Ahmed Johnson was one of the most popular stars in WWE of the mid-nineties but his career in the company withered away and now he claims that racism played a part in him leaving.
Ahmed Johnson burst onto the scene in WWE in 1995 going on to win the Intercontinental Championship with many expecting bigger prizes to come for the star. Johnson formed a union with Shawn Michaels on TV, with the two men part of the short-lived People’s Posse along with Sycho Sid that lost to Camp Cornette in the main event of In Your House 9: International Incident.
However, behind the scenes, it doesn’t seem Ahmed Johnson and Shawn Michaels had much love for each other. Speaking in an interview with Steve Fall for WrestlingNews.Co, Johnson claims that racism had its part to play in him eventually leaving WWE with a whimper in 1998 and puts some of that blame at Shawn Michaels’ door:
“I think racism did play its part in it, but not from Vince, from Shawn Michaels and some of the other boys. I mean, like they did that thing with DX when Bret Hart and the Hart Foundation and the Nation of Domination was getting into it, and they wrote all that stuff on the wall, you know, that was pushing it for me and I couldn’t have done that, and the thing with the Truth Commission was, what they wanted to do, they wanted him to hang me from a rope. You know how lynching is a very sore subject with black people? They wanted to hang me from a rope.
“That just wouldn’t happen with me, brother. I’ll do any other angle, but the rope? No. I didn’t want her (his dying sister) to be in her last minutes watching me get beat up. She was a big fan and then she passed like a day or two after that, after I left, so she would have had to see me get beat up and hung from a rope before she passed. That was not an image I was trying to put out, not for her, not for the black kids out there, to anybody. That is going too far.”
Questions have been asked over the years about attitudes in WWE regarding racism given some of the things that have made air in the past. Many point to Triple H’s storyline with Booker T in 2003 which many felt had overly racial connotations while Vince McMahon openly said the n-word on WWE television to John Cena in 2005.