On a recent episode of Heated Conversations, Booker T went into extensive detail about his run with TNA. Booker talked on topics such as his time in TNA being a “vacation,” why he left TNA, TNA’s bad hospitality, why he didn’t put over Matt Morgan, and more.
Booker started with his schedule while working for TNA.
“TNA was like a vacation. You know what I mean? That’s why I don’t give it a whole lot of props, man, because it was like a vacation man. It wasn’t like I was really working for that money, man. You know what I mean? I was only working like 50 days a year. I had a two-year contract, you know what I mean. It was in Disney. You know, we went to do the tapings down there, so, I was on the rides half the time when I was supposed to be working. You know what I’m saying. So, it was a nice, nice vacation… It was cool working for TNA. It was great.”
Booker T would go on to talk about having no catering or food in the hotel when he went on an overseas tour, and getting beer bottles thrown at the Main Event Mania with no security in sight, and having to feed TNA talent in the hotel as a result of them taking an all-night bus trip with no food while he took a “couple hour flight.”
For these reasons, Booker T decided that TNA was not a good fit for him.
“That’s the company. TNA. That’s the situation that they put us in,” said Booker.
“I remember doing a pay-per-view right here in my own hometown. I was working Samoa Joe, and they wanted me to do media. Go around to all the television stations. I was like, man, I don’t mind doing that. And I remember one of the reps, I ain’t gonna say his name, he called me and he said, ‘Booker. You ready to do the media?’ And I go, ‘Yeah. I’m ready. I’ll text you my address.’ He goes, ‘No, just meet me at this hotel.’ It was right off the southwest freeway. And I live in Friendswood, so he wanted me to drive out there, about a 45-minute drive. He wanted me [to] meet him, and we go on all the media tour. I go ‘What you driving?’ and he goes, ‘I have a rental car.’ And I go, ‘I ain’t going nowhere in no rental car, and I ain’t gonna come out there when it should be a rental car coming to my house and pick me up!’ I say, that’s not gonna happen, so he goes, ‘Let me make a phone call.’
“So he calls the office, the office calls me. They say ‘Book. What’s going on? I heard you don’t want to go do the media.’ [I told them], ‘I don’t mind going to do the media, but I’m not driving.’ I said someone should come pick me up. The guys goes, ‘Well, you got some nice cars, don’t you?’ I go, ‘Yeah I got some nice cars. I got five of them. And a Winnebago. And they all gonna stay at home.’ I say, come on man. Every time I had a talent from TNA come to Reality of Wrestling, the flagship of Texas Wrestling, every time I’ve had one come down, they’ve all got limo treatment. Picked up at the airport. Brought to the arena. Took back to the hotel, they got a basket in the room. With all kind of fruits and Red Bulls and all kind of stuff in it. And you guys are a major company and you want me to drive myself around? I’m like, come on. Come on. That’s not the way you do business. And I really think that’s one of the reasons why TNA is in the dire straits that they are [now].”
Booker would add that the lack of proper service is why talent has left GFW for WWE. He also stated that he was the one that told Bobby Roode to cut his hair, because he saw a world champion in him, but his “mullet” did not fit the look of a champion. He also stated that TNA made the Legends Championship specifically for him, and paid 5-10,000 for it. However, they changed it to the TV title without him even knowing about it, and that’s when he knew that “the wheels were falling off.”
He also explained how he did not mind putting Matt Morgan over in TNA, and he agreed to the scenario presented to him. However, TNA changed the plan last minute, and just wanted Morgan to get a “quick 6-7 minute win” on Booker on TV with no build or interference.
“They said it real quick, and brushed it off real quick. [They] hurried up and got up out of there. But before they left, I said, let me think about that, and we’ll talk. As soon as he walked out, I walked out right behind him and I thought about it. I go, ‘No, we’re not gonna do that.’ I been around for a long time. I know I’m leaving, but I don’t wanna just go out there and do a job on my way out. I can’t do that. So, I’m not gonna do that.’ So, they go talk to the powers that be, and they come talk to me. They say, ‘Book, you don’t wanna put him over?’ I go, ‘No. I’m not doing that.’ … It was an insult on so many ways. So, finally they talked, and they come back and say, ‘Well, we’ll do it the original way.’ I go, ‘No. I can’t do that either, because you insulted me.’ So tonight, I’m gonna take off. How bout that.”
Booker stated that he was excited about going into TNA and making it better. However, “letting the old guard back in” made it fall apart. He said there is nothing wrong with the old guard, but there was so much young talent around the time he was there (he mentioned Bobby Roode, Jay Lethal, Awesome Kong, Angelina Love, Gail Kim, and Brooke Adams) who were not getting a fair chance. He also was against TNA taking away the six-sided ring during the Hogan era, because it “gave them their identity.”
You can hear the full podcast below.
If any portion of these quotes are used, be sure to H/T Heated Conversations via WrestleZone for the transcription.