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Wrestling / Booker T

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"Can you dig that, Suckaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?"

The Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, WCW Champion!

Booker T (born Robert Booker Tio Huffman, March 1, 1965) is one of the most decorated wrestlers of all-time, having wrestled for World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action. Over the course of his career he's had six runs with a World Title (5 with WCW's World Heavyvweight Title, 1 with WWE's World Heavyweight Title), 15 runs as a tag team champion (11 WCW, 3 WWE, 1 TNA), and been a Grand Slam Champion in WCW (WCW World Heavyweight Title, WCW United States Heavyweight Title, WCW World Television Title and WCW World Tag Team Title) and in WWE. He is also a former King of the Ring. He was the General Manager for SmackDown, and serves as one of the trainers on WWE Tough Enough. Also, he's a part of the Hall of Fame class of 2013 and was later inducted again alongside Stevie Ray as part of Harlem Heat in the class of 2019.

He and Stevie Ray are also three time Global Wrestling Federation North American Tag Team Champions. Individually, Booker has held the heavyweight titles at the independent level of the Prairie Wrestling Alliance, Texas All-Pro Wrestling, Southern Championship Wrestling Florida and Las Vegas Pro Wrestling.

Beyond the ring, he's tried his hand at booking, or at least has ownership with his wife Sharmell, having established the Pro Wrestling Alliance in Houston, which was later replaced by Reality Of Wrestling. He is the current color commentator for WWE NXT, a position he has held since October 2022.

Do not confuse him with Booker T. Washington, or Booker T. Jones of Booker T. and the MGs.

"You didn't trope that. TELL didn't just trope that!":

