Booker T has given his side of the story on a stalking incident that resulted in one of his ROW talents being fired.
On February 10th, Fightful reported that former Reality Of Wrestling star Raychell Rose had alleged she was let go from the promotion because of an incident that saw trainee Shawn Reed engage in stalking and threatening behavior.
After several incidents that left Rose and others feeling uncomfortable, Reed was told to stay away from both her and ROW’s training venue as well as shows run by the promotion. However, Reed still made his presence known to Rose and others. While Rose tried to file stalking charges, they were denied due to the two not being in a relationship.
In December 2022, Reed was removed from another ROW event. There, he is said to have told Booker T he had considered attacking fellow students, with some even claiming he threatened to “shoot up the venue.”
Later the same night, Reed was seen in the same bar as Rose, who confronted him and told him she would call the police. Fellow stars also confronted Reed and he seemingly assaulted one of them before attempting to attack Rose. Reed was arrested over the incident.
After telling Booker about the bar incident, Rose claims she was fired from ROW, saying she was, “effectively cut from the company due to having a stalker in which she’d warned the company about.”
Booker T Gives His Side Of The Story
On the latest episode of his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T gave his thoughts on the Fightful report.
“A story came out about Reality of Wrestling that was dropped by Fightful. The story was about safety issues and being able to own up to the situation. I want everyone to know that at Reality of Wrestling, allegations like what are in this story, we take very serious. Sharmell and I. We take the allegations very serious. For 20 years, we’ve been working with young people on a weekly basis. My motto has always been safety first. In the ring and out of the ring. My students have always had a line to me as far as they can call me and talk to me on a regular basis.
“The story that came out, it was about an incident that happened in December of 2022. This isn’t an incident that happened yesterday or anything. Sometimes I question, why didn’t this story come out a year or months ago? It really wasn’t a story, I didn’t believe. I thought it was an incident that happened, a situation that was handled, and we got past that situation.”
Turning to the night in question, Booker says he asked Rose not to go to the same bar as Reed as he attempted to “diffuse the situation.”
“Let’s go to the night in question. It was an incident that went down and it was the first time I found out about it. The person we’re talking about in this story, Raychell Rose, a former student at Reality of Wrestling, had an issue with a prior student that was part of Reality of Wrestling, years prior. I think he vacated Reality of Wrestling in 2020. A situation that I knew nothing about until this night. I found out about it before the show. I thought I handled it.
“After the show, Raychell Rose came to me and told me about the problem, not the situation. The problem. When she told me about the problem with her and Shawn Reed, having an issue, I say, ‘Let’s fix this problem.’ I knew Shawn Reed was at the bar next door, off Reality of Wrestling property, and I asked Raychell Rose, ‘Please, don’t go there; go somewhere else so we can diffuse this situation and handle it.’ For me, this is an issue that I can’t handle. This is an issue that police need to be involved with. I left.
“After that conversation, I stressed, ‘Raychell Rose, go somewhere else. Go anywhere. So many other places you can go to. Do that for me so we can diffuse the situation.’ I left, went home, next thing you know, I’m getting a phone call from the bar owner, I’m getting a phone call from the police and the boys to come back and figure out what happened. Raychell Rose chose to go to the bar. What happened after that was totally out of my control.
“I just want to stress. Sharmell and I take full responsibility for anything that happens under Reality of Wrestling’s roof. Anything that happens outside of Reality of Wrestling, that is totally out of our hands. For this story to be written the way it was, I fired somebody over a stalking incident, that is not something that happened. We can’t fire anybody because we don’t hire anybody. These are independent contractors. We can book them and not book them. That’s normally the way it works in this wrestling world.”
Regarding Rose’s claim that Booker T had promised extra safety measures that weren’t put in place, the star says they actually did hire armed security.
“Yeah, not just for her safety but for everybody in the building. My family is working day-to-day operations as well. We have students in and out of the gym on a daily basis. After that incident, we had armed security as well as adding cameras to the facility.”
He also refuted Rose’s assertion that he didn’t issue a promised no-trespassing decree to Reed.
“We did that as well. It’s on paper. It’s in black and white. This goes back to 2020. Shawn Reed was asked to leave Reality of Wrestling’s property back in 2020. It goes back quite some time as far as him not being part of Reality of Wrestling. That’s why I feel this was a police issue more so than it was a Reality of Wrestling issue, as far as everything went. The mall had a report for this kid to not show up. I don’t know how long. I know you can’t get something like that indefinitely. As far as a temporary restraining order for this kid to not be on the property, yes.”
When asked if Reed was armed on the night, Booker T said that wasn’t the case.
“That’s not true. The place he sat, I made sure he was watched by an armed guard and six other people. I made sure of that. I got instinct. I could have easily let Shawn Reed leave the building that night and he left in a depressed state and something really happened that night, but nothing happened at Reality of Wrestling.”
The WWE Hall of Famer also made clear that he was unaware of allegations of stalking.
“Not stalking. He made aware that he did not want to date her. He said, ‘I don’t want to date her, I just want to be part of Reality of Wrestling. This is something I’ve missed for the last four years.’ That’s what my concern was. My concern was the kid. I didn’t know about her issue. Maybe had I been aware of her issue, I would have taken just as much consideration.
“I do know that I have a kid in front of me that going through something, and I have to make a rash decision right now. He hasn’t done anything, so I can’t call the police on him. I have to do something myself. I made a decision and I think the decision that I made was right because nothing happened at Reality of Wrestling.”
According to Booker, he thought Rose parting ways with ROW was an “amicable decision” although he admitted there could have been some miscommunication.
“After that, a phone call happened between Raychell and I. I would think it was an amicable decision as far as us not working together anymore. Obviously, she didn’t understand me and I didn’t understand her. Maybe it was something where we could have taken a break.
“No one ever said to Raychell Rose, ‘You’re fired.’ That’s not a word we use at Reality of Wrestling because we don’t hire people. Raychell Rose, if she would have did what I asked, she says it, ‘I remember him saying go somewhere else, but we have a tradition to go to the bar.’ If we have a tradition to go to the bar, we have a problem. I’m trying to help you and save your life. That was disregarded.”
When asked if he could have done anything differently the night of the confrontation, Booker said he would have tried to make sure everybody went home safely.
“Even if I was clairvoyant, I don’t think there would have been anything I could have done to change that situation other than try to make sure everybody went home safe that night. I think if everybody listened to me, it’s documented what I said to Raychell Rose, she said it herself. I asked her, ‘Please don’t go over there and confront a person who is perhaps a stalker and has mental problems. Don’t do that. Something could happen and someone could get hurt. I don’t need anybody getting hurt. Go somewhere else that night so we can diffuse the situation and get the police involved,’ because to my knowledge, the police hadn’t been involved.”
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.