Stevie Ray has revealed that he never made the switch from WCW to WWE (WWF back then) because he did not fancy having to audition for Vince McMahon when he bought the promotion, nor was he keen on working for a rival.
The 60-year-old was recently inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of Harlem Heat, a tag made up by himself and his brother Booker T. Harlem Heat would win 10 WCW World Tag team Championships during their tenure but, despite all of their success together, Stevie Ray did not follow his younger sibling to WWE when the time came.
Ray, a recent guest on Ryback's podcast, Conversations With The Big Guy, would discuss the reasoning behind his refusal to sign on with McMahon's company, claiming he was too deep into the rivalry to make the move.
“I didn’t want to go to WWF; as a matter of fact, the last WCW Nitro I didn’t even attend and they sent me a ticket, but I was always in the mindset of this is competition to me," he said (h/t Wrestling Inc). "This is NFL vs AFL or National League vs American League in baseball. WCW vs WWF, to be honest with you bro, I didn’t want to go out like a b****.
“We had been fighting for the team, but when I heard Vince McMahon had come in and stuff like that—which I knew was coming—it’s like, you saw the writing on the wall, and you put it in the back of your mind, but at the end of the day I knew it was going to happen. But I didn’t attend the last show because my brother [Booker T] said that they are going to be auditioning people. I told him that he should do it, but I’m done.”
There were also concerns over the Harlem Heat brand being adulterated.
“I wanted people to remember Harlem Heat as an ass-kicking tag team of color, you see what I’m saying? I didn’t want us to be something else," he continued. "I didn’t want us to turn into a Doink the Clown, so I’m not saying that they would have done this with Harlem Heat, but I didn’t want to lose the edge that we once had as Harlem Heat.”
What This Means
While Ray gave Booker T his blessing to go ahead and do his thing with WWE, he apparently decided that he wasn't going to sell out and has kept his word to this day.
Being recognized as a Hall of Famer by the company he never wanted to join was still a nice touch, however.