  • The Ace: The most decorated WCW champion of all time. It's only slightly diminished by his high points not necessarily being those of the company.
  • Affectionate Nickname: "B. Teazy", as coined by Undertaker during a roast session.
  • All-American Face: His G.I. Bro gimmick and Ebony Experience tag team with Stevie Ray were meant to fill the void left by Sgt. Slaughter no longer being one during the Gulf War.
  • Alliterative Name: His tag teams with Stevie Ray, "Ebony Experience" and "Harlem Heat".
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: With The Rock during his later days in WCW, as Vince Russo made him use the same finisher and spout catchphrases. Was lampshaded during the Invasion angle as Booker feuded with the Rock when the latter returned.
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning:
    • Unfortunately, his King of the Ring victory went to his head.
    • He was the first 100% black wrestler to win the WWE world championship.
  • Bash Brothers: With Stevie Ray.
  • Berserk Button:
    • As a WWE commentator, Michael Cole. It's pretty much guaranteed that Cole will say something to seriously piss Booker off at least Once an Episode.
    • Insulting or, worse, harming his wife Sharmell will incur his wrath. Just ask Simon Dean, Kurt Angle, Mark Jindrak, and Bobby Roode how that felt.
  • Big Applesauce: Was billed from Harlem, NY in WCW, despite being from Houston, Texas.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saving Teddy Long from Mark Henry. Because words can't do it justice.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Booker T was usually loud and happy to brawl. The exceptions were his WWE heel runs, especially when contrasted against Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  • Big "YES!": Harlem Heat's entrance music started with the words "YES YES YES NO NO NO!"
  • Bullying a Dragon: A real life example when Batista called him a jobber and challenged him to a fistfight in the dressing room. According to most versions of the scuffle, Booker promptly got him down and pounded him until they were separated, and still got the better of him when Batista grabbed his braids and tried to knee him in the head.
  • Call-Back: His late-2005 Best of Seven Series for the WWE United States Heavyweight Title with Chris Benoit recycled the series they had done in 1998 over the WCW World Television Title.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Two; "Can you dig that, Suckaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?" and "Tell me... he didn't just say that." (more commonly spoken as "You didn't say that. Tell me... you didn't just say that.")
    • In WCW he would often say, "Don't hate the player, hate the game." It didn't really catch on. However, it led to a pretty cool moment in WWE. During a feud with Triple H, he and Goldust were talking about Hunter. The conversation ended with Goldust prompting him with "Don't hate the player..." and Booker responding in a murderous tone with "...hate The Game."
    • And he was the Five Time...Five Time...Five Time...Five Time...Five Time WCW CHAMPION!!!! That one did catch on.
    • He's developed a few as a commentator as well, including "Oh my GOODNESS!", "This is ridiculous!", "What da hale?!", and, for high-flying action, "With the greatest of ease!"
    • "You Gotta Love It!" is another new commentary catch phrase Booker T uses.
    • "Shucky Ducky Quack Quack!"
    • "It is I, King Booker!"
  • Celebrity Cameo: He was recognized in attendance at the 2012 Formula One US Grand Prix. He was supporting Lewis Hamilton, who didn't win that year (but would two years later).
  • Christmas Episode: Christmas Chaos was the final Reality Of Wrestling show, but an unexpected gift from interested investors and partners caused Booker T to decide to keep it going.
  • Combat Commentator:
    • When the Main Event Mafia took over TNA Impact, Booker T acted as one in a parody of Don West.
    • Booker T served as one for the Pro Wrestling Syndicate, then he became one on WWE Smackdown.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A firm believer of it while on commentary.
  • Combination Attack:
    • Big Apple Blast (bear hug from Stevie Ray, sidekick from Booker T). He and Scott Steiner have a variation where Booker T does a calf kick.
    • Heat Bomb (power bomb from Stevie Ray, elbow drop from Booker T).
    • Heat Seeker (Doomsday Device).
    • Towering Inferno (back breaker from Stevie Ray, leg drop from Booker T).
  • Cool Old Guy: Over 50 and still one of the most respected and well-liked personalities in WWE, whether in the ring or out.
  • Cuckoolander Commentator:
  • Dance Battler: A 6'3", 250 pound angry man... who breakdances.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: One of only three wrestlers to beat Goldberg in WCW (the other two being Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner). It wasn't entirely clean, as Jeff Jarret interfered, but Booker T has the closest thing to such against a prime Goldberg.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • At the start of the Invasion, Booker T was the top man in the Alliance. Very quickly, however, he was superseded by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, and Rob Van Dam.
    • And again, after he lost his position as Smackdown GM. He's still with the company - he just doesn't do much, if anything, on screen.
