Ahmed Johnson became the first-ever African American to win a singles championship in WWE back in 1996 when he defeated Goldust at “King of the Ring” to become the Intercontinental Champion. With over 234 inductees in the WWE Hall of Fame as of this year’s class, the former WWE superstar stated whether or not he believes he should have a spot in the illustrious class.
“Yes, I think being the first African American Intercontinental Champion, I think I deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame,” Johnson stated during a guest appearance on the Iron-On Wrestling Podcast with Gregory Iron.
Johnson believes a big reason why this hasn’t happened is how sour he made his relationship with WWE on the way out. After his last appearance for the company at a pay-per-view in 1998, Ahmed was scheduled to appear on the following night’s episode of “Monday Night Raw” but no-showed the event after he received a call that his sister was very ill. Johnson reportedly spoke to Vince McMahon about having to go back home but never told him the specifics surrounding why he was leaving to go see his sister who was in bad health. That led to Johnson never returning to WWE since.
“I wish I could’ve left in a different way,” Johnson said. “… The only thing I say when I regret it … I didn’t tell Vince the real story because growing up like I grew up, as you did, we don’t tell people our problems. Most of our problems, we suck them up and deal with them in a little ball inside of us and let it just fester in there. I wish I would’ve told Vince the real deal about why I was leaving.”
Unfortunately for Johnson, his WWE run lasted only four years but he’s widely remembered for his time as the IC Champion and run with the Nation of Domination. The 58-year-old is on record saying Mr. McMahon had planned for him to win the WWE Championship but made a heavy claim stating that Shawn Michaels didn’t want him to win because he didn’t think it was “time for a black man to be World’s Champion.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Iron-On Wrestling Podcast with Gregory Iron with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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