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John Layfield

John Layfield

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John Charles Layfield (born November 29, 1966) is a former American professional wrestler
Professional wrestling
Professional wrestling is a mode of spectacle, combining athletics and theatrical performance.Roland Barthes, "The World of Wrestling", Mythologies, 1957 It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport...

, a former commentator/host for mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

 promotion Vyper Fight League and financial analyst for Fox News. Layfield is best known by his ring names, Bradshaw, John "Bradshaw" Layfield or JBL while working for World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is an American publicly traded, privately controlled entertainment company dealing primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales...

(WWE), where he was the longest reigning WWE Champion
WWE Championship
The WWE Championship is a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in WWE. It is the world title of the Raw brand and one of two in WWE, complementing the World Heavyweight Championship of the SmackDown brand. It was established under the then WWWF in 1963...

 in SmackDown history with a reign lasting 280 days.

Layfield's main gimmick as John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) – a wealthy, gladhanding, big-mouthed, fiery-tempered businessman – was based on Layfield's real-life accomplishments as a stock market investor. Layfield is a regular panelist on Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

's The Cost of Freedom
The Cost of Freedom
The Cost of Freedom is an American business program block on the Fox News Channel, which runs from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET Saturdays and 4:00 to 6:00 a.m. ET Mondays and several times throughout the weekend on sister network Fox Business Network, while a short seguments called Money Break air...

, has appeared on CNBC
CNBC
CNBC is a satellite and cable television business news channel in the U.S., owned and operated by NBCUniversal. The network and its international spinoffs cover business headlines and provide live coverage of financial markets. The combined reach of CNBC and its siblings is 390 million viewers...

, and has written a best-selling book on financial planning called Have More Money Now. (ISBN 0-7434-6633-0). Layfield also hosts a weekend talk radio program, syndicated nationally by Talk Radio Network
Talk Radio Network
Talk Radio Network is an American radio network providing talk radio programming, with an emphasis on conservative talk on weekdays and variety/general interest talk radio on weekends. Some of the most recognizable personalities in American radio, such as Laura Ingraham and Michael Savage, are...

, in which he discusses his conservative political views. Layfield is also employed by Northeast Securities as its Senior Vice President.

In WWE, Layfield won 24 total championships including one reign as WWE Champion
WWE Championship
The WWE Championship is a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in WWE. It is the world title of the Raw brand and one of two in WWE, complementing the World Heavyweight Championship of the SmackDown brand. It was established under the then WWWF in 1963...

, one reign as United States Champion
WWE United States Championship
The WWE United States Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE. It was originally a National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling championship, and is currently the secondary championship of the Raw brand....

, one reign as European Champion
WWE European Championship
The WWE European Championship was a professional wrestling championship competed for in World Wrestling Entertainment. A coveted singles title of the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was held by superstars such as Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero, and was...

, seventeen reigns as Hardcore Champion
WWE Hardcore Championship
The World Wrestling Entertainment Hardcore Championship is a hardcore wrestling championship in World Wrestling Entertainment and is contested under "hardcore" rules, meaning there is no disqualifications, no countouts, and pin falls could be counted anywhere...

, one reign as Intercontinental Champion
WWE Intercontinental Championship
The WWE Intercontinental Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE. It is the original secondary title of the promotion. Currently, it is the secondary championship exclusive to the SmackDown brand...

, and three reigns as World Tag Team Champion with Faarooq
Ron Simmons
Ronald "Ron" Simmons is an American semi-retired professional wrestler and retired American football player. He is recognised as being the first Black world heavyweight champion in professional wrestling and the first of only two African Americans to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship,...

 as part of the Acolytes Protection Agency
Acolytes Protection Agency
The Acolytes Protection Agency , was a professional wrestling tag team that consisted of Bradshaw and Faarooq. They wrestled for the American promotion World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment between October 1998 and March 2004....

 (APA). He is also recognized as the twentieth Triple Crown Champion, and the tenth Grand Slam Champion.

Football


Prior to his professional wrestling career, Layfield was a collegiate American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 coach for Trinity Valley Community College
Trinity Valley Community College
Trinity Valley Community College is a community college in the state of Texas.TVCC operates four campuses serving the Texas counties of Anderson, Henderson, and Kaufman, southeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex:...

 and player for Abilene Christian University
Abilene Christian University
Abilene Christian University is a private university located in Abilene, Texas, affiliated with Churches of Christ. ACU was founded in 1906, as Childers Classical Institute...

. At Abilene, Layfield was a two-year starter on the offensive line and was named first-team All-Lone Star Conference
Lone Star Conference
The Lone Star Conference is a college athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II. Member institutions are located in the southwestern United States, with schools in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico...

 as a junior and senior.

Layfield signed with the Los Angeles Raiders
Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team based in Oakland, California. They currently play in the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 as an undrafted free agent, but was released before the 1990 season
1990 NFL season
The 1990 NFL season was the 71st regular season of the National Football League. To increase revenue, the league changed the regular season so that all NFL teams would play their 16-game schedule over a 17-week period...

 began. Layfield did play in the World League of American Football
World League of American Football
The World League of American Football was founded in 1990 with support from the National Football League to play professional American football in North America, Europe and later possibly Asia...

, starting all ten games of the 1991 season at right tackle for the San Antonio Riders
San Antonio Riders
The San Antonio Riders were a professional American football team that played in the WLAF in 1991 and 1992. The team played in the Alamo Stadium in 1991 and then were forced to move to Bobcat Stadium on the campus of Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, 45 miles northeast of San...

, wearing jersey number 61.

Global Wrestling Federation (1992–1994)


Layfield was trained initially by Brad Rheingans
Brad Rheingans
Brad Rheingans is a former Greco-Roman and professional wrestler.-Career:Rheingans was an NCAA champion in 1975 for North Dakota State University and wrestled in the 1976 Olympics, placing fourth...

 and first started wrestling in the Global Wrestling Federation
Global Wrestling Federation
Global Wrestling Federation was a professional wrestling promotion based in Dallas, Texas. It started in June 1991 and folded in September 1994. At one time its shows were presented on the ESPN television network. On many weeks, the promotion provided programming five days a week airing at 4 p.m...

 (GWF) in Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. His first gimmick was as Johnny Hawk, storyline cousin of the Windham brothers. He formed the tag team "Texas Mustangs" with Bobby Duncum, Jr.
Bobby Duncum, Jr.
Bobby Duncum, Jr. was an American professional wrestler. He was best known for his stint in World Championship Wrestling as a member of the West Texas Rednecks.-Professional wrestling career:...

; they quickly won the GWF Tag Team Championship
GWF Tag Team Championship
The GWF Tag Team Championship was the tag team title in the Global Wrestling Federation in Texas. The title existed from 1991 until 1994, when GWF closed. The title was featured on the promotion's show that aired nationally on ESPN...

 from Rough Riders (Black Bart
Rick Harris
Rick Harris is a former professional wrestler better known by his ring name , Black Bart. He is the son of the late George "Two Ton" Harris.-Career:Rick Harris started wrestling in 1975...

 and Johnny MantellE) on November 27 but dropped the titles to Bad Breed
Bad Breed
The Bad Breed was the professional wrestling tag team of Axl Rotten with his storyline brother/real life protégé Ian Rotten. The team achieved their greatest fame in the Philadelphia wrestling promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling but has also competed in the Global Wrestling Federation and...

