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Talking "Tough" with Booker T
At the 2011 Royal Rumble Match, Booker T made a spectacular return to WWE after a three-year absence. But for the Texas native, that amazing night was only the beginning. Now SmackDown's newest commentator, the six-time World Champion talked with WWE.com's Joey Styles about what he has in store for the WWE Universe. Can you dig it?
WWE.com: The WWE Universe erupted when you returned to the ring at Sunday's Royal Rumble. (PHOTOS) What did it feel like to get that reaction?
BOOKER T: The response I got was, in a word, overwhelming. People were just happy to see me back, and that made me feel so good.
WWE.com: The fans were also happy to see you join the SmackDown broadcast team this week. (WATCH) How did that come about?
BOOKER T: I've actually been auditioning for years in front of the monitor, always entertaining the boys in the back [laughs]. Actually, a person asked me if I was ever going to come back to WWE. I told them that if I came back it probably wouldn't be as WWE Superstar, because the young guys are really what it's all about. Bringing me back as an announcer is a great position for me to actually go out and make the young guys bigger stars.
WWE.com: You'll be helping out some young guys as a trainer on the new season of WWE Tough Enough. Why do you think WWE chose you for that?
BOOKER T: I've always said that you have to get it from someone who has been there to really understand it. So I think that by these guys seeing I've been there, I must know what I'm talking about. I've had my wrestling school in Houston going on seven years now. It's been very, very successful. I've produced a lot of good athletes, and they say nothing but good things about my training.
WWE.com: What do you look for in prospective Superstars and Divas?
BOOKER T: What I'm looking for is showmanship, athleticism and how much do they really want to learn about this profession as opposed to thinking it's something cool to be on television. People really don't understand how hard it is and what it takes to be a WWE Superstar.
WWE.com: Will you be passing on lessons from the man who trained you?
BOOKER T: I trained with a guy by the name of Scott Casey. He actually worked with WWE back in the day, but he didn't become a big star. What I want to teach is what he taught me: that the smallest things are what people are really looking for. They don't even really see it; they just know that one guy was different than the next guy.
WWE.com: It's been a crazy week for you. Are you overwhelmed at all?
BOOKER T: I feel like I'm going in a totally different direction, as far as my career goes. I'm just going to make sure I do a great job and take it as far as I can go.