Ron Simmons Praises Bill Watts For Making Him First Ever African-American WCW Champion

Simmons reigned as WCW World Heavyweight Champion in 1992

Whilst younger wrestling fans will know Ron Simmons for turning up and shouting ‘DAMN’ in WWE, older fans will have fond memories of Simmons reigning as WCW World heavyweight Champion in 1992, with Simmons being widely recognised as the first ever African-American world champion of a major company. 

In an appearance on Stories With Brisco and Bradshaw, Simmons revealed his surprise at being made champion, specifically thanking controversial former WCW EVP Bill Watts for the honour:

“Absolutely not. I had no idea that was going to take place that night,” started Simmons “Never in my wildest dreams did I have any idea it was going to go down like that. It was a real moment that took place. There was no pre-planning. I have to take my hat off to Bill Watts for giving me the opportunity for making that moment happen. I showed up there and he called me into the office. I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, what have I done wrong now?’ He said ‘Sting got hurt, or something went down with him. ‘Tonight, we’re going to make some changes and we’re going to make a change that is going to be revolutionary. Tonight you’re going over Vader for the belt.’

“I’m still making my way up. I’m mid-card. I’m still coming up the ranks. So, we go out. We go through the whole thing of pulling the name out of the hat, and luckily for me, my name just happened to be pulled out of the hat. That’s exactly how it went down. I’m very grateful to Vader for going out and doing business the right way. He could have said, ‘No man. I’m not going to do it this way because Sting’s not here.’ He went out and went beyond what in my estimation the way he delivered in the match. We had a fantastic match. It was a real moment in and out of the ring. I’ve never in my wildest dreams would have thought that it would have gotten to this point to where people still ask me about it.

“Not only that, but here’s the thing I like the best about it. Not only do young men, young black men, but people of all colours, and young women, come up to me and say, ‘I want to thank you for what you did for me and my child because at that moment, I knew then that things were possible for me to achieve.’ You can’t get a more powerful testament to what you’ve done in life than have that happen to you and for it to have effects on people’s lives. I had absolutely no idea that it was going to be that profound to this day. No way. I never would have predicted it.”

Bill Watts run as EVP of WCW ended in controversy in 1993, with Watts regularly clashing with management, before being quietly removed from his post after making racially insensitive comments.

H/T: WrestlingNews.co

Share this post

Quiz: Name The Wrestlers At WWE Taboo Tuesday 2005

Bronson Reed Reveals Immigration Issues Have Delayed Wrestling Return

Written by Jack Atkins

Scripts, news, and features writer. Anything with words, basically.