A reflection on Triple H burying Booker T at WrestleMania in 2003

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While watching videos about recent WWE controversies, I stumbled across this WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Booker T and defending champion Triple H. In that match Triple H buried Booker at WrestleMania 19 back in 2003.

In Triple H's defense, some fans argue that Booker T had not yet paid his dues in WWE. However, it had been two years, and Booker had already feuded with The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin - both genuine megastars.

Deserving challenger

The supermarket brawl is a SmackDown classic. Booker T defeated some of WWE's biggest names, such as Kurt Angle, between 2001 and 2003. He also tossed Rock over the top rope for the WrestleMania WWE title shot when the number one contender battle royal on RAW came down to two men.

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By 2003, Booker T had already been Tag Team Champion and Hardcore Champion in WWE. Even if Booker T had lost every match against major stars in WWE until that point, it still would have amounted to dues paid because of his solid in-ring work and the entertainment value involved.

Triple H had been attacking and insulting Booker T in the run up to the 2003 match, going far beyond the usual air of contempt for wrestlers Triple H felt superior to. On RAW, before their WrestleMania match, Triple's promo seemed to be intended to destroy Booker, not to build up their match.

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The Game made a mockery of the World Heavyweight title that Booker held in WCW and brought
with him to WWE, exaggerating the relevance of David Arquette having held the title. Triple H failed to acknowledge how many great wrestlers, including his mentor Ric Flair, had held the title.

Moreover, Triple H even resorted to making comments that were arguably racially insensitive, stating that people like Booker were not allowed to reach the status Triple H held at the time.

Even though Booker would later become World Heavyweight Champion in WWE in 2006, one must question why The Rock, the son of a Black Canadian and a Samoan, is the only Black WWF/WWE Champion in the company's entire history.

Booker T did not to retaliate on the mic or with his fists no matter how harsh Triple H's comments became.It must have been scripted so.

Even if Booker knew in advance what was going to happen, one might imagine that he experienced that moment from 2003 all over again last March on RAW when Triple H pretended to fire him for speaking his mind about Sting.

Lost opportunity

Usually when faces endure unimaginable hell in a storyline, they eventually enjoy triumphant victories over their oppressors. This should have been the case at WrestleMania, the grandest
stage of them all, where Booker T would put on a wrestling clinic. He outwrestled Triple H and pulled out all the stops. Yet, he lost after receiving only one pedigree from Triple H. Such an anticlimactic ending had to have been scripted. The entire scenario was selfish, not what was best for business.

On the other hand, when Booker first won the title shot, The Rock endorsed Booker by openly applauding his effort in front of the WWE universe.

Now, consider how Triple H insisted that he always either be the champion or in the title picture between 2002 and 2005. Compare this to The Undertaker, who would probably boast more world titles than any other wrestler today if he had chosen to be selfish instead of choosing to be a leader who helped to create opportunities for other performers.

Selfish acts

In the past and present, has Triple H put over other wrestlers? Yes, but he has been just as likely to renege without valid reason, even if this has been a creative problem not limited to his individual decisions.

Triple H's work ethic has always been respectable, but it is a shame that so many wrestlers who have brought far more creativity and credibility to pro wrestling on their own, including Booker
T, have been denied Triple H's level of success in the WWE.

Booker return

After a stint in TNA, Booker returned to WWE and soon became a valued member of the commentator team, which Triple H acknowledged after the aforementioned RAW segment from two months ago.

Thanks to his overall career, including his time in WWE, Booker T was the most decorated active wrestler right before he quietly left the ring.

He is a WWE Grand Slam Champion and the 2006 King of the Ring. Fortunately, the "five-time, five-time, five-time, five-time, five-time WCW Champion" was at least able to capture the World Heavyweight Title he was denied in 2003 before retiring from active in-ring competition.

Becoming a WWE Hall of Famer in 2013, Booker T finally took his place among the greatest pro wrestlers of all time.

Let us raise our pinky fingers and repeat, "All hail King Booker!"

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