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Showing posts with label Booker T. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Booker T. Show all posts

February 4, 2023

Booker T's Wrestling Promotion Announces WWE NXT Partnership

WWE Hall of Famer Booker T's wrestling promotion, Reality of Wrestling (ROW) announced on Saturday evening that it's going to be working with "WWE NXT." Their working relationship will start next Saturday, February 11 in Texas City, Texas with WWE "NXT" star and Diamond Mine member Ivy Nile set to be in action.

The "NXT" color commentator started his training school/promotion in 2005. He commented about Saturday's news on social media, noting how excited he was to merge his "NXT" favorites with the roster of his students. 

"Excited to merge my @WWENXT favorites with the roster of my students at @TheOfficialROW! Don't miss a HUGE show next Saturday! Can't wait to see @ivynile_wwe in the World Gym Arena," tweeted Booker T. 

Nile also reacted to her upcoming match, tweeting, "Let's goooooo. See you guys next Saturday!!"

One of ROW's most notable members is current "NXT" Women's Champion Roxanne Perez. Perez was just a teenager when she joined the promotion and during her time there, she held the ROW Diamonds Division Championship. After ROW and before WWE, she went to Ring of Honor and became the inaugural ROH Women's World Champion.

December 2, 2021

Booker T Says Triple H Was “A Bigger Star Than CM Punk” Before Marrying Stephanie McMahon

During their highly-praised promo segment on last week’s AEW Dynamite, MJF and CM Punk made several references to WWE legend Triple H.

Near the end of the segment, Punk mentioned how MJF would have to marry Tony Khan’s daughter to emerge as the No. 1 star in AEW, referencing Triple H marrying Stephanie McMahon.

“The only way you’ll be number one is if Tony Khan has a daughter and you marry her,” Punk told MJF.

Two-time WWE Hall of Famer Booker T was admittedly ticked off by Punk’s choice of words, pointing out that The Game was “a bigger star than CM Punk” even before he married the daughter of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.

“It ticks me off a little bit, I’ve worked with Hunter since WCW. Hunter was a bigger star than CM Punk was before he even married Stephanie McMahon and that’s just fact,” Booker T said on his Hall of Fame podcast on Wednesday. “As far as becoming a bigger star after that, of course he was going to become a bigger star after that (marrying Stephanie), he was in the family now. Look here, if CM Punk would’ve married Stephanie McMahon, he would’ve become a bigger star, perhaps.”

Booker added, “CM Punk was a big star in WWE and they were treating him like he was a big star in WWE. I don’t see how or why anyone could think that CM Punk wasn’t treated like a mega star.”

Speaking further on the promo segment, Booker T called out Punk for trying to “get a cheap pop” at the expense of Triple H.

“I’ve always been willing to say to someone’s face what I wanted to get off my chest,” Booker stressed. “I’ve never wanted to go and hide somewhere and get a cheap pop talking about someone, especially someone I respect, who has done it the way we all have – entertaining fans in America and abroad, blood, sweat and tears. He (Triple H) is one of those guys who is one of the pillars of WWE, always will be.

“I watched that guy (Triple H) working on the furniture in WCW, I’m talking about stairs, chairs, I’m talking about blood matches, I considered him the real deal. That was coming from one of his peers, that wasn’t from someone who got along with him, broke bread (with him), or ever rode down the road with him one time. I said, ‘This dude is the real deal.'”

H/T to SK Wrestling for the transcription.

September 8, 2021

Booker T Reveals New TV Deal For ROW

WWE Hall of Famer Booker T has landed a new TV distribution deal for his Reality of Wrestling indie promotion.

ROW announced today that the Texas-based promotion will begin airing their weekly TV show in nearly 50 markets on Saturday, September 18. The new partnership is with CW, ABC, The Action Channel, RokuTV and Right Now TV.

The full schedule can be seen in Booker T’s tweet below. Booker thanked everyone for supporting the promotion, which launched back in 2005 as Pro Wrestling Alliance.

“I am proud to announce that @TheOfficialROW will be returning the television nationwide in nearly 50 markets! Check out this press release. It’s because of all of you we’ve made it to this point! Thank you all!,” he wrote.

