Intensity. Whether it was in the ring or on the microphone, Ahmed Johnson was always intense. Maybe too much for his own good.
For those who don’t know, Ahmed Johnson was a rising star in the World Wrestling Federation from late 1995 to the end of 1997. At one point, it was believed that Johnson would eventually be WWF World Champion. Looking back at it, he might have not been successful with that role, but at the time, I was personally sold on the guy.
When I was younger, I was a huge fan of Ahmed Johnson. He beat the crap out of people and seemingly didn’t care if he injured himself. That would backfire on him during his career, but he also was sabotaged by WWF wrestler.
Faarooq, or Ron Simmons, admits to purposely kicking Ahmed in his kidneys in 1996 because Ahmed hadn’t paid his dues. At the time, Ahmed was the WWF Intercontinental Champion and working with main event talents. He was in line to get a WWF World Championship match with Shawn Michaels on RAW. He never got his match with Michaels and his career nearly ended.
Once he suffered the kidney injury, he never regained traction and was just another character on the show. His entertaining feud with Goldust had been long forgotten and he entered a seemingly never ending feud with Faarooq and the Nation of Domination.
I mean really, for most of 1997 that’s all Ahmed did. He would wrestle a guy in the Nation and after several brutal battles with the group, he would join the group in the summer of 1997 after a match with the Undertaker. I’d consider that one of the dumbest heel turns ever in the WWF.
Why was it so dumb? Well, he didn’t remain a heel long and by September or so he was kicked out of the group. I suppose at the time they were kind of weak on the heel side of things, but still, Ahmed was way too over with the crowd to be turned into a heel.
Ahmed had crazy amount of promise and ability. The Pearl River Plunge is one of my favorite finishing moves. By March 1998 Ahmed would be let go for not wanting to sell or lose to Chyna. He wound up in World Championship Wrestling for a few months in 1999/2000, but he was really out of shape and a shell of his former self.
Were you ever sold on Ahmed Johnson like I was as a kid? Leave your comments below!
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.