  • Determinator: He decided to take on all four members of Evolution after they injured Goldust.
  • Dirty Coward: As a heel.
  • Dirty Old Man: Fairly often while on commentary.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Harlem Heat (Booker and Stevie Ray)'s original, very short-lived, gimmick in WCW was that they were chained prisoners being led around by their white Southern manager, Col. Robert Parker. note  The idea for the gimmick is usually attributed to wrestler Sid Vicious.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: Has been growing the dreads out since the end of Harlem Heat's regular run in WCW and had them seemingly down to his waist for the last eleven years. Not so much now with the 'warrior' part, but he can still go when the time calls.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: While a 5-time WCW champ, Booker had to endure a lot of setbacks in his WWE career (the finish of WrestleMania XIX is a good example where Triple H squashed him in humiliating fashion) before he finally won a world title again in 2006, five years after joining the company.
  • Expy: G.I. Bro was an expy of Sergeant Slaughter.
  • Face Palm: The instant he dropped his infamous "Hulk Hogan, we comin' for YOU, nigga!", he immediately facepalmed, with Sherri mouthing "you madman, you" and giving him a sympathetic pat on the head.
  • Facial Markings: Of the practical kind. He used to wear a rebreather in WCW.
  • Fanboy: Of Daniel Bryan a.k.a "D-Bryan" who consistently was on the top of Booker's "top five." Until Daniel Bryan's heel turn, that is.
  • Finishing Move: The Bookend, the Ax Kick, the Scissor Kick, the Missile Dropkick. In WCW he used to use a top rope somersault leg drop he called the Harlem Hangover, and occasionally used it in WWE as the Houston Hangover.
  • Flat "What": His reaction to Jerry Lawler's supposed anal bleeding.
  • Friend to All Children: The money generated from his PWA / ROW shows that doesn't go to workers gets put in the Booker T Fights for Kids charity.
  • For Your Own Good: Booker T's reasoning for helping Jerry Lawler pull Michael Cole from the ring, who had already retreated over the top rope to get away from Kharma, who went on to drop Dolph Ziggler with the Implant Buster.
  • Good Is Dumb: As Smackdown GM, he believes everything Eve Torres tells him. To the point where Sting would probably think he's missing the obvious. He has gotten better, though.
  • Happily Married: To Sharmell.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: More so in WCW, where this had become the norm.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: After claiming to be better than the Undertaker (which got the predictable results), Booker T turned to a bokor, who freaked out because "a shadow" was stalking him. When he asked her what to do about "the shadow", she gave him some powder, which he was to sprinkle in a grave site. It raised another man from the dead, who presumably would fight the Undertaker for Booker T. but Booker got scared and took off before he could see the man come out of the ground.
  • Hot-Blooded
    • He tried to suppress this as King Booker, but even then he got all fired up when Cryme Tyme stole his wallet. Otherwise this was pretty much the norm.
    • By his own admission, this is why he called Hulk Hogan the N-word. It just kinda slipped out.
  • I Have Many Names: G.I. Bro, Black Snow, Kole, King Bookah...
  • I Kiss Your Foot: King Booker would often try to force other wrestlers to kiss his foot.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Booker T claimed to Goldust that he was not a Star Wars fan and had never watched the movie before. He then took Goldust's toy lightsaber and swung it around while calling himself Obi Book Kenobi.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: In the G.I. Bro Comic Books.
  • Irrational Hatred: For no apparent reason, Booker developed a hatred of Jason Jordan during his run as Kurt Angle's illegitimate son, and would go out of his way to denigrate him and accuse him of cheating on commentary, with even heel commentator Corey Graves feeling Booker was taking his criticism way too far and scrambling to defend Jordan.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As a face prior to his semi retirement. Booker T's been much nicer as a commentator and as the Smackdown general manager than he was as a wrestler.
  • Kicked Upstairs: He left the commentary team to become the GM of Smackdown.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: An unusual subversion in that Booker did this while he was winning. During a match with The Big Show, he and Booker were fighting on the outside when he picked up the steel ring steps. He tried to attack Booker with them, but Booker superkicked him in the chest, making him lose his balance and fall back with the ring steps landing right on his head. Booker kicked the steps off of Show and found that he was completely unconscious. When Booker tried to drag Show back into the ring for a pin, he realized Show was too heavy to move. Finally, Booker just climbed back into the ring by himself and let the referee count Show out for the win.
  • Large Ham: It had reduced a bit as he got older, but even then it took a while. Take a gander at King Booker's promos where he completely cuts off Batista on the microphone to assure him of his inferiority. Better yet, just watch his entrance where he hops around and raises his hands when the pyro goes off.
