INDUCTION: The Battle for the Letter T – Nitro Collides with Sesame Street!!

54 Submitted by on Thu, 03 July 2014, 19:00

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WCW 2000

In the last 18 months or so of WCW’s existence, there wasn’t much to cheer about.  The company had become such a mess…man.  Despite the fact I’ve written a book about it (TWICE – pick up the new version here!), when I start writing an induction like this, even I, RD Reynolds, master of matter wrestling disasters, am still taken aback.

Those last 18 months we hard.  But there were a few things you could count on, one of which was Booker T.  He was just coming into his prime, and he was great in the ring, always fun to watch.  Yeah, Booker T was the man.  Booker T…

Oh wait.

There was a period we weren’t allowed to call him Booker T.  We just had to call him “Booker”.  Why?

That’s our subject today!

It started out when he and his brother, Stevie Ray, were having issues in their tag team, Harlem Heat.

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The storyline was that Stevie felt that Booker had lost touched with his homies in the hood.

Really.

Here at Souled Out 2000 we get footage of Stevie Ray hanging out in said hood, hugging people, shaking hands with the homeless, and regaling us with stories of living in cardboard boxes.  Not sure it was the intent, but Stevie sure came off like the good guy here.  Not sure why you’d have Stevie, who’d been a heel for years, as the sympathetic character, but as you’ll soon learn, that’s the least of our concerns.

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Here he is at Old Mr. Harris’ Barbershop.  You know you’re in the hood when there ain’t no fancy swirly pole – heck, they’re lucky to even have a painted one.

Stevie explains that Booker is too good for the brothers here.  Don’t email me for being non-PC; that was what the man said.  Better than when his brother called the Hulkster the n-word, I guess.

Finally, it’s time for the brothers to square off, and Booker heads to the ring…

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Oh man, Midnight.

I had completely forgotten about MIDNIGHT.

Midnight was one of several female bodybuilders WCW brought in to be their version of Chyna.  See also Asya.  The difference was this girl was actually pretty athletic, threw a decent drop kick, leap frog, that kinda thing.  I mean, she wasn’t the next coming of Rey Mysterio or anything, but she was better than, say, Stevie Ray.  Maybe that’s why she was a source of friction between the two brothers.

She’d show up when the lights went out and a bell sounded.  Sound familiar?

So the boys have a fight (read: Booker bounces around like a ping pong ball for his brother), which is only to be interrupted by…

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…a man who appears to have eaten Ahmed Johnson, wiped his greasy hands on his massive belly, then went back up to the buffet to eat Ahmed Johnson again.  The newly dubbed “Big T” joins up with Stevie Ray to become Harlem Heat…2000!

As an aside…oh how I loved the late 90′s.  We got all kinds of things brought back and tagged with the 2000 logo.  In fact, arguably my favorite video game ever was a 2000 game: Tempest 2000.  Yes, on the Atari Jaguar of all things.  That system may have sucked, but that game is absolutely amazing.  It is certainly the greatest shooter I’ve ever played..

Back to WCW, yeah, we get Harlem Heat 2000.  You know what would have been great?  If Russo had brought in Erik Watts and Chad Fortune as Tekno Team 2000 2000.  You know, so I’d have had something else to induct.

But Stevie Ray and Ahmed Johnson weren’t alone, as they also brought along a manager…or should I say, an attorney.

THIS MAN!

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Why yes, that would in fact be the former Clarence Mason of the WWF, rechristened “J. Biggs” in WCW.  A legit attorney, he somehow decided that plying his trade in the pro wrestling business was the best way to keep his docket full.  And he was about to file his biggest, and most ridiculous, lawsuit ever.

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As Booker T was coming to the ring on Nitro, suddenly his music was cut off.  Book looked about confused, and Mr. Biggs came out on stage to clarify the situation, explaining that the music he had been using was owned by “Harlem Heat, Inc.”, and as he was no longer a part of said business entity, he could no longer use that as his entrance theme. In a show of solidarity, however, HH Inc. had gotten Booker new music, a pop instrumental which Biggs claimed was “meaningless music.”  Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never listened to the Harlem Heat theme and thought about any deep meaning.

Still, we should all give mad props to Stevie Ray raising the roof while it played.

 

Which was better than what Big T did.

 

But the music was just the beginning of poor Booker’s legal issues.  I could write something here trying to explain this next part, but honestly, the audio you will hear upon clicking this hyperlink will tell the story far better than I ever could.

(It also gives me the opportunity to use the term “hyperlink”, and if there’s one thing I love more than horrible wrestling, it’s horrible antiquated computer nomenclature.)

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You heard correctly (assuming you did in fact click the HYPERLINK) – Booker T could no longer be called Booker T because somehow Harlem Heat owned the letter T.

