Booker T brings wrestling back to Texas

This weekend, Booker T and Sharmell continue their dream of bringing professional wrestling back to Houston, Texas when the Booker T Pro Wrestling Academy hosts a WWE tryout for professional wrestling hopefuls. Hundreds of people applied for the opportunity to be a part of this event, but only 12 were selected to tryout.

Constructed one year ago in the grimy downtown warehouse district of Houston, Booker T said his Academy was designed to bring young athletes to the next level in their careers and “create wrestling for the future.” 

This weekend, Booker T and Sharmell will search for that future, flanked by wrestling legends such as Tony Garea and Sgt. Slaughter. The finalists will be screened at the tryout in an attempt to find both local Texas talent as well as talent from around the globe. According to Booker, athletes from as far as Canada are already scheduled to arrive for the tryout that could possibly give them their big break.

Having been trained by Paul Boesch, long-time NWA promoter in the Houston territory, Booker’s goal is to offer an opportunity to troubled youths and other individuals searching for discipline in their lives, much similar to Booker at an early age. 

“There are a lot of guys out there who are like me, looking for a way into the professional wrestling business,” Booker said. “Taking it back home and putting [the academy] in the vicinity of a place not far from where I grew up means a lot – it means a whole lot.”

Using their own personal resources, Booker and Sharmell have supported the Academy financially, but their support is not just monetary. When not on the road at WWE live events, Booker spends his personal time teaching pupils of the school. 

“As soon as I come home, I’m on the grind and I’m in my school,” Booker said, “I’m training my students three days a week.” One of Booker’s peers, RAW Superstar Charlie Haas is also planning to move to Houston to assist Booker in running the facility.

If nothing else, Booker hopes to provide guidance to the pupils of the Academy, sharing a wrestling veteran’s knowledge that’s traditionally passed on in car rides from city to city, from show to show. “Hopefully, I can create an environment like that,” Booker added, “the launching of something totally new.”

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