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   Sun, August 14, 2005



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Booker T looking at present, towards future
By JOHN MILNER - SLAM! Wrestling


LONDON, Ont. -- Booker T has just arrived at the Zellers at Masonville Place. In a few hours, he will be heading across town to the John Labatt Centre to take part in a Smackdown house show. But for now, he's meeting and signing autographs for the hundreds of fans who have lined up, some of whom have been there since the mall opened three hours earlier.

The turnout is a testament to Booker's continued popularity within the Smackdown ranks. It's no wonder than that the WWE offered him a new two-year deal when he went to re-sign his contract a few months before. Before he hangs up his boots for good, however, he still has a few things on his agenda to accomplish, most notably putting another championship on his resume, this time a WWE World title to go with his five WCW Championships.

Booker told SLAM! Wrestling that one of his goals is, "trying to get that last piece of gold around my waist, that one piece of gold that has eluded me for the past five years." His goal? "Finishing my career off by capturing every piece of gold in the wrestling business."

Also high on his list of priorities over the next two years, perhaps the last of his career, is "trying to work my way to the main event at Wrestlemania, (wrestling for) that World Title."

Booker is already planning for a future after WWE. He has recently re-teamed with his brother, Stevie Ray. In the ring, the two men formed the highly successful Harlem Heat, a duo that won an unprecedented 10 WCW Tag Team Championships. This time, however, Booker and Stevie are teaming up for a new wrestling school, the Houston, Texas-based BTSR Wrestling Academy.

Booker is pleased with the school's success so far. "The wrestling academy is going real good right now. (We've) got six or seven students right now and it's going great," he said.

Ever the consumate professional, Booker T wants to ensure that the business in which he currently makes a living from will prosper even after his career comes to a close, and hopes that BTSR Wrestling Academy can help.

"Hopefully we can bring the territorial wrestling back. You know, wrestling like it used to be, not only in Houston but in Atlanta now and such as Ohio Valley. Trying to get kids a lot of exposure to go out there and do something cool."

But Booker is in no rush to retire just yet. He is in the unique position of getting to go to work every day with his wife Sharmell (formerly Paisley in WCW), something he enjoys immensely.

"It's pretty cool...having my wife and my best friend on the road with me. She pretty much takes care of me at home and now she does it on the road also. It's pretty cool."

Meanwhile, he has a bout at the John Labatt Centre and can't disappoint the fans who came to meet the former WCW Champion and current Smackdown superstar.



RELATED LINKS
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  • Read about Harlem Heat: Order The Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame: The Tag Teams