Highspots Presents: Shoot Interview with Ron Simmons

This was filmed in either 2005 or 2006

The interview was conducted by Michael Bochicchio

It runs at two hours and one minute long

 

Growing up, Simmons said he played football throughout his childhood as he talks about his mother passing away while he was young and nearly wound up in an orphanage. Simmons said that he began to watch wrestling the more he got into football because he started to like things that were physical.

 

He talks about going to Florida State for football and while he played tight end in high school, he was first put at linebacker then was needed on the defensive line as he joked about the offensive lineman were 100 lbs heavier than him and at the coaches urging, he tried the new position at defensive end and started to excel. He then talked about how he gained 5 lbs because he had access to a lot of free food at the school, joking he did not have to cut grass to “get a fucking hot dog” like he did back home. Simmons puts over how he worked extremely hard to overcome a lack of size and strength. He also puts over how he never lost to the Florida Gators while at school.

 

Simmons talks about Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden and how much he likes him for providing a family-like environment, something he never really had. Simmons then talks about finishing 9th in the Heisman Trophy Voting as he said being placed that high was enough of an accomplishment because it was such a rarity for a defensive lineman while Simmons talks about how it goes to show you that hard work can pay off.

 

He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 6th Round of the 1981. Simmons said he was too small for defensive lineman in the NFL and switched to linebacker. He also spoke about how he got in trouble after receiving stolen property, chalking it up to him being young and stupid as he bought a stolen TV for $20. He said this impacted his draft stock as he was projected to be a 3rd round pick.

 

Simmons said he got hurt and never played for the Browns as he played up in the CFL. He took time off and healed up before playing a few years in the USFL for the Tampa Bay Bandits. When asked about steroids, Simmons said he never used them in college because they were not needed but did dabble a bit with them in the USFL. Simmons also said that steroids were prevalent in football as its a physical game and that guys will do anything to keep their job.

 

We now get into how Simmons got into wrestling. He left the USFL in 1985 and was working at a detention center, which was right behind Hiro Matsuda’s training facility. Matsuda saw him out one day and asked Simmons if he wanted to be a professional wrestler. Simmons said that he was all set due to leaving the physicality of football then Matsuda told him he would be making twice what he was then, which Simmons joked was still shit, and one day went over and came him. He saw the guys training as they were getting hit everywhere as Simmons said he didnt want to do it and thanked Matsuda for his time. However, Matsuda convinced him to come back and give it a try as Simmons did and began to train. He says it was the most brutal training camp he has ever been involved with but he stuck it out and this helped prepare him for his career. On guys he trained with, Simmons said that he was with Ed “The Bull” Gantner and that Lex Luger trained in the class before him.

 

He started off in Florida Championship Wrestling as Simmons said the guys kicked his ass but he’s glad they did because of how it prepared him for things to come. Simmons puts over Barry Windham for helping him out the most as he learned a lot from and someone Simmons considers as a really nice guy.

 

Simmons is asked about some talents in Florida. He said Mike Graham was feisty and had his moments but overall, a good guy. Simmons said that Kareem Muhammed did not like him but they were able to do business together.

 

He is then asked about how he started Doom with Butch Reed. Simmons said they were asked to pair as Reed told him how it would go and to follow his lead. Regarding the masks, Simmons sarcastically calls it a great idea and that there was no way you could tell who it was because they were the only two black guys in the promotion. Simmons said that he never traveled all of the time with Reed and at times would avoid him, stating they had different personalities and as a result could not be with him 24/7.

 

On the teams Doom worked against, Simmons said it was a dream to work against the Road Warriors and got along great with them. He also said they had great chemistry working against the Steiner Brothers and how they were both crazy. Simmons also said it was the best to work with the Rock n’ Roll Express as they had two big black guys beating on two small white guys and how the crowd looked like they wanted to cry during their matches. He would work with them every night if he could.

 

Simmons is then asked how political it was in WCW at this time and seems to take offense to the question, specifically asking in what way is he asking if its political while Simmons talks about how they brought in lawyers and guys running “pizza parlors” who had no clue what they were doing. He is then asked his opinion of Jim Herd as Simmons said he did not care about what was going on as he just wanted his money and to get the hell out of there.

 

He is then asked about experiencing any racism while at WCW as he says it went on a lot but did not experience that in the WWE, stating they are “pure business.” Simmons then talks about if he had any control, he would have started and ended his career with Vince McMahon. He then talks about people making lame excuses and blaming others in a mini-rant about those unwilling to work harder to achieve their goals.

 

On Teddy Long, Simmons said he was very good at what he did as he is articulate and can entertain. Simmons also said he is a good friend too.

 

Simmons said he was contacted by the WWF while wrestling as part of Doom. He then said he wished he fled to them when he got the chance.

 

When Doom split up, Simmons said it was Bill Watts called to be the babyface as they wanted to play up his football background as Simmons said he liked it better as a heel. He is then asked about Watts using the fact he made Simmons the first black WCW Champion to prove he was not racist as Simmons commented that Watts “never had the hood on” in front of him.

