Booker: Bobby was just messing around. Ralph was about business. Bobby was messing around and playing games. Ralph? Look at him now, still looking good. What Bobby look like? (Ha!!!!)
Helms: But… But that was his prerogative.
Booker: There it is.
Brad: Look at that. That was pretty good.
Helms: See what I did there.
Booker: I like that.
Booker: What do you think about AEW? Is it good or bad for the business?
Helms: It’s gonna be good. Competition is good. There is excitement in the air. Some of my good friends. You know Jericho is a very close friend of mine. I’m excited to see what they do. When the business was on fire with the Monday Night Wars… There ’s a lot of people who thought that would never be duplicated and it still may not. It’s too early to say. If we could generate that excitement again… There is a lot of crazy vibes in the air.
Booker: I agree. I said it as well. This may be the hottest the business has ever been. The pay scale is gonna change across the board. People will become free agents again. People won’t have to go across the pond. I was just looking at one of The Revivals, Anderson, Karl Anderson had posted on Twitter.
Helms: Not The Revival The Good Brothers.
Booker: Exactly. My bad. He had posted on Twitter. He was doing a little work on the patio, and he had his boys with him too, he said, “I couldn’t do this when I was in Japan. Even though I’m on the road all the time I’m at home every week.” For me it was WCW. I could have gone to WWE or Japan, but I wanted to be at home working. So, I said, ‘They gone have to kick me…’ I use to tell people I’m gone get so drunk they gone have to kick me out this party. That’s the only way I’m leaving!’ I got drunk off WCW. I stayed there for nine years. It was a hell of a ride. So many jobs out there and guys need places to work. What do you think of the AEW roster? What do you think is gonna be the key to AEW success?
Helms: A lot of the talent they have wrestles the same style. And that’s not even a negative if that style works for them. For me, the best wrestling companies feature a variety of wrestlers. It’s too early to say what the negatives might be, but it’s not gonna come from a talent standpoint. They all respect the game. The only thing to compare them to is WCW. They were the last to challenge Vince. WCW would hire anyone back in the day. It didn’t matter if your a** was good or not. They were giving out money hand over fist. This company is gonna be a little smarter. So, keep your eye on that. And those young guys know that. And that’s where Chris is gonna come into play a little bit more than people realize. Because Chris was in WCW. He saw those mistakes. He’s gonna bring… not just name value but the business experience that they definitely need.
Booker: You ain’t jiving. Back in WCW, those guys tried to corner the market. They tried to buy up all the talent. I remember Lanny Poffo was making $250,000 a year. And he worked, I think, three times that year. I remember he was working a house show, Lanny Poffo showed up at the house show with the guy that he was working with, and he wasn’t on the roster.
Helms: Did he still wrestle that night, that guy?
Booker: Yeah. It was crazy. That’s how WCW was. I don’t think this company is going to be run like that. I think the guys will have to hold their own. It’s run by a lot of young guys. The biggest advantage is that the company is being run by wrestlers.
Helms: That’s an advantage, but they also need business people there. Remember, being run by wrestlers is what hurt WCW from a business standpoint. Keep wrestlers in charge of the artistry. You need somebody behind the scene that understands business too. Who’s the guy who came in before Eric, he was the old school guy from UWF? Bill Watts. Those guys are great at wrestling, but the business aspect in terms of board meetings… You can’t have a bunch of crazy a** wrestlers… cause we don’t think the way normal people do.
Booker: I always say the boss can’t go hanging out with the boys. When that kind of stuff happens. Eric Bischoff showed up to work with jeans, an Outlaw jacket, with a beard I said, ‘Oh my goodness, we on the wrong path here.’ I saw Dixie Carter wanting to have a party because the ratings were up 1 percent. I always respect my boss because he handles things and always acted like the boss. You’re exactly right as far as wrestlers having that role in the artistry, what this angle will mean in 6 months. That’s what wrestlers are good at. You are exactly right. Hopefully, that’s where the Khan Family comes in because they got all the money.
For more of this interview including Hurricane Helm’s new role with WWE hit the link at the top.
The Hurricane returns!
Before The Final Bell:
Ambrose will be leaving the company after Wrestlemania.
Booker wonders if this is a swerve. Brad thinks it’s likely real.
“It’s big. I’m not gonna sit here and try not to make this exactly what it is. It’s huge. Dean Ambrose is part of The Shield, one of the biggest factions in WWE history. To see Dean Ambrose go, it’s not something I want to see. But it happens all the time.”
Brad agrees as Booker continues.
“The show will go on without Dean Ambrose. One man don’t stop no show. That’s just fact. Will Dean Ambrose be missed? Of course. We don’t know the reason why Dean Ambrose is leaving. He is in a position to make millions and millions of dollars. I remember back in 2007, I said, ‘This King Booker thing… I can’t do it anymore. I need to get away from this machine. I’m a simple man I don’t need a whole lot. I could live in a cabin.”
“His bump card has been punched many times. It could be as simple as Dean Ambrose is looking to step away. This job can become very, very, stressful.”
Brad wonders if Dean really is just burned out and needs to take a break.
Booker says he does not think Ambrose is leaving to go somewhere else. He just feels the guy is just burned out.
(I don’t think that Dean is simply burned out. He just got back from injury six months ago. Jim Ross talks about wrestlers leaving because of one or two things. That’s either creative or cash. Dean’s annual income is 1 million a year. So, maybe it’s creative. Perhaps, looking at the success his friends have had (Roman and Seth) as well as his wife Renee, maybe he felt underappreciated. He’s only had a lackluster and relatively short world title reign with the B-show championship.)
Booker does, however, think that Dean has his timing right.
“Dean Ambrose would be stepping away at the best time he possibly could, after Wrestlemania, cause that’s a big check!”
I enjoyed this greatly. It was a delightfully cheery show. I never knew Hurricane Helms had such a great wrestling mind. I also loved the discussion about intergender wrestling. I was going to write a better review but decided not to. They say I’m lazy. But I don’t care. That’s my prerogative. Rating: 8.5/10
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. You can also find his wrestling editorials at http://www.twm.news/ And here is a link to his film credits https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2026980/, as well as His Twitter @JamesHa34395813.