 (Ian
Ian Rotten
John Benson Williams is an American professional Wrestler better known by his ring name Ian Rotten. He has wrestled in Global Wrestling Federation , Extreme Championship Wrestling , and his own wrestling promotion IWA: Mid-South.-Early career:After becoming a fan of Dusty Rhodes and "Superstar"...

 and Axl Rotten
Axl Rotten
Brian Knighton is an American professional wrestler better known by his ring name, Axl Rotten.-Early years:After watching a professional wrestling match on television, Knighton decided to become a wrestler...

) on January 29, 1993. Later that year, Hawk won his second GWF Tag Team Championship with Black Bart on December 25 from Steve Dane and Chaz Taylor. They held the title for a long time before losing them to The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin
Jimmy Garvin
James Williams is a retired American professional wrestler. He is best known by his ring name "Gorgeous" Jimmy "Jam" Garvin and as a member of the legendary Fabulous Freebirds....

 and Terry Gordy
Terry Gordy
Terry Ray 'Bam Bam' Gordy, Sr. was a professional wrestler who was best known in North America for being a member of the Fabulous Freebirds.-Career:...

) on June 3, 1994. Layfield also won the NWA North American Heavyweight Championship
NWA North American Heavyweight Championship
The NWA North American Heavyweight Championship is the second most prestigious title in the National Wrestling Alliance that was created in 1994 after World Championship Wrestling withdrew from the NWA. There were other versions of this title before this one was created...

 on January 14, 1995, defeating Kevin Von Erich
Kevin Von Erich
Kevin Ross Adkisson is a retired professional wrestler under the ring name Kevin Von Erich of the Von Erich Family. He is the last surviving son of wrestler Fritz Von Erich and had four brothers that wrestled, David, Kerry, Mike and Chris, as well as an older brother, Jack, Jr., who died in...

. Two months later, he lost the NWA North American Title to Greg "The Hammer" Valentine
Greg Valentine
John Wisniski, Jr. is an American professional wrestler, better known as Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. He is the son of wrestler Johnny Valentine.-Training:...

.

Debut and New Blackjacks (1996–1998)



After three and a half years touring the independent circuit
Independent circuit
In professional wrestling, the independent circuit or indy circuit refers to the many independent promotions which are much smaller than major televised promotions. They are roughly analagous to a minor league for pro wrestling, or community or regional theatre.Specific promotions on the...

, Layfield signed a contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in late 1995 and debuted in January 1996 as Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw. His initial gimmick was that of a tough cowboy/mountain man. After victories, he branded
Livestock branding
Livestock branding is a technique for marking livestock so as to identify the owner. Originally, livestock branding only referred to a hot brand for large stock, though the term is now also used to refer to other alternative techniques such as freeze branding...

 his opponents with the symbol "JB" in ink, rather than being seared into the flesh. Managed by Uncle Zebekiah
Dutch Mantel
Wayne Keown is an American professional wrestler, and author better known by his ring name, Dutch Mantel or Dutch Mantell. He currently is semi-retired but still makes occasional wrestling appearances. He was previously with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as a writer behind the scenes...

, the character fizzled out by the end of the year, perhaps remembered only for a feud
Feud (professional wrestling)
A professional wrestling feud is a staged rivalry between multiple wrestlers or alliances of wrestlers. They are integrated into ongoing storylines, particularly in events which are televised...

 with Savio Vega
Savio Vega
Juan Rivera is a professional wrestler best known under the name Savio Vega. During the mid-late 1990s, he was an active wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation...

 and a match with Fatu which he won in eight seconds.

Layfield paired up with his storyline
Kayfabe
In professional wrestling, kayfabe is the portrayal of events within the industry as "real" or "true". Specifically, the portrayal of professional wrestling, in particular the competition and rivalries between participants, as being genuine or not of a worked nature...

 cousin Barry Windham
Barry Windham
Barry Clinton Windham is an American semi-retired professional wrestler and the son of wrestler Blackjack Mulligan. He is best known for his appearances with the National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling ....

 to form The New Blackjacks, complete with the traditional "Blackjack" handlebar mustaches and short, jet black hair.

Windham's injuries piled up throughout 1997, so the team disbanded, and Layfield wrestled only occasionally on TV as "Blackjack Bradshaw", sometimes teaming with fellow Texan Terry Funk
Terry Funk
Terrence "Terry" Funk is an American professional wrestler and actor known chiefly for the hardcore wrestling style he adopted in the latter part of his career that inspired many younger wrestlers, including Mick Foley...

. He earned a shot at the NWA North American Heavyweight Championship against Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett
Jeffrey Leonard Jarrett is an American professional wrestler and wrestling promoter. He is currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling , an organization he co-founded along with his father and in which he holds some stock but not total control...

 at No Way Out of Texas: In Your House
No Way Out of Texas: In Your House
No Way Out was the twentieth pay-per-view event under the In Your House name produced by the World Wrestling Federation . It took place on February 15, 1998 at the Compaq Center in Houston, Texas...

 and won by disqualification but Jarrett retained the title because a title cannot change hands by a disqualification. In 1998, he wrestled as a mid-carder wrestling the likes of Marc Mero
Marc Mero
Marc Mero is an American retired amateur boxer and professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation as Marc Mero and with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling under the ring name Johnny B. Badd...

 at Mayhem in Manchester, Kaientai
Kai En Tai
Kai En Tai was a professional wrestling stable made up of Japanese wrestlers Kaz Hayashi, Dick Togo and Mens Teioh, later joined by Sho Funaki and Taka Michinoku. The group was managed by Yamaguchi-San when they were in the WWF....

 (Funaki
Shoichi Funaki
is a Japanese/American professional wrestler best known for his time in World Wrestling Entertainment, where he was a one-time Cruiserweight Champion and a one-time Hardcore Champion.-Early years :...

, Dick Togo, and Men's Teioh
Takeo Otsuka
, also known as Men's Teioh or Terry Boy, is a Japanese professional wrestler who is a longtime mainstay of Big Japan Pro Wrestling as well as a former competitor of Michinoku Pro Wrestling...

) with Taka Michinoku in a handicap match at Over the Edge
Over the Edge: In Your House
Over the Edge: In Your House was the first of what was to be an annual World Wrestling Federation pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation . It was also the 22nd pay-per-view event in the In Your House series...

, and Vader in a Falls Count Anywhere match at Breakdown
Breakdown: In Your House
Breakdown: In Your House was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event, under the In Your House name, produced by the World Wrestling Federation...

.

The Acolytes / Acolytes Protection Agency (1998–2002)



In late 1998, Bradshaw teamed alongside former Nation of Domination
Nation of Domination
The Nation of Domination was a professional wrestling stable in World Wrestling Federation from November 18, 1996 to November 28, 1998. The Rock was a 1 time Intercontinental Champion and D'Lo Brown was a 2 time European Champion while in the group.-United States Wrestling Association :The...

 member Faarooq
Ron Simmons
Ronald "Ron" Simmons is an American semi-retired professional wrestler and retired American football player. He is recognised as being the first Black world heavyweight champion in professional wrestling and the first of only two African Americans to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship,...

 to form the tag team Hell's Henchmen, managed by the Jackyl
Don Callis
Don Callis is a Canadian former professional wrestler and manager, known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation as The Jackyl, and Extreme Championship Wrestling as color commentator Cyrus.-Early life:...

