Thanks for taking the time to take a trip down memory lane with me. In this article I will be discussing why Ahmed Johnson never reached the top of the WWE.
Ahmed Johnson was a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, as his NFL career began to fade away, he decided to pursue pro wrestling. He trained under Skandor Akbar, Ivan Putski, and Scott Casey in Texas. Ahmed would make his debut in 1989, but it was in 1993 when he worked for the GWF that got the attention of WWE officials.
Ahmed was given a lucrative contract with WWE, as Vince McMahon had big plans for him. Ahmed had the look, body, and charisma to be a star. He wasn’t a great worker, but he was a good worker for that era. He was a big man with great strength and surprising agility. The WWE had plans to make Ahmed the next Hulk Hogan.
His first televised match was the semi main event at Survivor Series 95, where along with Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog were the survivors in the wildcard match. The WWE put Ahmed with Michaels right away, trying to get Ahmed over as the number one face’s buddy. It worked, Ahmed always received a tremendous reaction from the crowd. The problem was that Ahmed was way too intense in the ring, he came out as a house of fire in every match, and started injuring himself and his opponents. Ahmed was much like the Ultimate Warrior, where they both got so into the show that they made mistakes. Ahmed would learn from this and start wrestling at a safer pace.
His first major feud was with Jeff Jarrett, and at the Royal Rumble in 96, Ahmed suffered his first of many serious injuries, as he received a concussion from a Jarrett guitar shot. Ahmed continued his push when he returned, and kept getting over with the crowd. It was his feud with Goldust that really showed that Ahmed was settling in to a top star with WWE. The feud was fantastic from beginning to end, I don’t think a person in the world didn’t believe that Ahmed really wanted to kill Goldust when he gave him mouth to mouth. The matches were also very good, including the King of the Ring match when Ahmed won the I.C. title from Goldust. Ahmed was the first African-American I.C. champion, which in itself proves the faith WWE had in him.
Ahmed was put back into a tag team with Michaels as they were the top 2 champions and stars of the company, he would main event his first ppv at the end of 96. Ahmed would then get injured again, suffering a severe kidney injury that kept him out for 4 months. Despite being gone for 4 months, he came back to a bigger response than before, and feuded with Farooq and the Nation of Domination. Ahmed would eventually join the Nation, and became a top heel. He was actually scheduled to win the WWE title from the Undertaker, but got injured again. Ahmed was gone from the company shortly after.
Ahmed Johnson was continually pushed by WWE in big spots, and kept delivering. He had some of the best matches of 96 and 97, and was receiving one of the biggest reactions every night. The reason why he never made it to the top, was the injuries. He had the incredible bad luck of always getting hurt right during a big angle. These injuries killed any momentum he had at the time. Some people will claim that Ahmed kept getting hurt because he was sloppy in the ring, which is the real reason he didn’t reach the heights he was destined to. That’s not why at all, Ahmed settled down in the Summer of 96, and was not sloppy at all after that. In fact I could list all his injuries and that it was not his fault at all but I won’t. Athletes get hurt, it happens to everyone. Ahmed just had worse luck with injuries than most.
After leaving WWE, he did some work on the indies, and had a short run in WCW. Today Ahmed runs The Beast-Mode Family, an organization committed to helping people in need. He also has a successful shop on ProWrestlingTees.com.
I hope you enjoyed the article, join me next time as I will be writing about Tatanka’s undefeated run from 1992-93. I might also have a special top ten list for later today. If you like my work, feel free to add me on facebook at www.facebook.com/horror965.