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Defender Picks

 

JEUDI

May 25th

Soft Opening

Royal Brewery, 11AM

Come celebrate the opening of NOLA’s newest brewery

 

Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans

Royal Street, FQ, 11AM

Doreen Ketchens and her band

 

Jazz in the Park

New Orleans Armstrong Park, 4PM

Music by Honey Island Swamp Band + Hot 8 Brass Band

 

Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 6PM

Featuring the funky sounds of Margie Perez

 

Conversation: On Cecilia Vicuña

Contemporary Arts Center, 7PM

Discussion on the “About to Happen” exhibition

 

JD Hill & The Jammers

Bar Redux, 8PM

R&B, rock blues, and everything in between

 

Luke Winslow King

Tipitina’s, 9PM

Support by The Washboard Rodeo

 

Dave Easley

Neutral Ground Coffeehouse, 10PM

Witness one of the city’s best guitarists

 

VENDREDI

May 26th

Bayou Country Superfest

Mercedes Benz Superdome, 11AM

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts and many more

 

Magazine St. Art Market

Dat Dog, 4PM

Happy hour + local art

 

Royal Street Stroll

200-900 Blocks of Royal St, 530PM

Led by the Krewe of Cork

 

YP Family Game Night

Urban League of Greater New Orleans, 6PM

Game night for young professionals and their families

 

Toonces and Friends

Marigny Opera House, 7PM

An orchestral journey through time

 

Spektrum Fridays

Techno Club, 10PM

Featuring J.DUB’L and residents Erica and Rye

 

New Thousand + Adrian

Balcony Music Club, 11PM

Violin centered hip hop

 

Free Music Series

Fulton Ally, 10PM

Featuring Bubl Trubl


Ringing It

WrestleMania Headliner Booker T on NOLA and the Path to the Pros



Tonight, the WWE is coming to New Orleans to stage a House Show. The event will be a little scrimmage before the sports entertainment titan makes their annual hajj to WrestleMania in NOLA come 2014. With tickets on sale November 16, wrestling legend Booker T a.k.a. King Booker was dispatched to the Crescent City to hype the spectacle. NoDef dispatched local comedian, podcaster, and NOLA's number one WWE fan to talk about the 'rastlin' with the SuperStar.

 

Booker T, enthused as always, had lots to say about NOLA, WrestleMania, and the path to the pros.

 

On WrestleMania compared to other events...

 

Next year, I'll be here in the Bayou City, the Big Easy because so many people from around the world want to be a part of this event.

 

WrestleMania is the biggest deal of them all [major sporting events.] I mean its the spectacle of a lifetime. If you ever have the chance to be a part of it. I mean you guys got to experience the SuperBowl and now you're going to be able to experience WrestleMania. It's going to be awesome. Compared [to the SuperBowl] as far as what's the biggest. Let me tell you WrestleMania is the biggest spectacle that I've ever seen and been a part of.

 

On the difference between front row and top row...

 

Top row and front row that's two different things right there. I think back from Atlanta to Miami to NYC, how big it got over the last three years. This year's not going to be any different. Last year, that set, was like five million dollars. We had a life size statue of liberty. So, I can only imaine what it's going to be like. Every seat in the house is going to be a good seat. But, the front, to be up close and personal with those superstars coming out of that tunnel is just an awesome feeling. Just to be a part of that is like the Miz says, “Awesome.”

 

On NOLA as WrestleMania venue

 

You know just to be in the SuperDome, that right there is nostalgia. That right there is history as well... To be here in New Orleans, the city has got a lot of history itself. And to put aside the food? (laughter) A lot of those guys, they got to watch their appetite because they come down here to perform, and-- (laughter)

 

These guys are hyped and they're excited... To be here in this city is going to be a great time.

