– Gaming is big backstage in WWE, but there was a period in time that they it wasn’t the case. And that’s because of Booker T. Talking with Chris Jericho on his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker recalled being a gamer backstage in the early days of WCW and how playing video games with D’Lo Brown got him in trouble.
“Hey man, I was the first video gamer,” Booker said (per Fightful). “When I won the Heavyweight Championship in WCW, they wanted to give me my own locker room and I go, ‘Nah, nah man. I don’t want my own locker room. I don’t wanna be like some prima donna or anything like that.’ I said, ‘Just give me a 50-inch television and just bring it to every house show and every TV and set it up. Bro, and what was crazy, they did it.”
He continued, “Before we get to [talk about] AEW, I got to WWE. I got my whole little portable system with me right, so I brought it with me and I’m in the locker room. I got it all set up for some Madden football. I’m thinking the boys over there are gonna be kind of like they were in WCW. So I’m setting it up, I got my team all set up and D’Lo Brown comes up and he goes, ‘Man you playing some Madden?’ I go, ‘Yeah man. You wanna play?’ He goes, ‘Yeah man, I’ll play around with you’. So we sit down and we commence the round and I’m kicking his ass. Next thing you know, Michael Hayes walks by and he goes, ‘You guys playing video games huh?’ And I go, ‘Yeah, yeah. We’re just playing some Madden’ and he goes, ‘Okay’, and he walks off, and D’Lo looks at me and you know, D’Lo’s a light skinned brother but he turned white, and he goes, ‘Man, I gotta go.’ I was like man, what the hell just happened? From that point on; a note went out — no more video games. No one can play video games. I’m like, ‘These guys are crazy here man’.”
It’s quite a different world now, of course, with Xavier Woods’ UpUpDownDown channel exploring the WWE roster’s love of video games and becoming very successful, to the point that WWE actively promotes it. The full podcast is below.