Let me repeat that:

HARLEM HEAT OWNED THE LETTER T.

Before I say more, I wonder if Mr. Biggs and his clientele considered the worldwide ramifications.  I mean, right off the top of my head, if you lived in Tacoma, you now live in Acoma.

A COMA.

Bad joke out of the way, this is quite possibly the single most idiotic bit of dialogue I have ever heard in a wrestling program.

And consider the ground THAT covers.

The stupidity continues as Biggs sends Stevie and Big T away, saying he doesn’t need them, and then heads down to the ring to confront Booker (no longer T) by his lonesome.  And the boys don’t argue – they just saunter backstage.  I’d make some snide remark like “maybe catering closed in the second hour and Ahmed didn’t want to miss it”, but hey, I’ve had weight issues myself in the past and thus I am above such things.

 

Anyway, it winds up as you’d expect.  You’d think a lawyer would be smarter than this.

This being WCW, the insanity continues as Biggs somehow gets Booker arrested for  having Harlem Heat gear in his bag the following Nitro.  This would be “contraband.”  I somehow doubt he’d actually be arrested for that, but whatever.

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This all leads to Superbrawl, where “ownership of the Harlem Heat franchise” was on the line as Big T battled Book.  More importantly than that, however, may be the fact that an atomic drop, wherein a knee hits the anal area, is now cause for a neck brace.  Not even sure where to start with that, so let’s just move on, namely to Booker’s new music, which has morphed from 80s pop to a Leave it To Beaver knockoff.

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So the two have a horrible match, as poor Ahmed can barely move at this point.  Booker hits something resembling a missile dropkick, goes for the cover, and the lights go out. In the past this was the cue for Midnight to show up…

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…and sure enough she does.

Except she’s gained 350 pounds.

And a penis.

Seriously, it’s some guy we’ve never, ever seen before!  DOUBLE YAY!

I’d note that perhaps bringing in a no name would help WCW because, well, you wouldn’t have to pay them much, but this is the same company that brought in an unknown named Swoll and paid him $400,000 a year, so I’m not holding out any real hope here.

Anyway, Booker loses and thus the bad guys get the name and the letter T.  Biggs notes that Booker couldn’t defeat the “scales of justice”, and then points to Stevie (300!), Big (350!!!), and CASSIUS (450!!!!!).  Surely doomsday not only for Booker, but ALL of WCW!

Yeah, no.

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Of course not.

They lasted approximately two months before disbanding.  Ahmed, Clarence Mason, and Cassius all vanished, and Stevie was rarely seen after that.

And Booker?  He’d get his last letter back, of course.  Music too.  But not immediately.  Instead, he hung out as plain ol’ Booker for a while before morphing into…

lettert15GI Bro.

See, that was the thing when WCW was collapsing.  You’d get something idiotic, and you’d wait for it come to an end, thinking things would then get better.

But they rarely did.

Speaking of…what should I write about next?

 

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54 Responses to "INDUCTION: The Battle for the Letter T – Nitro Collides with Sesame Street!!"
  1. Mr. Glen says:

    Finally! I have been waiting a good ten years for this (and Master P and the No Limit Soldiers) I know you have to make sure that all promotions get a decent amount of coverage but I swear you could run this site on 1999/2000 WCW crap alone.

  2. Erich says:

    GI Bro makes me think you should do an induction on all the multiple character wrestlers in WCW. Not just the MIA, but Buddy Lee Parker and Jack Boots, the various incarnations of Brad Armstrong, and so on

  3. Preparation Triple H says:

    “More importantly than that, however, may be the fact that an atomic drop, wherein a knee hits the anal area, is now cause for a neck brace.”

    I suppose it’s possible if one has his head stuck up said anal area, as the WCW writers did during this time.

  4. LockDown2341 says:

    The odd thing is that I could actually picture a lawsuit like that happening. The make of the game called “Scrolls” was sued by Bethesda because they thought it might confused with “Elder Scrolls”. Not the only example but there are tons of silly lawsuits out there.

  5. Dave says:

    Weird, I remember this whole nonsensical storyline, but I have absolutely no memory of Midnight whatsoever.

  6. John Matrix says:

    Ahmed looks like he’s eaten too many reefs.

    • David P. says:

      You win, for the comment AND the name!

    • Marvelous says:

      Ahmed is the” other guy” in the first pic. You can clearly see he has a six pack. It’s just not that stupid gym guy John Morrison six pack. Guy was built to beat, even if it was synthetic building blocks

    • Chris says:

      He probably should have stuck with the “Bozo Soup and Stars Diet.”

