Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ahmed Johnson ["Highspots" Shoot Interview]

The Good
If you take nothing else away from this interview, realize that for all his personal problems, Ahmed Johnson could've been a major player. While his work had its flaws, Ahmed had an unbelievable intensity that very few have. He certainly puts over that strength of his here and rightly so. While that factor did intrigue me during his WWF run, I felt people like Randy Savage, Goldberg, Sid Vicious and especially Chris Benoit were able to kick their careers to a higher level and became bonafide top guys as a result. Ahmed really could have been a top guy and this shoot interview gives perspective on why that did not happen. He does feel he was cooled off, miscast as a heel briefly and undermined by some people (he particularly targets Steve Austin as a racist), although ultimately he left due to his sister's health problems and never recovered from that life-changing situation. The interview does get into some of the dirt about him and he seems to respond with sensible answers to everything - his work being too stiff, him stealing the LOD's shoulder pads, his steroid abuse, his unreliability.

The Bad
Ahmed Johnson's legacy is certainly tarnished and he will probably be remembered favorably by a small number of people. Few of his peers say highly positive things about him, he was a rising star in the WWF when it was at its lowest point and he left before the boom. This shoot interview gives him the opportunity to clarify his place. He put himself over very strongly and leaves the impression that he is not highly regretful of leaving when he did. If he had stayed and kept his head on straight, Ahmed Johnson could have very well been a key component in the Attitude Era. The interview does not really take that corner though. There are also the tales of him dealing drugs, pimping underage girls and his membership in the Bloods (he has repeatedly confirmed the last issue) that go unexplored, but certainly are part of his story. This shoot interview is one that has been put over as great and it simply was not.

The Rating: ***1/4

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