Ron Simmons
Ron Simmons in 2012.
Birth nameRonald Simmons
Ring name(s)Faarooq[1][2]
Faarooq Asaad[1][2]
Ron Simmons[1][2]
Billed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[3]
Billed weight270 lb (120 kg)[3]
Born (1958-05-15) May 15, 1958 (age 63)[1]
Perry, Georgia, United States[2]
ResidesMarietta, Georgia, United States[3]
Billed fromWarner Robins, Georgia[3]
Trained byHiro Matsuda[1][2][3]
Ron Simmons
Date of birth: (1958-05-15) May 15, 1958 (age 63)
Place of birth: Perry, Georgia, USA
Career information
Position(s): Defensive tackle
College: Florida State
NFL Draft: 1981 / Round: 6 / Pick: 160
(By the Cleveland Browns)
 As player:
Cleveland Browns
Ottawa Rough Riders
Tampa Bay Bandits
Career highlights and awards
Awards: College Football Hall of Fame (2008)
Honors: Consensus All-American (1979, 1980)
College Football Hall of Fame
For the Texas state representative, see Ron Simmons (Texas politician).

Ronald "Ron" Simmons (born May 15, 1958) is a retired American professional wrestler and football player. He performed for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) under his real name, and in the World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment (WWF / E) under both his real name and the ring names Faarooq Asaad[1] (sometimes spelled Asad) and Faarooq (sometimes spelled Farooq).[1] He is currently signed with WWE, working in their Legends program.

In WCW, he was an one time World Heavyweight Champion;[1][4] as the first of two African Americans to win the title,[5] he is recognized by WWE as the first Black heavyweight world champion in professional wrestling history. He was also a one time World Tag Team Champion with Butch Reed and a one time United States Tag Team Champion with Big Josh.[6][7] In the WWF, he was a three time Tag Team Champion with Bradshaw as one half of the Acolytes Protection Agency.[8] He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012.[3]

Prior to becoming a professional wrestler, Simmons was an American college and professional football player who was a defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL), Canadian Football League (CFL) and United States Football League (USFL) for four seasons during the 1980s. He played college football for Florida State University, and was recognized as an All-American. He played professionally for the NFL's Cleveland Browns, the CFL's Ottawa Rough Riders and the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits.

Early years

Born in Perry, Georgia, Simmons attended Warner Robins High School, where he played football as a tight end and linebacker. In 1976, he was named lineman of the year, and first team All-State by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

American Football career

Simmons was an All-American football player at Florida State University (FSU) from 1977 to 1980 under coach Bobby Bowden (whom Simmons described as "a second father"), spending four years as a defensive nose guard. The Seminoles were 39–8 during Simmons's years at the school, finishing in the Associated Press Top 20 three times ('77,'79 and '80), earning back-to-back Orange Bowl trips after Simmons's junior and senior seasons.[9] In 1979 Simmons finished ninth in the Heisman voting behind the winner, Charles White of USC.[10] In 1988, Simmons's jersey (number 50) was retired by FSU,[11] the third time a number has been retired in school history. In addition, Simmons was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame for his accomplishments while playing at Florida State. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.[5][12][13][14]

He later had a brief career in the National Football League (NFL), selected in the sixth round of the 1981 NFL Draft. He played for the Cleveland Browns in 1981, and the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits in 1984 and 1985, and it was in Tampa where he was a teammate of future professional wrestler Lex Luger.

Professional wrestling career

National Wrestling Alliance / World Championship Wrestling (1988–1994)

Simmons joined the NWA as a face in late 1988. Soon after, in early 1989, Simmons turned heel by breaking the rules during what was supposed to be a face VS. face match against Junkyard Dog. Simmons won the match when the referee, Ron's future manager Teddy Long made a fast count (Long was fired (kayfabe) as referee by Jim Herd immediately following this match). Simmons later teamed up with Butch Reed to form Doom. In the beginning, the members of Doom were masked and only known as Doom #1 and Doom #2, managed by Woman. In their pay-per-view debut at Halloween Havoc 1989, Doom defeated The Steiner Brothers. In the "Iron Team Tournament" at Starrcade 1989, Doom finished fourth, losing all three of their matches. With new manager Long, they rebounded and defeated The Steiner Brothers for the NWA World Tag Team Championship at Capital Combat in 1990.

