Dutch Mantel is known for his opinions about pro wrestling. He recently ruffled some feathers with his claims about TNA, but Booker T wasn’t going to let that go down without commenting on it himself.
Dutch Mantel asserted his belief that Booker T’s name was bigger than TNA itself. After all, the two-time WWE Hall of Famer’s name is pretty important in the pro wrestling world.
During this Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T responded to Dutch Mantel’s remarks suggesting that he believed Booker T had a greater presence than the brand itself during his time in TNA.
“He said he thought I thought that I had at that feeling that I was bigger than the brand. Just to go back, I was just talking about me admitting my faults. That’s all. I just wanted to get it out there as far as I didn’t go into TNA thinking that I was going to change the whole name of the game or anything, but I did go into TNA with good intentions. When things didn’t happen the way I envisioned them, I just said, okay, I’m gonna have some fun for these next two years, whatnot, whatnot, but, I never thought I was bigger than the brand.”
“When I first got to TNA they gave me a Legends Championship, one of the most beautiful belts I’ve ever seen in my life and I didn’t even know what the belt was for. No one ever explained it to me or anything like that. No one ever gave me any direction as far as what that title meant. That’s what I’m talking about as far as structure. The first thing I’m going to do as far as structure goes, if I’ve got a legend coming into my company and we’re creating a Legend championship for him, he’s gonna know about it. I was surprised by the Legends Championship myself. I was like, oh, are you kidding me? It was like a gift someone was getting. But there again, this is wrestling. Everything is supposed to be talked about and everything’s on the table. For Dutch to say that, I don’t know where it’s coming from.”
“He said the only reason I made my way there to TNA was because WWE was wrapping me up. They gave him his notice. I’ve never been fired from any job in this business from any company. I’ve never been fired, not once, and where he got his information, he said that’s what he heard. That’s hearsay. That’s hearsay. You might want to get your sources right when you say stuff like that because that was just blatantly false. He said WWE was not going to renew my contract at that time. Personally, I hate talking about business, insider business. If I’m not talking about it, nobody should be talking about it. But as far as my contract being renewed, I was at the top of my game when I left WWE. I don’t know if he realized that. King Booker was at the top of his game. I was at the main event status when I left WWE. There was no reason for me to leave WWE but to get my mind right. I was going through a lot of personal stuff at that time that I don’t even want to talk about. Trust me, Dutch Mantel has no idea about what I was going through in my personal life at that time.”
“He’s also said I was looking for somewhere after WWE let me go and I found it in TNA. TNA called me. I was on the beach in Newport Beach, California when TNA called me and asked me to come back to work. I was 20 pounds overweight and everything. I swear to God, I had to delay going to TNA because I had to go on a diet for a month straight. That’s where I was. I had no intentions of wrestling anywhere at that time, but the offer came. It was a good offer, you know, 70 days a year or something like that. I took it. It wasn’t like I was breaking the bank or anything. He said I felt like I was bigger than the company. Seemed like I would have been one bigger than the company money when I came in if that’s the case. I had a measly contract in TNA because it wasn’t about the money. I was just trying to stay in shape and keep myself motivated.”
“In the two years I was there, people thought I was retired. That’s not the point. My point is when people like Dutch Mantel speak about stuff like this that they don’t know about telling other people’s stories, they should keep their mouth shut. This is not a story for Dutch Mantel to be telling because he don’t know it. This is my story as far as me getting let go or me getting fired, or whatever the case may be. The thing is, that story, as far as what happened with me and WWE, there is probably a select two or three people who may know exactly what happened, and I’m one of them. So that kind of stuff irks me when I hear someone totally out of bounds talking about something that they have no idea about.”
We’ll have to see if Dutch Mantel has anything to say about what Booker T said on his radio show. After all, Mantel has his own podcast with time that he needs to fill as well.
It appears that this is another debate within pro wrestling that will continue. Fans will also be likely to continue weighing in on this topic as well.
What’s your take on what Booker T had to say? Sound off in the comments!