Ahmed Johnson explains why he thinks Shawn Michaels may have cost him the chance to be WWE Champion.
Ahmed Johnson made history as the first-ever Black WWE Intercontinental Champion when he defeated Goldust in 1996. However, Ahmed Johnson was never afforded a major opportunity to become WWE Champion. He was scheduled to challenge The Undertaker for the championship at WWE In Your House: Canadian Stampede, but an injury would force him to be replaced by Vader on that night in July 1997.
Now, Johnson is talking about what he thinks actually cost him a shot at the championship, the infamous attitude of Shawn Michaels in the ’90s.
“I was still willing to go to the match and be ready, but Vince had a change of mind. I believe all the junk that Shawn Michaels and some of the other boys were putting in his head, you know, ‘They’re not ready for a black WWE Champion.’ But, you had just seen me with the Intercontinental Championship, so you know I’m ready. You know the fans are ready. But Shawn Michaels, man, he kind of ran the coop back then. He was like the head dog then. So whatever he said, kind of went,” Ahmed said in an interview with Steve Fall of WrestlingNewsCo.
“I remember he called me into the office one day, after maybe like my third match. He tells me, ‘Ahmed, I can’t let you do those high-flying moves anymore.’ I’m like, ‘What the hell are you talking about? You don’t let me do anything. I’m going to do it if I want to.’ And he said, ‘Well, what happens is when I do it at 190 pounds, and you can’t do it at 355 pounds. It doesn’t look as great when I do it.’ It’s all about him, you know? Making sure his act went on. Making sure his moves were great and everything. So yeah, he trying to stop me from doing all the high-flying stuff, but I didn’t.”
Ahmed Johnson and Shawn Michaels worked as tag team partners in a few matches in 1996. Their most notable match was for the WWF Tag Team titles against The Smoking Gunns.
Shawn Michaels missed a considerable amount of time in 1997 for a myriad of reasons, including after he cut his infamous “lost my smile” promo. Michaels competed in the first-ever Hell In A Cell match at Badd Blood 1997, but missed more time that summer after an alleged backstage fight with Bret Hart. This absence would have coincided with the Canadian Stampede event where Johnson was originally supposed to get his title match.
Michaels returned to WWE at the end of July. He served as the special guest referee for The Undertaker vs. Bret Hart at SummerSlam. Johnson made his last appearance in WWE at the No Way Out of Texas pay-per-view in February 1998.
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