The story currently dominating the wrestling world are accusations that Smackdown Live commentator John “Bradshaw” Layfield aka JBL has been consistently bullying his co-workers for decades and has not been held accountable for it.
There have always been stories about it, but with Justin Robert‘s new book going into detail about incidents involving JBL and fellow Smackdown Live commentator Mauro Ranallo allegedly leaving the company over Layfield’s attitude, the clock may be ticking on the former World Champion’s time behind the commentary desk at WWE.
Wrestling fans on Twitter have started the hashtag #FireJBL to force WWE to release him.
#FireJBL for bullying Mauro, Roberts, Kanyon, Joey Styles, and pretty much every other guy he perceived as weak.
— Ali G (@WA_AliG) April 7, 2017
WWE : Promotes anti bullying campaigns
— D.C. (@DarrenConnolly_) April 8, 2017
— ㅤ (@kiIIsteenkiII) April 8, 2017
— jude kilgour (@judekilgour) April 8, 2017
If JBL starts getting booed or if people start bringing signs mentioning the hashtag to events, I think WWE will start to notice.
WWE prides itself on its anti-bullying charity work. The “B. A. Star” campaign is designed to teach kids to resist bullying and being bullied, but many have claimed it was is a smokescreen. CM Punk, during his infamous “pipebomb” promo, had his mic cut when he began to talk about bullying that goes on within the company. It is something that at on the outside they take seriously, but may not enforce internally.
NXT trainer Bill DeMott got away with bullying for years before being forced to resign. And that was only because ex-wrestlers were going public about the harsh treatment DeMott dished out.
Some fans and wrestlers don’t seem to be bothered by it. They could reason that since it is a harsh business that requires mental and physical toughness, that a little bullying or even hazing could build character and prepare guys for their in-ring roles.
I don’t know if I buy that. You can teach someone to be tough and to stand up for themselves without belittling and anger.
WWE is notorious for being obsessed with its image and online reputation, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they respond to this sooner rather than later.
Should JBL be fired? Share your thoughts.