Booker T Says He Got The Call For WWE Royal Rumble While On The Kickoff Show

Booker T never got his invitation in the mail, but he still got the call for WWE Royal Rumble.

Ahead of the premium live event on January 28, the WWE Hall of Famer had said the company has to send alumni invitations to the match in the mail, and he didn't get one yet. But on Saturday night, Booker T came to the ring as the 21st entrant, much to the delight of the San Antonio crowd. He lasted less than a minute before he was eliminated by Gunther.

NXT Viewership And Rating Up On 5/30 Coming Out Of NXT Battleground

Speaking on his podcast, The Hall of Fame, Booker T discussed his return to the ring. He expressed his gratitude to the fans for their support and the WWE Superstars in the match for giving him a chance to walk the aisle and share the ring with them. Booker made it clear that he had an awesome time, and he recalled how his family reacted.

"I was so excited, man, just to back inside the Hall of Fame, give you guys a little feel of what it felt like, being in a WWE ring [for the first time] since 2012, the last time I was in the Royal Rumble. I want to thank everybody. I want to thank everybody in the arena at that Alamodome for showing the old man some love. It was off the chains, it was electrifying. It was unbelievable, man. I’ll tell you, man, I gotta thank all of those guys that was in the Royal Rumble for just letting me participate and getting to back and see what that felt like one more time, just to walk that aisle was an awesome time. For me, I always said I never got that itch to scratch or anything like that, but every time, I always say preparation is the only luck you’re gonna have. For me to get out there and be in front of my students like Rok-C, like my daughter, she was so freaking happy, she’s been singing my song all day. My son was hyped up. But it wasn’t about me. It was about those young guys, it was about all of those guys that was in the Royal Rumble that gave me a chance to have that opportunity one more time to share the ring with those guys, and I must say, it was awesome," Booker T said.

Co-host Brad Gilmore asked Booker to describe how his return came about, and he revealed that he didn't get the call until he was on the Kickoff Show ahead of the Royal Rumble on Saturday night. Booker also joked that he didn't have enough time to get warmed up, and if he did, he would have won the match.

"I was sitting at the table, on the Kickoff Show, and I got a text message. It was the invite telling me, ‘Book, you’re in the Rumble.’ Me, I’m old school. I went down in the Winnebago, right, so something told me, ‘Bring your gear. Make sure you’re ready. Just so you don’t have to get ready. Stay ready.’ Boom, there it was. The text message came through, I said okay, here we go. Just like when I won my first world title, I had about ten minutes to warm up. So that’s what happened. I wasn’t warmed up, I went to the ring cold. I didn’t have that gloss, I didn’t have the sheen on me. I wasn’t lathered up and ready to go. I didn’t get a chance to jump rope for 45 minutes to get the heart rate up, get the blood flowing. I didn’t get a chance to do that. I would have won that damn Rumble if I would have been able to prepare properly. That last-minute text message definitely slowed me down a little bit," he said.

When asked to confirm that he didn't know about his involvement with the Royal Rumble as of the beginning of the Kickoff Show, Booker T stated that he hadn't gotten his invitation yet. He pointed out that Rey Mysterio went down with an injury, and the company had to fill that spot. Booker repeated that he was ready, as he brought his gear.

“I didn’t have my invitation yet. I think Rey went down, and I think they had to fill that spot. Who better to call than me and say, ‘Hey, let’s give Book a shot at this.’ Like I said, I had my gear with me. I’m old-school. All you young wrestlers out there, don’t show up without your gear, man. I won my first singles championship because Rick Martel did not bring his gear. You gotta be ready. I was ready. I was almost ready, and I think I went out there and just got caught up in the moment, that 50-plus-thousand, they were cheering my name. Everybody was wanting it, everybody was feeling it. They had to have that Spinaroonie, so I said let me give it to them early. I didn’t know what I was gonna have in the tank left late in the match. So I said if I’m gonna give then the Spinaroonie, let me do it now because I don’t know how this thing is gonna play out," Booker T said.

Booker T highlighted his specific experience in the match by noting that he asked to work with Dominik Mysterio and Finn Balor in the match. He stated that having the chance to wrestle with Dominik, someone he watched when he was a baby, was an amazing experience. He also made it clear that he's glad he still give back to the business.

"It was awesome. I requested Dominik for that and Finn. Like I said, it was awesome. I’ve been doing this a long time, since 1990. I always say it was like déjà vu and a place that I love so much. When I finally got in the game, I was like man, they gonna have to kick me out. I’m sticking around as long as I can. To have been in the game 32 years, to have watched Dominik when he was a baby, when he was a little baby, he was a toddler, and then to be in the ring with him, man, that’s dreams that come true that you never have. That’s stuff that you don’t ever think you’ll be doing. But for me, it’s like my career, I’ve been that fly on the wall. I’ve seen so much. It was so freaking awesome to still be here. For instance, walking out of the curtain and Michael Cole going, ‘The voice of NXT.’ [laughs] Okay, I like that. Let me get back to my role because this job is a little harder than this, but it’s awesome to still be in the game, still giving back," he said.

The WWE Hall of Famer continued by joking that he has to stay out of the ring, as he was feeling the effects of the adrenaline after the match. He noted that he felt worse following the Royal Rumble than he did when he took spinebusters at Reality of Wrestling. Booker T also joked that this year might have been his last Royal Rumble, though he'll keep himself in shape for another few years.

“I gotta stay out of that ring, man, if I’m gonna stay in great shape because it was just the adrenaline, man. I woke up sore as hell. My shoulder was hurting, my back. I had to get Sharmell to stand on my back just to get me back in line. I’m like, what the hell is going on? When I wrestle at Reality of Wrestling, I’m taking spinebusters, and I didn’t feel that bad. I felt much worse after just walking to that ring and that adrenaline flowing through me, which was almost like explosive, like it wanted to burst through my body. That feeling, it’s so unbelievable. Never get used to that. I see why these old guys don’t want to get out of the ring. I see why they’re pushing the envelope. It’s hard to walk away from that. But that may have been my last Rumble [laughs]. If I’m in shape, if I can just keep the old bod going for a couple more years, that’s the way I measure stuff. I say I got three years left. After that, I ain’t working out ever again [laughs]. I’m done, I’m done. That’s when everything pays off, my retirement kick in and everything, so I’m done," Booker T said.

The legend also spoke highly of Gunther, who broke the record for the longest time spent in a Royal Rumble match on Saturday night. The reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion eliminated Booker T, and the Hall of Famer stated that he will be a major player for a long time moving forward. He then made it clear that he was glad to "do the favor" for the powerhouse.

"Gunther did an awesome job making history. That guy is gonna be a major, major player here for WWE for a long time, and it was my honor to do the favor for him. I’ve seen people, stupid people, saying, ‘Booker got jobbed out.’ Let me must day this, Booker got bobbed out by Gunther. I want to say this publicly just so everybody can hear it. I’d rather be jobbed out by Gunther than Gunther be jobbed out by me, any day of the week," Booker T said.

Pat McAfee recently said he was originally planning on competing in the Royal Rumble. Check out his comments here.

Click here to see what Jim Ross had to say about WWE Royal Rumble.

Cody Rhodes commented on winning the Royal Rumble. Check out his comments here.

If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.

Get exclusive pro wrestling content on Fightful Select, our premium news service! Click here to learn more.
From The Web