Ranking Booker T's Greatest WWE and WCW Moments Ahead of A&E Biography

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2021

Ranking Booker T's Greatest WWE and WCW Moments Ahead of A&E Biography

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Booker T is one of the greatest performers in professional wrestling history.

    Rising to prominence during the 1990s as one half of Harlem Heat, he broke away from his brother, Stevie Ray, to become a singles star with WCW, amassing a resume that included the television, United States and world titles before making the jump to WWE as part of the Invasion storyline once Ted Turner's company closed its doors.

    A major star in WWE, he proved equally badass and funny, winning titles and entertaining the masses during his in-ring career. As a commentator and expert analyst for Vince McMahon's company, he has continued to make his presence felt across WWE programming.

    On Sunday, Booker becomes the latest Hall of Famer to be the subject of WWE and A&E's Biography series, which will tell his story to a whole new audience unfamiliar with his journey to sports entertainment supremacy.

    In preparation for that series to air, relieve these moments from WCW and WWE that have helped shape the career of the iconic performer.

8. Immortalized by Bad Bunny

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    In 2020, Booker was immortalized in a realm beyond professional wrestling.

    The former WCW and world heavyweight champion was the subject of a hit single by rapper Bad Bunny entitled, simply enough, "Booker T". The performer even starred in the video, standing menacingly as the Latin star rapped around him.

    It was further confirmation of the effect Booker had on wrestling fans, Bad Bunny being one of them, and his reach into popular culture.

    While there were moments in the ring and on WCW and WWE television that helped define him as a pro wrestler, it was Bad Bunny's single that established him a star beyond the squared circle.

7. Harlem Heat Strikes Gold

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    Before he was a singles star, Booker rose to prominence in professional wrestling as one-half of Harlem Heat alongside brother Stevie Ray.

    A big, bruising tandem, they punished many a babyface team in WCW. And on the January 14, 1995, edition of WCW Saturday Night, they paid off their journey to the top of the tag team division by defeating Stars and Stripes (Marcus Alexander Bagwell and The Patriot) to capture the tag team titles.

    It was a monumental moment for the team, the first indication that WCW believed in them as one of the cornerstones of that division.

    When all was said and done, Harlem Heat would amass 10 reigns as champions, earning recognition as one of, if not the greatest tag team in WCW history.

6. 'Price Check on a Jackass!'

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    The December 13, 2001, episode of SmackDown saw Booker T attempt to escape from a vengeful, pissed-off "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, whom he had screwed over in the main event of the Vengeance pay-per-view.

    After evading him everywhere, including a church, Booker stumbled into a grocery store. Thinking he was safe, he let his guard down...until he heard someone crack open a beer behind him and suddenly knew the fate that awaited.

    Austin beat Booker up and down the aisles of the store, pummeling him with whatever he could find. By the end of the iconic brawl, The Texas Rattlesnake left Booker a beaten, floury, soaking mess before adding the extraordinary "price check on a jackass" line to wrap it up.

    To this day, it remains one of Booker's most unforgettable moments in WWE. So much so that it was replayed on the special throwback episode of SmackDown as one of the brand's greatest angles.

5. Booker and Goldust Meet The Rock

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    Booker and Goldust formed one of the wackiest, most fun and entertaining tandems in WWE. Their personalities were so incredibly different that they somehow meshed, creating hilarious vignettes and angles for fans to invest in.

    One such moment came backstage at the 2002 King of the Ring when Booker encountered Goldust dressed as The Rock. After some bickering, The Great One himself appeared and hilarity ensued.

    The on-screen chemistry between the trio was undeniable, as were the laughs. The best thing on that entire show, it further legitimized Booker and Goldust as an on-screen entity. Over the course of 2002, they formed a tag team and repeatedly challenged for the red brand titles, coming up short time after time.

    Then, at the Armageddon pay-per-view in December, they paid off their journey with an emotional win for their first title reign. And much of it can be traced back to that segment with The Rock, which not only continued what they had started but earned them a seal of approval from the future Hollywood A-lister.

4. World Heavyweight Champion

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    For five years, Booker did everything you would ask a company guy to do in WWE.

    He put others over, participated in wild and ridiculous angles and excelled as both a babyface and heel. He was a multi-faceted performer and should have been world champion far sooner than he was (WrestleMania XIX, I'm looking at you).

    Patience and continued dedication to his craft paid off, though, at the Great American Bash on July 23, 2006, when he rode his King Booker character into the main event of the pay-per-view and defeated Rey Mysterio to capture the World Heavyweight Championship.

    The first world title of his WWE run was the confirmation he and his fans needed. After years of comedy bits and enduring the midcard abyss, his talents and star power were properly compensated in the form of a title he should have held far earlier.

    It was also the start of a magical run for the King Booker character, who would dominate SmackDown in the second half of the year. Booker threw himself into that persona, and it connected with audiences, providing them the type of entertainment it demanded from a WWE that was up-and-down that particular year.

3. The Final WCW and United States Champion

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    The March 26, 2001, episode of WCW Monday Nitro brought an end to an unforgettable era in professional wrestling. It was the final battle in the Monday Night War and the last show produced by Ted Turner's sports-entertainment empire. After five-plus years of battling Vince McMahon's WWE, the company had lost the war and waved goodbye to fans with one last edition of Nitro.

    Booker T entered the show as the United States champion for a showdown with WCW champion Scott Steiner. In the night's opening match, Booker withstood everything Steiner threw at him and regained the top prize in WCW.

    The win etched his name in the history books, sure, but it established Booker as the final face of a company he had dedicated his life to for a decade. It was a magical moment—one he had absolutely earned. That WWE officials had a hand in determining the outcome suggested that Booker was a guy they, too, saw a lot in and wanted to position strongly for the eventual Invasion storyline.

2. WCW Champion

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    For years, Booker T listened to pundits and critics laud his in-ring ability but never received the support of WCW officials in his quest to break through that company's glass ceiling and become a bona fide main event competitor.

    That all changed at one of the most controversial pay-per-views of all time when Vince Russo ranted and railed against Hulk Hogan before announcing Booker vs. Jeff Jarrett for the WCW world title would be the night's main event.

    Despite a loss to Kanyon earlier in the night, Booker excelled in the high-profile position and defeated Jarrett to capture the title that had long eluded him throughout his career. It was the changing of the guard in WCW, an announcement to the world that Booker was no only good enough to carry that title,but that he had been chosen by Russo to carry the company moving forward.

    It was a crowning achievement for Booker and for longtime fans, one of the most emotional moments of his career. Now, if only there had been a WCW for him to lead longer.

1. 2-Time Hall of Famer

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    To understand Booker's greatness, one must look no further than the fact that he is one of few two-time Hall of Fame inductees in WWE history.

    He entered the Hall as a singles competitor in 2013, recognized for his wealth of championship reigns and overall stardom during wrestling's hottest period. Then, in 2019, he was enshrined for a second time as part of Harlem Heat, accepting the honor alongside big brother Stevie Ray.

    Others to have achieved that honor? You might have heard of them: Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan, among others.

    To be put into the Hall of Fame once is an honor. To go in twice is reserved for the greatest to ever lace a pair of boots.

    It is no wonder that Booker T is one of the Superstars selected by WWE and A&E to highlight in the latter's Biography series. His is a tale of triumph, of life-changing dedication to his craft and one of the great success stories in pro wrestling history.

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