Booker T is one of the most decorated and accomplished wrestlers in history. In his over 25-year career, Booker has won countless championships, main evented many pay-per-views as the culmination of high profile feuds, and given back to the wrestling community with his and his brother Stevie Ray’s Reality of Wrestling promotion.
These are just a few reasons why Booker is respected by his peers, and remembered by fans to this day. Many fans and contemporaries also revere him for his high level of professionalism and he was a one-of-a-kind prowess as a performer.
At WCW Bash at the Beach 2000, Booker defeated Jeff Jarrett to become the WCW Champion for the first time. This came after the highly controversial incident involving Vince Russo and Hulk Hogan earlier that night. Even though the victory is only remembered due to that incident, it was deserved as Booker was ready to carry the WCW brand as a main eventer. It was a long time coming for Booker, who had spent the previous seven years in WCW’s midcard.
In WCW, Booker always received a positive reception whenever he made his entrance or cut a promo in the middle of the ring. He was easy to relate to, especially since there were not a lot of African American wrestlers at that time that got the push that Booker T did.
Booker T would win the WCW Title three more times while WCW was still in operation. During that span, he had matches on Monday Nitro and Thunder that should be brought to light, such as his matches against Lance Storm, Mike Awesome, Sting, and, most infamously, Scott Steiner on the final episode of Nitro. An honorable mention also goes to his match with Jeff Jarrett at WCW New Blood Rising too since that was better than the Bash at the Beach match.
When Booker T came to WWE at the start of the WCW/ECW Invasion storyline in 2001, he was still the WCW Champion. He lost it to Kurt Angle on the July 24 episode of SmackDown that year, but regained the WCW Championship on Raw the following Monday, thus making him the five-time (FIVE-TIME, FIVE-TIME, FIVE-TIME!) WCW Champion! Even though Booker lost the WCW Championship a month later to The Rock at SummerSlam, it marked a great note in history as the first time two black wrestlers closed a major PPV.
Once The Invasion came to a close, Booker’s personality started to shine more during comedy segments with the likes of Goldust, Rob Van Dam, Kane, Christian, and Steve Austin. The high (and low) point of this babyface run came in a match against Triple H at WrestleMania XIX for the World Heavyweight Championship, though the feud was filled with racist overtones that were made worse when Triple H decisively pinned Booker following a Pedigree.
Even though Booker did not win that match, he would go on to win the Intercontinental and World Tag Team Championships on the Raw brand. When Booker was traded to SmackDown in 2004, he turned heel again and entered a lengthy feud with John Cena over the United States Championship. After another face turn, he got another WWE Championship match, this time against John Bradshaw Layfield at that year’s Survivor Series, where he once again came up short.
When the calendar flipped to 2006, Booker finally got his hands on a WWE World Heavyweight Title and it is his most memorable one. Renamed King Booker following his 2006 King of the Ring victory, he beat Rey Mysterio for the World Title at The Great American Bash. This was a great reinvention of the Booker T character and led to a fun run with the World Heavyweight Championship.
Through his long career, Booker has accomplished so much during his wrestling career and has a long list of championships and victories to his name. He is the best example to overcome a rough upbringing to find success. His story is inspiring and he is still involved with professional wrestling to this day!