Ron Simmons Reveals Race-Related Name Suggested For Doom

WWE Hall of Famer and former WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons joined Stories With Brisco and Bradshaw to talk about his Hall of Fame career. Simmons' first big break in wrestling was as a member of the tag team "Doom" in WCW, alongside Butch Reed, who passed away earlier this year. He recalled the moment where he and Reed, into their run, learned that WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long would be their manager.

"I still don't know how that happened," Simmons said. "Butch and I were together. We walk in there one day, and all of a sudden, here comes this little weaselly looking guy with a do-rag on his head. And all of a sudden he comes up and says, 'hey, so here's what we're going to do right here on this interview.' Butch and I are looking at each other like, 'what the hell are you talking about? When did you get in here?' He was like, 'what, they didn't tell you? I'm going to be your manager now.' And you know how Butch is. He says, 'man, you ain't going to be managing me. You get out of here!'"

Simmons continued, explaining that Reed wasn't as on board about the idea of the team as he was. He also mentioned how the team was originally based more on their race, and how great a time it was to work in the WCW tag team scene back then.

"I'm not exactly sure that Butch was really on board with it to begin with," Simmons said. "I think that he still wanted to go on and do his singles thing a little more at that point, and I could see why he was still having reservations about doing it. When they first came and proposed it to me, of course I was on board with it because it's Butch Reed, and he's had some level of success in this business. This was a great opportunity for me. Right out of the gate, it came out that first they wanted to make it a little bit too racial. They wanted to name us Ebony Express. That was something that Butch and I vehemently said, 'no, man. We don't want to go out there and try to play this race thing. If we're going to do this thing, we want to go out there and be these two characters that are good at what we do.' That was one thing that had corrected to start out with. If it had been along those lines, you'd have to continue along those lines of playing the racist thing. If you're going to break those barriers, you have to start somewhere. So we felt that wasn't good for both of us at that time. I'm really glad we did that.

"Secondly, we had to come up with what we're going to be named. The Road Warriors were already Legion of Doom and we were going to be working with them. So they decided they were just going to call us Doom. At that point, that's how it came together. And then that's when I got together with Butch and it was a big thrill for me. Sometimes, he and I didn't see eye to eye. We had our ups and downs on the road, because Butch was his own man. You always knew where he stood — that's what I loved about him. He was very helpful when it came to tag team skills. So I learned a lot from Butch during that time we were together. It was unbelievable. The best thing about it, at that point in tag team wrestling, you couldn't have asked for a better period to be in a tag team. You had Rock N' Roll Express, you had all these guys you could work with: Barbarian, Warlord, you had the Road Warriors, the Steiner Brothers. It was absolutely phenomenal. That's the best thing I loved about it. You could get in there, work the way I think it should be short of killing someone, but working to the point where people understood, 'hey, this guy's really in a wrestling match.' It was a phenomenal period of time, and I really loved working with all of those guys."

Simmons then returned back to Long, who would manage Doom for a year until Simmons and Reed broke up at WrestleWar '91 in February. Despite their initial misgivings, Simmons says Long proved to be a valuable member of the team.

"A lot of people don't know that Teddy has done everything in this business," Simmons said. "Here's a guy who really paid his dues. He's drove the ring truck, he's been a referee, he's done all facets of what you could do in this business. If there's any guy that you want to listen to that has some knowledge of this business, it's Ted. He was absolutely a welcome addition for Doom as we went on. He knew how to come in and how to garner heat as being our manager. He's absolutely great on the mic. And he would come back and even give us pointers on how things went in the match, and we'd use them in the next match. He proved to be a very addition as our manager."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Stories With Brisco and Bradshaw and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription