WWE Hall of Famer Booker T has revealed why he joined WWE after the company bought out WCW, despite taking a pay cut to work for Vince McMahon. He revealed that he took a fifty percent paycut to join the WWE (then WWF) in 2001 to be a part of the infamous invasion angle.
He revealed that he wanted to carry on the momentum he had as the WCW World Heavyweight and United States Champion and wanted to make the most out of the opportunity he had been given.
“I chose to take a fifty percent buyout just to fly with WWE so I could get to working. I didn’t want to be out of sight, out of mind. Being in the game all the time was very important to me just to keep my household name status. That’s what I was worried about more than anything.
I never really worried about my spot or anything. A lot of guys were worried about what was next for them, but I knew what was next for me. I had so much momentum going; I was the Heavyweight champion, I was United States champ – I was dual champion, undisputed. So, it was time for me to move on.
I thought that sitting out and collecting that money would have been a bad move when I thought that if I just got back into the game, I’d make that money back in no time. I was willing to step right in, leave all my accolades behind and start all over from the bottom and prove that I belonged…”
Booker T would enter the company and immediately attack Stone Cold Steve Austin. He would be a part of the WCW/ECW Alliance that invaded WWE to try to take over the company. Unfortunately the angle was a bust and Booker T went back down into the midcard after he lost to Triple H at Wrestlemania 19.
It was lucky that he did join when he did. If he had waited longer, he would have been lost in the shuffle when the big stars like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Goldberg made their debuts in the company over the next few years.