On August 2, 1992, Ron Simmons defeated Vader, making history by becoming the first African-American to be recognized as World Heavyweight Champion. Jim Ross, who called the match, wrote an extensive article on the official WWE website about the significance of the win. An excerpt is below:
“Ron Simmons’ victory over Vader to become the first African American to be recognized by a national organization as the World Heavyweight Champion brought positive media attention to the Atlanta-based organization. I recall proudly standing in the CNN Center in Atlanta where hundreds and hundreds of fans and Turner employees filled the common area for a reception in honor of the new champ. It was a joyous day. Tears flowed and young children saw that dreams could be realized if one utilized their God-given talents, worked hard and refused to give up on their dreams.
I have been blessed and privileged to have broadcast many amazing bouts in my career, but looking back, arguably, I cannot say that I ever called one with more social significance than Aug. 2, 1992. That day, Ron Simmons proudly rose to the top of the mountain and achieved victory for the most important race of all — the human race.”
Click here to read the full article.