Ron Simmons sat down with his old APA tag-team partner when he was a guest on Stories With Brisco and Bradshaw.
Simmons discussed if he realized the impact he was making when he became the first ever African Amerian world heavyweight champion.
“Absolutely not. I had no idea that was going to take place that night. 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 colors, 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.”
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