Ron Simmons accomplished plenty during his decades-long career in professional wrestling, and now he’s set to add another award to his list of achievements.
After a successful college football career and a brief stint in the NFL, Simmons made the transition to professional wrestling, debuting for Jim Crockett Promotions in 1986. The star defeated Vader in 1992 to become the first Black WCW World Champion, something he’s said “means everything.” He also worked for ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling prior to signing with WWE in 1996.
Simmons was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2012, and now he’s set to add the Cauliflower Alley’s 2023 Lou Thesz Award to his list of accomplishments. The CAC was founded in 1965 to celebrate the life and careers of those in professional wresting, and Thesz served as the organization’s president from 1992 to 2000. The official Cauliflower Alley Club website announced the following:
“The Cauliflower Alley Club (CAC) is delighted to announce Ron Simmons as the recipient of the prestigious 2023 Lou Thesz/ Art Abrams Lifetime Achievement Award. This distinguished honor celebrates Simmons’ extraordinary contributions to the wrestling industry, his exemplary sportsmanship, and his remarkable journey from the football field to becoming a wrestling legend.”
Jim Ross Says “Respect” Sums Up Ron Simmons’ Career
Speaking on a 2021 episode of Grilling JR, fellow WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross heaped praise on Simmons, calling him a great locker room leader.
“Oh golly, a longer career than a lot of people realised. Overcoming a lot of racial issues, that at least provided him the opportunity to work main events and earn more money. He was a great locker room leader – I loved his leadership. I loved him as a stand-up guy. He had a lot of character, a lot of integrity. And I love that. Was he the slickest worker that I ever saw? No, of course not. Was he on Flair’s level? Hello. But he was a better worker than people probably give him credit for.”
Continuing, JR explained that Simmons exemplified the word respect during his career.
“I would say the one word that comes to my mind when I think about Ron Simmons and his legacy is respect. His peers in a business that is wrought with insufferable, paranoid, ‘what about me’ b******t; that aspect was unaffected. He was a man’s man, who had earned respect as a professional wrestler. I don’t know if anybody in the locker rooms, any locker room that he was in, that wouldn’t agree that Ron Simmons was a very respected athlete and a man’s man. The bottom line: respect.”
If you use any quotes from this transcription, please credit Grilling JR and link back to this article with a h/t to Inside the Ropes.