. After the Jackyl left the WWF, Faarooq and Bradshaw joined The Undertaker's new Ministry of Darkness
Ministry of Darkness
The Ministry of Darkness was a professional wrestling stable in the World Wrestling Federation during the WWF Attitude Era of the late 1990s...

 under the name The Acolytes. The Ministry went on to feud with the Corporation
The Corporation (professional wrestling)
The Corporation was a heel stable in the late 1990s in the World Wrestling Federation .-History:The group was put together and led by WWF Chairman Vince McMahon in an attempt to secure control of the WWF and "crush the rebels" that were popping up on the WWF landscape...

. As part of the Ministry, Bradshaw feuded with Ken Shamrock
Ken Shamrock
Kenneth Wayne Shamrock is an American mixed martial arts fighter, UFC Hall of Famer and professional wrestler...

. The two stables would soon unite as the Corporate Ministry
Corporate Ministry
The Corporate Ministry was a stable in the World Wrestling Federation in 1999 composed of members from both The Corporation and the Ministry of Darkness.-Background:...

, but disbanded after Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Steve Austin , better known by his ring name "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, is an American film and television actor and retired professional wrestler...

 defeated the Undertaker at Fully Loaded. When the Undertaker went on hiatus in September, Bradshaw and Faarooq's dark gimmick faded.

On the May 31, 1999 edition of Raw is War
WWE RAW
WWE Raw ) is a sports entertainment television program for WWE that currently airs on the USA Network in the United States...

, the Acolytes (still with the Corporate Ministry) won their first WWF Tag Team Championship by defeating Kane
Kane (wrestler)
Glenn Thomas Jacobs is a Spanish-born American professional wrestler and actor better known by his ring name, Kane. He is signed to WWE, appearing on its SmackDown brand, but is currently inactive due to injury....

 and X-Pac
Sean Waltman
Sean Michael Waltman is an American professional wrestler currently signed with WWE in their developmental program. He wrestled there under the ring names 1–2–3 Kid and X-Pac off and on from 1993–2002, World Championship Wrestling under the ring name Syxx, and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling ...

. On the July 5 edition of Raw is War, they dropped the titles to the Hardy Boyz
Hardy Boyz
The Hardy Boyz are a professional wrestling tag team, consisting of real-life brothers Matt and Jeff Hardy...

 (Matt
Matt Hardy
Matthew Moore "Matt" Hardy is a semi-retired American professional wrestler. He is best known for his stints in World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling ....

 and Jeff
Jeff Hardy
Jeffrey Nero "Jeff" Hardy is an American professional wrestler, who is currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling , where he is a former two–time TNA World Heavyweight Champion...

) before defeating the Hardyz and their manager
Manager (professional wrestling)
In professional wrestling, a manager is a secondary character paired with a wrestler for a variety of reasons. The manager is often either a non-wrestler, an occasional wrestler, an older wrestler who has retired or is nearing retirement or, in some cases, a new wrestler who is breaking into the...

 Michael "P.S." Hayes
Michael Hayes (wrestler)
Michael Seitz is a retired American professional wrestler and former musician. Seitz is best known for leading The Fabulous Freebirds under the ring name Michael "P.S." Hayes and for his role as the announcer Dok Hendrix in the World Wrestling Federation...

 at Fully Loaded for their second WWF Tag Team Championship. On the August 9 edition of Raw is War, they lost the titles to Kane and X-Pac.

The duo became fan favorites
Face (professional wrestling)
In professional wrestling, a babyface or face or in simple words, a fan favorite is a character who is portrayed as a heroic relative to the heel wrestlers, who are analogous to villains...

 and changed their gimmick to cigar-smoking, bar-brawlers-for-hire. In jeans and t-shirts, Faarooq and Bradshaw became the Acolytes Protection Agency (APA), with a motto of "because we need beer money." The duo was often seen in the backrooms of arenas with a poker table and later a framed doorway comically in the middle of the often large, open aired hallways; they insisted that anyone entering the space use the door. Occasionally, if the "room" was destroyed in one arena, it was set up exactly as it was destroyed at the next arena, pushing continuity through time and space for comic effect.

The Acolytes earned a shot at the WWF Tag Title at the Royal Rumble
Royal Rumble (2000)
Royal Rumble was the thirteenth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation . It took place on January 23, 2000 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York....

 against the New Age Outlaws
New Age Outlaws
The New Age Outlaws, later known as the James Gang and the Voodoo Kin Mafia, were a professional wrestling tag team in World Wrestling Federation, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling , Jersey All Pro Wrestling, and Maryland Championship Wrestling consisting of B.G...

 (Road Dogg
Brian Gerard James
Brian Gerard James is an American professional wrestler, currently signed to WWE as an agent and producer. He is best known for his tenure with the World Wrestling Federation as "The Road Dogg" Jesse James or simply Road Dogg...

 and
Edge and Christian
Edge and Christian was a tag team made of real life best friends Edge and Christian , who performed in WWE and the Canadian independent circuit. They won the WWF Tag Team Championship on seven occasions...

 Billy Gunn
Monty Sopp
Monty Kip Sopp is an American professional wrestler, best known as Billy Gunn during his tenure for World Wrestling Entertainment. He is probably best known as one of the members of the New Age Outlaws. He also worked for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the ring name Kip James...

), but lost the match. Their next shot at the title was at Fully Loaded when they faced Edge and Christian. The Acolytes won the match by disqualification but did not become champions. After unsuccessfully challenging for the tag title in 2000, APA won their third WWF Tag Team Championship on the July 9, 2001 edition of Raw is War by defeating the Dudley Boyz
Dudley Boyz
Team 3D was a professional wrestling tag team, consisting of Brother Ray and Brother Devon, formerly sporadically joined into a stable by Brother Runt on several intervals...

 (Bubba Ray and D-Von). On the August 9 edition of SmackDown!, they lost the tag title to Alliance members Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page
Dallas Page , better known by his ring name "Diamond" Dallas Page , is an American retired professional wrestler, fitness instructor and actor...

 and Chris Kanyon
Chris Kanyon
Christopher Klucsarits was an American professional wrestler, best known for his work in World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation, under the ring names Chris Kanyon and Mortis.-Early career:After college, he began training under Pete McKay Gonzalez, Ismael Gerena and Bobby...

.

On the October 22 edition of Raw is War, Bradshaw defeated The Hurricane
Gregory Helms
Gregory Shane Helms is an American professional wrestler. He is best known for his time with World Wrestling Entertainment where he wrestled as The Hurricane and Gregory Helms. He is also known for his time with World Championship Wrestling where he wrestled as "Sugar" Shane Helms...

 to win the WWF European Championship
WWE European Championship
The WWE European Championship was a professional wrestling championship competed for in World Wrestling Entertainment. A coveted singles title of the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was held by superstars such as Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero, and was...

, his first singles title in the WWF. He lost the title to Christian on the November 1 edition of SmackDown!. At No Way Out
No Way Out (2002)
No Way Out was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Federation . The event took place on February 17, 2002 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin...

 in 2002, APA won a Tag Team Turmoil match and as a result, they challenged for the tag title at WrestleMania X8
WrestleMania X8
WrestleMania X8 was the eighteenth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view produced by the World Wrestling Federation . It took place on March 17, 2002 at the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario. The event marked the final WrestleMania event under the WWF name...

 along with Hardys and Dudleys, in a Four Corners Elimination match. The champions Billy and Chuck
Billy and Chuck
Billy and Chuck was the professional wrestling tag team of Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo seen in World Wrestling Entertainment.-History:Near the end of the Invasion storyline, Chuck Palumbo was kicked out of the WCW/ECW coalition. In response, he defected to the WWF, where he began teaming with Gunn...

 retained their title.

