It’s Day Four of #AhmedJohnsonWeek, our celebration of all things Pearl River, and the first installment of our (patent-pending) Juice Make Sugar Wrestler of the Week series. We started off with A Wrestler You Should Probably Know Better, and then gave you the finer points of the Tony Norris oeuvre with Tuesday’s Essential Viewing. Yesterday, we asked the important questions with A Series of If…Whats on “Big T” Tony Norris. Today, we make our Amazon.com-on-steroids dreams come true with “Juice Make Sugar Recommends…”. Tomorrow, we’ll finish everything off with a Difference of Opinion (where JMS HQ erupts in a Legal-Rights-to-the-Letter-T-fueled civil war.)
Let’s Get Ready by Mystikal
The original thought was Ludacris’s first album, Back for the First Time, which is sufficiently southern. I was going to say something with St. Lunatics, but that’s the wrong kind of southern and Outkast is a little too refined. In terms of a comparison, Mystikal fits better. Actually, almost perfectly. You never knew what the fuck either was saying and they seemed like they were going to be the biggest shit in the world. And then, weren’t.
– Vault Internet Technician, Daron “Action” Jackson
The people that liked it Really liked it, but it was still a movie that featured a team of black super detectives verbally abusing a white intern. Which, not the worst thing in the world but you get what you pay for.
The scene where he drifted the car into a parking space without spilling a single drop of his orange soda was one of those scenes you knew was supposed to be impressive but, much like the idea that it was 1996 and Ahmed would have been the company’s first black champion, just made you feel a little uncomfortable.
– D “A” J
In the House
It may feel like this list is just a series of black/southern references because Ahmed Johnson was a black southerner, but in this case, it’s because there literally wasn’t a single show in the 90s about someone playing a former athlete that didn’t have that guy also be black. We aren’t racist, the 90’s were. HAVING SAID THAT, while Ahmed Johnson was an actual athlete — he was a member of the Dallas Cowboys for a bit before deciding to train to become a professional wrestler — it always felt like he was just playing one on TV.
With all the grace of LL Cool J trying to emote, Ahmed Johnson was, at best, the least athletic “athletic big man” of all time. Like, David West but without rebounding numbers. That’s not to say that he was unathletic, but the idea that he was a linebacker in the NFL made only slightly more sense than the fact that he only lasted a season or so.
This may seem harsh, but considering the amount of hype surrounding them when they both came in, to watch them get Bo Jackson’d (or, in Ahmed’s case, The Rock’d) was the type of existential comeuppance people only get in movies. Both helped make stars, weren’t nearly as bad as people made them out to be, but ultimately were major busts.
Ahmed at least won something, so it’s not an entirely fair comparison, but like Bosworth never really totally got where the line between work and show was, and it ended up being the downfall of their careers.
This one felt the best coming off the bat, as both were expected to be the next action star. Josh Hartnett even starred in a movie Bruce Willis, which is the Hollywood Equivalent of feuding with the Undertaker.
Unfortunately for Ahmed and Josh, the strength of their brand — for Hartnett, being able to get away with acting in action movies despite not being able to act because he looked the part and for Ahmed, being able to get away with being in title match despite constantly botching because he looked the part — began to wane as they entered their prime.
Like Ahmed and his Intercontinental Championship, at least Josh’ll always have that Teen Choice “Choice Chemistry” Award nomination with Shannyn Sossamon for 40 Days and 40 Nights.
– D “A” J
We could say that both were symbolic of the needless self-indulgence of the 90’s, but this is mostly because Ahmed Johnson once said: “I don’t take my Prozac anymore. And when I get off Prozac, brother, you don’t know WHAT might happen!”