Ahmed Johnson On Thinking Vince McMahon Calling Him Directly Was A Rib, How He Broke Into Wrestling, Booker T’s Talent

Photo Credit: Robbie E, MLW

Ahmed Johnson was the latest guest on Robert Strauss and Matt Koon’s Why It Ended podcast. The first half of the episode featured the former WWE Intercontinental Champion reflecting on his squared circle origins with Ivan Putski, training at the same time with Harlem Heat, his time with Global Wrestling Federation and getting a call from Vince McMahon directly to go to WWE. A few quotes from the first part of the podcast are below:

(Transcription credit to Dominic DeAngelo of Wrestlezone.com)

Ahmed Johnson on how he got into wrestling via Ivan Putski:

“He kept bugging me about coming and training with and how good of an athlete I would be in the wrestling ring. It’s like two years I blew him off. Then finally I said, ‘okay, I’ll give it a shot.’ I went down there man and I start doing it and I liked it.”

On Booker T‘s potential:

“He was good. Even then, man. Even then in practice he was good. He was a stand-out even back then in the school.”

On if he thought any of them were gonna make it:

“No, you know what? At the time, I was just doing it to stay in shape cause it was harder than my workouts. So I was just doing just to stay in shape. I didn’t think that none of us was gonna make it.”

“I would say I was training for like two months. Cause me and Booker were just stand-outs in the class. And it took us about two months and he threw us in the ring. In a little bitty house show at a skating rink I believe it was.”

On having his first match and getting booed as a heel:

“Man, I was just so scared I was gonna to forget everything in front of the people and then they’re yelling at you, you know I was a heel. And so they yelling at you, cussing you out. Not used to people cussing me out. After the first match you kind of get in the groove of it.”

Ahmed Johnson on getting a call directly from Vince McMahon and him thinking it was a rib:

“Vince was like, ‘give me his number.’ And Vince called me – he called me directly. I didn’t call from an agent or anybody like that. I got a call from Vince.”

“It was a short conversation cause I didn’t think it was him. I thought it was somebody playing a ‘ha-ha,’ you know? He called and it was like, ‘This is Vince McMahon. May I speak to Tony Norris?’ And I was like, ‘Who is this?’ ‘This is Mr. McMahon.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, okay, right.’ I said, ‘What do you want?’ And he started laughing when I tell him ‘What do you want’ – he started laughing. He was like, ‘I’d like to send you up, fly you up here and talk to you about a contract.’ And I was like ‘Okay man. Yeah, whatever.’ And the phone conversation was that short. And then the next morning there was a knock at the door, and it was UPS with a first-class ticket down to Stamford, CT.”

More quotes from the show will be available later on WrestleZone, but you can listen to the entire episode of Why It Ended by going here.

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