They held the title for nine months, defeating teams like The Rock 'n' Roll Express and feuding with The Four Horsemen. Among their most memorable encounters during their title reign was a street fight against Horsemen Arn Anderson and Barry Windham at Starrcade 1990 which ended in a no-contest when Windham pinned Simmons while Reed simultaneously pinned Anderson. Doom were recognized as the first holders of the WCW World Tag Team Championship in January 1991, finally losing the titles to The Freebirds at WrestleWar in February 1991. Subsequently, Doom broke up, with Simmons turning face and feuding with Reed, defeating him in a cage match at the very first SuperBrawl. Simmons defeated midcarders including Oz and The Diamond Studd, then unsuccessfully challenged Lex Luger for the World Heavyweight Championship at Halloween Havoc, losing the best-of-three-falls match one fall to two. Simmons spent the first half of 1992 feuding with Cactus Jack, whom he defeated via pinfall at SuperBrawl II.

On August 2, 1992, a scheduled title match between Sting and WCW World Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader was canceled after Jake Roberts (kayfabe) injured Sting.[15] WCW President Bill Watts responded by holding a raffle to determine the number one contender.[15] Simmons won the raffle and defeated Vader with a snap scoop powerslam to win the championship.[15] By defeating Vader, Simmons became the first recognized African American WCW World Heavyweight Champion.[15]

Simmons held the title for five months. He continued to feud with Cactus Jack, with Jack bringing in The Barbarian to challenge Simmons at Halloween Havoc. At Starrcade, Simmons was scheduled to wrestle Rick Rude, but due to Rude being injured he faced "Dr. Death" Steve Williams instead, wrestling to a double countout that was changed to a disqualification win for Simmons when Williams attacked him after the match. His title reign ended two days later on December 30, 1992, when Vader defeated him to regain the title. Afterwards, Simmons was relegated to mid-card status, eventually becoming a bitter heel who felt like the fans abandoned him after he lost the championship. Simmons unsuccessfully challenged Dustin Rhodes for the United States Heavyweight Championship and Paul Orndorff for the World Television Championship during his last months with WCW.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1994–1995)

Simmons appeared in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) from late 1994 to early 1995. During that time he unsuccessfully challenged World Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas at November to Remember and had matches with Mikey Whipwreck and 911.

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (1996–2004, 2006-present)

After ECW, Simmons joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and made his debut on the July 22, 1996, episode of Raw. His first gimmick was that of Faarooq Asad, a gladiator who wore a black and blue gladiator outfit with a misshaped helmet and was managed by Sunny. Simmons started his first feud with Ahmed Johnson before shortening his ring name to Faarooq. The feud was started when Faarooq attacked Ahmed during a tag team match where Johnson was teaming with Shawn Michaels against the Smoking Gunns. As Ahmed was outside the ring, Faarooq appeared and assaulted him, as a result of the injuries Ahmed suffered he was forced to forfeit the Intercontinental title. The title was put up for grabs in a tournament where Faarooq lost in the final to Marc Mero.

Nation of Domination (1996–1998)

File:Da Nation.jpg

The Nation of Domination.

As Faarooq, Simmons dropped his gladiator gimmick and with his new manager, Clarence Mason, formed a stable known as the Nation of Domination. The Nation of Domination was loosely based on the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther Party, although the members of the stable were not exclusively African American. They mostly feuded with Ahmed Johnson, who Faarooq was combating before. Faarooq's ongoing "war" with Johnson included matches at the Royal Rumble in 1997, where Ahmed won by disqualification. The two came together in the Rumble again later that night when Faarooq's fellow nation member Crush drew number 1 and Ahmed drew number 2. Ahmed eliminated himself when he saw Faarooq in the aisleway and chased after him. Later in the same match Faarooq was eliminated when Ahmed returned and attacked him with a 2 by 4.

