I’m a fan of Booker T’s work…but, not so much of his commentary skills. Yeah it’s different, but it has to be one of the worst experiments since the WWE tried to put Superstar Billy Graham behind the stick in the 80’s. Luckily, I’m not here to talk about that right now.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Booker T on numerous occasions, and he is hands down one of the most humble and giving performers in the business. His insight to pro wrestling and his dedication to perfect the craft is what has helped him become one of the most decorated superstars in the history of the business. But what if the creative weight of the wrestling world fell into his hands? Would a spin-a-rooni be enough to get over? What if Booker T were in a position to put on the best wrestling product to engage a wrestling audience?
As some of you might know, Booker T runs his own pro wrestling school in the great state of Texas. With a school, comes student shows. And with student shows, even a veteran wrestler like Booker T soon learns that performing in the ring and promoting what’s in the ring are worlds apart.
The video above is part of Booker T’s new project with his school students, entitled “Reality of Wrestling”. To be fair, I don’t know much about this project at this time – but by watching this video, I’ve already lost interest.
Promoting pro wrestling hinges on the vision of the promoter. Innovation, engagement, uniqueness and most of all, perception are critical elements. Ever seen the film “Boiler Room”? Ben Affleck lectures the young group of salesmen who are still wet behind the ears, and tells them the secret to success is to “act as if”. Act as if you are the boss of the company. Act is if you have a million clients. Act as if you own the most expensive car on the street. Act as if you have 12 inch penis. Just, act as if. Perception is critical.
When you put out a piece of material such as this video, what is your perception? Are you still interested? Does it get the blood pumping? or are you looking at it wondering, “WTF?”
Wht would you build up using these two performers? Why would you build up using sloppy video shooters? Why would you build up letting a pre-school kid edit this on his Fisher Price My First Editing System? This is tragic! A reason to tune out. Most of all, it’s a disappointment because you know Booker T is capable of better. You start to wonder if he officially approved this video or if one intern put this out there for public consumption.
Looking at the arena, Booker T has done his part in putting together a local show for his students to perform in front of their families and peers. And maybe he doesn’t want to become a strong indy organization in the mold of a Ring of Honor. Perhaps he’s content doing what he’s doing. But at the end of the day, this is still a business. His business is judged by his perception. When looking at this video, you question the business. You ask where the money goes. You ask why he doesn’t hire a better production team. You ask if you’re interested in learning pro wrestling from this company or is it just a front with Booker’s name on it.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying the Booker T school is a scam at all. Booker is all aces in my book. He is one of the few people in this business you can depend on and trust. Booker is a true man of his word. But this video doesn’t help the perception. This video is less than amateur. And without interest you have no growth. Without growth… well, you have nothing. Booker T is more than that, and I have a strong interest in anything he is attached to (except TNA programming… even he couldn’t sit through that). But from a man who has achieved so much, we expect better because if anybody, you know better. And this is far from where a Booker T production should be. Now can you dig that, sucka?