JBL, What The Hell?
(Editors Note: This article has been updated with a new YouTube video embed. The one we originally with Blue Meanie talking about his experience used is now linked to a terminated YouTube account. We have also added a new video at the end. The original version of this article is archived here.)
John Twatshaw Stayaway-field…
Normally, I’d say a professional wrestler’s out-of-ring actions shouldn’t take away from those in the ring. Yes, but there is always a caveat.
That astrix today comes in the form of John Layfield aka JBL aka Bradshaw aka Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw. Grab your favorite cup, fill it with your liquid of choice, and settle in. I assure you this will be a bumpy ride.
John Layfield has been with World Wrestling Entertainment since 1992. In his career as JBL alone, he’s a former Intercontinental, United States, World Heavyweight and WWE champion. Putting on memorable feuds with the likes of such greats as CM Punk, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and even The Undertaker. The impressive reigns and feuds aside, John wasn’t exactly the Norm of the WWE locker room. (If you’ve just gone “Who is Norm?” you haven’t seen Cheers, and I feel kind of bad for you. Go watch that shit.)
Heads up, this is not going to be entirely in chronological order. Also, this is all possible because it has been partly brought to light with the release of Best Seat in the House, an autobiography by former WWE announcer Justin Roberts. That said, let’s venture down John’s road of being a complete and utter bastard.
Out of the gate, we begin with the reports and various stories of Layfield bullying talent down in OVW. To scratch the surface, he would throw things on the floor and demand the new blood clean it up.
Not too bad, yeah? I’m sorry to say it gets worse, as it didn’t stop at fucking with the young OVW talent. Johnny would go on to bully, bust open, be a blow-hard to and berate many individuals both in and out of the ring, including “Executive of the Network” Palmer Cannon, and Ass-shaw’s very own on-screen image consultant Amy Weber, who would quit not long after (Gee, I’m as shocked as a mental patient).
There are a few other stand out instances of his knobbery that are more than noteworthy.
ECW One Night Stand: the home of Jables’ most brutal case of abuse. Late in the show, there came to be a multi-man brawl between ECW and WWE superstars. However, JBL, who had been mocking Blue Meanie for his on-board extra mass, would advance towards him, and proceed to bash Meanie’s face in until he was the red, black, and Blue Meanie. The man looked like he’d just stepped out of the octagon on the losing end against Liam Harrison.
It wouldn’t take long for JBL, who now serves as a Fox News analyst, to be given a taste of his own bloated medicine. An “argument” in 2008 (another instance of The Bradshaw Bully Barrage. My alliterations will be the end of you all) had broken out backstage with commentator and heart of ECW, Joey Styles. Like many before and after him, Styles would swiftly get fed up with it. The difference between them, however, is crucial. At this moment, Mr. “OH MY GOD!” would reportedly escalate the situation and drive his fist into JBL’s face — and Jables would collapse like a kid with polio who had his crutches yanked away. Joey Styles, if I ever find you, I will buy you a steak dinner. You wonderful bastard.
“Oh this is getting a bit lighter,” you’re probably telling yourself, as you sip whatever it is you’ve picked out earlier. I hate to tell you that thought ends right about… now. In June of 2004, the Texan-roughhouse-turned-millionaire-New Yorker (who still wore a 10 gallon hat for some reason) worked a house show in Munich, Germany. That day, he did something to out-stupid even the likes of Vince Russo.
What would be worse than, such as, turning Atom Bomb into H Bomb for a Japanese house show? Doing a Nazi salute at a show in Germany. I shit you not, this is actually a thing. Thank bloody hell for the existence of video cameras.
Layfield, no doubt trying to get some of that sweet cheap heel heat, put his arm in the air and began to goose step along the ring apron. In return, to no one’s shock whatsoever, the crowd lost their collective shit. You’re no doubt thinking “Oh, that surely did him in.” This is not the case, as he would take the WWE championship from Guerrero not much later at the Great American Bash in a Texas Bullrope match.
There have undoubtedly been allegations made against, and bullying done by, Bradshaw ever since.
But his most recent kerfuffle that we’ll be closing out on really rustles my jimmies. In early 2017, rumors of Jables bullying the House of Commentary Fire known as Mauro Ranallo backstage came to light. It had apparently gotten so bad that for weeks Mauro was a no-show on TV. Thankfully, following immense pressure on the network, Mauro now works on NXT, and Layfield is off WWE TV. The real kick in the crotch about this incident is that Mauro Ranallo suffers from bipolar disorder and depression. How mentally insignificant do you have to be to bully someone with mental health issues like that? Get the fuck out of here.
For the love of god, Vince and Co. let this numpty get away with so much bloody bullying, I’m surprised the Be A Star people haven’t lambasted either party. I could go on, but I’m fairly certain the pattern has already emerged here. If you need more, then let me go Google that for you.
John Layfield is not a wrestling god, but a massive sod. A beta who thinks he is an alpha dog enforcer. I will not be convinced otherwise.
UPDATED: Have a bit to chew on after the article.