Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Ahmed Johnson has accused Shawn Michaels of attempting to “hold him down” during his WWE career.
Shawn Michaels had an infamous reputation in the 1990s for trying to keep his position at the top of WWE. He and his backstage group known as ‘The Kliq,’ which included Triple H, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Sean Waltman, were frequently accused of wielding their considerable political power to hold back other wrestlers while advancing their own careers.
Ahmed Johnson was a member of the WWE roster from 1995 to the spring of 1998, and he was crowned as the first African-American Intercontinental Champion during that time. In 1996, he won a Battle Royal to determine who would face the WWE Champion on Raw following that year’s SummerSlam, but kidney problems forced him to miss several months of action.
The following year, he was scheduled for another WWE Championship match, this time against The Undertaker at the Canadian Stampede in July 1997, but he was forced to withdraw from that bout due to injury as well.
Following his return, he joined forces with Ken Shamrock to wage a months-long feud with the Nation of Domination. After a final appearance in which he, Shamrock, and the Disciples of the Apocalypse were defeated by the Faarooq’s group, he left the promotion in February 1998.
Ahmed Johnson discussed his time in WWE with Monte and The Pharaoh on the LI#1 Pro Wrestling Broadcast, saying he witnessed Shawn Michaels’ political maneuvering firsthand and that HBK “had his hand on” him for some time:
“Trust me, if Shawn seen anybody trying to go up the ladder, he was gonna hold them back. So yeah, he had his hand on me for a while trying to hold me down. That’s a good question [why he didn’t kick Shawn Michaels’ ass]. I mean, at the beginning I didn’t understand it, but later on I got to see what The Kliq was all about. It was all about President Shawn running the nation.”
When asked why he didn’t take his concerns to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, Johnson said Michaels never “went too far” with it:
“No, I just let it play out, because I feel as though if you go too far with it, I’m gonna have to do what I have to do. But he didn’t go too far with me with it.”
After leaving WWE, Ahmed Johnson briefly worked for WCW as ‘Big T.’ During his time there, he formed ‘Harlem Heat 2000’ with Stevie Ray, who had turned on his real-life brother and tag team partner Booker T. He now works at the ‘Pro Wrestling Alliance’ training facility run by Booker T and Stevie Ray.