Ahmed in 1996

Scott,

It seems weird now, but there was a brief moment in late-July and early-August 1996 that Ahmed Johnson looked like the next biggest thing in wrestling.  Up to that point, the WWF had done a great job of emphasizing his strengths (look, charisma, intensity) and hiding his weaknesses (promos, long matches).  And in the taped RAW's leading up to Summerslam that year, they booked him as the "No. 1 contender" to the WWF title and teased a match on RAW the night after Summerslam of Ahmed vs. the Vader/Shawn winner.  He really could have been Goldberg before Goldberg if he'd stayed healthy.

Anyway, what was supposed to happen on the RAW right after Summerslam if Ahmed hadn't been injured?  Is it too unrealistic to think they would have put Vader over Shawn at Summerslam only to have Vader pull an Iron Sheik and job the belt to Ahmed?  The WWF was getting killed in the ratings war and pushing an entirely new star would have been a much better alternative than the fake Razor/fake Diesel mess they came up with a month later.

​There's no indication that Ahmed was in any kind of immediate plans for the title, so they would have likely done some kind of bullshit finish to get out of it.  However, he was definitely in their long-term idea for top guy, so had he not been so injury prone he would have ended up with the belt in 97, I'm sure.  ​