On the latest episode of Something to Wrestle With, Bruce Prichard spoke about 1996’s “In Your House 7” pay-per-view and the potential of Ahmed Johnson as a WWE main eventer. Johnson had a fast start in the company, winning the Intercontinental Championship and even being positioned to face WWF Champion The Undertaker at a pay-per-view before suffering an injury.
Ahmed fit the description of the build Vince McMahon would like, being billed at 6’2’’ and weighing 305 pounds. Prichard said the issues with Ahmed were him being dangerous in the ring.
“Absolutely,” Prichard said about Ahmed as a potential main eventer at a WrestleMania. “Ahmed was one of those guys that we looked at and said ‘This guy could be a WWE Champion at some point.’ He had all the charisma in the world, had the personality but unfortunately just didn’t have that feel and was dangerous in the ring.”
Prichard also spoke about Shawn Michaels’ push as a main eventer in the late 90s. According to Prichard, the company realized the mistakes they made with Bret Hart’s push as the top guy and tried to fix those mistakes with Shawn. He said the company relied too much on past ideas with Hulk Hogan for Bret, but that never fit Bret’s character.
“We realized we needed to do a little bit of a different approach with Shawn,” Prichard said. “Not to go the Hulk Hogan route because that had been done. I don’t want to say it was a failed experiment with Bret, but it didn’t always work with Bret and we realized we had to present Bret in a different way than Hulk because he was different than Hulk. That playbook, sometimes you go with what’s familiar and try to adapt, and we needed a new playbook.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something to Wrestle With: Bruce Prichard with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.