Induction: Booker T vs. Edge – Samurai Shampoo

34 Submitted by on Thu, 10 March 2016, 20:00

WWE, 2002

I blame this one on the failed Invasion story line.

Just one Wrestlemania prior, Booker T was the WCW World and US Champion and poised to play a major role in the Invasion storyline for years to come.

shampoo01

Instead, WCW was dead and buried by that year’s Thanksgiving (the October federal holiday that commemorates the discovery of America).

So rather than, say, wrestling The Rock in a title unification match (as one might have imagined at the outset of the Invasion angle), Booker T was slotted well before the main event of Wrestlemania 18 to settle one of the stupidest scores in Mania history.

In a way, it made one yearn for those simpler times when Mean Gene or Lord Alfred could just announce a match for Wrestlemania and *poof* there was Undertaker vs. Jimmy Snuka, or Owen Hart vs. Skinner, or Adam Bomb vs. Earthquake, no feud required. Not that any of those matches were any good, but at least they got folks on the card. By 2002, though, if you weren’t competing for a title, you’d better piss somebody off fast and get a quickie grudge match at Wrestlemania or else risk missing the biggest payday of the year.

shampoo02

And since Booker (the five-time WCW champion) and Edge (the reigning King of the Ring) had nothing else going on at the time, it was very fortuitous for both of them that a Japanese shampoo company would seek a WWF Superstar to endorse their product.

Booker T jumped at the chance to get the gig and make “big bucks.” I mean, it certainly wasn’t the worst potential foreign endorsement deal out there… shampoo03
shampoo04 …(That title would go to this Taiwanese toothpaste brand).
Anyway, this meant learning Japanese.
shampoo05

“Learning Japanese, I think I’m learning Japanese, I really think so.”

shampoo06 Booker T seemed like a shoo-in, at least if you listened to Test. Sure, Booker couldn’t pronounce “sayonara,” but Test was blown away by his fluency, which rivaled that of those famed “karate dudes.”
The Book even wrote his own script, wherein he promised to be the savior of the Japanese people — at least as far as hair was concerned. shampoo07
shampoo08 Tajiri balked at Booker’s audition and compared his hair to “Buckwheat on crack.” His words, not mine. The criticism may have been harsh, but Booker T’s script did indeed have some glaring flaws, such as claiming that kung fu comes from Japan, rather than China. Who confuses those two?
That night, the prospective shampoo spokeswrestler beat Tajiri, only to be unpleasantly surprised by the backstage development that played on the Titantron. Booker could say “sorrow-nara” to that endorsement deal. shampoo09
shampoo10

You know, for Japan’s #1 shampoo brand, Yakamoshi sure did skimp on packaging.

It turned out that it would be Edge who’d star in the shampoo commercial, not Booker T.
Michael Cole relayed that, on the WWF’s recent tour of Asia, the Japanese fans were ecstatic about Edge getting the shampoo deal — yes, “ecstatic” — making the people of Japan sound like the most bored-out-of-their-minds populace on the face of the earth. shampoo11
shampoo12 Jerry Lawler suggested that Edge, with his big ol’ pearly whites, should have gotten a toothpaste endorsement instead.
(Perhaps for Taiwan’s White Men toothpaste) shampoo13
shampoo14 The next week on Raw, Booker T blamed his loss of the shampoo commercial on all the stupid fans. Edge called Booker a hypocrite for calling anybody stupid, and he cited Mr. Huffman’s performance on the Weakest Link as proof.
Oh, dear. shampoo15
shampoo16 And so the stage was set for Wrestlemania, where Booker T would try not only to prove his intellectual mettle (he did write his thesis on Einstein’s Theory of Relatives, after all), but also to change the minds of all the big wigs at Yakamoshi shampoo. Not that wigs would need shampoo.
But he would have no such luck. Edge won their unspectacular match that, while decent, certainly didn’t make the Sky Dome crowd shout, “Oui oui! shampoo17


You know, it’s easy in 2016 to look back and criticize a feud that revolved around shampoo, but I’m sure it didn’t seem the least bit trite at the time.

shampoo18shampoo19

Well, kiss my butt!

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
34 Responses to "Induction: Booker T vs. Edge – Samurai Shampoo"
  1. Ryan says:

    On a side note, how in the world was this not a Hair vs. Hair match? If ever a “feud” called for one, this was it.

    • Autrach Sejanoz says:

      Just another missed opportunity in a business full of them.

    • John C says:

      That’s saved for guys who are already balding and don’t care. Then a month or so later Edge beat Kurt Angle in a hair vs match. Considering this was still the early 2000’s it’s amazing the feud didn’t involve lubes, ass cremes, jock itch or male enhancement products instead.

  2. Mister Forth says:

    This induction was a long time coming.

  3. Preparation Triple H says:

    Instead of Wrestlecrap, would this be Wrestlepoo?

