This year’s Royal Rumble was quite the event. Featuring the return and win of the American Nightmare Cody Rhodes as well as a new record set by the Gunther, a lot went down in San Antonio last Saturday. An unexpected return was also made by Booker T. Fans were ecstatic to see the WWE Hall of Famer back in the ring for the 30-man Royal Rumble. It looks like the decision to have him join the match was a last-minute decision.

Ahead of the Royal Rumble PPV on January 28th, Booker T gave his reasons for why he could not declare himself for the event. The crowd went wild when the countdown for the 21st entrant ended and the Hall of Famer’s entrance music started playing.

During his latest Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T broke down his Royal Rumble appearance. He conveyed the excitement he felt making his way back into the WWE ring to listeners.

“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,” 

When enquired by Co-host Brad Gilmore about how the return transpired, Booker said it all started from a text message at the Kickoff Show ahead of the event leaving no time to warm up. The Hall of Famer joked about how he would have won the Rumble if he got the time to warm up

“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,” 

Rey Mysterio also had spot at the Royal Rumble but couldn’t make it due to an injury. Booker went on to point out how Rey’s injury paved the way for the Hall of Famer’s return.

“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 lasted less than a minute in the match before he was eliminated by Gunther. Nevertheless, it was very exciting to see the Hall of Famer make a return. For more updates, stay tuned to Ringside News.

What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments below!

Talha Asad Iqbal

Talha Asad Iqbal is an mechanical engineer who just loves everything wrestling. From spending his childhood collecting wrestling action figures to spending his adulthood writing about wrestling, he really seems to enjoy wrestling a bit too much. Outside wrestling and his work, he loves spending time in the gym and playing video games.

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