Booker T is the newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013 and like the other 2013 Hall of Famers, I will review a match from Booker T’s career. I wasn’t sure which Booker match I would review because Booker doesn’t really have many memorable matches. The most famous Booker match in my opinion is his SummerSlam match against The Rock, but I didn’t think that was a good match to review. My favorite Booker match is the match he had against Cody Rhodes on RAW because I was there, but that match was too recent. I decided to do a Google search and someone recommended Booker T vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin from Smackdown. I had never seen that match before and I wanted to see it because Austin and Booker had a great rivalry. I had stopped watching WWF when their feud started, but I know their Supermarket Brawl is one of the most famous segments in Smackdown history. My favorite Booker T and Stone Cold segment was their church segment. I was able to find the Smackdown match on YouTube and I decided to review it for this column.

The Facts:

  • This match happened at the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, South Carolina.
  • This was a qualifying #1 contender match. The winner gets to be in a #1 contender match on RAW and the winner of that match gets to face Chris Jericho for the Undisputed Championship at No Way Out.
  • Vince McMahon’s “Lethal Dose of Poison” promo happened on this Smackdown. McMahon said he was going to kill the WWF with the nWo.
  • The announcers were Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler.
  • The unofficial time length of the match was 9:17.
  • The match can be seen HERE.

The Match:

Stone Cold Steve Austin and Booker T lock up in the middle of the ring. Booker gets Austin to the corner. They both land punches to the face. After Austin punches Booker, Booker has a “Tell me you didn’t just do that” look on his face. They lock up again. Booker puts Austin in a headlock. Austin gets out of the headlock and throws Booker into the ropes. Booker bounces off the ropes and knocks Austin down with his shoulder. Booker stomps on Austin on the mat. Booker lifts Austin off the mat and Austin starts punching Booker. Austin pushes Booker into the ropes and Booker does another shoulder knockdown. Booker bounces off the ropes and Austin gives Booker a spinebuster. Austin hits Booker with Ric Flair chops. Austin knocks down Booker with a clothesline. Booker kicks out of a pin. Booker pokes Austin in the eye and then gives Flair chops to Austin. Booker tries to whip Austin into the ropes, but Austin reverses it. Austin picks up Booker and drops him onto the ropes. Swinging neckbreaker by Austin gets a two count. Austin hits Booker with more Flair chops. Booker lets out a loud yell after the last two chops. That’s good selling. It looks like Austin tries to knock Booker down with a clothesline, but Booker ducks it. Booker knocks Austin down with a kick. Booker clotheslines Austin out of the ring. Booker throws Austin into the steel steps. Austin is limping and that is great selling by Austin. These guys know how to sell. Booker bounces Austin’s head off the steel steps and throws Austin back into the ring.

Booker kicks Austin in the corner. Booker is attacking Austin’s knees which is smart wrestling because Austin’s knees are hurt. Austin limps away from Booker and Booker again attacks Austin’s knee. This is great storytelling and that’s something today’s WWE wrestlers don’t do much of. Sometimes the WWE wrestlers will do that stuff in an important Pay-Per-View match, but this is only a Smackdown match. The effort Booker and Austin are putting into a TV match is amazing. Austin is down in the corner and Booker is attacking him. The referee tells Booker to get away from the corner. Austin gets up and tackles Booker to the mat. Austin lands some punches and whips Booker into the ropes. Austin bends over to attempt a backdrop I think, but his plan doesn’t work and Booker kicks Austin in the chest. Booker hits Austin with a kick and Austin goes down. This is standing wrestling storytelling right now. The good guy (Austin) tried to make a comeback, but the bad guy (Booker) stopped the comeback. This kind of match is done many times, but Booker and Austin are executing it very well. Booker pins Austin and Austin kicks out at two. Booker is attacking Austin’s knee again. Two other guys doing their jobs perfectly are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. They are doing an excellent job mentioning that Booker’s attack on the knee is a good strategy. Booker tries to attack the knee again, but Austin gets out of the way. Austin’s knee is hurt so badly that he needs to grab the ropes to pull himself up. Double clothesline and both men are down. Austin gets up first and limps to the corner. Austin’s left leg is really injured and he was mostly hopping off his right leg on the way to the corner. Austin is in the corner because he is using the ropes to help him stay on his feet. Terrific selling by Austin! Booker walks towards him and Austin is landing punches to Booker’s face. Austin whips Booker into the ropes and hits him with the Lou Thesz Press! Austin is kicking Booker’s gut in the corner. Austin goes for the stunner, but Booker blocks it and Booker takes Austin down. Booker does the Spinaroonie! Heel kick by Booker gets a two count. SCISSORS KICK BY BOOKER! One…two…Austin kicks out! Booker can’t believe it! Booker waits for Austin to get up. Austin is able to get up and continues to sell his knee injury. Booker with a kick to the mid-section and he is going for the stunner! Austin pushes Booker into the ropes. Booker bounces off the rope and Austin kicks Booker in the mid-section. STUNNER!!! Austin pins Booker and gets the three count.

Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Rating: ****

I can’t believe this match was only nine minutes long. Booker and Austin got a lot done in that short amount of time. Something I want to mention is that there were no commercial breaks during this match which was nice to see because a commercial break in the middle of this match would have hurt it. It’s too bad WWE rarely has uninterrupted TV matches today. This match was executed perfectly. There weren’t any great spots and nothing memorable happened. The match was awesome because both men knew how to wrestle a match. There was great selling and great storytelling by two WWE Hall of Famers. The match would have been a great addition to Austin’s most recent DVD. What really amazes me about this match was that it was a Smackdown match. The match was PPV quality and they had a match like that on free TV. I think that this is a match that should be shown to the younger wrestlers on the WWE roster. I think it had everything you need in a good match. There was great strategy (Booker attacking Austin’s knee the entire match), great selling (Austin limping during the match), and great false comebacks by Austin. Booker T was a great entertainer during his career, but he was also a great wrestler who knew how to have a great match and that’s why he is a WWE Hall of Famer.

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