At WrestleMania 13 where Ahmed recruited the Legion of Doom to take on the entire Nation in a Chicago Street Fight, which was won by Johnson and the Road Warriors. The group stayed together until Faarooq became angry with them for costing him the WWF Championship in a match with the Undertaker at the 1997 King of the Ring. After Simmons threw Crush and Savio Vega out of the Nation, Crush and Vega formed their own rival factions, known respectively as the Disciples of Apocalypse and Los Boricuas, and Faarooq recruited more African American members for the Nation. The three stables feuded with one another throughout 1997. In the Summer of 1997 Faarooq again lost a tournament final for the Intercontinental title, this time to Owen Hart after Stone Cold Steve Austin interfered, ironically the tournament was set up after Austin forfeited the title due to an injury inflicted by Hart, Austin wanted Hart to win so he could again beat him for the title.

In early 1998, signs of dissention in the Nation began to show as the Rock began arguing with Faarooq on a regular basis, the Rock at times felt he should be the leader as he was now Intercontinental Champion, in the Royal Rumble all 5 Nation members were in the ring at the same time and frequently brawled with each other, Faarooq even eliminated his fellow Nation members D'lo Brown and Mark Henry, he was one of the final three along with the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Faarooq wanted the Rock to help him eliminate Austin but the Rock did not offer help and then proceeded to eliminate Faarooq.

The following month at the No Way Out pay per view all 5 Nation members (Kama, Rock, D'lo Brown, Mark Henry and Faarooq) lost a 10 man tag to Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson, Chainz, Skull and 8 ball. Faarooq was clearly annoyed with the Rock in a pre match interview and after the match (Rock submitted to an ankle lock by Shamrock) they almost came to blows. The following pay per view was Wrestlemania 14 where the Nation sent two teams into a tag team battle royal, Faarooq teamed with Kama while D'lo teamed with Mark Henry, neither team won. Later in the evening the Rock was defending his Intercontinental title against Ken Shamrock, the stipulation was that if Rock was disqualified he lost the title, all Nation members except Faarooq were at ringside. Shamrock won the match when the Rock submitted to the ankle lock leading Kama, Brown and Henry to enter the ring, Shamrock however disposed of them despite the numerical advantage and repeatedly locked the Rock in the ankle lock. Faarooq ran down to the ring but seeing the Rock in agony he then decided against helping him and walked off, with the crowd cheering his decision. The Rock did however retain his title as the match decision was reversed due to the Shamrock refusing to break the hold.

Simmons's leadership of the Nation of Domination was usurped by The Rock the following night on RAW and Faarooq was kicked out of the Nation, he spent several months feuding with his former stablemates.

The Acolytes / The APA (1998–2004)

File:Acolytes Protection Agency (promo pic).jpg

Faarooq (left) and Bradshaw as The Acolytes Protection Agency.

After being dumped from the Nation, Simmons feuded with the Rock but failed to win the Intercontinental title. Simmons then teamed briefly with 2 Cold Scorpio. In late 1998, Simmons began teaming with Bradshaw as Hell's Henchmen. They were managed by The Jackyl until he left the WWF, at which point they were repackaged as members of The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness and were renamed the "Acolytes", as they acted like acolytes to The Undertaker. The Acolytes recruited Phineas I. Godwinn and Mabel to the Ministry by kidnapping and brainwashing them (renaming them Mideon and Viscera, respectively), and feuded with The Undertaker's rivals, such as D-Generation X and The Brood, the latter of which later joined the Ministry of Darkness as well.

During this time the Acolytes had two short reigns as tag team champions, they defeated the team of Kane and X-Pac but lost the titles to the Hardy Boyz, at the Fully Loaded Pay per view in 1999 they won the titles back in a no disqualification handicap match against the Hardyz and Michael Hayes. Their second reign was ended after a short reign when they lost the titles to Kane and X-Pac.

