It is currently 9 p.m. I have had three cans of orange soda and I'm debating about switching to coffee. I've been mulling over my choice for this article for almost a week now and I'm sure I've gotten at least one concussion from banging my head against my desk.
Choosing the worst mic worker from 1992-2000 is like choosing the worst wrestler in the WWE. There are so many aspects that it's hard to label just one person.
Some people say John Cena is the worst wrestler because of his “five moves of doom.” Some people say the Great Khali is the worst wrestler because he doesn't actually wrestle. Some people say Heath Slater is the worst wrestler because...well, I'm not sure. We just don't like him for some reason.
There's also the problem about the definition of "worst." Merriam-Webster defines it as “the most unfavorable, difficult, unpleasant or painful.” However, I personally take it a bit differently. I'll get into that later, but I guess it's about time I begin my argument that Ahmed Johnson is the worst mic-worker in the Attitude Era.
Let us begin with the subject of what the Attitude Era was about: attitude. The top wrestlers had charisma, character and personality. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock, Mick Foley, they all had something about them that drew us to them.
The same can't really be said for Ahmed Johnson. There was nothing ear-catching about him. (Is that a phrase, ear-catching? No matter...) His character was angry, and that was about it. It seemed like most of his interviews and promos were based around him getting angry.
There was no real wit, there was no personality; it was all very basic. "You're gonna die. I didn't take my Prozac. I'm comin' to getcha." It reminds me of the infamous Charlie Sheen interview: "That's how I roll. I have one speed, one gear: go."
It's that one-dimensionality that drew me to this pick. There was another choice I had in mind: none other than Psycho Sid. He was the same way, with the shouting and the yelling.
He was loud, then quiet, emphasized a few words (you are but... the... learner), then he gave that creepy smile and laugh that always made me crap my pants just a bit.
But then I think about it... he's psycho. That's who he is. He's allowed to shout and yell and be odd because that's his character, his draw and his catch. In that regard, it's acceptable for him. Ahmed doesn't really have that gimmick to fall back on besides being a very angry man.
Ahmed's anger wouldn't be so bad if he could deliver. If you listen to some of his promos, you'll find he can be difficult to understand, and he has his flubs. One of them you'll find in the video above is his, “I have one word for you: You gonna die!” moment.
Even taped promos and speeches really weren't that understandable. Exhibit B: the video below.
True, there are wrestlers besides him that have had the same problem. The Great Khali can't speak well, but then again, he was born in India. English is not his first language. Ahmed was born in Kokomo, Ind. I think he should have a grasp of the language.
The same could be said about Scott Steiner and his mastery of the English language, but again, it played into his...charm? I don't know what you'd call it. But I'll get back to this in a couple of moments.
Other wrestlers have had their off moments as well. Psycho Sid's, “I have half the brain you do,” comes to mind. But that leads to the last aspect that I though about: memorability.
What did they leave us in the end? What do you think of when you hear the name Ahmed Johnson?
The Rock, Shawn Michaels, D-Generation X, Al Snow, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Mick Foley, all of these men left behind legacies. Even those like Bret Hart (who I'm sure was the pick for this topic for a lot of people) left behind something for us to remember.
There are even wrestlers that were so bad that they're remembered fondly. Remember me mentioning Scott Steiner? His stuff was so terrible sometimes that we can't help but smile and laugh at it.
But what did Ahmed leave us? Nothing, really. He was one of those forgotten wrestlers that someone brings up and you say, “Oh, I think I remember him,” and jabber on for a little bit before segueing into the Nation of Domination, Rocky Maivia and Farooq. He's just a bullet-point on a list right now.
And the sad thing is that he could have been so much more if it weren't for his kidney problems and injuries that put a premature end to his feud with the Undertaker. Imagine if he grew and learned from The Rock and stayed with him as long as he could.
Which brings me to what I mentioned in the very beginning of the article. What do I consider worst? Not being remembered.
In the Attitude Era, it was all about having attitude and leaving your impression. There are those that shook our world, there were those we hated to watch, and there were those we hated to listen to. But they still left their impression.
Ahmed Johnson, in my humble opinion, did not. He is one of the oft-forgotten wrestlers of the Attitude Era, and for me to be forgotten is worse than being remembered as being bad. That's why I've chosen Ahmed Johnson as the worst mic-worker of the Attitude Era (1992-2000).
The time is now a quarter to midnight. Four sodas and a cup of coffee later, I think I'm done for the night. I will see you all in the morning.