When Booker T enters the WWE Hall of Fame on April 6, there are two front-runners for the best man to induct him, Stevie Ray and Goldust.
Terry Funk will induct Mick Foley. Arnold Schwarzenegger will induct Bruno Sammartino. As for Booker, his brother and former tag team partner, Stevie Ray or his bizarre ally, Goldust, are clearly the two men most suited to induct him.
A Hall of Fame inductor should have a long-standing relationship with the inductee. One should think of the former and immediately think of the latter. Additionally, the more star power the inductor has the better.
For those reasons, Hulk Hogan was the perfect inductor for Gene Okerlund in 2006, as was Ric Flair for Ricky Steamboat in 2009.
Many fans first came to know Booker T as one half of Harlem Heat. Alongside his real-life brother, Stevie Ray, Booker scissor-kicked his way to 10 tag team titles in the WCW.
As a tag partner alone, Stevie has a strong case to be Booker's inductor. They spent years on the independent circuit together, including a run as the Ebony Experience with Dallas-based Global Wrestling Federation (h/t Slam! Sports).
Their relationship, of course, goes beyond that alliance. Stevie Ray (real name: Lash Huffman) and Booker grew up together in urban Houston, Texas, and spent much of their youth without a father.
The only reason not to choose Stevie is if the WWE is concerned that less of today's fans know who he is. While Booker T went on to have a remarkable singles career, Stevie Ray didn't make the same impact at all. Still, this is Booker's moment and having his brother be the man to usher him into the Hall of Fame will be a touching moment.
Brotherhood so often trumps friendship, but Goldust has a case as well.
There are two reasons to choose Goldust over Stevie Ray, the fact that he will add more buzz to the event and that he will likely make a more amusing speech.
Stevie Ray will probably give a heartfelt speech with a few funny anecdotes thrown in. Goldust's speech, however, is sure to be a captivating performance. He built a career on using his strangeness for entertainment purposes. Who knows what he will do in his tux and gold wig?
The ceremony will be a lot more fun with Goldust involved. It's not as if Schwarzenegger is going to rub his own nipples and pretend to have Tourette syndrome.
Goldust's involvement adds some hype, but to an event that needs no additional hype. The class already features two former faces of the franchise, the greatest WWE female wrestler not named Fabulous Moolah, Booker T and the beloved Mick Foley. It's in prestigious Madison Square Garden, and the Terminator is going to be there.
What more do we need?
Goldust and Booker T's team only lasted a short while. The pairing, though, resulted in some of the funniest segments in WWE history. Goldust and Booker played with a lightsaber, collided in a 7-Eleven and imitated The Rock in hilarious fashion.
The two also won the tag team titles together in 2002.
The convergence of their contrasting personalities was one of WWE's most entertaining pairings. Could they reunite the night before WrestleMania?
Choosing Goldust is a move for the WWE fans. Choosing Stevie Ray is a move for Booker.
Goldust's star power isn't mighty enough to offset Booker T and Stevie Ray's sibling status. The 2013 ceremony is so loaded with big names that the WWE should be more concerned with sentiment over celebrity in the case of Booker.
WWE has to go with Stevie Ray. The potential emotional power of brother inducting brother and the excitement of seeing Harlem Heat together again is too good to pass up.