WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons, formerly known as Farooq, recently talked with the Miami Herald to discuss various topics related to his wrestling career. Below are some of the highlights from the discussion.
Simmons discussed his role as mentor for the young guns in the Nation of Domination faction, including The Rock and Mark Henry:
“The best thing about Rocky, Dwayne [Johnson] as he likes to be referred to now, Mark Henry, Savio Vega, Crush, all of the guys was they were willing to learn and ask questions. That was part of it. They knew once they got in with me and asking questions on how we should go about being with ring presence, stage presence, and everything else. We used to help them find their niche. That is what we used to work on. I used to always tell them to find their own comfort zone. As you can see they all did that in getting their separate identities away from the Nation.”
He talked about John Bradshaw Layfield, his former partner in the Acolytes Protection Agency:
“There were struggles with him early on in his career until he and I really got together. He found his niche and comfort zone. He went on to become world champion and do things outside of wrestling. It’s just great. I’m so happy and proud whenever I think of that. Knowing that I have a small hand in it, I can go on living the rest of my life knowing I did something a lot of other people should do. Help people along the way.”
Simmons was also the first African-American champion in WCW history, and went on to discuss what that opened up:
“It provided more opportunities. After that, it was not only an inspiration for black Americans, but for what was considered to be underprivileged people. It showed no matter what color, you can achieve your dreams. It was such an inspiration. I still, to this day, get people come up to me and tell me what an inspiration that was to them.”
More from the interview can be found here.
Critically underrated wrestler in his time and one of my all-time favorites. Good to hear from him.