As the words "Can you dig it, sucka?" echoed over the stadium speakers, Booker T made his entrance for his WrestleMania debut at WrestleMania X8 in 2002. Out next to Rob Zombie’s "Never Gonna Stop" was Edge, wrestling his first WrestleMania match as a singles competitor. As the two future WWE Hall of Famers prepared to lock up in front of 68,237 fans at the SkyDome in Toronto, Jim Ross said on commentary, "And to think this thing started over a shampoo commercial."
Reminiscing about their "Road to WrestleMania X8" on "The Hall of Fame" podcast, Booker and Edge compared how they were each approached by creative. When asked by WWE executive Bruce Prichard about having a Hair match against Edge at WrestleMania, Booker’s first question was, "Is Edge cutting his hair?"
Edge was excited for his first WrestleMania singles match to be against Booker, because he loved working with him and knew what they could do together. The match was going to be in Edge’s hometown – the same venue where he sat in the sixth row with a "Hulk Rules" shirt to watch Hulk Hogan face The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI in 1990.
However, the excitement quickly turned to apprehension when writer Brian Gewirtz told Edge that the storyline would be based on a shampoo endorsement. Feeling he wasn’t at a point in his career where he could say no, Edge was determined to make the best out of the program with Booker.
Booker’s Yakamoshi shampoo audition
On the February 28, 2002 episode of "WWE Smackdown," Booker was shown backstage in front of a blue screen, awaiting the arrival of the Yakamoshi shampoo representatives. Confident he would be their spokesman once they heard his pitch, Booker sought feedback as he recited his script. "Yo! Japanese people, what’s the deal with your nasty hair?" asked Booker T. "Just because you know kung fu doesn’t mean you know shampoo. But that’s all about to change thanks to the new Yakamoshi shampoo. It won’t make your hair look as good as mine, but you got to start somewhere."
A befuddled Tajiri and Torrie Wilson were shown trying to make sense of what they had just heard. Torrie informed Booker that Tajiri felt the script was offensive, which offended Booker; he had written the script himself and wanted to know what was wrong with it. Torrie responded, "He wants to know why you make fun of his people’s hair when your hair looks like … " After a slight pause, Tajiri added, "Buckwheat on crack."
A stunned Booker replied, "You didn’t say that. Tell me you didn’t just say that? You know what, I don’t know why I asked your advice anyways, sucka!"
Edge gets the Yakamoshi endorsement
Later that night, Booker defeated Scotty 2 Hotty in a spirited four-minute match. As Booker celebrated in the ring, a video appeared on the Titantron, of the Yakamoshi Shampoo Company president telling someone backstage, "It is my honor to name you our new spokesman." The endorsement went to Edge, who immediately performed one of his five-second poses with the shampoo bottle for the Yakamoshi photographers.
As a distraught Booker watched from the ring, the Yakamoshi president grabbed a strand of Edge’s hair and said, "You have hair like the lion." A little taken aback, Edge raised his sunglasses and said, "Yeah, cool." After being congratulated by a joyful Tajiri and Torrie, a grinning Edge told the Yakamoshi president, "We are going to sell some shampoo, baby!"
The following week on the March 7 episode of "SmackDown," Booker took his frustrations out on Tajiri by defeating the Japanese Buzzsaw in three minutes. After the match, Booker continued to attack Tajiri before Edge ran out for the save, spearing Booker in the process.
Road to WrestleMania X8
On the March 11 episode of "Monday Night Raw," Booker interrupted an in-ring Kurt Angle promo and blamed the fans for him losing the shampoo endorsement. In addition, Booker was furious he didn’t have a title shot or a match for his first WrestleMania, which was happening in six nights. This brought out Edge, who told Booker, "You may not have a title shot at WrestleMania, but if you want an opponent, you’re looking at him. Now can you dig that, sucka!"
Three nights later on "SmackDown," Booker partnered with Test to face Edge and Tajiri in a tag team match that ended with Booker pinning Edge. With momentum on his side, Booker appeared poised for a successful WrestleMania debut 72 hours later.
Though they were placed in a cool-down spot at WrestleMania X8 — following The Undertaker and Ric Flair — Edge and Booker delivered a solid and physical six-minute match.
"We’re lighting each up to the point that one time Booker hit me and my toes felt electric," revealed Edge on the podcast. "That’s how hard we were lacing each other." After an Edge-A-Rooni and ducking Booker’s spin-kick, Edge hit an Edgecution to earn his first WrestleMania singles victory in front of his hometown crowd.
Edge’s career was cut short in 2011 due to neck-related injuries, and he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012. Booker T followed him into the Hall of Fame a year later. Edge made a grand return to the ring at the 2020 Royal Rumble and won the men’s Royal Rumble a year later.