May 11, 2021

Booker T Denies Triple H Segment Was Pulled From A&E Biography; Clears The Air On Racial Overtones of WM Match

Earlier on Sunday, professor and writer David Dennis Jr., who was interviewed by A&E to cover Booker T’s career, tweeted that he was brought in specifically to talk about the controversial WM19 storyline – but the footage didn’t make the final cut in the two-hour documentary.

While speaking on his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T cleared the air on the situation.

“Ok, you [Dennis Jr.] talked about it [the storyline] but how can it be pulled from the biography? It was never supposed to be in there,” Booker T said. “It makes it seem like there was a whole lot of meat and potatoes on the bone of the story of Booker T vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 19.

“And personally, I’ve never given that story a whole lot of credence. To me it was just a championship match that I lost. I understand where some fans are coming from, since as a young black kid, I looked up to my heroes as well. But I’ve never looked at my career and framed it around any one match.

“I got paid more money for that one match than I got paid for any other match in my life. I am not going to complain about that. End of the day, it’s about taking care of my family. When people try to make stuff out of something such as a racial issue… for me, that was not what my story was about.”

Booker T went onto confirm that he never saw Dennis Jr.’s interviews – talking about WrestleMania 19 – on the rough draft he reviewed a year ago.

“My documentary was not just about one match or one angle,” stressed Booker. “It was about taking whatever I had [in my career] and turning it into something. I never cared if I was on the mid card or I was doing GI Bro opening the show, or if I was in the main event.”

credit: Hall of Fame podcast Wrestling Inc.

February 23, 2021

A&E And WWE Give Fans The Ultimate Ringside Seat In New Original Programming Partnership

A&E Network and WWE Studios are giving fans an exclusive look behind the curtain in an all-new Sunday night programming partnership. With unprecedented access to WWE’s archive, the ten-week programming block features eight original two-hour documentaries under the award-winning “Biography” banner showcasing the stories behind some of the most memorable WWE Superstars of all time including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin®, “Macho Man” Randy Savage®, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper™, Booker T®, Shawn Michaels®, Bret Hart, Mick Foley and Ultimate Warrior. The new “Biography” specials are helmed by some of the industry’s top directors and storytellers to chronicle the success of these WWE Legends and their lasting mark on both sports entertainment and popular culture. Each special will air weekly at 8pm ET/PT beginning Sunday, April 18. 

Following at 10pm ET/PT, the brand-new series “WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures,” led by WWE’s Stephanie McMahon and Paul “Triple H” Levesque launches a hunt for some of WWE’s most iconic missing memorabilia including Kane’s original mask, Ric Flair’s Butterfly Robe, Andy Kaufman’s neckbrace, Andre The Giant’s passport and more. In order to find these quintessential relics, the team will join forces with WWE Legends including Undertaker, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Booker T and more to bring these items home to the WWE Archives.

Biography Lineup – Premieres Sunday, April 18 at 8pm ET/PT

“Biography: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin”

“Biography: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper”

“Biography: “Macho Man” Randy Savage”

“Biography: Booker T”

“Biography: Shawn Michaels”

“Biography: Ultimate Warrior”

“Biography: Mick Foley”

“Biography: Bret “Hitman” Hart”

“WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures” – Premieres Sunday, April 18 at 10pm ET/PT

“WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures” takes viewers on a journey to find some of WWE’s most iconic, lost memorabilia. In each of the nine episodes, WWE’s Stephanie McMahon anl “Triple H” Levesque lead a team of collectors, WWE Superstars and Legends as they investigate, negotiate, bid and travel across the country to hunt down and reclaim some of the most elusive WWE collectibles. Throughout history, WWE’s action-packed storylines have spawned iconic, one-of-a-kind memorabilia, most of which have gone missing. Superstar in training, AJ Francis will head out on the road alongside some of the most famous WWE Legends of all time including The Undertaker, Ric Flair, Charlotte Flair, Mick Foley, Kane, Big Show, Mark Henry, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Booker T, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Sgt. Slaughter. The series will unearth these rare items in the hopes of preserving and sharing the legacy behind the memorable moments in WWE history. 

“WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures” is produced by WWE Studios for A&E Network with Susan Levison, Ben Zierten, David Carr, Stephanie McMahon and Paul “Triple H” Levesque serving as executive producers. Elaine Frontain Bryant, Dolores Gavin and Jonathan Partridge serve as executive producers for A&E Network. A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights for “WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures.” 

February 5, 2021

Booker T on How He Looks Back at His WrestleMania Match With Triple H, Possible Rematch

During a recent edition of his Hall of Fame podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Booker T spoke about his match with Triple H for the World Heavyweight title at WrestleMania 19, which was a very controversial loss. During the podcast, Booker T spoke about getting back into the ring with Triple to get his win back, saying it would have to be a big payday for him for a WWE card in Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, Booker T noted he doesn’t look back at the matchup thinking he “should’ve won that.” Below is an excerpt and a clip of Booker T talking about the matchup (via Fightful):

“If Booker T vs. Triple H went down, it would have to be in Saudi because they are passing out big big checks. For me to get in the ring, the situation would have to be right. I would want to get paid to get back in the ring. ‘Oh you wrestle at Reality of Wrestling.’ Yeah, that’s my place and it’s my job to teach my students how it’s done sometimes. That’s how I am. I would love to have another match, if the situation is right, with Triple H. A lot of people think about that match and talk about it and the ending wasn’t what most fans wanted. So many people wanted me to win that night. A couple of the office guys were like, ‘Book, you should have won that night.’ WELL YOU WROTE IT! Why didn’t you speak up? [laughs]. I don’t lose any sleep over it because I’ve looked at wrestling like movies. Sometimes, the bad guy wins. I’ve never once looked back at that match and been like, ‘You should’ve won that.'”


September 26, 2019

Renee Young And Booker T To Host WWE Backstage On FS1

WWE is adding more programming to an already busy week of wrestling. It has been confirmed via press release that Tuesday's will feature FS1's WWE Backstage, a television only studio show devoted to all things WWE. The hour-long show will be available on FS1 every Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT starting November 5.

Renee Young will be the host of the show while Booker T will be providing analysis.

"WWE Backstage is a wrestling show for wrestling fans. From hardcore fans to people new to wrestling, w''ll give them a little bit of everything," Renee said. "It's going to be fun, it's going to be loud, we're going to give them a ton of opinions and I can't wait to help spread the word about SmackDown coming to FOX."

According to FOX Sports, there will be a special preview show on Tuesday, October 15, following the conclusion of Game 3 of the MLB's ALCS on FS1. Young and Booker T will be revealing the WWE Backstage set.

Since early June, rumors have been swirling regarding an opportunity for Young to do more than commentary. This is especially true after SmackDown was moved to Friday's on FOX starting next week on October 4. Back in April, Triple H spoke about the opportunity of a show on FS1. According to the former WWE Champion, the WWE studio show on Fox will feature discussions on the various WWE happenings, plus appearances by familiar faces from the past and present.

This will be the first major role for Booker T in quite some time. As of late, Booker T has made appearances on WWE TV on the PPV Kickoff panels.

"It's awesome being part of the FOX family and part of this movement of Friday Night SmackDown to FOX," Booker T said. "FOX Sports has always been the one-stop shop for sports and now it's going to be the one-stop shop for sports and entertainment. I think this is going to be a tag team that's going to last for a long time, and one that cannot lose. As I always say, now can you dig it, sucka?"

There have been rumblings regarding commentary changes when next week hits, especially with the WWE Draft looming. One of those ideas is a two-man booth. As of now, it is unknown if Renee will be continuing her commentary duties on RAW.

Additional information for FS1's WWE Backstage will be announced at a later date, according to WWE.

April 4, 2019

WWE To Partner With A&E For Five Hall Of Famer Documentaries

The WWE will partner with the A&E Network to create five unique documentary biographies about WWE Hall of Famers. 

In a statement from A&E, the company said they were "thrilled for the tremendous opportunity" to create documentaries for Shawn Michaels, Booker T, 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin.