Singles competition (2002–2003)



Shortly after WrestleMania, Faarooq and Bradshaw split due to the WWE Draft. Layfield was drafted to Raw where his Bradshaw gimmick had an increased emphasis on his Texas roots, which included him carrying a cowbell to the ring. Bradshaw joined the hardcore division
Hardcore wrestling
Hardcore wrestling is a form of professional wrestling that eschews traditional concepts of match rules in favor of matches that take place in unusual environments, using foreign objects that are not normally permitted...

 after debuting on Raw and won the WWE Hardcore Championship
WWE Hardcore Championship
The World Wrestling Entertainment Hardcore Championship is a hardcore wrestling championship in World Wrestling Entertainment and is contested under "hardcore" rules, meaning there is no disqualifications, no countouts, and pin falls could be counted anywhere...

 seventeen times, with his first title win coming over Steven Richards
Stevie Richards
Michael Manna is an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name Stevie Richards. Also known by his ring names, Steven Richards and Dr...

. He renamed the title the Texas Hardcore Championship. It was also during this time that his finishing move was briefly renamed from the "Clothesline From Hell" to the "Clothesline From Texas" or the "Clothesline From Deep in the Heart of Texas". Jim Ross
Jim Ross
James William "Jim" Ross is a professional wrestling commentator, former professional wrestling referee, restaurateur, occasional wrestler, and former company executive of WWE, where he currently works as a commentator on the WWE Raw brand...

 often called the move as such during his commentary, although the name eventually reverted back to the original "Clothesline From Hell".

In the hardcore division, Bradshaw feuded and exchanged the title with the likes of Richards, Shawn Stasiak
Shawn Stasiak
Dr. Shawn Emile Stipich, DC, is an American chiropractor and former professional wrestler. He is best known under the ring name Shawn Stasiak and for his stints with World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment, where he is a fifteen time Hardcore Champion, and World Championship Wrestling, where he...

, Raven, Christopher Nowinski
Christopher Nowinski
Christopher John Nowinski is an author and a former professional wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment. Nowinski is renowned for being WWE's first Harvard alumnus, as he graduated with an A.B. in sociology. He is also recognized as the youngest Hardcore Champion in WWE history...

, Big Show, Justin Credible
Peter Polaco
Peter Joseph Polaco is an American professional wrestler, best known for his appearances with Extreme Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation under the ring name Justin Credible. He is also known for his earlier stint with the WWF under the ringname Aldo Montoya...

, Johnny Stamboli
John Hugger
John Hugger is an American professional wrestler. He is perhaps best known for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling as Johnny the Bull, World Wrestling Entertainment as Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli...

, Crash Holly
Mike Lockwood
Michael John "Mike" Lockwood was an American professional wrestler best known for his time with World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment under the ring name Crash Holly....

, Jeff Hardy, and Tommy Dreamer
Tommy Dreamer
Thomas James "Tom" Laughlin is an American professional wrestler better known by his ring name Tommy Dreamer. He is currently working for various promotions on the independent circuit. He is best known for his time spent with Extreme Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment...

, before the title was unified by WWE Intercontinental Champion
WWE Intercontinental Championship
The WWE Intercontinental Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE. It is the original secondary title of the promotion. Currently, it is the secondary championship exclusive to the SmackDown brand...

 Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam
Robert Alexander "Rob" Szatkowski , better known by his ring name Rob Van Dam , is an American professional wrestler and actor who is currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling ....

 in August 2002. In September 2002, Layfield suffered a torn left biceps
Biceps brachii muscle
In human anatomy, the biceps brachii, or simply biceps in common parlance, is, as the name implies, a two-headed muscle located on the upper arm. Both heads arise on the scapula and join to form a single muscle belly which is attached to the upper forearm...

 at a house show
House show
A house show is a professional wrestling show run by a major promotion that is not televised, though they can be recorded. Promotions use house shows mainly to cash in on the exposure that they and their wrestlers receive during televised events, as well as test reactions to matches, wrestlers, and...

. He was out of action for six months until returning to Ohio Valley Wrestling
Ohio Valley Wrestling
Ohio Valley Wrestling is an American independent professional wrestling promotion based in Louisville, Kentucky. OVW is run by owner Danny Davis and was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance from 1997 until 2000...

 and then a few weeks later to the active WWE roster.

APA reunion (2003–2004)


Bradshaw returned on an episode of SmackDown! in 2003, which saw him and his old friend Faarooq saving the Undertaker from the hands of Chuck Palumbo
Chuck Palumbo
Charles "Chuck" Palumbo is an American professional wrestler, currently working for Nu-Wrestling Evolution . Palumbo is best known for his time in World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment...

 and Johnny Stamboli. Layfield returned with a new look by cutting his long hair, returning it to its natural color, and going clean shaven. His new look would only be referenced once when, in a scripted segment, Faarooq asked him directly about it. Bradshaw insisted that he had already told the story to Faarooq, who rejected this claim. The duo would return to perform their regular segments, as they did before the brand extension, such as playing poker, drinking beer, and bribing superstars of their money. Unlike before, they would not attack or protect other superstars at the employ of other superstars as none would hire them. At Vengeance
Vengeance (2003)
Vengeance was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on July 27, 2003 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. It was the third annual Vengeance event and starred wrestlers from the SmackDown brand.Eight professional wrestling...

, Bradshaw won a bar room brawl match which featured Faarooq and a variety of mid-card superstars and other WWE employees. The duo wrestled tag teams such as the Basham Brothers
Basham Brothers
The Basham Brothers, Doug and Danny , are a professional wrestling tag team, who formerly worked for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment .-History:...

 (Doug
Doug Basham
This article is about the wrestler, for the talk show host see Doug Basham Lyle Douglas "Doug" Basham, Jr. is an American professional wrestler, He is best known for his appearances with World Wrestling Entertainment between 2002 and 2007, and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the ring name...

 and Danny) at No Mercy
No Mercy (2003)
No Mercy was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on October 19, 2003 at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the sixth event under the No Mercy chronology and starred wrestlers from the SmackDown! brand.Nine...

 and The World's Greatest Tag Team
The World's Greatest Tag Team
The World's Greatest Tag Team is the professional wrestling tag team of Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, who currently perform as Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team. Originally formed in World Wrestling Entertainment , they started out captained by Kurt Angle, during which time they were known as...

 (Charlie Haas
Charlie Haas
Charles "Charlie" Doyle Haas II is an American professional wrestler and former collegiate amateur wrestler. He competes on the independent circuit, and is signed to Ring of Honor , where he is one-half of the reigning ROH World Tag Team Champions with Shelton Benjamin...

 and Shelton Benjamin
Shelton Benjamin
Shelton James Benjamin is an American professional wrestler and former amateur wrestler best known for his tenure in World Wrestling Entertainment. Benjamin has an amateur wrestling background, including wrestling in high school and at the University of Minnesota. In addition, Benjamin has acted...

) at No Way Out
No Way Out (2004)
No Way Out was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on February 15, 2004 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California...

. At WrestleMania XX
WrestleMania XX
WrestleMania XX was the twentieth WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on March 14, 2004 at Madison Square Garden in New York....

 in 2004, they unsuccessfully challenged for the WWE Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Championship
The WWE Tag Team Championship is a professional wrestling world tag team championship in WWE. It was established as a second title for tag teams in WWE in 2002 to complement the original World Tag Team Championship...

 in a fatal four-way tag team match
Professional wrestling tag team match types
Much like singles matches, tag team professional wrestling matches can and have taken many forms. Just about any singles or melee match type can be adapted to tag teams; for example, hardcore tag team matches are commonplace...

