Ahmed Johnson says Shawn Michaels held him back in WWE
“In the beginning, I really thought that he was behind me and going to give me this great push, but as I went on, I found out it wasn’t Vince that didn’t want to give me the world title, it was other wrestlers like Shawn Michaels. They didn’t want to see me pushed that high. I don’t know why, personal reasons? I was green, I’ll say that. I was still green and learning, but I think I was ready for the world title shot. Because Shawn had the belt and everything, he basically got to pick who he was going against, he was running the show back then and he was basically picking who was going against him.
From my understanding, what I heard, he didn’t think it was time for a black man to be World’s Champion. I didn’t hear him say that when I was Intercontinental Champion and popping the house everywhere we went. They didn’t mess with me for some reason. They probably did behind the scenes, like I told you. I didn’t become world champion because Shawn Michaels didn’t think I was ready for whatever reason, but they never messed with me. They never tried to ‘ha ha’ me, or bully me, or any of the things they did to other guys. They knew their place, and knew who to mess with and who not to mess with.”
source: Ahmed Johnson on Iron-On Wrestling