  7. Jimbolian says:

    I don’t believe it has been done yet, but the Hogan/Bischoff vs. DDP/Leno match at Road Wild ’98 HAS to be inducted. DDP best said it during a Legends of Wrestling show that the moment Jay Leno put Hogan into an armbar, he knew that was the nail in the coffin for WCW.

  8. Sean O says:

    I feel there was one way they could have tried to salvage this storyline…if they brought in MR. T TO FEUD WITH ALL OF THEM!

    • John C says:

      “I pity the fool who messes with the letter T. I’ll hit you with my suitcase or as I like to call it my T bag.”

      • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

        You know, if you keep being funnier than the rest of us it’s going to make us all look bad. :)

      • C Boz says:

        If he was not on the good side of HH Inc and receiving their permission, wouldn’t he just be called “Mister”?

    • Kenneth Wise says:

      Okay, WHY DIDN’T THAT HAPPEN?!

    • Horsemen4ever says:

      And then Russo could have booked a Mr. T’s Mom on a pole match.

      • James says:

        If T wins, he gets WORK! And Biggs, Ahmed, Stevie, et al must not do milk, drink their drugs, stay in vegetables and eat their school! I bet the last won’t be a problem for Ahmed at this time, though.

  9. Jimbolian says:

    Also want to add around the mid-late 90′s Colonel Robert Parker dressed up in a ridiculous French Legionnaire getup while managing the Quebecers in WCW.

  10. The Doctor of Style says:

    “Which was better than what Big T did.”

    Well, what Big T was doing was using his transparent plastic fishing rod to reel in a basket of hot dogs from the crowd.

  11. Cameron A. says:

    I’m surprised there wasn’t a follow-up storyline where Harlem Heat Inc. faced a lawsuit by Kling Klang Studios, over the use of unauthorized samples from Kraftwerk’s “Musique Non Stop” in their theme music. Given WCW’s tendency towards bringing in music acts – keep in mind, Bob Mould wrote for WCW in 1999-2000, and The Misfits appeared in late 1999, so this wasn’t exclusively a Bischoff brainfart – Kraftwerk appearing in WCW wasn’t implausible.

    • Brakus says:

      That would have been epic, had Ralf Hütter’s robot appeared on Nitro to attack Harlem Heat 2000. Then, they would have been saved by…Robocop! So we could have had an epic robot battle between Ralf Hütter’s robot and Robocop, in what could have been called “The Return of RoboCop…again!”.

  12. Jim says:

    I love how Biggs called him “Booker T” while claiming he could no longer use that name, akin to Jimmy Graham’s Twitter profile saying “tight end” while trying to argue he was a wide receiver.

    A classic, and I’m surprised it hadn’t been inducted before (though I’m sure it’s been referenced in several other inductions.) Definitely looking forward to more of these Death of WCW-inspired inductions.

  13. Alfonzo Tyson says:

    Kwee Wee!!!!!! Absolutely horrible!!!

    Also, Mike Awesome: Fat Chick Thriller, WCW vs Battle Dome, Hacksaw Jim Duggan: Canadian Sympathiser (A half-hearted effort at best!) and you could probably make a whole induction of the nWo spinoffs (LWo, OwN, nWo Silver, b-squad, etcetera.)

    • James says:

      Is Mike there already?

      Since it is currently seen in reruns on ESPN Classic, well, we’ve picked on WCW enough….now let’s move on to Grey Pierson’s GWF! An “official” bungee cord write-up? Sebastian? David “Elvis” Webb? Victory vs. Tatum over pizza?

    • outlawtotheend says:

      Since GI Bro was mentioned, how about inducting Sonny Onoo. Though, your mileage may vary, since some people thought he was funny. (YMMV also on whether they were laughing AT him)

  14. AK says:

    You know what would have been great? If Russo had brought in Erik Watts and Chad Fortune as Tekno Team 2000 2000

    Since this was WCW, Russo would have probably called them Tekno Team 4000 which would have been awesome except for the fact that virtually all of us would sadly not be around by the year 4000.

    The Undertaker probably will be but who cares, by then his Wrestlemania record will be a mediocre 2006-1.

    • Josh Gallie says:

      “Ladies and gentlemans, my name is Paul Heyman, and I am the one behind the one in 2006-1″
      Love to hear that.

  15. Iron Mark Tyson says:

    Fairness Rd…that’s all we ask for Fairness. WCW Kicked ass. And it’s OK to admit it now.

  16. Mister Forth says:

    “Only URF could save Booker T from The SAND RIPPA!”

  17. E-Squared says:

    I remember seeing that guy Cassius once during a backstage interview with Harlem Heat 2000 and wondering who in the hell he was. I later read he was the same guy who was 4×4 in the No Limit Soldiers. It makes sense now.

  18. ChrisV says:

    I believe Asya could be worthy of an induction, herself.