. The gimmick continued on-and-off until the March 18 edition of SmackDown! until losing a tag team "You're Fired" match to Tag Team Champions Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty for the tag title. General Manager Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman is an American entertainment producer, best known for his career in professional wrestling as a promoter, manager, commentator and journalist. He is also an occasional actor in film....

. Frustrated by the APA's insult, Heyman told Faarooq that if he did not win the aforementioned match, then "You're Fired". After the match, Bradshaw led Faarooq back to Heyman's office to state they had not been fired, but had resigned. Then Heyman cleared up the mis-understanding and pointed out that he said that if they did not win the titles, then he told Faarooq "You're fired." His reason for saying this directly to Faarooq was because it applied only to Faarooq because "WWE Management" still saw a lot of potential in Bradshaw. He left them after telling Bradshaw to think about his own future. Faarooq shouted after Heyman that he was not fired because they (Faarooq and Bradshaw) had quit. But Bradshaw hesitated. Faarooq took Bradshaw's hesitation to mean that he would not resign, and so Faarooq promptly disbanded the APA and left. In reality, the WWE had decided to stop using Ron Simmons as an on-air performer. He was initially fired, but he was later re-hired to work behind the scenes in the WWE under various roles.

JBL; Heel turn, WWE Championship and the Cabinet (2004-2005)




After Faarooq was fired from WWE, Bradshaw changed his gimmick into a J. R. Ewing esque as a villain
Heel (professional wrestling)
In professional wrestling, a heel is a villain character. In non-wrestling jargon, heels are the "bad guys" in professional wrestling; the term heel coming from the term take to you heels, which means to run away which heel champions tend to do to avoid losing their titles.storylines...

 persona complete with a suit, cowboy hat, and tie as he began his first main event push. He began referring to himself as John "Bradshaw" Layfield, or JBL. His finishing move's name was part of the overhaul, becoming the Clothesline From Wall Street until he later changed it back to its original name. His first promo was on the border between Texas and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, where he hunted for incoming illegal immigrants
Illegal immigration
Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...

 in order to win a "Great American Award", which granted the winner number one contendership to the WWE Championship
WWE Championship
The WWE Championship is a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in WWE. It is the world title of the Raw brand and one of two in WWE, complementing the World Heavyweight Championship of the SmackDown brand. It was established under the then WWWF in 1963...

. He won, thanks to the then-SmackDown! heel
Heel (professional wrestling)
In professional wrestling, a heel is a villain character. In non-wrestling jargon, heels are the "bad guys" in professional wrestling; the term heel coming from the term take to you heels, which means to run away which heel champions tend to do to avoid losing their titles.storylines...

 general manager Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle
Kurt Steven Angle is an American professional wrestler, amateur wrestler, and 1996 Olympic gold medalist. He is currently under contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he is recognized as a 15-time World Heavyweight Champion...

, and immediately challenged Eddie Guerrero
Eddie Guerrero
Eduardo Gory "Eddie" Guerrero was a Mexican-American professional wrestler born into the Guerrero wrestling family. He wrestled in Mexico and Japan for several major professional wrestling promotions...

 for the title. The storyline leading up to the match was that JBL caused Guerrero's mother to have a heart attack at a house show when he threatened her and grabbed her by the shoulder. At Judgment Day
Judgment Day (2004)
Judgment Day was the sixth Judgment Day pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . This event took place on May 16, 2004 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California....

, JBL defeated Guerrero via disqualification in a match for Eddie's WWE title. A title cannot change hands by DQ, so Guerrero retained the title. JBL controversially won the WWE Championship from Guerrero in a Texas Bull Rope match at The Great American Bash
The Great American Bash (2004)
The Great American Bash was the 1st Great American Bash professional wrestling pay-per-view event, and the first produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on June 27, 2004 at the Norfolk Scope in Norfolk, Virginia and was a SmackDown! brand-exclusive event...

. The initial decision of Guerrero's victory was reversed by then-General Manager Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle
Kurt Steven Angle is an American professional wrestler, amateur wrestler, and 1996 Olympic gold medalist. He is currently under contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he is recognized as a 15-time World Heavyweight Champion...

, awarding the match and the title to JBL; the replay showed that JBL touched the fourth corner before Guerrero. JBL won a rematch in a steel cage two weeks later, again with Angle's assistance.

After claiming he would not be defending the title at SummerSlam
SummerSlam (2004)
SummerSlam was the seventeenth annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment...

, the Undertaker challenged JBL for the title. Around this time, JBL hired Orlando Jordan
Orlando Jordan
Orlando Jordan is an American professional wrestler, most recently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Jordan is best known for his tenure in World Wrestling Entertainment, where he was a one-time United States Champion....

 to help him in title matches. At SummerSlam, JBL won the match by disqualification. After the match, Undertaker chokeslam
Chokeslam
A chokeslam refers to a type of body slam in professional wrestling in which the wrestler grasps their opponent's neck, lifts them up, and slams them to the mat. It is common in televised wrestling because it is simple and relatively safe, yet looks powerful on camera...

med JBL through the roof of his limo. JBL wore a halo complete with his cowboy hat on top for the next few weeks to sell his "injuries". SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long
Theodore Long
Theodore R. "Teddy" Long is an American professional wrestling manager and former referee who currently works for WWE on its SmackDown brand as its General Manager.-National Wrestling Alliance / World Championship Wrestling:...

 then booked a Last Ride match for the title at No Mercy
No Mercy (2004)
No Mercy was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on October 3, 2004 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It was the fifth annual No Mercy event, and featured eight professional wrestling matches...

. JBL retained the title with some help from Heidenreich
Jon Heidenreich
Jon Heidenreich is an American professional wrestler, better known simply as Heidenreich. He is best known for his tenure with World Wrestling Entertainment, where he was a one time WWE Tag Team Champion with Road Warrior Animal as a part of the Road Warriors.-Early career:Prior to professional...

.
Though JBL held the title for many months, most title matches were won controversially. At Survivor Series
Survivor Series (2004)
Survivor Series was the eighteenth annual Survivor Series professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment...

, JBL defeated Booker T to retain his WWE Championship by hitting Booker in the face with the title belt when the referee was knocked out. JBL defeated Eddie Guerrero, The Undertaker, and Booker T in a Fatal Four-Way at Armageddon
Armageddon (2004)
Armageddon was the fifth annual Armageddon professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on December 12, 2004 at the Gwinnett Center in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth, Georgia. Nine professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card...

 after a run-in by Heidenreich, who incapacitated the Undertaker, allowing JBL to take advantage and hit Booker with the Clothesline From Hell to get the pinfall victory.


During JBL's time as WWE Champion, he employed a "staff" to work for him. The stable was named The Cabinet. At its peak, the stable contained Orlando Jordan, who was JBL's "Chief-of-Staff" and Doug
Doug Basham
This article is about the wrestler, for the talk show host see Doug Basham Lyle Douglas "Doug" Basham, Jr. is an American professional wrestler, He is best known for his appearances with World Wrestling Entertainment between 2002 and 2007, and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the ring name...

 and
Basham Brothers
The Basham Brothers, Doug and Danny , are a professional wrestling tag team, who formerly worked for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment .-History:...