Biography: “Macho Man” Randy Savage – Directed by Billy Corben (“Cocaine Cowboys,” “Screwball,” “The U”), this film will tell the larger-than-life story of one of the most colorful and charismatic Superstars to ever step foot inside the ring. With two WWE Championships, four WCW® World Championships and a 14-month reign as Intercontinental Champion, Savage became known for his famous catch phrases, larger-than-life personality and the enormous, flashy robes he wore into the ring. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.

Biography: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper – Directed by Emmy and Peabody Award winner Joe Lavine (ESPN 30 for 30 “Playing for the Mob,” HBO “Namath”) this film focuses on “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who is universally considered one of WWE’s greatest villains. During his Hall of Fame career, he played the role of the antagonist against a who’s who of WWE greats, while amassing more than 30 championships.

Biography: Booker T – Directed by Emmy and Peabody Award winner George Roy (“The Curse of the Bambino”, “Mayweather”), this film showcases one of the greatest Superstars in sports entertainment history. Booker T is an 11-time WCW Tag Team Champion, a six-time World Champion, winner of the 2006 King of the Ring Tournament, and a two-time (2013 and 2019) inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. In addition to his Hall of Fame career in the ring, Booker T also went on to become a color commentator for WWE’s weekly programming.

Biographies for Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels will be announced at a later date. These films are slated to air in 2021.

February 4, 2018

Corey Graves Says Triple H Tipped Him Off That Graves' Wrestling Career Was Over

Corey Graves revealed that Triple H tipped him off that Graves would not be cleared to wrestle again, before the officially scheduled meeting where WWE management would tell him the news.

Graves, who retired from in-ring action in 2014 due to concussions and then made a successful transition to commentary for WWE, discussed the circumstances surrounding the end of his wrestling career during an appearance on a recent episode of E&C's Podcast of Awesomeness with Edge and Christian.

"Hunter, to his credit—at the time I hated him for it—a few days earlier kind of gave me a head up in the nicest way he possibly could. I got the initial heartbreak out of the way that day," Graves recalled.

The official meeting happened prior to an NXT taping at Full Sail University, at which Graves was told WWE doctors would not clear him to return to the ring after multiple concussions, he quickly shifted gears determined to find a new role with the company, saying:

"I imagine it must be what people feel like at any job that they put their time into and have a happiness in their life. Even being hurt and banged up and frustrated in NXT … I was still getting paid by WWE to wrestle. It was literally a dream job. So to have that dashed in such a quick period of time, it was hard to deal with but I also looked at it as, I've got a family to take care of. I'm still here. I don't think they're mad at me, I didn't do anything wrong, I didn't screw up. This is a really unfortunate thing. I just started doing anything and everything I could. ... The Monday following, I started working with the guys on production and learning how to play music at live events. I started paying my dues all over again from the ground up. Before the shows, I was running the cables under the ring for the speakers at the NXT live events. ... It was desperation, it was fear but at least if I'm doing nothing but production here [at NXT], I'm still with WWE."

Graves then found his niche on commentary and now finds himself commentating both Raw and Smackdown every week -- the only WWE broadcaster currently pulling that double duty.

October 16, 2016

Top Names Set To Roast Booker T

The Roast of Booker T will take place on November 10th at Houston Improv in Houston, TX. The Dudley Boyz, Stevie Ray, Brother Love, MVP, Sharmell and others will be there to roast the WWE Hall of Famer. There will also be special video messages from The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam and Diamond Dallas Page.

September 1, 2016

Ember Moon On How Booker T Helped Her, Raising The Bar In WWE NXT, Her Unpredictable Ring Style

Byron Saxton recently spoke with WWE NXT Superstar Ember Moon for the WWE website. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:

What led her to Booker T's Reality of Wrestling promotion:

After training with Vance [Archer, and General Skandor Akbar], I drove five hours for a tryout and made the cuts to be part of Booker T's Reality of Wrestling promotion in Houston. In addition to being able to work his shows, I received full access to his training facility. Booker was the one who helped me hone in on the high-flying aspect of my move set. Even though I was really comfortable in the ring, Booker gave me the confidence and motivation that I really needed to succeed in the wrestling world. Booker even suggested that I try to broaden my training by traveling around the world.

