Former WWE World Champion JBL has gone in to depth about how he believes his singles run in the company wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the late, great Eddie Guerrero.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield made the transition from being more well known as a singles wrestler than a tag team competitor in 2004, turning in to the mogul ‘JBL’ character in his suit and white cowboy hat.
This led to JBL’s extravagant entrance and a run as WWE Champion which helped him become one of the most loathed wrestlers in the company in the 2000’s.
Speaking on a special Q and A courtesy of AdFreeShows.com, JBL revealed how he feels much of the hatred his character received was thanks to the efforts of his on-screen rival, Eddie Guerrero.
First of all, there was a real pride in Eddie. You know, when he was champion, he wanted to be able to – you know they say ‘you could make a broomstick [have a good match],’ and Eddie wanted to be able to do that. We weren’t selling tickets for the STAPLES Center, and it was my fault, not his, but he took it upon himself that he wanted to change that.
That’s when he came up with the idea of giving his mother a heart attack in El Paso on Mother’s Day where Gory Guerrero, his legendary father, was gonna be honored that day in the ring. He and his brother, Chavo, not his nephew Chavo, came up with the idea and pitched it to me backstage. I thought it was just unbelievable. That changed the whole dynamic of the feud between me and Eddie. That really put some heat on us.
The next week, we went out and some guy tried to jump in the ring and get me. I knew at that point that we were getting real heat. Everything changed when they put up that video. We filmed it like it was a security camera. So you know, it wasn’t produced. It wasn’t slick. Then I’d given his mother a heart attack. It was unbelievable. The heat I got and it was all from Eddie.
JBL went on to discuss how ‘Latino Heat’ would even feed him lines during matches, especially in crowds with a strong Latino element, to get extra heat.
Eddie would call me at all times of day and night and give me ideas for promos. When I had the line that, he goes, ‘Hey, Ese, I got one for you.’ He goes, ‘Tell them my ancestors came over here on a boat, not an inner tube.’ I said, ‘Eddie, you’re gonna get me killed, absolutely killed.’
Sometimes we’d be in the ring and I’d be cutting a promo and he’d send over the referee with some phrase he’d want me to say, sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in English. Especially in the Southwest in front of huge Latino audiences. I always say people get so furious, but that was all Eddie.
JBL concluded by heaping even more praise on Guerrero, saying how he helped keep him going in the world of sports entertainment.
You know, Eddie really liked the JBL character. Eddie was a groomsman at my wedding. I did part of the eulogy at his funeral, which you know, I wish he was still here today. We were close friends and he really took pride in getting JBL over.
If JBL had had anybody else other than Eddie, it probably would have been a one-off at the STAPLES Center. I don’t think JBL would have been around another pay-per-view. I think I probably would have retired probably within a few months, but because of Eddie, he made JBL, and then I had a pretty good run with it.
Eddie Guerrero tragically passed away on 13h November, 2005.
With thanks to Fightful for the transcription.