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The Booker T Biography ‘controversy’ is a non-story

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It’s become a trend with A&E’s Biography: WWE Legends series. Each episode is analyzed for what is or isn’t included. Fans & observers discuss what the omissions mean, speculating about motives, and fueling the rumor mill & conspiracy theories in the process.

Most of us have done it, if not with these shows, then with some other documentaries or reporting in the past. I know I have, both behind closed doors and on this here website.

With the premiere of the Booker T edition of Biography this past Sunday (May 9) however, things spun a bit out of control.

At issue was how Biography did, or didn’t, tackle Booker’s 2003 feud with Triple H over the WWE World Heavyweight championship. That storyline is infamous both because of what could only generously be called racial overtones in the way heel champion Triple H dealt with Booker T throughout, but also because Haitch beat Book clean to the end the feud. Fans who identified with the Black challenger were hurt and angered there was never any payback for Hunter saying things to Booker like, “somebody like you doesn’t get to be a World champion.”

This probably would have been a topic of discussion anyway, but writer David Dennis - who does appear in the documentary - tweeted that producers filmed him speaking about the WrestleMania 19 feud. The footage wasn’t used, something Dennis said he figured would be the case at the time.

Perhaps anticipating what ended up happening anyway, Dennis deleted his tweets. But not before several websites ran them under headlines like “Controversial Booker T – Triple H Segment Pulled From A&E Biography?“

It was that article which ended up being discussed on Booker’s latest Hall of Fame podcast, where the two-time Hall of Famer himself disputed the claim in the headline:

“How can it be pulled from the bio, okay you talked about it - it wasn’t in there and it got pulled out, it never actually got in. To write it like that makes it seem like there was a whole lot of meat and potatoes on the bone of the story of Booker T, Triple H, WrestleMania 19. Me personally, I’ve never given that story a whole lot of credence.. they talk about the story that went into, and I understand that being a young black kid looking up to my heroes - trust me I understand that as well.

“But I’ve never looked at my career, and framed my career around any one match, let alone WrestleMania 19, the match with Triple H where I got paid more money for one match than I got paid for any other match in my life. Me personally, I’m not fittin’ to complain about that, because at the end of the day it’s about taking care of my family, walking away from it and being able to do it again... and when I see stuff like that, when people try to make something... a racial issue between Triple H, Booker T, WWE, whatnot - it’s just a story, somebody trying to get some clicks. For me, I just want everybody to know that, that was not what my story was about at the end of the day... it’s not about the dark side of WrestleMania 19 and Booker T and Triple H. And for people to want to make it about that, I get it, I get it. I’m not naive or anything like that. I understand. But for me personally, that’s not what Booker T’s career makeup is all about.”

Booker saying he understands why his Black fans were hurt by the WrestleMania 19 story before rationalizing participating with his payday is something everyone’s going to have their own take on. It’s his truth though, as is the fact he never intended the Biography special to focus on his feud with Triple H or any other specific rivalry from his long career. Book says not even the rough draft for the show he saw last year focused on WrestleMania 19.

Which in no way contradicts anything Dennis is saying, either.

Despite all this, the internet machine continued to roll after more sites picked up Booker’s comments from the podcast. That prompting a longer series of tweets from Dennis:

“Let me repeat for EVERYONE taking my tweets out of context and for @BookerT5x. I NEVER said that a segment about WM 19 was CUT from anything. I said that I answered questions about WM19 and didn’t think that it would be part of the actual documentary and it wasn’t.

“I was responding to people who were wondering where the discussion of WM19 was and I was telling them that I did answer questions about it and I also told Busted Open Radio yesterday I don’t even know how much Booker even cares about that match and it being included.

“Again: NO SEGMENT WAS CUT. Documentaries include a TON of footage that doesn’t make the cut. Again. I wrote an article about WM19 and that article got the attention of the filmmakers. I came in and talked about WM19 a LOT but never really thought it’d get included. It didn’t. But, as is usual, I talked about a WHOLE LOT OF STUFF and that got included.

“So again, Booker T is exactly right and that’s exactly what I said too: there was NEVER a WM19 segment that was included in any version of the doc. There were questions asked about it. As is the case in ALL docs, things don’t make it. That was something that didn’t make it.

“I hate that everything I said was taken out of context and Booker T got told straight up lies about what was said and wasn’t said. As I also mentioned Sunday night: Sunday was my first night seeing the documentary so how could I say a segment was removed?!“

Booker T hasn’t publicly responded to Dennis, but based on what I heard during the Hall of Fame pod, it didn’t even sound like he had an issue with the writer. He seemed to know where things got twisted:

“It’s the way these outlets write the story... ‘deleted scenes’. It’s like come on, man! Let’s just keep it real.”

Hopefully, that’s the end of that. On to the next internet ‘controversy’.