  • Last of His Kind: He was the last wrestler to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the final episode of Nitro.
  • Leave Him to Me!: At Producciones Perros del Mal, Booker T willingly took on Big Daddy V to keep him off of his smaller partners Mesias and Blue Demon Jr. However, after everything Booker T did failed to knock Big Daddy V down, he called for their help, once they were done with Shawn Hernandez and Shelton Benjamin.
  • Legacy Character: Sort of. Bubba Douglas was the first Booker T when he was in CSW: Heart of America Sports Attractions, a promotion in Kansas, but that Booker T wasn't much like this one beyond name (and a not-quite-afro, if you want to stretch it).
  • Leitmotif
    • Alternated between "The Woodchuck's Game", "Hittin' The Jack" by Joel Edwards, and his G.I. Bro Theme in the year 2000.
    • Usually "Rapsheet" from 2001 onward.
    • "Dead White Guys" during his "King Bookah" run.
    • "Sucka" in TNA, when not using the Main Event Mafia theme.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Besides power moves like the Bookend, his chops or various kicks, he was also known for a flying forearm and an exaggerated jumping knee drop. In his younger days, he was known for his impressive somersault leg drop (dubbed the Harlem Hangover). He used it for the first time in years during his 2003 match with Triple H.
  • Morality Pet: Was friends with Goldust despite being a heel. Later on, his wife Sharmell filled this role.
  • Motor Mouth: His commentary tends to ramble just a bit, giving the fans plenty of Inane Black Snow Commentary moments.
  • Napoleon Delusion: The "King Booker" gimmick was this, as Booker started to act as if being King of the Ring meant he really was a king.
  • No Indoor Voice: Even in non wrestling contests, such as when he appeared on WWE Confidential or served as the Smackdown GM. The exception was his tenure on WWE Tough Enough.
  • N-Word Privileges: His infamous promo towards Hulk Hogan shows that even he realised this was a bad idea.
  • Odd Friendship: Several over his tenure, RVD, Eddie Guerrero, and Goldust.
  • Older Than They Look: Booker will turn 55 in 2020 and looks to be in his mid-to-late thirties at the most. However, seeing that African-Americans usually age more slowly than other races, it shouldn't be surprising.
  • One-Steve Limit: Booker T owned his own PWA (Pro Wrestling Alliance in Texas) but was also champion in another PWA (Prairie Wrestling Alliance in Canada).
  • Only One Name: After Big T. defeated him for the right to use the letter T, Booker was just Booker.
  • Only Sane Man: He shares this role with Josh Matthews when it comes to commentary on Smackdown. Though unlike Josh Matthews, who wisely stays quiet about it, Booker T tends to call Michael Cole out on his insanity.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • During his time as King Booker, Booker used an obviously fake British accent. On occasion he'd get angered and slip back to his actual accent, mostly when someone caused him to revert to yelling "Tell me... he didn't just say that!"
    • Whilst part of the Main Event Mafia, Booker used an obviously fake African accent, to portray the idea he was African royalty. He'd slip out of this one just as frequently.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: His infamous moment of calling Hulk Hogan the n-word in a moment of excitement only to visibly instantly regret it. Conversely, his manager clearly thinks it’s hilarious while everyone else has to no-sell what just happened and move on.
  • Out of Focus: During the Invasion, he initially started off as The Dragon. But then Badass Decay set in, and Stone Cold became the focus.
  • Perky Female Minion
    • Sister Sherri for Harlem Heat, though she insisted she was just a friend everyone knew she was around to help them get ahead.
    • Booker hired The Beautiful People to protect his wife from ODB and even gave them his locker room.
    • Black Rose as Booker (and Shelton Benjamin's) manager in WWC during 2011, including her own spinaroonies.
  • Pet the Dog: One of his first actions as the new Smackdown GM was to give Teddy Long (the longtime former GM who lost his job thanks to John Laurinaitis and had spent the last several months being humiliated by Laurinaitis and Eve) a position as his senior advisor.
  • Power Stable
    • Was The Dragon for the Alliance (until he was Demoted to Extra), ran King Booker's Court, and was a member of the Main Event Mafia in TNA.
    • Back in the dark days of WCW in 2000, briefly revived his old GWF gimmick of G.I. Bro as a member of the Misfits in Action, a military-themed Face group.
    • He and Stevie Ray joined the Masters of the Power Bomb with Big Van Vader and Sid while they were Kole and Kane.
    • Randomly thrown into the WWE version of the NWO in 2002.
    • King Booker's Court, with Queen Sharmell, William Regal, Finlay and Hornswoggle.
    • Perros Del Mal in AAA. His membership was kind of surprising, considering he showed no affiliation with the group when he worked for their own promotion prior.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: A very rare male example as a respected Hall of Fame, All-Star panelist.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: See Catchphrase.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: As the Smackdown GM.
