WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard spoke with Booker T and Brad Gilmore ahead of their live podcast session at Planet 13 in Las Vegas. The duo will conduct a live recording of The Hall Of Fame podcast, which will be followed by a meet and greet.
Both men, of course, are no strangers to the Las Vegas area. Before they head back for new memories, Booker shared some details about his previous ventures in “Sin City.”
“When I think of Vegas, I guess the first memory that come to my mind is meeting Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson’s dad and his wife. It was so awesome because I was a young Booker T back then at the MGM Grand. I remember running into Frankie Valli in the MGM Grand one day as well with my brother. It’s always had a special place with me. And now to be able to do an event in Vegas, we’ve done one before, which was a really, really, really awesome event, the first event ever done in the MGM Grand from an independent perspective. Now we’re hoping to go back in December and do something really, really big as well,” Booker said.
Continuing To Grow ROW
Booker is undoubtedly excited to return to Las Vegas. He’s also looking forward to expanding the reach of Reality of Wrestling.
“We’re just trying to create something special with Reality of Wrestling in a small company, but we’re growing exponentially. And to be able to let young people see what they can do, I think is my pride and joy. I think that’s why I get my strength from, working with young people,” Booker said. “For me, the journey is just beginning, though. The journey is just beginning. And I just want to see exactly how far we can go. I just say ask God to give me enough time to finish my work.”
As mentioned, Booker and Brad’s podcast session will be held at Las Vegas’ Planet 13 — the world’s largest cannabis dispensary. In further discussing the event, Booker revealed that he’s been a long-time advocate for cannabis. It’s something he wishes more of his former colleagues utilized in substitution for some harder drugs.
“In Las Vegas, we’re going to be doing a meet and greet in the podcast at Planet 13. That’s something that’s really near and dear to me also, as far as representing something like cannabis,” Booker said. “So, I just promote these young kids, man, these young guys staying away from medical drugs. Those are some of the biggest pitfalls you can fall into in this business is getting trapped.”
“I was just listening to Kurt Angle [on the Joe Rogan podcast], and I think he said he took 2700 pills a month. That right there, when I saw that, I go, ‘Man, Kurt is a really, really good friend of mine,’ and to see him go down that road and that journey, which perhaps could have been avoided if he could have taken cannabis.
A Viable Substitution
Booker said he wants to show Las Vegas and everyone that The Hall Of Fame is not just about wrestling. He also wants to use his position to educate people about the dangers of prescription drug and alcohol abuse, and the dangerous effects they could have.
“It’s so easy to fall into those pitfalls. Because it wasn’t that I wasn’t in the room when it happened,” Booker continued. “[I] just was able to make myself unavailable. [I’d] say, ‘Hey, look, I’m going to take myself out of this scene.’ I was in the room when the cocaine came out, I was in the room when the pills came out. I was in the room when all of that stuff was happening. But for me, I had seen it before as a kid. And it’s something, a road that I knew I didn’t want to go down, but it only takes one time. We see so many kids today dying from thinking they’re taking an oxycodone pill or something, and it’s laced with fentanyl, and boom, they’re [dead].”
Booker says he believes it’s very important for people in his position to stand up for others, and to let people know cannabis isn’t as harmful as it was originally thought.
A Different Perspective
Later in the interview, Booker’s co-host Brad Gilmore weighed in with his thoughts on the benefits of CBD-based products. While Gilmore isn’t a user himself, he has opened his eyes to their positive effects, especially for athletes.
Gilmore noted how cannabis is still not recreationally legal in Texas. But there are plenty of benefits on the CBD side of things. CBD is different from THC as it is not a psychoactive chemical, and it is legal in the state.
“So many guys who have injuries, inflammation, battling, even anxiety, you see that CBD has done wonders for them,” Gilmore said. “Even a couple drops under the tongue. You hear Governor Jesse Ventura talk about what it did for him and for his significant other, his wife, I believe, who was battling seizures.”
“So from that perspective and the medicinal effects of it that it can do for athlete recovery is definitely something that I think that we should continue to push for. Because the reason why so many of the guys back in Booker’s day, thankfully Booker didn’t go down that road, but so many guys did with the painkillers is because ‘this ain’t ballet’ to quote somebody. This hurts.”
Recovery Is Key
Gilmore noted how recovery is paramount for athletes on any level, and CBD is at least something athletes should educate themselves on.
‘For a lot of these young guys and girls who are now having to tour, even on the independent level,” he explained, noting how grueling the travel can be. “Recovery is key, and you don’t want to see them go down the same path that so many others did in the past. So in Texas, CBD is something that I definitely think every athlete should check out for recovery.”
Booker T and Brad Gilmore will be live in Las Vegas at Planet 13 on Friday, September 29th from 1 pm – 3 pm local time. They will do a live session of their Hall Of Fame podcast from 1-2 pm. The podcast is followed by a meet and greet from 2-3 pm in the Planet 13 Las Vegas Grand Hallway. The event is free to attend and fans must be 21 years of age or older.
Check out our full interview with Booker T and Brad Gilmore below:
If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).