How she would describe her ring style:

My style is unpredictable! You never know what's going to happen next, but you could closely associate it with blend of lucha libre and strong style.

What's on her goal list now that you finally made it to NXT:

I look forward to raising the bar set by the Four Horsewomen of NXT. They changed the way people view the Women's division, and I want to continue that. I am not a porcelain princess; I am here to break barriers. I not only want to change women's wrestling, but I also want to change the industry as a whole. This is the path they choose and the war I will take up arms for. It is a new beginning and I am ready for it.

August 16, 2016

Booker T Talks New Era Talents He Thinks Will Be Big Stars in WWE, His New Role in WWE

WWE Hall of Famer Booker T recently did an interview with Cody Dalton of The Observer News Enterprise, and below are some highlights:

CD: In WWE, they are talking about this being “The New Era.” Who do you see out there wrestling now that you think will be the next big star in your business?

BT: “I think it’s going to be more than just one guy. WWE finally opened up the door to the independent world, letting those guys come in and show exactly what they have. I’ve always thought there was a lot of untapped talent out in the independent world. They weren’t the prototypical WWE Superstar, but maybe they are the ‘People’s Champion.’ I think now with guys that have been around like (Finn) B├ílor, who has been around a long time. Kevin Owens, Neville — those guys have been around a really long time. You’ve got guys like Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, (Austin) Aries and guys like that who are getting a chance to come in, as well. They get a chance to perform on the big stage. You see A.J. Styles doing very, very well since he finally got a shot at going out there and performing. You actually see a guy who has pretty much a Southern accent, can get on the microphone and deliver a good promo. There’s going to be a lot of guys actually that are going to be coming up. I feel like the business is in good hands for the years to come, the Wrestlemanias to come and the pay per views to come.”

CD: What’s harder — wrestling, teaching someone to wrestling or being a commentator in WWE?

BT: “Probably commentating. That’s why I’m an analyst now. That’s why I’m not commentating anymore. I’m just an analyst on the Kickoff Show on the pay per views. I like being an analyst. Being able to go out there and talk about Zack Ryder from a commentary perspective, there may be some rough patches, but to be able to analyze Zack Ryder — him being a guy that’s been in WWE for over 10 years, a guy that’s been a journeyman, a guy that’s been trying to crack through that glass ceiling and it just doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to happen for him. Maybe he should retire. Maybe he should just go away. I can do that.

August 1, 2016

WWE Announces Signing Of Former NFL Player

WWE signs former NFL player Brennan Williams

Six-foot-seven, 300-pound former NFL offensive tackle Brennan Williams is joining the ranks of the WWE Performance Center. He reports to Orlando today to begin his training.

A third-round draft pick of the Houston Texans in 2013, Williams played college ball at the University of North Carolina prior to joining the NFL. He was also part of the practice squads for the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots during his NFL tenure.

Williams, a lifelong fan of sports-entertainment, began training under WWE Hall of Famer Booker T in October 2015 after his NFL career ended. He made his in-ring debut for Booker's Houston-based Reality of Wrestling earlier this year, competing under the alias Marcellus Black.

In addition to his experience on the gridiron and in the ring, Williams holds a black belt in taekwondo.

July 20, 2016

WWE Announces New Roles For Booker T And Jerry Lawler After Commentary Team Changes

As noted, WWE announced new commentary teams earlier today but left Jerry Lawler off RAW and SmackDown. They just announced that Lawler and Booker T will be key analysts on WWE Network pre-shows and Kickoff specials:

In addition to the commentary booth updates on Raw, SmackDown Live and more, WWE Hall of Famers Booker T and Jerry "The King" Lawler will bring their decades of experience in sports-entertainment to recurring Pre-Shows and Kickoffs as key analysts, among other names still to be announced.

November 19, 2015

Ex-NFL Star Comments On Training With Booker T In Hopes Of Being Signed By WWE

Former NFL star Brennan Williams is currently training with WWE Hall of Famer Booker T at his wrestling school in Houston, Texas. Williams stated a few months ago that he hopes to sign with WWE in 2016.

William recently spoke with Sean Pendergast for the Houston Press about his career. Down below is an excerpt from that interview in which he discusses his wrestling career and training with Booker T.

