Ron Simmons Talks His Relationship With JBL, Helping The Rock, HOF, Breaking Barriers & More
Being inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame: "These past few years have been very rewarding for me from an athletic standpoint. I have had the honor of being inducted into some very prestigious Halls of Fame, starting with the state of Georgia, the Collegiate Hall of Fame, and now the WWE Hall of Fame. But I think this one by far will hold the dearest to my heart because I know the individual effort that it takes not only to succeed but to sustain it in this business. So this one is going to take the cake for me. This tops it off for me."
Becoming the first ever African-American world champion: "I've read a lot of stories about Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali and people of this nature and how that must have felt to cross those racial barriers and to try to make it to even the playing field level not only for all African-Americans, but for all people. So I now get a feeling of how they felt and that feeling is only something you can go through to describe it. I know this, it feels great to be in that situation, to open doors not only for African-Americans but for anyone that is inspiring to succeed not only in professional wrestling, but for anything that you want to do. If you stick with it and are dedicated to it, it can happen and I am living proof of that."
Bill Watts: "There is a lot of things when it comes to promoters that he and I did not see eye to eye on. But I can tell you this, that is the one man I can say that had the courage and the guts to say 'you know what, it's time for this to happen. The guy has the credentials to do this. He is a renowned athlete. He has proven himself in the ring' Bill had enough guts to say 'kid if you are willing to do this with me and hang in there with me, we can make this happen.' My hat is off to him and I will be forever grateful to him."
Helping The Rock: "They kind of kicked around a lot of ideas with him and a lot of gimmicks he went through, but he just couldn't quite get the niche. So until he got with me and in the Nation of Domination, and he kind of off-springed from me and with that relationship he kind of got on his way from there, and found the right situation to be in, and the right persona for him. As far as getting as big as he did, I don't even think he knew he would get this big. I can say I am proud of him and the only thing I would like for him to do is offer Farooq a part in one of his movies. Let me be a stand in, I don't even need a speech, just offer me something [laughs]."
His relationship with JBL: "I can't say enough about him. When I was growing up as a kid and I didn't have the good fortune of growing up in a household with my brothers and sisters the way that I wanted to. I often wondered what it would be like in a household setting that shared things with my brothers. But due to misfortune in my family, I didn't have that. Later on when I got to tag with him the relationship we had was just that close. He was like a brother to me. I found out what that would be like, to share things with a brother, love, laugh, disappointment. That's what he means to me and still does. I am very grateful to this day for that. He is like a brother to me."
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