In case you didn’t know, David Otunga is more than just Jennifer Hudson‘s fiancee and father of her son. He is a Harvard educated lawyer with a passion for bodybuilding and acting. As a young boy, he found that all of his passions intersected within the world of professional wrestling. Sitting in front of the television watching wrestling is where Otunga saw ordinary men turn into superheroes simply by stepping into the ring and fighting their opponent to the roar of the crowd. “Growing up in the eighties, wwe was huge and I was really into it. Obviously, guys like Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior were awesome! Bad News Brown and Koko B. Ware, you had a lot of African-American wrestlers too,” Otunga stated in a phone call from his native Chicago. “I looked up to all of them. And back then, I said that when I get older I want to be a wrestler. It’s been one of my ultimate goals, but life took me in many different directions. I ended up going to Harvard and becoming a lawyer.”
To pay homage to the African-American wrestlers that came before him, David Otunga is promoting WWE’s Black History Month celebration videos. “The WWE has these awesome video packages and each week the WWE will feature an African-American superstar. It’s important because it reminds people about these great African-American superstars and for the younger generation, a lot of these kids don’t know the African-American wrestling legends.”
As our conversation turned to the African-American legends of the WWE that paved the way for him, Otunga paid homage to his heroes turned mentors Ron Simmons, who was the first African-American Heavyweight champion in sports entertainment and Booker T, who is one of the best to ever step foot in the ring. Although he wasn’t a wrestler, another huge wresting character that pushed him to get into the business was Mr. Slick. Mr. Slick had fans because of his quick wit, impeccable style of a three piece suit with a matching Kangol, and his penchant for getting involved in matches that ultimately got him beat down.
Please be aware that while David Otunga speaks about his heroes with reverence, he isn’t afraid to step inside the squared circle with any of them. After he slipped into character, “I am the first and the only Harvard educated lawyer that’s ever been in the WWE. I can beat anybody because I can outsmart them! And given the opportunity, I’m gonna tell you right now! David Otunga could beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania! I would just have to formulate a plan! Anything goes!”
Check out what else David Otunga had to say about three of his heroes.
“He was the first Black Heavyweight Champion. I looked up to Ron Simmons and he is really, really one of my heroes. He kinda who I modeled myself after. In fact, my finishing move “The Verdict” is pretty much the Ron Simmons slam. Plus, he’s a huge guy. I’ve always been into building your physique and I pride myself on that. So he’s a perfect role model for me. I got a chance to work out in front of him and he gave me some pointers about intensity and looks in the ring. I showed him the finishing move, obviously, and he told me I should slam them down as hard as I could because it’s the last move. Just go for it.”