  4. Alexandru says:

    And since Booker (the five-time WCW champion) and Edge (the reigning King of the Ring) had nothing else going on at the time. Yeah that sentence shows that WWE sometimes didn’t recognize talent (more so Booker than Edge) when it was right in front of them. As idiotic as this was it still beats out starting a feud because of a disagreement on Twitter, of all things See: Alicia Fox vs. Paige

    • Si says:

      “A disagreement on Twitter” would have been smart booking in comparison. Alicia-Paige happened because Alicia unfollowed Paige on Instagram. For a Total Divas storyline. Thus it happened several months earlier. And that alone turned Paige face less than two months after she mocked Reid Flair. And last week, something like six weeks on, Paige and Alicia teamed together at house shows. Remember when Paige was the can’t-fail prospect who was going to change the standing of women in the company?

      But oh man, basing a Wrestlemania storyline on a supposed international shampoo endorsement because they can’t just come out and say they wanted to put the two talents together and had no ideas. It’s like they wanted the company to look stupid.

  5. Channel-F says:

    I can’t believe they didn’t have Edge peel off a label with Booker’s face to reveal his own face underneath.

  6. Geoff says:

    Give it 5 more years, they’ll come back around to this angle and do exactly that. Only the two competitors will be Rusev and Ziggler.

  7. Guest says:

    And since Booker (the five-time WCW champion).

    You mean

    FIVE TIME
    FIVE TIME
    FIVE TIME
    FIVE TIME
    FIVE TIME WCW Champion

  8. E-Squared says:

    There are a couple of things that I would like to point. One, I can’t help but wonder if the WWF used a bottle of Suave shampoo and simply put a sticker on it with Japanese words to disguise. I remember when Suave used to put out their shampoo and conditioner in those bottles.

    The other thing is that in WWE Crush Hour, there was a cutscene in that Edge appeared in as a reference to this angle. Except the shampoo was called “Happy Pee Pee Smile,” not Yakamoshi Shampoo.

  9. Andre R. says:

    Well, would you rather this had been the AWA, where they once had two grown men fighting over a turkey? Think about it.

  10. King Of Kings says:

    Well as ridiculous as this was, at least it wasn’t as bad as the crap Booker would eventually have to put up with the following year…

  11. Sean Bateman says:

    What’s next? The wash my mouth out with soap match between Cena vs Rhino?

  12. Gerard says:

    You, yes you out there reading this can be a writer for the wwe!! How?? Simple. Gather the following items a dartboard complete with two darts, a pad of paper, a pen or marker, scissors, scotch tape, and a hat. First write all the current wwe superstars on the pad, carefully cut them out and using the tape stick the names all over the dart board. Then using the first dart throw it at the board. Who ever it hits will be the first wrestler in your storyline. Remove this name from the board so you don’t accidentally hit it again. Now throw the other dart. This will be your second wrestler in your storyline!! Now using your pad again write down a bunch of storyline ideas. Don’t worry about how silly or crazy they sound. Cut them all out and put them in your hat. Now choose a piece of paper… No peeking!!…this will be your storyline. Example: big show( wrestler 1) fights Dolph ziggler ( wrestler 2) because…big show ate Dolph’s sandwich… Tadahh you are now an official wwe writer!!! Congratulations my friend!!!

  13. Harry Montague says:

    This is almost as funny as when the WWE released actual shampoo and, on the bottles, they wrestlers they chose were:

    Kurt Angle
    Steve Austin
    Rey Mysterio!

  14. CP says:

    They say that the former “Darkie” toothpaste is still sold under its original name in mainland China. Why I felt the need to share this I don’t know.

  15. #OPC says:

    They should have just gone with Mr. Sparkle.

  16. Jimbolian says:

    Did Vince and Kevin Dunn use Mad Libs to come up with this feud?

  17. Thomas says:

    From jupiterscientific.org:

    According to Einstein’s Theory of Relatives, the probability of in-laws visiting you is directly proportional to how much you feel like being left alone.

  18. Geoff says:

    I concur

  19. Geoff says:

    I wonder if the writer of this angle was Freddie Prinze Jr. I looked him up the other day and he is no longer a writer for WWE. Maybe his ideas were actually making more sense than the rest of the writers and he got fired. That is a sad commentary in and of itself.

    • CP says:

      Wouldn’t have been possible considering he didn’t join the company til 2008.

    • Si says:

      According to his Wiki Prinze Jr was only employed by the company from 2008-09 and 2010-2012.

      “On the November 1, 2010 episode of Monday Night RAW, Prinze made an on screen appearance as Vince McMahon’s doctor, a dream sequence scene that coincided with Linda McMahon’s attempt to win a seat in the Senate for the state of Connecticut.”

      Oh man, I’d forgotten that. The last sighting of Vince’s belief that anything to do with toiletary habits is hilarious in and of itself.

  20. Reidah says:

    Still better than the boring drivel of today.

  21. Thun says:

    Y’know, I can, somehow, see people mistaking where Kung Fu came from.

    That being said, confusing Japan and China these days, specially when it’s about economy is freakin’ impressive.

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