 Danny Basham, who were his "Co-Secretaries of Defense" until "quitting" the Cabinet on the June 16, 2005 episode of SmackDown!. Amy Weber
Amy Weber
Amy Marie Weber is an American actress, model, film producer, former professional wrestling valet, and singer who is best known for her time as a WWE Diva for World Wrestling Entertainment under the SmackDown! brand...

 was also a member, being JBL's image consultant, but later left WWE. WWE explained Weber's absence by saying that JBL "fired" her after an episode of SmackDown! taped in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. That episode saw Weber accidentally shoot JBL with a tranquilizer gun. Jordan is the only member not announced to have left the group, though mention of the term cabinet went on hiatus after SummerSlam and Orlando was released from WWE in May 2006.

JBL's luck continued in early 2005; at the Royal Rumble
Royal Rumble (2005)
Royal Rumble was the eighteenth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on January 30, 2005 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California and featured talent from both the Raw and SmackDown! brands...

, he snuck past both Big Show and Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat match when he pinned Angle after the Clothesline From Hell. He once again emerged with his title intact from WWE's first-ever Barbed Wire Steel Cage match at No Way Out
No Way Out (2005)
No Way Out was the seventh annual No Way Out pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on February 20, 2005 from the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania....

 against Big Show. JBL won the match when Big Show chokeslammed JBL off the top rope through the ring. JBL managed to crawl out from under the ring apron before Show could make it to the floor, winning the match by escape. On the next edition of SmackDown!, JBL had a "Celebration of Excellence" in which he and his Cabinet celebrated the fact that he was the longest-reigning WWE Champion in ten years, a party which was broken up and ruined by The Big Show and newly-crowned number one contender John Cena
John Cena
John Felix Anthony Cena is an American professional wrestler, actor, rapper, and television personality. He is currently signed to WWE as a member of its WWE Raw brand....

. JBL was aggravated consistently by John Cena to make him retaliate as John Cena could then strike back. Cena failed to convince Layfield to do so.

JBL lost the WWE Title to John Cena at WrestleMania 21
WrestleMania 21
WrestleMania 21 was the twenty-first annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on April 3, 2005 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It started off with an interpormotional battle royal, for which Booker T...

. pinning JBL to become the new WWE Champion. Layfield's unbroken nine-month reign was billed as the longest in a decade, lasting 280 days. On the April 28 edition of SmackDown!, JBL defeated Big Show, Booker T, and Kurt Angle in a four-way elimination match to earn a rematch for the WWE title, but lost to Cena at Judgment Day
Judgment Day (2005)
Judgment Day was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It was the seventh annual event of the same name and took place on May 22, 2005 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota...

 in an "I Quit" match.

Various feuds and United States Champion (2005–2006)


On June 12, Layfield appeared at the WWE-promoted ECW One Night Stand
ECW One Night Stand (2005)
ECW One Night Stand was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It was held on June 12, 2005 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, New York. The main event was a tag team match between The Dudley Boyz and the team of Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman...

 pay-per-view as an anti-ECW "crusader." In the course of the night he attacked The Blue Meanie
Brian Heffron
Brian Heffron is a professional wrestler and actor better known as The Blue Meanie or Da Blue Guy.-Early career:...

 in a shoot
Shoot (professional wrestling)
A shoot in professional wrestling is a term that refers to any unplanned, unscripted or real-life occurrence within a wrestling event. Contrary to popular belief, the name does not originate from "shooting in" for a takedown, as in amateur wrestling - rather it is a carny term shortened from...

. WWE capitalized on the situation by resigning Meanie to a short-term contract. On the July 7 episode of SmackDown!, Meanie was reunited with his old Blue World Order
Blue World Order
The Blue World Order was a stable of professional wrestlers formed at Extreme Championship Wrestling's November to Remember 1996 event at the ECW Arena...

 associates Nova
Mike Bucci
Michael "Mike" Bucci is an American semi-retired professional wrestler. Bucci is probably best known for his appearances in Extreme Championship Wrestling as Nova, Super Nova, and "Hollywood" Nova and World Wrestling Entertainment as Simon Dean...

 and Stevie Richards and he defeated Layfield with the help of the World Heavyweight Champion
World Heavyweight Championship (WWE)
The World Heavyweight Championship is a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in WWE. It is the world title of the SmackDown brand and one of two in WWE, complementing the WWE Championship of the Raw brand...

 Batista, who was drafted to SmackDown! a few weeks after Cena was drafted to Raw.


Layfield and Batista then met in a match at The Great American Bash
The Great American Bash (2005)
The Great American Bash was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment .It was the second annual event and took place on July 24, 2005, at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York...

 for the World Heavyweight Championship. JBL won the match by disqualification but a title does not change hands by disqualification, so Batista retained the title. At SummerSlam
SummerSlam (2005)
SummerSlam was the eighteenth annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on August 21, 2005 at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C...

, Batista defeated Layfield in a rematch. JBL lost another rematch with Batista on the September 9 edition of SmackDown! in a Texas Bullrope match.

On the September 16 edition of SmackDown!, JBL lost to Rey Mysterio, which was the beginning of a long feud with Mysterio that lasted almost eight months. He hired Jillian Hall
Jillian Hall
Jillian Faye Fletcher is an American professional wrestler who is currently signed to Women Superstars Uncensored. She is also known for her tenure in World Wrestling Entertainment under the ring name Jillian Hall or simply Jillian...

 to "fix" his career. At No Mercy
No Mercy (2005)
No Mercy was the eighth annual No Mercy professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on October 9, 2005 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and featured wrestlers and other talent from WWE's SmackDown! brand...

, JBL defeated Mysterio in a rematch.

In early 2006, JBL started a feud with The Boogeyman
Marty Wright
Martin "Marty" Wright is an American professional wrestler and actor best known for his time with World Wrestling Entertainment under the ring name The Boogeyman.-Tough Enough:...

 who scared him many times in the new year. The two had a match at the Royal Rumble
Royal Rumble (2006)
Royal Rumble was the nineteenth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on January 29, 2006 in the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida and featured talent from the Raw and SmackDown! brands...

, which the Boogeyman won. His next opponent was Bobby Lashley, whom Layfield defeated at No Way Out
No Way Out (2006)
No Way Out was the eighth annual No Way Out professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on February 19, 2006 at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland and was a SmackDown! brand-exclusive event...

. On the February 24, 2006 edition of SmackDown!, he suffered a broken hand at the hands of Chris Benoit in a six man tag team match, and WWE.com announced that he underwent successful surgery. Layfield returned and feuded with Benoit, defeating him for his WWE United States Championship
WWE United States Championship
The WWE United States Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE. It was originally a National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling championship, and is currently the secondary championship of the Raw brand....

 at WrestleMania 22
WrestleMania 22
Notes: .The predominant feud on the SmackDown! brand was between Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio, and Randy Orton over the World Heavyweight Championship. Mysterio won the 2006 Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Orton, to earn a World Championship match at WrestleMania. At No Way Out, Orton defeated...

. During this time, Jillian Hall remained at the side of JBL until the April 21 edition of SmackDown! when JBL fired Hall, due to a mistake she made during a JBL/Benoit steel cage rematch the week before as well as her lack of putting together an "appropriate" celebration for him.

