Harlem Heat, comprised of brothers Booker T and Stevie Ray, was inducted into WWE’s Hall Of Fame over WrestleMania weekend. The two made a name for themselves in WCW, storming the tag team division. The pair would end up winning the WCW World Tag Team Championships ten times throughout their time in the company.
Once WCW was purchased by WWE, however, only Booker T would end up jumping to the rival, victorious promotion.
Ryback recently spoke with Stevie Ray on his podcast, Conversations With The Big Guy. The two would end up discussing Stevie Ray’s reasons behind never signing with WWE.
“I didn’t want to go to WWF; as a matter of fact, the last WCW Nitro I didn’t even attend and they sent me a ticket, but I was always in the mindset of this is competition to me. This is NFL vs AFL or National League vs American League in baseball. WCW vs WWF, to be honest with you bro, I didn’t want to go out like a b****.”
“I Told Him That He Should Do It, But I’m Done”
Stevie Ray explains that part of his reasoning was due to the long-term feud between WCW and WWE. When the day came that WWE had bought WWE, he confessed he was “done” and had no interest in auditioning for Vince McMahon and his promotion.
“We had been fighting for the team, but when I heard Vince McMahon had come in and stuff like that—which I knew was coming—it’s like, you saw the writing on the wall, and you put it in the back of your mind, but at the end of the day I knew it was going to happen. But I didn’t attend the last show because my brother [Booker T] said that they are going to be auditioning people. I told him that he should do it, but I’m done.”
He was also concerned over WWE changing Harlem Heat, ruining the essence of what made the team so special:
“I wanted people to remember Harlem Heat as an ass-kicking tag team of color, you see what I’m saying? I didn’t want us to be something else. I didn’t want us to turn into a Doink the Clown, so I’m not saying that they would have done this with Harlem Heat, but I didn’t want to lose the edge that we once had as Harlem Heat.”
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.