Speaking to Fighting Spirit Magazine, Booker T recalled his physical altercation with Batista on May 8, 2006 at a commercial photo shoot in Encino, California for that year’s SummerSlam pay-per-view event.
Batista, who rose to main event status in a relatively short period of time, was already unpopular within the locker room due to his lack of respect for those who came before him coupled with a sense of entitlement. That day, Booker T took issue with The Animal’s poor demeanor.
According to eyewitness reports, Booker T challenged Batista to “[go] into an empty room and go for it.” The two fought for approximately five minutes in the room, with Booker T dominating the muscle-bound wrestler. After the two were separated by fellow wrestlers, Batista snuck in one last sucker punch on Booker T just as he did immediately after the decorated wrestler closed the door to signal the start of fray.
Finlay, who was among the wrestlers who broke up the brawl, said during an earlier interview with the publication that the story was blown out of proportion. Booker T disagreed with his assessment.
“It wasn’t blown out of proportion. He took a pretty good beating,” said the SmackDown General Manager.
“The thing is, when you’re in a fight, it’s different from an MMA fight. That’s the thing with me. I’ve fought my whole life. You don’t just call a person out to a fight if you don’t know their background, what they’ve been through, and how to test them. That was his mistake, and I think it was definitely a case of him underestimating me, and thinking he was the bigger guy. For me fighting is in the blood, and it’s something I grew up doing. Honestly though, I hope Batista does well (in MMA), even just for the business’ sake.”