Booker T: My Rise to Wrestling Royalty review

In the long, vast history of professional wrestling, few men are as decorated with championships as Booker T.- a 35x champion in WWE, WCW and TNA. A few years ago he wrote his first memoir- From Prison to Promise and 2015 sees Booker following it up with My Rise to Wrestling Royalty, which focuses more on his in-ring career. At just under 450 pages long, it\’s incredible how much Booker touches on in this memoir, starting with the night WCW aired their last Nitro broadcast as they\’d just been bought out by Vince McMahon and the WWF/E and the feelings backstage as the WCW wrestlers wondered if they\’d have a job the next day. After opening, Booker goes back in time to when he and his brother, Lash- better known as Stevie Ray broke into the wrestling business. When they reached WCW- thanks to legend Sid Vicious, they were tagged as Chi-Town Heat– an early version of their iconic Harlem Heat tag team, under which they on a the most WCW Tag Team titles in company history. While their Chi-Town Heat debut wasn\’t televised, the gimmick was so badly received by fans in attendance it was automatically scrapped and they were re-packaged as Harlem Heat and, after trying their run on the house show circuit, it was deemed acceptable by WCW creative and put on TV. The rest as history. The book is packed with stores from WCW, WWE and TNA and Booker doesn\’t hold back at all. It\’s an emotional journey where he exposes every aspect of his life in hopes that someone somewhere will get something out of it- and they will. He talks about some of his favorite feuds, storylines, angles and matches with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (yes, the grocery store fight is detailed) The Rock, Chris Benoit, Goldust and others as well as introducing the Legends Championship in TNA. Being a 35x champion and having wrestled in the business for over 20 years, there are a lot of stories to be told in this book and there\’s not a dull moment either. Booker is a storyteller if there ever was one and My Rise to Wrestling Royalty is a book that will peak the interest of any wrestling fan anywhere. -Reggie Edwards