Ahmed Johnson recently spoke with Lucha Libre Online’s Michael Morales Torres. He discussed being originally booked to win the WWF World Championship, being the first African American to win the Intercontinental Championship, why WWF is pushing African American talent today, racism in WWF, backstage ambience in WWF, WCW, and more.
Ahmed Johnson on the backstage ambience in the 90’s with the WWF.
“They treated you cold man. The other wrestlers treated you cold. It was like going backstage with a bunch of sharks looking at you wondering when the feeding fest was going to start. Lot jealousy back there”.
Ahmed Johnson on being the first African American to win the WWF Intercontinental Champion:
“It was a big moment. I was glad to do it, especially in Wisconsin. I don’t think there are too many minorities in Wisconsin. It was a big moment. I was very proud, and still proud today that I was able to open the doors for my people”.
Ahmed Johnson about joining Nation of Domination:
“It was just a real tough feud with Farooq because he was a shooter. He shot at me, and I shoot back on him. It was on a point when we can shoot at each other with respect. Vader, and a couple of other, you could shoot, and they shoot back. Even Savio Vega! He was another one. He was a good man and a good wrestler. You could shoot on Savio, and he would shoot back. He didn’t take no junk from no one”.
Ahmed Johnson on being originally scheduled to win the WWF World Championship from The Undertaker, but being changed after an injury:
“Yes, I was going to win the title (WWF World Championship), until I got injured. But it’s true that I was scheduled to win the title against The Undertaker. Things didn’t fold out. And at end, it is what it is”.
Ahmed Johnson on working with The Undertaker:
“The Undertaker, he can’t be matched. As far as his movements, and the way he performed in the ring. Nobody better than him”.
Ahmed Johnson on leaving WWE:
“There was a family issue that needed my attention, but, on top of that, there were other things going on behind scenes that didn’t sit right with me. I started noting a lot of racism going on. It called me not wanting to be there, and back off”.
Ahmed Johnson on who contacted him to join WCW:
“I got approached by Vince Russo. Yeah, Vince Russo with Stevie Ray asked if I wanted to come in, give me a spot and I said yes”.
Ahmed Johnson on the backstage ambience on WCW:
“There was a big difference between backstage on WWF and WCW. WCW was a whole lot smoother to myself (individuality) type of deal. On WWF you had a lot of Cliques developing. You had to be in one of the Cliques to get yourself going, and get a push. But in, WCW you didn’t had that. They had a bunch of guys minding their business. Which is cool with me”.
Ahmed Johnson on his relationship with Vince McMahon:
“I had good experiences with him. But when I left, I don’t think he was too happy I was leaving in the way I left. He basically had a chip in his shoulder about me. He wasn’t happy the way I left the company”.
Ahmed Johnson on WWE pushing African American talent:
“There’s a big difference between being here (today) being and the 90’s. I’m glad I opened the doors for this to get started. The thing was that Vince McMahon was sure that the African American talent could bring him money, but now they know they can. Now they know they can bring you money. Now they know they can bring you money, they’re booking them left and right. Back in the 90’s they weren’t sure that they should’ve put the belt on me to see how much money I would draw. We went to an unbelievably part in terms of where finances go. I even went to the [top] of the card. It’s a matter of making money”.
Thanks to Michael Morales.