The Shocking Reason WCW Made Booker T World Champion

Booker T

Booker T is famously a five-time WCW World Champion but it seems that the company gave him his first run with the Big Gold for one specific reason.

Booker T is a two-time WWE Hall of Famer for very good reason. The star was catapulted to success in WCW, first with his brother Stevie Ray as Harlem Heat then on his own as a main event player towards the dying days of the company.

It was Booker T who was the last man to hold the WCW World Championship before the company folded and he carried that title with him when he made his debut for WWE in the summer of 2001. As King Booker, he captured the World Heavyweight Championship again in 2006 before he left for a three-year stint in TNA the following year.

Booker T Given WCW World Title Due To Lawsuit

WWE has announced that Thunderbolt Patterson will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2024. Patterson will join the likes of Paul Heyman, Bull Nakano, The U.S. Express, and boxing icon Muhammad Ali in the Class of 2024 and it seems Patterson’s influence behind the scenes may have been even greater than that of his in-ring career.

Patterson was an advocate of a wrestler’s union in the seventies and was frequently trying to get his fellow workers more protection in the ring and was vocal about the institutional racism he experienced in the business. These – plus appearances for independent promotions – saw Patterson blacklisted by the NWA for a time.

In 2000 a racial discrimination lawsuit was filed by Sonny Onoo and several African American wrestlers against WCW’s parent company AOL Time Warner. The suit was settled out of court after WWE had purchased WCW in the spring of 2001.

Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed the issue and Patterson’s involvement and explained that the lawsuit was why WCW first put the world title on Booker T:

There were enough people who could testify that a lot of the executives in WCW said a lot of racist things which did not look good in a court case which ended up being settled for a pretty substantial amount of money. That was actually the reason Booker T was made world champion was because that lawsuit was there the first time.

Not that Booker didn’t deserve it, he did but the reason he got it was because of this lawsuit about WCW was discriminating against black wrestlers. Thunderbolt [Patterson] was one of the key guys spearheading that. He’d been doing that since the seventies so it’s interesting that Thunderbolt is now lauded in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Booker T first won the WCW World Championship in July 2000 at the infamous Bash at the Beach event. In winning the title he became just the second African-American man after Ron Simmons in 1992 to win the title.

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