    Surely Hugh G. Rection has been inducted by now, right? One of the worst ideas ever in wrestling. “Hugh Morrus is not my real name. That’s a stupid name.”, or some such none sense in the promo.
    GI Bro brings all the horrible memories back.

  19. Chris C says:

    In Ahmed’s defense, Morty may have taken his appetite suppressing medication while he was stamping up to Punchy. This caused Ahmed to eat all the inventory at his side business – Wonton Beef Stew. Due to being so fat now, he couldn’t properly operate a steering wheel, which caused him to get in an accident with Stone Cold Steve Austin, crushing his Enzo. Amazingly, he didn’t dump on himself, not this time. He then tried to sue, but his attorney, J Biggs, wasn’t able to win the case. However, as a consolation prize, he was able to slip through a copyright request on the letter T to the copyright clerk who was getting ready for a three-day weekend, so he approved it without looking at it.

  20. Alexandru says:

    Yeah this was dumb I, unfortunately, semi remember this. Instead of being in the main event by this time Booker T was in a feud with his brother who no one ever cared about. I did forget about Midnight as well, she probably was better in the ring than say Stevie.

  21. Mister Forth says:

    If the fingerpoke hasn’t been inducted yet, that would be a great idea.

  22. Mark says:

    one of my favorite disastrous angles of all time was “Piper’s Family” – when Roddy “auditioned” a bunch of clowns (and John Tenta) to fight the NWO. watching it live was so awkward, as was the end of the angle (the next week!) when Roddy went on a rant against the people who crapped on the angle (ie: the entire human race) and swore he would not turn his back on his “family”, only to dump them at the end of the segment. AWESOME!

    • James says:

      My smark membership requires me to mention that that was Luther Reigns, NOT Goldberg, in said segment.

  23. Anonymous says:

    G.I. Bro is worth inducting on its own.

  24. James says:

    We had a friend named Matt who loved Booker so much, he spelled his name “MAT” for a while because he was saying that he’d give his extra “T” to Booker after this happened.

  25. Unknown says:

    Well, one thing I have always wanted to see inducted is Uncensored 1995, where Dustin Rhodes and Blacktop Bully have a King of the Road match in the back of an 18-wheeler (seriously), Ric Flair appears in drag and attacks Randy Savage (prompting Heenan to say “It’s ladies’ night in Tupelo, Mississippi”), and Hogan and Vader have a strap match that Hogan wins by putting the strap on Flair and touching all four corners with him (even though Flair was not his opponent, he’s still doing the job).

    Oh, yeah, and there are run-ins by two masked men and a match/food fight between the Nasty Boys and Harlem Heat.

  26. Jacob says:

    Has Se7en been inducted? If it has, I’d instead like to see the Ernest Miller/The Maestro/James Brown segment at Superbrawl 2000.

    • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

      Seven has been (he’s in the archives!) but yeah, that stupid Miller/James Brown thing deserves an induction for sure.

  27. 2D2Will says:

    Has War Games 2000 ever been inducted? That match is even worse when you consider it was the final War Games match ever.

  28. Josh says:

    Did you guys ever induct the WCW segment where Buff Bagwell comes down to the ring in blackface to mock Ernest Miller?

    From the WWF, how about inducting the second and third DX invasions of WCW, that ended with Triple H hijacking an F-16 and bombing WCW headquarters?

  29. Jerichoholic Ninja says:

    Two suggestions, both of which relate to larger booking problems rather than a single storyline or wrestler.

    1) WCW’s treatment of Bret Hart.
    2) WCW’s unmasking of Juventud Guerrera and Rey Mysterio and any others I’m forgetting.

    I hope that helps.

  30. Rich Rancid says:

    I can still remember my best friend defending this crap when I told him WCW was all but finished

  31. Mortuary Matt says:

    For some unknown reason I found myself watching the the 1996 Slammys recently. On this broadcast Ahmed wins a slammy and proceeds to talk about how he is part of the new generation in the WWF and all the old guys are in WCW, and says other mean spirited comments. I thought to myself “but he ended up in WCW”…then a few weeks later I read this article. How completely ironic and fantastic. It only took him about 4 years to go from new gen wwf to fatass wcw. An evolution that can only be compared to being in porn.

  32. Ze Frenchie says:

    Funny, I remember this angle like if it was yesterday. At the time, I had no idea who “Big T” was and I was aghast to learn (years later, maybe 2003) it was none other than injury-prone, marble mouth Ahmed Johnson. And if this wasn’t bad enough, he looks even worse today. Poor Tony.

  33. Ze Frenchie says:

    Oh, and talking about Ahmed, did you ever induct his famous kiss with Goldust? Or his ridiculous heel turn that didn’t go anywhere?

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