The Bermuda Sun recently conducted an interview with John Layfield, in which he discussed many aspects of his wrestling career, including how he got his start, his gimmicks, and his favorite opponent. Layfield explained the genesis of his JBL persona in the excerpt below:
JBL was my favourite. I enjoyed the Bradshaw character — the beer drinking character from Texas. It was just fun. For Ron Simmons and I, that was us. The WWE saw two old football players sitting around drinking beer and they wanted to put that on TV. We had a blast with that.
The JBL character came along. Vince McMahon will deny this because he didn’t see any parallel with the JR Ewing character (from the TV show Dallas), but in my mind it was a JR Ewing character. It was my idea.
I had wanted to be this JBL character for some time, but I was doing so much for the troops and going to Iraq for Christmas and doing shows for the troops.
Because of this Vince didn’t want me to be a bad guy. A confluence of factors happened. Big Show got hurt, The Undertaker got hurt and Brock Lesnar left the company and they needed a guy to face Eddie Guerrero. Vince asked me if I wanted to do the JBL character and I said ‘I’d love to and said let’s give it a whirl’.
When asked about his favorite opponent, Layfield responded:
"The Undertaker was far the best. He and Eddie Guerrero — who was probably the most popular Hispanic character of all time — and those guys were just magicians. Those guys were so good and so professional and talented. With some guys, I wrestled hard, they wrestled hard but there was no chemistry. It’s frustrating because you’re wanting people to be happy because they’re spending hard-earned money. You want them to enjoy the show but I walked away thinking 'I just didn’t do my job.'"
Click here to read the full interview.