Former WWE Superstar S.D Jones is most well-known for his nine-second loss to King Kong Bundy at the first WrestleMania, which was really the peak of his career in the WWE. However, he should have been a much bigger star in the company, despite his career being stuck as a mid-card jobber to the more-popular heels in the WWE.
He was given the name “Special Delivery Jones” by Vince McMahon Sr, who had planned a racist gimmick for Jones in the WWE (due to him coming from the island of Antigua). Johnny Rodz brought Jones to Vince McMahon in hopes of making him a WWE star. It was here that McMahon would invent the nickname “Special Delivery”, as told by S.D Jones’ wife, Kathy Efraim.
“He never thought in his wildest dreams that he would have become a wrestler – when he was in Antigua, he use to box and lift weights and then when he went to the Virgin Islands he was lifting weights until one day there was a wrestler by the name of Johnny Rodz who met him at the gym and said to him, Conrad I see you can do more than just lift weights and I am going to take you to someone. He took him to Vince McMahon Sr., of the WWF and that’s where he got his name ‘Special Delivery’ Jones.”
“McMahon said to him, ‘your name is special delivery because you were specially delivered,’ and when they asked him where he was from he didn’t answer because he was a little embarrassed because a lot of people did not know about Antigua so they decided to say he was from Philadelphia since they met him there but as he got more and more into wrestling he said no – I am from Antigua in the West Indies,”
Despite clearly having an intense like for S.D Jones, McMahon soon soured on the wrestler when he turned down the opportunity to work a racist gimmick in the company. McMahon wanted Jones to wrestle with no shoes on, which a number of African-American wrestlers did (which had many racial undertones that today we try to avoid).
Special Delivery Jones refused, due to the amount of pain he was in from wrestling barefoot. This angered the elder McMahon, who was not used to be told “no” by his workers. From that day on, he vowed never to push Jones as a star, keeping him in the company for years as a jobber who would never become a big star in the WWE.
The tale of what happened was told by Jones’ good friend, WWE Hall of Famer Tony Atlas, in a shoot interview where he talks about his relationship with S.D Jones.
“I always wonder why they never put SD Jones on top. Vince McMahon Sr [The Father of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon] in the business had an idea to present SD as African.” WWE Hall of Famer Tony Atlas said in a shoot interview, “He initially wanted him to wrestle barefoot, and when he did for a while, he went away and came back with boots on. “
“Vince Sr told him, ‘Take those boots off, SD.,’ but SD told Vince Sr, ‘I can’t, I can’t wrestle barefoot; it hurts my feet, and I don’t like it.’ and Vince said ‘Well, if you want to make money. SD, you take them boots off.” SD never took the boots off, which is what turned him into an under card guy for pretty much his entire run.”
“What he didn’t realize was what Arnold Skaaland told him, and he told me – ‘you don’t say no to Vince. He’s not used to that’. Any person that is born a millionaire has never been told no. I don’t care if you make them president, I don’t care if you make them champion. That person is not used to the word no. In the wrestling world, there are only three rules; keep your mouth shit, do as you’re told and don’t be late.”
While he challenged for the WWE Tag Team Championship in the WWE, S.D Jones never won championship gold in the promotion. His biggest moment was losing to King Kong Bundy on the second match at WrestleMania I, being binned in just nine seconds.
This was the shortest WrestleMania match for twenty-three years, and seemed like a record that would never be broken. However, Kane pinned Chavo Guerrero in just eight seconds to win the ECW Championship at WrestleMania 24, taking the long-held record from Bundy and Jones in one quick match. That record has since been broken by The Rock vs Erick Rowan.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.