A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
AAWOTY 2006: Did I Snub King Booker?
NEW JERSEY– First of all, I can see that this could very well be a groundbreaking year for “In the Black”. Second, I want to make an editorial correction from my “African-American Wrestler of the Year” article just days ago.
I incorrectly stated Mr. Kennedy as the victim of Bobby Lashley to win the WWE United States title last year. It was actually John Bradshaw Layfield who was beaten in Bakersfield, California, and thankfully, with the power of the Internet, that error has been changed.
Now, on to another omission. It seems that like most of my comments on this column, my choice for the best of ’06 was not a popular one. What else is new? There was one other candidate that I didn’t mention in my decision, and his name is currently King Booker.
Well, nobody will believe me, but he is not included for a reason. At this point in his career, Booker is almost above awards. After such a long and distinguished career – 18 years to be exact – this 41-year old superstar has pretty much done it all.
Let’s see, an 11-time WCW tag team champion, six-time television champ, five-time world champion, former U.S. champ, etc. 23 title reigns in all, with most of those coming under Ted Turner’s promotion that made him a big name in the business.
However, as much as I don’t like admitting this, his best success was yet to come under Vince McMahon and the WWE. After all, this is where he became the now infamous King Booker, which started with a King of the Ring victory, and skyrocketed from there.
That run did make him the 16th Triple Crown winner in WWE history. Amazingly enough, he is still at the top of his game, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Having said that, while this business treasures its past, it’s still all about the future. As much respect as I have for Booker, he represents the past, with Lashley being the future of Black wrestlers in America.
Booker will always have a place in the history books, and there is other African-American talent who can hold their own. However, the future is now, and like it or not, I think this Lashley guy is here to stay for at least a little while.