After The Undertaker suffered an injury in late 1999, the Ministry of Darkness disbanded. Simmons and Bradshaw continued to team with one another, and eventually adopted the gimmick of two brawlers who enjoyed drinking beer and smoking cigars, becoming faces in the process. After Bradshaw began hiring out the services of the Acolytes as mercenaries and bodyguards, the tag team was renamed the Acolytes Protection Agency (APA). Around this time, Simmons would start saying his trademark "DAMN!" catchphrase, though it wouldn't be emphasized as much as it would be later on. The team won their third tag team title by defeating the Dudley Boyz in June 2001 but lost the titles the following month to Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon when Test interfered and turned heel by attacking the APA.

The APA teamed together until 2002, when Simmons was drafted to the SmackDown! brand. Around this time, Simmons changed his ring name to his real name by choice, due to the terrorist group Al-Qaeda having a training camp called All-Faarooq.[1] Simmons had a brief heel run when he teamed with Reverend D-Von until he left television in December 2002, but in June 2003 he returned to WWE with Bradshaw and the APA reunited.

In his last WWE storyline, he was fired by former SmackDown! General Manager Paul Heyman. It was assumed the APA would be fired, but it turned out to only be Farooq. Simmons retired from his in-ring career, kayfabe accusing Bradshaw of not being a faithful friend. In reality, Simmons, who had been planning to retire due to his health and age and become a backstage agent for the company, was let go the day this angle aired on SmackDown; reports at the time indicated there was "inappropriate conduct" at WrestleMania XX festivities the weekend prior.[16]

Sporadic appearances and Hall of Famer (2006–present)

File:Ron simmons.jpg

Simmons making a promotional appearance for WWE in 2005

In 2006, during a rebroadcast of the 1981 Orange Bowl on Sun Sports, Simmons stated that since that time he has retired from wrestling action, but would like to continue or even improve his role with WWE. Starting on October 23, 2006, he began making short cameos on Raw under his given name to say his catchphrase of "Damn", often in awe of or shock at odd happenings. On the November 20, 2006, edition of Raw, Simmons was chosen by Ric Flair to replace the injured Roddy Piper at the Survivor Series to take on the Spirit Squad. He was the first to be eliminated, via countout. He was seen in the ring with Chris Masters in the "Master Lock Challenge" on the January 15, 2007 edition of Raw, a confrontation which ended prematurely after interference from Super Crazy. Although Simmons technically broke the Master Lock, it was not officially recognized because of Crazy's interference. On the July 27, 2007, edition of SmackDown!, Simmons was named the best man for Theodore Long and Kristal's wedding.

Simmons also engaged in a feud against Santino Marella. On September 10, 2007, on Raw, Simmons was attacked by Marella. On the September 24, 2007, edition of Raw, Simmons made a return to the ring and defeated Santino Marella by countout after Marella left the ring and walked out. A week later, Simmons said "Damn" one more time after throwing Steve-O out of a nearby door.

Simmons occasionally competed on WWE Heat, taking on jobbers from the town in which the show is being taped. At the end of each match, Simmons held a microphone, pulling it toward and away from his mouth while the crowd cheered him until he eventually said "Damn". On December 3, 2007, Simmons and Bradshaw were hired by Hornswoggle to help him in a no disqualification handicap match against Jonathan Coachman and Carlito, which they won.[17] Simmons appeared on Raw's 800th episode on November 3, 2008, appearing on the entrance ramp and said "Damn" while many superstars were dancing in the ring. He also returned during the 2008 Slammy Awards with Mickie James to give The Great Khali the DAMN Moment of that year's Slammy Awards.

Simmons was released from WWE on January 13, 2009, due to budget cuts. Simmons showed up backstage on the November 15, 2010 episode of WWE Old School Raw and said "Damn". Simmons appeared once again on the May 2, 2011, episode of Raw in a backstage segment for The Rock's birthday celebration and said "Damn" again.

File:Ron Simmons being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame2.jpg

Ron Simmons in the Hall of Fame 2012.