 

The thing is the Superstars, guys like Randy Orton, guys like Daniel Massey, those guys are working all year to get to that one big stage. So, it's really hard to focus on that big stage until you get there. You really got to put yourself in position: to put yourself on the card, to put yourself in a good position on the card, to put yourself in a high paying position on the card. So, those guys are really, really focusing on making it through the year to make it to WrestleMania. To me the icing on the cake is where it's going to be [NOLA]. Of course, there's going to be a lot of parties going on. There are going to be a lot of beautiful women out there and that part I'm experiencing and that is just icing on the cake as well. And, those guys are just excited as I am to be here in New Orleans. It's our first time on the Big Stage in New Orleans, and you guys are going to have people from all over the world. It's going to be a party. It's going to be great.

 

On being most decorated wrestler in WWE history...

 

The accolades are great. Putting the work in is great. But, I still feel like there is so much more work to do. You know, it's not about me anymore, it's about the young guys of WWE and the new SuperStars... the list goes on and on. WrestleMania is safe for the next 10,20 years with the guys that we have coming up in the business right now.

 

On WWE's new performance center in Orlando...

 

I haven't had a chance to get there as often as I need to. I have my own facility in Houston. I'm trying to filter the wrestling business. You know, more and more students are trying to get it from all different perspectives. But I'll tell you the training center is something that we've needed for quite some time just so the avid fan always wonders 'How do I get into this business?' And for us to promote it! Now, we have our own form of something that you can come down and be a part of, try to get into this business. You know there are a lot of kids out there that I feel like we might be losing. We need to advertise a little more and show these guys that you can have a great career in professional wrestling, and the longevity is great as well.

 

On predictions for WrestleMania...

 

Everybody's wondering if the Ultimate Warrior is going to go in [the Hall of Fame,] that's one thing... Ultimate Warrior is probably the one guy that people have been wondering for many, many years, just like Bruno San Martino. It would be great to take his place in immortality. He deserves it. Hew was great for what he did for the time in wrestling... Back in the day, those guys really were trailblazers, they were one of the reasons that I wanted to be one of those guys.

 

Prediction of headliners in WrestleMania 40...

 

Dean Ambrose versus Dolph Ziggler

 

On his favorite part of WrestleMania...

 

The biggest event of WM for me is always going to be the main event. You know, 'Who's going to headline the main event?' 'Who's going to headline WrestleMania?!' For myself, I always that dream, that want, that need to headline WrestleMania...I got a chance to do that with Triple H, and it was an awesome, awesome feeling. To just know that one guy, a fresh, young guy hopefully, will get a chance to do that, to wonder what's in their feeling, what they're going through, because I know, I've been there, to be a HEADLINER at WrestleMania.

 

On how becomes a peripheral character (Diva, Manager, Ring Announcer) in the WWE World...

 

First and foremost, you got to go to the proper school. The proper training is first and foremost. There are a lot of rinky dink operations out there. There are a lot of so-called promoters out there. They’re trying to get money and not teach anything. And, the thing is they can't teach anything. They can't go out and work a match, and see when you walk back through that curtain and say, 'Hey good job out there, but you might want to try this.' They can't tell them that because they've never done it before. So, make sure you get trained by someone who is reputable, someone who has been in this business. A lot of great coaches, they might not have played in the game, but they were on the team, and knew what it took to get to that point...

 

On Houston Sports?

 

Huge fan.

 

But the SuperStars have to focus and work all the time... For 17 years I didn't watch a football game unless I was watching in that arena while lacing my boots up and getting ready to perform for my fans. WWE SuperStars, they're like doctors. They got that stethoscope on 24/7. They got the beeper like back in the day; it could go off at any time and you got to be ready. That's the life of the WWE SuperStar. These guys are the hardest workers in the world today.

 

Full audio of the interview can be heard here. Chris Trew is the host of "Trew 2 the Game," a weekly podcast focusing on NOLA sports. New episodes every Tuesday.

 

-Correction: Dolph Ziggler's named was misspelled in the original article, and it was updated at 3:55p.m. on September 29. 

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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via

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Michael Weber, B.A.

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Alexis Manrodt

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Linzi Falk

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B. E. Mintz

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Stephen Babcock

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