Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Booker T, Voodoo Man

Booker T, Voodoo Man – WWE, 2004

This all started after the 2004 Draft. Booker T had wound up being moved from Raw to Smackdown, and he wasn’t happy about it. After a quick feud with Rob Van Dam (who was pulled out of it to feud with the Dudleys and Paul Heyman), on the April 22nd episode Booker came out to talk about how great he was, and how he was the most talented wrestler on Smackdown. Suddenly the lights went down and a bell started tolling. Booker cleared out before Undertaker showed up.

The next week, Booker first appeared by threatening to slap the dead off of Undertaker. Then he went to the ring to take on Billy Gunn. After Booker won, the lights went out again and Undertaker and Paul Bearer made their way out. Booker cleared out again, pausing only long enough to grab the urn on the way out. Glad to see Booker did his research, joining famed wrestlers such as Mabel and Kama Mustafa in the I Stole the Urn Club.

On the sixth of May, Booker decided he needed backup. Let’s do another quick poll:

You are fighting the Undertaker and need someone to even the odds. Do you:

1) Stash a bottle of ether somewhere and knock him out during the match (a la Giant Gonzales at Wrestlemania IX)?

2) Grab something out of the urn and use it to blind Undertaker during the big match (a la Hulk Hogan at Tuesday in Texas)?

3) Get all of the other heels to give you a hand in your match (a la Yokozuna at the 1994 Royal Rumble)?

4) Contact a fortune teller who sends you on a mystic quest?

Do you even need me to tell you what he did? Anyway, the fortune teller’s job for Booker was to locate a grave with no name. Booker finally located the grave, and a gloved hand similar to Undertaker’s shot out.

The next week, Booker was ready. He faced off against the FBI’s Johnny Stamboli. After beating Stamboli, Undertaker appeared in the ring. Booker, however, had a little bag of dirt from the grave, and that would apparently keep him safe.

That brings us to Judgment Day 2004, where Booker would meet the Undertaker. Unfortunately, nothing Booker did would work. That meant he had to bring out the big guns. Booker grabbed his baggie of dirt and threw it in Undertaker’s face, thus proving that he’d learned something from Hogan’s example. Unfortunately for Booker, this still didn’t work. It took just a few minutes for Undertaker to hit the chokeslam and tombstone for the win.

Booker would not be stopped, however. The next two weeks saw victories over Funaki and Scotty 2 Hotty, only for lightning to strike the ring’s corners after he defeated Scotty. Apparently the Undertaker wasn’t finished yet.

Believe it or not, that was the end of the feud, showing that Undertaker apparently did decide he was finished. The next week Booker got caught up in the John Cena-Kurt Angle feud, and that was that.

Oh, boy. I don’t know whose idea this one was, but the only thing it did was to give another example of the WWE’s misuse of Booker T.

WCW had taken Booker as part of Harlem Heat and eventually built him up to a legit main eventer. He was such a good fit in the main event, that the WWF gave him the WCW title immediately after the buyout and would presumably have been the standard bearer for the revitalized WCW. Then came the disastrous Booker-Buff Bagwell title match and WCW’s rebirth was scrapped.

At no point in the feud did Booker have the upper hand. Instead, the Undertaker dominated Booker every step of the way, and Booker wound up looking like a goofball. But at least Undertaker’s wife didn’t beat him (like she did Diamond Dallas Page), and Booker never called himself GI Bro, so I suppose it could have been worse. Just not much.

Where Are They Now?

Booker T and the Undertaker remain in the WWE on the Smackdown side of the roster split.

From the Mailbag
James Norbeck presents the final word on the Warrior’s promo from when he first entered WCW:

“…Warrior’s promo was more entertaining than 20 minutes of `I AM THE GAME!!'”

Well said, James.

Next Week
We take a look at another 2004 Smackdown misfire.

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