“I was drafted by the Texans so I could meet Booker T, I signed with Jacksonville so I could have a home in Florida near WWE’s developmental facility and I was signed by the Patriots to get that one week paycheck to pay my rent to train in Houston. That’s honestly how I see it,” Williams said. Williams, who says he watching Raw instead of football when he was called by the Patriots, already has ring entrance music, a gimmick, and his look mapped out.”

October 25, 2015

Former NFL Star Training For WWE Contract In 2016

TMZ has a story up on former NFL star Brennan Williams (@GREATBLACKOTAKU) training with WWE Hall of Famer Booker T at his wrestling school in Houston. The offensive tackle has played for the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, but after being waived by the New England Patriots this past week, Williams has decided to pursue one of his long-time passions: pro wrestling.

Physically, he's a perfect fit for a WWE Superstar. At only 24-years-old, Williams stands 6'6" and weighs in around 315 pounds. He told TMZ he plans on training with Booker T through the end of the year, and is shooting for a WWE contract as early as January.

August 20, 2015

Booker T's Big Announcement Revealed

Booker T announced (via Periscope) that his “big announcement” he has been teasing this week is a new home for his Reality of Wrestling wrestling school and promotion.

Booker, along with wife Sharmell, Bruce Prichard and development partners, made the announcement and said the building will be called “Reality of Wrestling World Headquarters”. The 21,000 square-foot facility, situated next to World’s Gym at Mall of the Mainlands in Texas City, Texas will hold their shows and training school.

In addition, starting September 20th, ROW will be seen on the Houston CW television affiliate (CW39), and will air on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m.

August 10, 2015

WWE to “ANSWER THE CALL” for Families of Fallen NYC Heroes

WWE is joining forces with Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes through a global online auction on Charitybuzz.com, featuring unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences in support of “Answer The Call,” the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.

Fans can now visit www.Charitybuzz.com/WWE through Tuesday, August 25 at 12 noon ET to bid on exclusive experiences with WWE Superstar John Cena®, Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Messier, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin, talk show hosts Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa and many more. WWE’s support of “Answer The Call” is part of WWE’s community outreach initiatives in celebration of SummerSlam®, which takes place on Sunday, August 23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

“We are thrilled to have WWE’s support as they ‘Answer the Call’ for the families of New York City’s fallen first responders,” said Mark Messier, Vice President of Community Affairs for the NY Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. “Our partnership will ensure that we continue to provide a network of support and financial assistance for those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty.”

“WWE is committed to using the power of our brand to help improve the lives of families around the world,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer. “We are proud to support ‘Answer The Call’ and the families of the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their city.”

Online auction highlights include:

• Mark Messier’s personal New York Rangers tickets and a meet and greet with the Hockey Hall of Famer.
• Meet and greet with John Cena at Monday Night Raw®.
• Take over the court at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
• Backstage tour and meet and greet with Stephanie McMahon at Monday Night Raw.
• Meet and greet with Stone Cold Steve Austin at a live taping of the Stone Cold Steve Austin Podcast on WWE® Network.
• Rookie mini-camp at MetLife Stadium for 50 people.
• Suite at a Brooklyn Nets game during the 2015-2016 season and an autographed team photo.
• Meet and greet with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman at a WWE event.
• Meet and greet with Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa and four tickets to LIVE with Kelly & Michael.
• Attend the season finale of WWE Tough Enough and meet Daniel Bryan, Paige, Lita, Booker T and Billy Gunn.
• Two tickets to Late Night with Seth Meyers and a mug autographed by Seth Meyers.

For more information or to bid on the full list of auction items, visit www.Charitybuzz.com/WWE. Proceeds will provide assistance to the families of New York City Police Officers, Firefighters, Port Authority Police and EMS Personnel who have been killed in the line of duty.

July 28, 2015

WWE's sordid history of racism makes its swift justice vs. Hogan ring hollow

Everyone knows that the WWE and professional wrestling are fake—a group of finely chiseled athletes, orchestrated by a scripted theater of controversial plots, story arcs and over-the-top characters. Against that backdrop, cult icon Hulk Hogan became the most recognizable face of the WWE after winning the world championship against The Iron Sheik in January 1983, and last week its most stunning big-name dismissal.

