Booker T says it’s all about getting as much exposure as possible when you’re trying to make it into the game of professional wrestling.
The 2021 WWE Draft has just wrapped up and the latest episode of the ‘Hall of Fame’ podcast saw Booker T look back and explain why he preferred to go to SmackDown over Monday Night RAW in the 2004 draft. That year’s draft saw Booker cut a heel promo on then-SmackDown General Manager Kurt Angle about not being happy about coming to the “minor leagues” of SmackDown, but he says it was just for TV and it was the complete opposite feeling in real life.
“I wasn’t upset. [laughs] I was just playing my role, man. I knew going over to SmackDown, for me, I loved it. I was actually really, really happy when I got drafted to SmackDown — actually I don’t even know if I got drafted, I might’ve gotten traded — but I knew that going to SmackDown was going to give me a chance to be at ease. Being on live television every week on Monday Night RAW, it is very, very stressful to have to go out there every week and nail it,” Booker explained. “It’s the hardest position to be in, seriously, it really is.
“Back then, SmackDown was taped, so if you made a mistake, they could fix it, so it had a much more laid-back feel for me being on SmackDown. Also, I didn’t have to compete with those major players on RAW who wanted that TV time, who wanted that live time, who craved being in front of that camera like that. For me, it wasn’t about that. I just wanted to be — say for instance like when the Radicalz left WCW — a door opened for me and I said ‘let me utilize this moment. I’m going to have a little bit more TV time here.’ Some of the biggest stars were just stepped away, [but] me going over to SmackDown, I knew that the major players like Triple H and all those guys, they were going to be over there on RAW, so I was able to create my own thing on SmackDown.”
Booker pointed out that going to SmackDown allowed him to create his “King Bookah” character, which ended up being very popular with fans and resulted in a World Heavyweight Championship reign.