JBL, while still United States Champion, challenged for the World Heavyweight Championship. JBL tried to weaken then champion Rey Mysterio in the weeks leading up to his title match as Mysterio faced off against any opponent of JBL's choosing. Mysterio was defeated by Mark Henry
Mark Henry
Mark Jerrold Henry is an American professional wrestler signed with WWE, where he performs on its SmackDown brand as the reigning World Heavyweight Champion. He is a 1992 Olympian, and winner of the 2002 Arnold Strongman Classic...

 and squashed by The Great Khali in non title singles matches before facing Raw's Kane
Kane (wrestler)
Glenn Thomas Jacobs is a Spanish-born American professional wrestler and actor better known by his ring name, Kane. He is signed to WWE, appearing on its SmackDown brand, but is currently inactive due to injury....

 in a match, that went to a no-contest. This was leading to their title match at Judgment Day
Judgment Day (2006)
Judgment Day was the eighth annual Judgment Day professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment...

, which Mysterio won and retained the title by pinning JBL after a frog splash. On the May 26 edition of SmackDown!, JBL lost the US Title to Bobby Lashley. He also lost another attempt at the World Title against Mysterio, stating beforehand that he would quit SmackDown! if he lost that match. When he did lose, the crowd at the arena began to sing "Na Na, Hey Hey, Goodbye"
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye
"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" is a song written and recorded by Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer, attributed to a then-fictitious band they named "Steam". It was released under the Mercury subsidiary label Fontana and became a number one pop single on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1969,...

. JBL later stated that he did not have a formal contract with Teddy Long going into the match and that he did not intend to leave SmackDown!. This angle was used to give JBL time off wrestling due to his serious back injury.

Semi retirement and commentator (2006–2007)


At One Night Stand
ECW One Night Stand (2006)
ECW One Night Stand was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It was held on June 11, 2006 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, New York....

, Layfield announced that he would take Tazz
Tazz
Peter Senerchia is a retired American professional wrestler and current color commentator best known by his ring name Tazz, originally Tazmaniac and later shortened to simply Taz...

's place as the new color commentator for SmackDown!. He made his debut as a heelish color commentator on the June 16 edition of SmackDown!. Layfield noted in a commentary on TheStreet.com that he was retiring from in-ring competition for good. In his final column on the website, JBL wrote, "I have also come to believe that you can't fight father time. A broken back suffered in a match in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, compounded by a herniated and bulged disc, finally made me realize my career as a professional wrestler was over. I since migrated to the color commentary position much in the way that Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura
James George Janos , better known as Jesse Ventura, is an American politician, the 38th Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003, Navy UDT veteran, former SEAL reservist, actor, and former radio and television talk show host...

 did before me."

JBL returned to the ring on November 13, 2006, in the main event of a WWE house show in Dublin, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. JBL teamed with Mr. Kennedy and King Booker against the Brothers of Destruction
Brothers of Destruction
The Brothers of Destruction was a professional wrestling tag team consisting of The Undertaker and Kane, both currently wrestling for World Wrestling Entertainment on its SmackDown roster.-History:...

 (Kane
Kane (wrestler)
Glenn Thomas Jacobs is a Spanish-born American professional wrestler and actor better known by his ring name, Kane. He is signed to WWE, appearing on its SmackDown brand, but is currently inactive due to injury....

 and The Undertaker), and Batista. On the December 22 edition of SmackDown!, JBL cut a promo berating Theodore Long and cursing out the fans for cheering during the Inferno match at Armageddon
Armageddon (2006)
Armageddon was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on December 17, 2006 at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia. The event starred wrestlers from the SmackDown! brand.The main event was a tag team match, in which the team...

 five days earlier ("Rome didn't fall because of the gladiators in the ring. Rome fell because of the spectators in the stands.")

On the October 12, 2007 edition of Smackdown!, Layfield was announced as one of the options WWE fans would be able to vote for to be the special guest referee at Cyber Sunday
Cyber Sunday (2007)
Cyber Sunday was the fourth annual Cyber Sunday professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on October 28, 2007 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C...

 for the World Heavyweight Championship match between Batista and The Undertaker. He lost the vote to Stone Cold Steve Austin. At Cyber Sunday, he issued a heated altercation towards those running alongside him, ultimately receiving a Stone Cold Stunner
Stunner (professional wrestling)
A stunner is a common term in professional wrestling referring to the seated three-quarter facelock jawbreaker maneuver, predominantly used by Stone Cold Steve Austin and named for his Stone Cold Stunner finisher...

 from Austin. After this, he became physical as a color commentator, attacking both Batista and The Undertaker in the middle of a match as revenge after he was speared by Batista and later chokeslam
Chokeslam
A chokeslam refers to a type of body slam in professional wrestling in which the wrestler grasps their opponent's neck, lifts them up, and slams them to the mat. It is common in televised wrestling because it is simple and relatively safe, yet looks powerful on camera...

med by The Undertaker after taunting them consecutively, in events leading up to the pay-per-view. He justified these actions by explaining, "I am retired, not dead" (and that he [Layfield] should be respected).

In ring return and Championship pursuits (2007–2008)


JBL was present at the SmackDown announcer's table during the WWE Championship match between Randy Orton
Randy Orton
Randal Keith "Randy" Orton is an American professional wrestler and actor. He is signed to WWE wrestling on its SmackDown brand...

 and Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho
Christopher Keith Irvine , better known by his ring name Chris Jericho, is an inactive Canadian-American professional wrestler, musician, songwriter, radio personality, television host, actor, author, and dancer...

, at Armageddon
Armageddon (2007)
Armageddon was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on December 16, 2007 at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the eighth event produced under the Armageddon name and starred wrestlers from the Raw,...

. During this match, Orton whipped a charging Jericho over the announcer table where JBL was situated, and in the heat of the match, Jericho "pushed" JBL out of the way. Minutes later, an infuriated Layfield applied his boot to the head of Jericho whilst he looked set to win the match. This interference led to a disqualification victory for Jericho meaning that Orton retained the title.

On the December 17, 2007 edition of Raw, JBL announced that he would resume his role as an active wrestler, in response to a challenge made by Jericho. On the December 21 edition of SmackDown!, JBL gave his farewell address from SmackDown, officially marking his return to Raw on December 31. Jericho was disqualified in their match at the Royal Rumble
Royal Rumble (2008)
Royal Rumble was the twenty-first annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on January 27, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York and featured talent from the Raw, SmackDown and ECW brands. The event was...

. The duo battled in a rematch on the February 11 edition of Raw, which Jericho won.

On February 18 on Raw, JBL interfered in the scheduled steel cage match between Mr. McMahon
Vince McMahon
Vincent Kennedy "Vince" McMahon is an American professional wrestling promoter, announcer, commentator, film producer, actor and former occasional professional wrestler. McMahon is the current Chairman, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of professional wrestling promotion WWE...

 and his storyline illegitimate son, Hornswoggle. After Vince whipped Hornswoggle with his belt, JBL attacked Finlay from behind and handcuffed him to the top rope. After Mr. McMahon left the ring, JBL proceeded to beat Hornswoggle by throwing him against the sides of the cage. JBL later revealed to McMahon that Hornswoggle was Finlay's storyline son, not McMahon's. On March 29, JBL inducted the Brisco Brothers into the WWE Hall of Fame
WWE Hall of Fame
The WWE Hall of Fame is a hall of fame for professional wrestlers maintained by WWE. It was officially created on the February 1, 1993 episode of the World Wrestling Federation's Monday Night Raw television program...

. On March 30, JBL defeated Finlay in a Belfast Brawl
Hardcore wrestling
Hardcore wrestling is a form of professional wrestling that eschews traditional concepts of match rules in favor of matches that take place in unusual environments, using foreign objects that are not normally permitted...

 at WrestleMania XXIV
WrestleMania XXIV
WrestleMania XXIV was the twenty-fourth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . The event took place on March 30, 2008, at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida and was the first WrestleMania to be held in the state of Florida...