  • The Rival: Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner during his WCW days. John Cena and Chris Benoit during his time on Smackdown.
  • Semi-Retired Badass: Following his return to WWE in 2011, he became a commentator, then he was appointed to be the Smackdown GM in 2012. 48 years old and can still drop a scissors kick on you if you get out of line.
  • Ring Oldies: When he was forty nine, Booker T reunited one last time with Stevie Ray to win the Reality Of Wrestling Tag Team Titles. They vacated them thirteen days after Booker T turned fifty.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: During his United States Championship feud with the Boogeyman, Booker declared himself to be the best dressed wrestler in the world and usually wore a suit. Also in the Main Event Mafia, obviously.
  • Small Name, Big Ego
    • King Bookah is a King. Batista is nothing but a bloated peasant!
    • Incidentally, he got in a fistfight with Batista backstage about Batista bragging about his push. Pretty much all the other wrestlers sided with Booker.
  • Spectacular Spinning: The Spin-A-Roonie is his signature taunt, usually done as a baby face to fire up the crowd, but sometimes its instead used in a practical way to get back up to his feet.
  • Spirited Competitor: Whenever he was a face.
  • Spiritual Successor: While the Pro Wrestling Alliance school was founded to make sure more pro wrestlers were properly trained, the shows they put on were supposed to call back to Paul Boesch's Houston Wrestling, a promotion from the 1920-1980s.
  • Spit Take: Happened mid-Stunner at WrestleMania XXVII.
  • Start My Own: His own wrestling promotion in Houston, TX, originally called the Pro Wrestling Alliance, now known as Reality of Wrestling.
  • Still Got It
    • At age 46, he can still go well enough in the ring, and he can still pull off the Spinaroonie too!
    • To prove this? The Raw of 06/06/11. He gets challenged by Jack Swagger and goaded into a match. Many people expect Swagger to squash him. After all, Booker's a commentator now and the commentary team kept hyping that he had at least four years of ring rust (despite being part of TNA). What happens? Booker beats Swagger so bad, Swagger tries to run away, only for Evan Bourne to toss him back into the ring to receive Booker's patented Scissors Kick. Now, can you dig that? Sucka!
    • Also, a series of very good and closely contested matches with Cody Rhodes, who was about 20 years his junior. Booker came very close to winning the Intercontinental Championship after spending several months in semi-retirement at the announcer's table.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Cody the Red Nosed Reindeer."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His Chemistry with Michael Cole on commentary seems to be building up to this. The duo seem to find a lot of humor in trolling each other in an attempt to make the other corpse.
  • Third-Person Person: As King Booker, and when imitating The Rock's catchphrases.
  • Underwear of Power: Pretty much wore them all the time while wrestling.
  • The Unintelligible: His deep and raspy voice is very hard to understand at times.
  • Upper-Class Twit: As King Booker, and again during his TNA tenure with Team 3D declaring him royalty and kissing his ring.
  • Where da White Women At?:
    • Long before HHH became a plantation owner over on Raw, Nitro worked the race angle with Harlem Heat. Sherri managed the team as "Sister" Sherri, a white cougar with two huge black guys on her arm, which announcer Gary Michael Cappetta said was “easy heat.” Sherri wasn't amused, saying on numerous occasions that Booker is "her brother" and that their business isn't about color.
    • In Booker's WWE run, Stacy Keibler helped him win a match against Test. Booker then invited Stacy into the ring and persuaded her to do a "legaroonie" while wearing a short skirt. Booker enjoyed the ensuing Panty Shot as much as anyone in the crowd.
  • Worthy Opponent: El Illegal Chicano in Puerto Rican IWA; despite being part of the evil Main Event Mafia stable and holder of his trumped up Legends Championship, Booker T was hardly upset when he lost to Chicano and celebrated with him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Hit the Bookend on Team Canada's Major Gunns (Tylene Buck) on the November 15, 2000 WCW Thunder after she hit him with the Canadian flag, though he apologized for it the following week.
  • Wrestling Family: His brother Stevie Ray and his wife Sharmell.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: His reaction as a commentator when an awesome moment occurs in the ring.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Booker is the youngest of eight children and despite a rocky start, became the star of the family. Despite Stevie Ray's (the third youngest) success in Harlem Heat, he was never able to have the singles success that Booker had.



Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): King Booker, King Booker T


The Mafia Attack Sting

Sting is betrayed by the Main Event Mafia. He attempts to get payback with his trademark baseball bat, but the attempt backfires.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

Example of:

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