In a recent episode of his "Hall of Fame" podcast, pro wrestling icon Booker T paid homage to one of the industry's unsung heroes, Curtis Hughes, better known as Mr. Hughes. The two-time Hall of Famer shared his admiration for Hughes, acknowledging him as a significant influence in his early career, particularly as an African American wrestler striving to make his mark in the industry.
Booker T lauded Hughes, saying, "He was one of the brothers that I used to actually watch and say, 'Man, this dude is good.' People don't really give Mr. Hughes the credit he really deserves." He speculated that Hughes' lack of world championship titles might be a factor in his underappreciation, but affirmed that Hughes was undoubtedly one of the best talents of his era.
This discussion about Hughes arose following Booker T's announcement of hiring the retired wrestler for his Reality of Wrestling organization, where Hughes will contribute as a coach and talent evaluator. Hughes has a notable history in nurturing wrestling talent, having previously led the WWA4 wrestling school.
Under his guidance, the school has produced notable wrestlers such as Apollo Crews, Heath Slater, and Moose, who have gone on to compete in major promotions like WWE, AEW, TNA, and NJPW.
Hughes' Diverse Career
Hughes' wrestling career is marked by several phases across different promotions, including WCW, WWE, and ECW.
Notably, in the late 1990s, he gained visibility as the bodyguard for renowned heels such as Triple H and Chris Jericho in WWE. Despite these high-profile roles, his stints were brief, and he departed from WWE in late 1999.
Adding to this narrative, sources close to the industry reveal that Hughes' contribution to professional wrestling extends beyond his in-ring performances. His knack for talent development and his insights into the wrestling business are highly regarded.
His new role in Reality of Wrestling is expected to bolster the training and scouting process, potentially shaping the next generation of wrestling stars. This move reinforces Booker T's commitment to nurturing talent and honors the legacy of a wrestler who, despite not claiming world titles, has made a lasting impact on the sport.