In 2012, it was announced that Simmons would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.[18] Simmons was also credited in the tribute as being the first African American world heavyweight champion in WCW.[18] Simmons was acknowledged as a memorable character in WWE's "Attitude Era".[18] He was formally inducted on March 31 by his APA partner John "Bradshaw" Layfield. He ended his Hall of Fame speech with his signature "Damn" once again.

Simmons and Layfield reunited as the Acolytes Protection Agency (APA) on the 1000th episode of Raw, providing their signature protection and back-up for Lita during her match with Heath Slater. After Layfield hit Slater with the Clothesline from Hell, Simmons again held a microphone, pulling it toward and away from his mouth while the crowd cheered him until he eventually said "Damn". Simmons appeared again during the Hell in a Cell Pay per view during the segment with Theodore Long, Eve, Zack Ryder and Santino Marella. Ryder and Marella were dressed as a Witch and Lady Gaga respectively. Simmons showed up while Marella was singing "Born This Way" and said "Damn" to him. Simmons appeared again on the Slammy awards on Monday Night Raw with Kane, Daniel Bryan and Ric Flair as they were saying "yes", "woo" and "no" respectively. Simmons then came and, after a long pause, said his trademark "Damn". Simmons showed up on the January 28, 2013 episode of RAW watching a dance off between Brodus Clay and Tensai and said his catchphrase "Damn". Simmons showed up again almost a year later on the January 6, 2014 Old School Raw in a backstage segment with DDP and Booker T.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

File:Ron Simmons being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.jpg

Ron Simmons being inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012.

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 "Ron Simmons". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 2013-11-09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Ron Simmons". Cagematch: The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 2013-11-09.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Ron Simmons". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2013-11-09.
  4. "WCW World Championship." Retrieved on August 14, 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "College Football Hall of Fame. Ron Simmons: Member Biography." National Football Foundation. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "WCW World Tag Team Championship history". Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "WCW United States Tag Team Championship history". Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  8. "World Tag Team Championships". Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  9. "Florida State Seminoles Football: Year-By-Yer Record." Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  10. "1979 Heisman Trophy Voting.". Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  11. "Traditions: Retired Numbers/Jerseys". Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  12. Hoops, Brian. "Nostalgia News: Ron Simmons elected to College Football Hall of Fame." Pro Wrestling Torch, May 1, 2008. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  13. "Ron Simmons to be Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame.", May 1, 2008. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  14. "Consensus NCAA All-Americans". Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Foley, Mick (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. New York: Avon Books. ISBN 978-0-06-103101-4. p.3.
  16. Widro. "Wrestling – More On Ron Simmons' Release From WWE." March 20, 2004. Retrieved on 2012-08-14.
  17. Robinson, Bryan. "Back in Business.", December 4, 2007. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "2012 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee: Ron Simmons.", February 20, 2012. Retrieved on November 15, 2013.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 "Ron Simmons". Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 "WCW Wrestle War 1991 - February 24, 1991". Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "APA". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 "Ron Simmons: Entourage". Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  23. "Ron Simmons: Themes". Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  24. "Championship Wrestling From Florida (NWA): NWA Florida/North Florida Heavyweight Title History". Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  25. Westcott, Brian. "MCW – Memphis Championship Wrestling: MCW Southern Tag Team Title History". Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  26. Westcott, Brian, and Jim Dupree. "NWA – National Wrestling Alliance NWA: Ohio Valley Wrestling Southern Tag Team Title History". Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  27. "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners Inspirational Wrestler of the Year". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
  28. "2003 Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 100 Tag Teams of the PWI Years". (French). Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  29. "2003 Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". (French). Retrieved 2013-11-17.
  30. "WCW World Championship - Ron Simmons (August 2, 1992 - December 30, 1992)". Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  31. "World Tag Team Championship - The Acolytes (May 31, 1999 - June 29, 1999)". Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  32. "World Tag Team Championship - The Acolytes (July 25, 1999 - August 9, 1999)". Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  33. "World Tag Team Championship - The APA (July 9, 2001 - August 9, 2001)". Retrieved November 17, 2013.

External links

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