Known previously as the WWF, the franchise branded Hogan as The Hulkster and capitalized off of his alluring, patriotic, good-guy persona. In the words of Hogan himself, “Hulkamania was running wild, brother!” Still, while Hulkamaniacs rejoiced, what wasn’t fake was the WWE’s sordid history of exploiting racial stereotypes. For decades the organization capitalized and profited off racist undertones, even while receiving countless criticism over its portrayal and treatment of minority characters. It also has been chided for the fact that in the company’s 63-year history there has never been a unified African-American World Champion. (The Rock, a seven-time WWE champion and noted Hogan nemesis, is bi-racial, having been born to an African-American father and a Samoan mother.)

Nevertheless, the criticism regarding professional wrestling’s premiere franchise never thwarted the company’s multi-million dollar cash machine. While Hogan—a blond, 6’7” Tampa native who first gained famed as Thunderlips in Rocky III in 1982—became an All-American folk hero (before he briefly went to the dark side with the nWo in the rival WCW in 1996), some of the WWE’s most popular characters have been its most controversial. Rowdy Roddy Piper, a Canadian wrestler who wore a kilt and was billed as being from Glasgow, Scotland, was a WWF superstar in the '80s alongside Hogan. Unlike Hogan, Piper was a textbook villain whose entire shtick was built upon spewing brash, lewd comments regarding race and gender. In his on-air segment Piper’s Pit, he once asked wrestler Tony Atlas, who is black, “To get them big arms, do you eat all of that soul food stuff? Do you eat pigs' feet?” After Atlas seemingly took offense to the line of questioning, Piper responded, “Let me tell you something in your own language, I don’t let the thieves stop me from enjoying my watermelon.”

In another interview segment, this time with Fijian wrestler Jimmy (Superfly) Snuka, Piper asked his rival if he grew up climbing trees like a monkey to get coconuts. Piper also once said that Mr. T’s lips looked like “a catcher’s mitt,” and later told him that he would “whip him like a slave.”

Then there was wrestler Ted (The Million Dollar Man) DiBiase, whose black sidekick/bodyguard Virgil was often subjugated and debased as a part of DiBiase’s emerging storyline. In a video from 1987, DiBiase can be seen boasting about how he could easily buy Virgil, to which Virgil responds “Yes-suh!” Throughout their pairing, DiBiase often referred to Virgil as a slave, even having him rub his feet.

And the list doesn’t stop there. Kamala, The Ugandan Headhunter, was billed as being from “Deepest, Darkest Africa,” and exhibited mannerisms and grunts that were almost inhuman. He wrestled with a spear and wore tribal paint on his face and belly. The Junkyard Dog’s gimmick was crafted in the frame of textbook Negro shuck and jive, with him prancing around wearing a dog collar and chains. Former WWE legend and color commentator Jesse (The Body) Ventura once referred to the Junk Yard Dog as having “a mouth full of grits.” Ventura also commonly called fan favorite Tito Santana, a Mexican-American, “Chico” and dubbed his finishing move the “flying burrito.”

Former WWE champ Triple H, who mocked African-American wrestler Booker T for his "nappy hair, once said that “people like Booker T couldn’t win championships," and that in the WWE “they were just there to dance and entertain.” Then there was Cryme Tyme, a tag-team made up of wrestlers JTG and Shad Gaspard and who brandished themselves as thugged out, gangsta rappers. Their catch phrase was, “Yo yo yo, pop a 40 and check ya rollies-it’s Cryme Time,” and they were often shown assaulting police officers and committing robberies.

July 25, 2015

Vince McMahon Taking Heat For Using N-Word In 2005 WWE Segment

Vince McMahon is taking heat for using the n-word on WWE television back in 2005 after Hulk Hogan’s contract was terminated Friday when he was caught using it multiple times in a racist tirade. The segment in question was with John Cena and was in front of Booker T and Sharmell.

TMZ obtained a quote from a WWE spokesperson, who said, the 2005 segment “was an outlandish and satirical skit involving fictional characters, similar to that of many scripted television shows and movies.”

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