 

He puts over Dusty Rhodes knowledge of the business and how much he helped him in his matches against Lex Luger.

 

On beating Vader for the title, Simmons claims all that happened was he showed up and was told that day without any prior knowledge. He puts over how the crowd response still gives him chills today when he thinks about it and puts over the crowd reaction. Simmons said that Vader never had a problem putting him over as far as he could tell.

 

He left WCW after they decided against renewing his contract for reasons he states that were racist without going in any details. Simmons then puts over Michael Hayes for getting him a job in the WWF.

 

While working for ECW, Simmons said the locker room was filled with guys that were all about business and had more of a family atmosphere than in WCW. He denied the rumor that he left ECW after being asked to job to 911 then proceeds to state how you have to draw the line somewhere and he does not have a problem putting anyone over as long they have at least some ability or talent. When asked again if this was why he left, Simmons refuses to give an actual answer as he talks about doing business the right way and laughed about how awful 911 was as a performer.

 

 

On coming to the WWF as Faarooq, Simmons said he played the character the way Vince McMahon told him to but did have to tweak it a bit.

 

He puts over the Undertaker for being the best and doing what you are supposed to do in wrestling and how to carry yourself in the locker room.

 

Simmons denied that there was a big party scene in the WWF at the beginning of his first run.

 

Regarding the Nation of Domination, Simmons said it was his favorite thing to do in wrestling and it helped launch the careers of The Rock, D-Lo Brown, and the Godfather. When asked why the group was disbanded, he said it as due to jealousy by other factions, name-dropping Degeneration X. When asked if Degeneration was the ones to break up the group, Simmons again refused to answer the question and continues to beat around the bush.

 

He teamed up with Bradshaw and thinks it might have been the result of both guys being similar and notes how Bradshaw liked to drink and raise hell outside of the ring. (But remember, they did not have a party scene in the WWF). Simmons said it was his favorite tag team. He denies Bradshaw is a bully and when asked about him hitting the Blue Meanie, Simmons said Meanie must have pissed off really bad for that to happen.

 

Simmons is asked about other teams. He loved working against the Hardy Boyz. On the Public Enemy, Simmons said they showed up late and did not want to do business so it became a fight in the ring. Simmons also said the Dudley Boyz are all business in the ring and willing to take risks.

 

After being split from Bradshaw after the WWE Draft, he teamed with Mark Henry and put over his strength, claiming he once tore a steel frying pan. Simmons says that Henry can also dunk a basketball and once he applies himself, he will be able to do anything he wants. He liked teaming with D-Von and thinks he is a great human being.

 

On how he left the WWE, Simmons said he had no idea it was coming and thinks he may have gotten “more belligerent than he should have” over the TV angle that saw him get fired. Simmons does not go into details at all, just says it was his fault. When asked about the rumor if he was fired due to his drinking, Simmons said he was drinking a lot and that he “probably got into trouble” at WrestleMania XX because he drank a lot that night then all but says he got pissed off when the company confronted him about his drinking and that he was sent to rehab at one point.

 

Simmons tells us a road story. He was with Bradshaw in Red Deer, Alberta Canada. They were hanging out at a bar, drinking and shooting pool, that had a lot of gang activity. Bradshaw, as a joke, bought one of the guys hanging around a flower and made a comment about him being a pansy. However, this guy took a swing at Bradshaw and it turned out he was part of a gang. Simmons said they were surrounded by about eight or nine guys and the leader, who he said was the size of “mini me” threatened Bradshaw. Simmons said one of the guys had a blade out and told Simmons to get the fuck out of the bar. Simmons told them they were leaving the bar together and they will leave something behind, which was the bottle he was holding as Simmons threatened to hit the guy who punched Bradshaw. They yelled at Simmons to take Bradshaw away but he thought they could sneak out of the back door but could not find it so they turned around and left out of the front.

 

He closes by thanking those who supported his football and wrestling career.

 

Final Thoughts: Overall, I was not a fan of this interview. Simmons would hint at things and when asked for clarification, would just act vague, play dumb, or attempt to bully the interviewer. It was pathetic when he all but said D-X were the people who pushed to break up the Nation of Domination and that he refused to job to 911 because he was terrible then would just skate around the follow up questions like what he said prior never happened.

The part I enjoyed the most here was about his football career to be honest. The road story at the end was crazy too. There was some good stuff here but once they talked about WCW and the WWE, the bullshit meter started going off like crazy.

Unless you are a major fan of Simmons, I’d avoid this interview. There are far too many interviews with others from this time period that can provide more insight. I don’t think that Simmons is a bad guy or anything but who wants to hear an interview with someone who cherry picks the questions he wants to answer?

You can purchase the DVD of this interview for $9.99, a digital download for $4.99, or an audio download for $3.99 by clicking here

 

Next week, I will be reviewing the new RF Video Shoot Interview with Hornswoggle.