A two-time WWE Hall of Famer and an occasional analyst for WWE’s pay-per-view events, Booker T. Huffman is also best known for his work with the Texas-based Reality of Wrestling promotion since its start in 2005.
In recent years, Reality of Wrestling has been the home of such up-and-comers as Will Allday, Cam Cole and Alex Gracia. All of whom have made multiple appearances on All Elite Wrestling’s Dark shows this past year among other major promotions.
All three of those names, and many more, will be in action at ROW’s first-ever show held outside of The Lone Star State at the MGM Grand Conference Center Premier Ballroom in Las Vegas at 7:00pm PT on Friday, November 19th.
Tickets are available now for those able to attend, but for those not in the area who are interested in tuning in, it will be streamed live for free on ROW’s massively-successful YouTube channel that same night.
Matches confirmed for the card include Ryan Davidson vs. Bryan Keith, a Triple Threat Diamonds match, and Allday vs. Cole for the ROW Heavyweight Championship in the main event.
Ahead of the event, Booker T took the time to chat with Daily DDT about invading Sin City, ROW making moves, early plans for WrestleMania weekend in Dallas next year, and more.
Booker T explains why One Night in Vegas is ROW’s biggest event to date
The six-time wrestling world champion can relate to Reality of Wrestling leaving Texas for its One Night in Vegas event as he too had to leave home to expand his own wrestling career upon breaking into the business.
“The first time I left Texas in the wrestling world, I went to Japan,” he said. “That was my first time ever being on a plane. A lot of my guys, this is going to be their first time getting on a plane and they’re going to be heading to Vegas. Can you imagine a young, 21-year-old kid going to Vegas to wrestle like a Will Allday or a Cam Cole and then headline the event? That would be awesome if I was that kid!”
Booker recalled himself and Ivan Putski being in wrestling school for only two months before making it to television. He’s ecstatic that his ROW students will have the chance to showcase their skills in front of an all-new audience and continue to climb the ranks of super stardom.
“To give my young guys and girls a chance to actually experience that is awesome,” he said. “First and foremost, a lot of them are equipped to go out and perform in front of a crowd in Vegas on that level because I believe in those guys and girls. They are really that good.”
Allday and Cole in particular attended the ROW’s fantasy camp having never wrestled before and will now be main-eventing in Vegas. He sees this show as a chance to show people not only what Reality of Wrestling is building but also why what they’re doing is something worth taking notice of.
Vegas was where Booker T had his honeymoon with Sharmell years ago, so the location holds a special spot in his heart. Many of his trainees, which include AEW TNT champion Sammy Guevara and ROH Women’s World champion Rok-C, have have gone on to achieve great success.
“These guys and girls have had chances to do things in other places and that’s really what Reality of Wrestling is all about,” he said. “It’s about giving them a springboard to get to that next level. We call ourselves the AAA of professional wrestling and if you want to get polished up, if you want to know what it means to work television wrestling and to work a crowd, that’s what Reality of Wrestling is all about and that’s what we’re going to bring to Vegas on November 19th.”
Additionally, he prides himself on having one of the youngest rosters in all of wrestling today. ROW is coming close to becoming a household name and although he’s happy with where they are, he’s determined to keep working hard and ensures that everyone on the show will have a role to play.
“We’re going to have a lot of surprises for this show, and of course, myself and The Boogeyman are going one-on-one in the autograph signing beforehand,” Booker said. “That’s going to be a cool throwback to WrestleMania .”
Booker T on Reality of Wrestling’s growth, his goal, WrestleMania weekend plans and more
The famed tag team and singles star couldn’t feel more like a proud dad seeing his students thrive in the wrestling world, both in ROW and beyond. It’s especially impressive that the promotion has maintained a presence during a pandemic and has seen their YouTube channel grow by over 400 percent.
No matter where they run shows going forward, whether it’s Vegas again or elsewhere, his ultimate goal with ROW is for it to be the flagship of Texas wrestling.
“I don’t have my ring on right now, but I wear the ring of Paul Bosch, a great promoter here in Texas and a wrestler back in the day,” Booker said. “He did so many great things for so many wrestlers. We just want to be able to tour Texas. Texas is big enough to run an organization. We want to be able to have our nuggets like in Vegas and doing shows where our fans want us to come and see Reality of Wrestling. We’re definitely open to expanding and going other places, but we’re a Texas-based company and we really want to keep it that way.”
Booker is all for competition in wrestling, especially when his students benefit from it. As noted, several of the ROW regulars have appeared on AEW Dark over the last year and have made the most of their opportunities to shine on such a major platform.
Sammy Guevara, the current reigning AEW TNT champion, is a prime example of someone who comes from the Texas wrestling scene who eventually hit it big. Booker wants his trainees to follow in his footsteps.
“I love companies showing up like an AEW,” he said. “It works perfect for me, seeing my young guys get a chance. Sammy Guevara was one of my students back in the day and I look at him and he’s thriving. I look at a company like ROH and someone like Rok-C, who is their new women’s champion and she’s homegrown in Reality of Wrestling. The youngest Reality of Wrestling Diamonds champion at 16-years-old. We’re all about producing. Mace is doing his thing [in WWE] as well. Those are Reality of Wrestling guys that came right out of the school. We’re just trying to utilize these companies as much as we possibly can.”
On the subject of Texas, Booker already has his sights sets on running shows in the Dallas area over WrestleMania weekend next April. The Grandest Stage of Them All brings in the largest wrestling crowd of the area and ROW is going to capitalize on that any way possible.
“We’re already getting our stuff in order,” he said. “We’re on CW33 in Dallas at 3 p.m. and Right Now TV, check your Roku. We’re definitely going to be doing something in Dallas for that show. It’s already been written, done and said. We’re definitely going to be doing something in Dallas and I can’t wait.”
Before then, though, ROW has its One Night in Vegas show to look forward to next Friday night. It’s a big test to see if the roster can rise to the occasion outside of their home state and he’s confident that they will.
“I want to make this thing a success,” he said. “It’s going to be a small show, around 300 to 500 people and streamed to the world. More importantly, it’s a showcase for my talent. If we win there, we can win anywhere and that’s the way I feel about Vegas. If you can win in Vegas, you can win anywhere.
“But I talk to my students and my guys about working in front of different crowds,” he added. “It’s going to be different than what they’re used to. For example, if we go to Philadelphia, we got to bring the noise. If we go to New York, they have to be ready. It’s a different atmosphere. Preparation is the only luck we’ll ever have. Hopefully it will be a success in Vegas and then we’ll think forward from there.”
Catch ROW’s One Night in Vegas event live on Friday, November 19th at 10/7pm PT on YouTube.