Booker T is one of the few wrestlers to reach the top of the mountain of both WCW and WWE. Booker's long career featured many standout moments and accomplishments that made him a legend. He still has a place in the wrestling industry after retirement which usually is the best sign of creating a lasting legacy.
We will look at reasons for him being remembered more fondly in WCW and WWE each. Most fans will pick the promotion that they first watched him in or the one that they most watched. However, both sides have fair and valid arguments for claiming Booker as having the better run there. Make your own decision after breaking down the facts. These are five reasons Booker T was better in WCW and five reasons he was better in WWE.
10 WCW: Harlem Heat
The tag team chapter of Booker T’s career is a huge one for his overall success. Booker spent many years teaming with his brother Stevie Ray in the Harlem Heat tag team. WCW relied on Harlem Heat to remain a top duo in the tag division for many years.
It wasn’t until an injury to Stevie opened the company’s eyes about Booker on his own when he was forced to work in singles action. Harlem Heat still holds a soft spot in the heart of every WCW fan. The peak for the team came when the legendary Sherri Martel was their manager.
9 WWE: King Booker run
The character change from Booker T to King Booker created a huge shift in his career. Booker was the choice to win the King of the Ring tournament when the concept returned to the Smackdown brand. The win made Booker a top name on the heel side of things.
His wife Queen Sharmell joining him along with the sidekicks of William Regal and Finlay created the King Booker’s Court faction. This act allowed Booker to score his first and only World Championship reign in WWE defeating Rey Mysterio.
8 WCW: Was the final face of the company
WCW started to struggle immensely in 2000 when the company had no new stars to build around as the audience grew tired of the veterans. Booker T received a huge push during the Vince Russo era by defeating Jeff Jarrett to win the WCW Championship.
The unexpected win created a new star for the remaining WCW fans that witnessed it. Booker developed a genuine connection with the audience as one of the few stars that had a long journey from rookie to main eventer in WCW. The push saw him become the face of the company towards the end.
7 WWE: Top star of the Invasion
WWE purchasing WCW created the opportunity for WWE to finally run an Invasion storyline of WCW trying to take over. Most of the major stars like Sting, Goldberg and the New World Order were unavailable due to keeping their contract with AOL/Time Warner to get paid sitting at home.
Booker T was one of the few established top stars to make the move instantly to WWE leading the Invasion. Feuds for Booker with Steve Austin, The Rock and Kurt Angle helped carry the storyline as it lost momentum elsewhere. Booker proved his worth to WWE in the difficult time.
6 WCW: Best of 7 series
One of the reasons WCW fans fell in love with Booker T was due to his rivalry with Chris Benoit. Both men were in the mid-card picture trying to showcase how much they could add to the main event picture. WCW decided to place them in a best of 7 series of matches for a title shot at the TV Championship.
Booker really stepped up to the occasion keeping up with Benoit’s technical wrestling while delivering his own flair. Fans started to view Booker as a relevant player which helped set him up for his future main event run in WCW.
5 WWE: Locker room leader
The later years of Booker T’s career in WWE allowed him to use his experience in the industry as a locker room leader. Booker was viewed as a generally fun guy that got along with just about everyone else on the WWE roster.
The unofficial status of locker room leader made Booker one of the most respected people in the entire company. A past fight with Batista was reportedly partially due to Batista’s attitude negatively impacting the rest of the locker room. Booker clearly took his role seriously when thrusted upon him.
4 WCW: Decorated champion
Booker T was always involved in some sort of a title picture during his WCW career. The legendary tag team run with Stevie Ray in Harlem Heat would see the brothers win a record-setting 10 WCW Tag Team Championships together.
Fans will always reference the five-time WCW Champion legacy of Booker winning the title all five times. Booker even thrived in the mid-card with six Television Championship reigns and one United States Championship run. WWE would see Booker win titles as well, but his WCW track record was second to none.
3 WWE: Broadcasting career
The end of Booker T’s time in the ring allowed him to make a transition he wanted for many years. Booker returned to WWE primarily for a broadcasting role after his TNA tenure ended. The years as a color commentator created many memorable moments and quotes.
Booker would continue working for WWE in various other broadcasting roles like being part of the monthly PPV pre-show panels breaking down the shows. The new Backstage show for Fox Sports has Booker working with Renee Young, CM Punk and others discussing the current product.
2 WCW: Rise to the top
The time frame of a wrestler rising to the top of a company will often be the most special part of his career. Booker T worked for many years before anyone in management even contemplated him for a main event position. However, the organic movement would kick down the doors to make him a bigger star.
Booker rose to the top of WCW in 2000 and proved to the wrestling world that he could main event. The story was beautiful because it played out on air like a storyline, but there was a real element to it. Fans watched a wrestler work for over a decade to finally achieve his main goal as the top star.
1 WWE: Two-time Hall of Famer
One of the biggest things that WWE can do for a wrestler’s career is induct them into the Hall of Fame. Every legend has the hope of entering the Hall of Fame to both boost their name value and just get appreciated for their contributions to the sport.
Booker T first joined the Hall of Fame on his own which most fans expected given his impact in WWE. However, the company would induct him and his brother Stevie Ray as Harlem Heat for their tag team run. Despite having their work in WCW, Harlem Heat getting inducted into the WWE HOF adds more to the legacy.