Booker T understands the value of the King of the Ring. After spinning his wheels for a bit as an aging veteran in the mid-2000s, Booker experienced a memorable rebirth upon winning the 2006 tournament, transforming into the humorously-eloquent King Booker. Two months later, he was World Heavyweight champion.
While fans have clamored for the once-annual King of the Ring to be a regular deal yet again, Booker disagrees with that sentiment. Speaking on his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker feels the tournament should only be used in special circumstances.
"I do think the King of the Ring tournament should perhaps be put in the archives," Booker believes. "It had a great run for so many years. It did a lot for a lot of guys. King Booker, it worked out for me because I was relentless in making it work out. I was not going to end my career, one last memory, of Booker T in a crown and a robe and acting stupid. I didn't want to leave that impression on people. I went out of my way to make King Booker something fans would want. It took a lot of creativity to find that.
"A lot of guys, not saying they aren't great wrestlers, but it's hard to find that kind of creativity. King Booker's entrance was longer than a lot of matches nowadays. I give myself a lot of credit for leaving that memory to where, when you think about King of the Ring, you think of King Booker first. That's the memory I want to leave."
The tournament was only used three times in the 2010s: 2010 itself (Sheamus), 2015 (Wade Barrett), and 2019 (Baron Corbin). Understandably, not all of those men made the most of the regality.
"It could have easily gone the other way," says Booker, regarding how the unorthodox role could've proved an ill fit for him. "That's why I think King of the Ring should be put in the archives and saved for a special occasion when that special talent comes along that should be put in that role."
(Credit to Fightful for transcription)