Revealing Why Triple H Beat Booker T At Wrestlemania 19

Hamish Woodward


In 2003, Triple H defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Booker T. The Game faced him at Wrestlemania 19, where he looked certain to drop the belt and make the former WCW champion a star in the WWE. The feud had been painting The King of Kings as the horrible villain, who had been cutting increasingly racially motivated promos directed at the challenger. He stated “people like you” don’t get to become the world champion in WWE, but leaving enough ambiguity to convince people he really meant former WCW wrestlers.

“I think you’re a little bit confused about your role in life here. You’re going to get to go to WrestleMania, but the fact is, Booker, somebody like you doesn’t get to be a world champion. People like you don’t deserve it. That’s reserved for people like me. That’s where the confusion is.”

Despite the stars aligning for Booker T, he would be pinned at Wrestlemania after a pedigree and suffered defeat to the evil HHH. But why did Triple H beat Booker T when the storyline clearly dictated that he overcome the racism faced and triumph over adversity?

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Former WWE head writer Brian Gerwirtz revealed in an interview 140 AM the reasons why Triple H beat Booker T at Wrestlemania 19. He spoke about how he, and other backstage personell, were behind Booker T winning the match and the World Heavyweight Championship. It was the perfect end to the story, seeing the hero vanquish the evil villain and take his title and would have been a deeply cathartic ending for the fans to be a part of.

However, he went on to say that the view was that the match wasn’t the main event of the show, and was the 7th match of a 10 match show. They felt that having such a huge title change stuck between Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan vs Mr McMahon would mean that it would get lost in the shuffle and wouldn’t have given Booker T the huge moment he deserved.

“I can say I was definitely a proponent of it because, from a storyline standpoint, Booker is the underdog of that match and Triple H is the big bad [guy]. After going through this whole build-up to it, it’s a satisfying payoff to see the hero defeat the villain in that particular case.”

“I think that the mindset at the time was that it was the title match that was third or fourth last on the card and the moment would be lost in the totality of the show if we pulled the trigger and named a new champion. Now, I’m not saying that was the smart decision or one that I was necessarily in agreement with at the time, but I think that was the mindset.”

Brian Gerwitz on Triple H vs Booker T at Wrestlemania 19

However, Booker T would never get his moment to beat Triple H. He would lose a match against Triple H, Chris Jericho and Ric Flair before moving on to battling for the Intercontinental Championship. He would never get revenge on The Game for his thinly-veiled racist comments and would not become a world champion in WWE until 2006, where he became famous under his “King Booker” gimmick.

Meanwhile, Triple H held onto the world title until September 2003 at Unforgiven to Goldberg, ending his reign at 280 days. Booker T would not get any revenge and would even lose to The King of Kings, last losing to him at Summerslam 2007, toward the end of his run with the WWE.

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