Booker T recalls the final WCW Nitro

Booker T and Scott Steiner collide in a match where both the United States Title and WCW World Championship are on the line in the first bout of the final edition of Nitro.

March 26, 2001 is a day that still remains fresh in the minds of those who participated in and witnessed the final edition of WCW Monday Nitro. During the height of the "Monday Night Wars" between WCW and WWE, no one could have predicted that the last episode of the Atlanta-based organization’s flagship program would be simulcast with Monday Night Raw.

On that historic evening, WCW United States Champion Booker T battled WCW World Champion Scott Steiner with both titles on the line. The 2013 WWE Hall of Famer still remembers that spring evening in Panama City, Fla., and to this day finds the entire experience surreal. ( WATCH)

“The one thing I remember the most about that night is how antsy everyone in the locker room was,” Booker T told WWE.com. “Everybody was on pins and needles, just wondering what was going to happen next.”

The atmosphere amongst the WCW competitors was emotional. Both seasoned veterans of the organization, as well as young stars weren’t immune from the uncertainty.

“I actually saw tears in the eyes of a lot of the guys, a lot of questions surrounding what was next in life, especially as far as careers go,” Booker recalled. “It was very topsy-turvy, definitely a night I will remember for the rest of my life.”

According to most accounts of the events that transpired in the days before the final episode of Nitro, there were rumors circulating about the future of the promotion and no one knew for certain that WWE had acquired their longtime rival. But as soon as Shane McMahon appeared backstage, the rumors stopped and facts became known, allowing the reality of the situation to take precedence.

“Shane was well-received from my perspective. Everyone was still nervous about their future, though. After all, we all knew he was the son of Mr. McMahon!” The 5-time WCW Champion joked.

While longtime rivals Sting and Ric Flair competed in the final match of the night, Booker T was presented with a unique opportunity — the chance to close out Nitro as the WCW Champion. At the time, he was already a four–time champion and the United States Champion, but his match against longtime WCW competitor and WCW Champion Scott Steiner would give him a distinction that neither Sting or Flair would have.

“To go into the match with the United States Title and walk out as both U.S. and WCW World Champion, for me, that was huge,” Booker told WWE.com.

Thinking about that moment led him to recall the long journey to that point in his WCW career.

“When I started my career back in the early 1990s, I worked my way from the bottom,” the ring veteran said. “I had no ties to sports-entertainment, I wasn’t second-generation or anything, so for me to work my way up and close the company down as a dual champion is a real feather in the cap for me.”

Still, while some WCW competitors were uncertain of the future, Booker T knew he was going to WWE as a key part of the impending WCW/ECW invasion.

“I could have stayed under contract with WCW and not competed like some other guys did. But I thought I was talented and capable enough, so I rolled the dice by going to WWE,” he revealed.

Of course, Booker T’s first rivalry in WWE was a memorable one, pitting him at odds with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The former WCW Champion would also go on to become World Heavyweight Champion, and even now as SmackDown's General Manager and a WWE Hall of Famer. However, Booker always remembers his time and success in World Championship Wrestling.

“My time in WCW was like the summer of my life, when it came to an end, I had to move on to the fall, where I am now,” Booker told WWE.com. “I have a lot of great memories from WCW, a lot of admiration for the WCW competitors I worked with, and I learned so much in my time there. All I can do is look back and think, ‘It’s been a hell of a ride.’”

Booker T and Scott Steiner collide in a match where both the United States Title and WCW World Championship are on the line in the first bout of the final edition of Nitro.

March 26, 2001 is a day that still remains fresh in the minds of those who participated in and witnessed the final edition of WCW Monday Nitro. During the height of the "Monday Night Wars" between WCW and WWE, no one could have predicted that the last episode of the Atlanta-based organization’s flagship program would be simulcast with Monday Night Raw.

On that historic evening, WCW United States Champion Booker T battled WCW World Champion Scott Steiner with both titles on the line. The 2013 WWE Hall of Famer still remembers that spring evening in Panama City, Fla., and to this day finds the entire experience surreal.

“The one thing I remember the most about that night is how antsy everyone in the locker room was,” Booker T told WWE.com. “Everybody was on pins and needles, just wondering what was going to happen next.”

The atmosphere amongst the WCW competitors was emotional. Both seasoned veterans of the organization, as well as young stars weren’t immune from the uncertainty.

“I actually saw tears in the eyes of a lot of the guys, a lot of questions surrounding what was next in life, especially as far as careers go,” Booker recalled. “It was very topsy-turvy, definitely a night I will remember for the rest of my life.”

According to most accounts of the events that transpired in the days before the final episode of Nitro, there were rumors circulating about the future of the promotion and no one knew for certain that WWE had acquired their longtime rival. But as soon as Shane McMahon appeared backstage, the rumors stopped and facts became known, allowing the reality of the situation to take precedence.

"Shane was well-received from my perspective. Everyone was still nervous about their future, though. After all, we all knew he was the son of Mr. McMahon!” The five-time WCW Champion joked.

In the final bout in Nitro history, WCW icons Sting and Ric Flair clash in an emotional main event.

While longtime rivals Sting and Ric Flair competed in the final match of the night, Booker T was presented with a unique opportunity — the chance to close out Nitro as the WCW Champion. At the time, he was already a four–time champion and the United States Champion, but his match against longtime WCW competitor and WCW Champion Scott Steiner would give him a distinction that neither Sting or Flair would have.

“To go into the match with the United States Title and walk out as both U.S. and WCW World Champion, for me, that was huge,” Booker told WWE.com.
Thinking about that moment led him to recall the long journey to that point in his WCW career.

“When I started my career back in the early 1990s, I worked my way from the bottom,” the ring veteran said. “I had no ties to sports-entertainment, I wasn’t second-generation or anything, so for me to work my way up and close the company down as a dual champion is a real feather in the cap for me.”

Still, while some WCW competitors were uncertain of the future, Booker T knew he was going to WWE as a key part of the impending WCW/ECW invasion.

“I could have stayed under contract with WCW and not competed like some other guys did. But I thought I was talented and capable enough, so I rolled the dice by going to WWE,” he revealed.

Of course, Booker T’s first rivalry in WWE was a memorable one, pitting him at odds with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The former WCW Champion would also go on to become World Heavyweight Champion, and even now as SmackDown's General Manager and a WWE Hall of Famer. However, Booker always remembers his time and success in World Championship Wrestling.

“My time in WCW was like the summer of my life, when it came to an end, I had to move on to the fall, where I am now,” Booker told WWE.com. “I have a lot of great memories from WCW, a lot of admiration for the WCW competitors I worked with, and I learned so much in my time there. All I can do is look back and think, ‘It’s been a hell of a ride.’”

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