The Baltimore Sun has a new Q&A online with Booker T to promote Sunday’s WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view. Below is an excerpt:
You’ve been a color commentator on SmackDown for nearly a year. Was it a tough transition going from being a full-time wrestler to commentating outside of the ropes?
It was really tough. I didn’t think I was going to make it. But I’ve had a lot of help from the staff. … Those guys have really groomed me and helped me, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do. It’s a lot of fun. I’m loving it. It’s something I wanted to do for many, many years. It was a joke that back in the day that I always did commentary in the back when the guys were in the ring before me. I would be in the back doing it on the little monitor for the boys in the back.
But you’ll be back in the ring on Sunday night for your first pay-per-view match in a few years. Are you excited to be back in the spotlight, and are you worried about ring rust?
I’m definitely worried about my ring rust. And I’m really not that excited about being in the ring. I’m going out and defending my manhood. That’s a little more important than me being back in the ring. I was actually content with doing the commentary, but this issue with Cody Rhodes is getting bigger and bigger and the fans do want to see me go out there and perform.
What’s your relationship with Cody away from the ring? You requested this match, right?
Dusty Rhodes [Cody's father] and I came up in the WCW era. Dusty said something to me a long time ago and I felt this about Cody actually. I did a Saturday show once and I was the first match out. I was a green kid and I went out and I wrestled and Dusty told me, ‘They won’t put you out first no more.’ That right there told me a whole lot about how Dusty Rhodes felt about me and we became really close at that point. I was really close with [Cody's half-brother] Goldust, too. … And now you see the third generation, Cody Rhodes, the next kid. I really like what Cody has done in the past few years in the WWE. He has grown so much. But to actually go out there with Cody, it’s going to be an honor and it’s going to be great kicking his butt.
Is TLC a last hurrah for you? Or do you see yourself still wrestling for a while?
This is my last hurrah. I really understand that this is about the young guys like Cody Rhodes. It’s about those guys taking it to the next level. But if I can help them make that transition to becoming superstars, future Hall of Famers, that’s what I’m here for. But as for me wrestling full time, I can’t see that happening. I’ve got twin babies and I’m content with this stage of life.
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