.

JBL's first championship bid since returning to the ring came by challenging Randy Orton for the WWE Championship and participating in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match at Backlash
Backlash (2008)
Backlash was the tenth annual Backlash professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on April 27, 2008 at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland...

 that also included John Cena and Triple H. JBL was eliminated first in the match by tapping out to Cena's STF, thus renewing their feud from 2005. Cena defeated JBL at Judgment Day
Judgment Day (2008)
Judgment Day was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on May 18, 2008 at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska...

 and then at One Night Stand
One Night Stand (2008)
One Night Stand was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment that took place on June 1, 2008 at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California. It was the fourth and final event promoted under the One Night Stand name...

 in a First Blood match. He managed to defeat Cena in a New York City Parking Lot Brawl at The Great American Bash
The Great American Bash (2008)
The Great American Bash was the fifth annual Great American Bash professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment...

.
JBL would continue to pursue the World Heavyweight Championship. His next on-screen rivalry with CM Punk
CM Punk
Phillip Jack "Phil" Brooks , better known by his ring name CM Punk, is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE and working on its Raw brand currently serving his second title reign as WWE Champion....

, who was, at that time, the World Heavyweight Champion. During the feud, JBL criticized Punk's straight-edge beliefs, saying he could challenge Punk to a contest Punk could not win which was revealed to be an alcohol-drinking contest on Raw. Punk, instead of drinking a shot, said that he followed his own rules, before throwing the drink in JBL's face. JBL finally got his match for Punk's championship at SummerSlam
SummerSlam (2008)
SummerSlam was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on August 17, 2008 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was the 21st annual SummerSlam event and starred wrestlers from the Raw, SmackDown and ECW brands.Seven...

. Despite dominating for most of the match, JBL would lose the match after Punk landed the Go To Sleep on him and getting the pinfall.

Feud with Shawn Michaels (2008–2009)



JBL had a short rivalry with Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels
Michael Shawn Hickenbottom , better known by his ring name Shawn Michaels, is an American television host and retired professional wrestler. He presents the Outdoor Channel show MacMillan River Adventures, and is currently signed to WWE, where he has served in an ambassadorial role since December...

 in 2008. Michaels had lost his family's personal savings due to the global financial crisis
Financial crisis
The term financial crisis is applied broadly to a variety of situations in which some financial institutions or assets suddenly lose a large part of their value. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many financial crises were associated with banking panics, and many recessions coincided with these...

 and would become Layfield's employee. After failing to secure JBL the World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena at the Royal Rumble
Royal Rumble (2009)
Royal Rumble was the twenty-second annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment . It took place on January 25, 2009 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan and featured talent from the Raw, SmackDown and ECW brands...

, Michaels agreed to take part in an "All or Nothing" match at No Way Out
No Way Out (2009)
No Way Out was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on February 15, 2009 at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. It was the 11th and final event under the No Way Out name and featured talent from the Raw, SmackDown and ECW brands...

 on February 15, 2009. Shawn eventually won this match, after his wife (who was watching in the audience) punched JBL in the face and Michaels planted the Sweet Chin Music. This ended any employment links between the two with Michaels still receiving the full payment owed to him, to end the feud.

Intercontinental Championship and departure (2009)


On the March 9, 2009 episode of Raw, JBL defeated CM Punk to win the Intercontinental Championship
WWE Intercontinental Championship
The WWE Intercontinental Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE. It is the original secondary title of the promotion. Currently, it is the secondary championship exclusive to the SmackDown brand...

, thus becoming the tenth Grand Slam Champion and twentieth Triple Crown Champion. He held the title for 1 month. JBL defended and subsequently lost the title at WrestleMania XXV
WrestleMania XXV
WrestleMania XXV was the twenty-fifth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on April 5, 2009 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas...

, against Rey Mysterio in 21 seconds. Post-match, a frustrated JBL grabbed a microphone and shouted "I quit!"; the next day he announced his retirement on his WWE Universe blog.

Return to WWE (2011)


Layfield made his return to WWE on the March 7, 2011 edition of WWE Raw
WWE RAW
WWE Raw ) is a sports entertainment television program for WWE that currently airs on the USA Network in the United States...

held at American Airlines Center
American Airlines Center
The American Airlines Center is a multi-purpose arena, located in the Victory Park neighborhood, near downtown Dallas, Texas.It is home to the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA, and the Dallas Stars of the NHL....

 in Dallas, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 as Michael Cole
Michael Cole
Michael Sean Coulthard , better known by his ring name Michael Cole, is an American professional wrestling commentator, currently signed to WWE on both its Rawand SmackDown brands. Coulthard is a former news journalist....

's choice for special guest referee for his match against Jerry Lawler
Jerry Lawler
Jerry O'Neil Lawler is an American professional wrestler, wrestling commentator, musician, businessman, commercial artist and film actor, known throughout the wrestling world as Jerry "The King" Lawler. He is currently signed to WWE, working on its Raw brand as the color commentator and occasional...

 at WrestleMania XXVII
WrestleMania XXVII
WrestleMania XXVII was the twenty-seventh annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , held on April 3, 2011 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia...

. He cut a promo claiming he was starting his "journey back to the main event at WrestleMania", but was interrupted by a returning Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Steve Austin , better known by his ring name "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, is an American film and television actor and retired professional wrestler...

 just as he was about to sign the contract. After a brief argument Layfield was hit with Austin's Stone Cold Stunner, and Austin proceeded to sign the contract to be the guest referee and poured beer on Layfield.

Vyper Fight League (2009–2010)


In April 2009, after Layfield's retirement and departure from WWE, OVW owner Danny Davis announced in a press-release that Layfield was to become a commentator and host for the up-start MMA promotion and OVW's affiliate Vyper Fight League, which Layfield also sponsors with Layfield Energy. The promotion went defunct in 2010.

Personal life


His parents are Lavelle Layfield, who is a minister, and Mary Layfield.

Layfield makes regular appearances on the Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

 weekend business show, Bulls & Bears
Bulls & Bears
Bulls & Bears is an American business analysis program, the first show of the The Cost of Freedom business block, on Saturdays at 10:00 am ET on the Fox News Channel...

. His company, Layfield Energy, launched a drink called MamaJuana Energy. In March 2009, Layfield Energy became the main sponsor and advertiser of Ohio Valley Wrestling
Ohio Valley Wrestling
Ohio Valley Wrestling is an American independent professional wrestling promotion based in Louisville, Kentucky. OVW is run by owner Danny Davis and was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance from 1997 until 2000...

, a former WWE developmental promotion based in Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

.

During a WWE house show
House show
A house show is a professional wrestling show run by a major promotion that is not televised, though they can be recorded. Promotions use house shows mainly to cash in on the exposure that they and their wrestlers receive during televised events, as well as test reactions to matches, wrestlers, and...

 in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 early in June 2004, in an attempt to draw heel heat
Heat (professional wrestling)
In professional wrestling, heat refers to both crowd reaction and real-life animosity between those involved in the professional wrestling business. In terms of crowd reaction, heat is usually either cheers for a babyface or boos for a heel...

, he gave the crowd several Nazi salute
Nazi salute
The Nazi salute, or Hitler salute , was a gesture of greeting in Nazi Germany usually accompanied by saying, Heil Hitler! ["Hail Hitler!"], Heil, mein Führer ["Hail, my leader!"], or Sieg Heil! ["Hail victory!"]...

s while goose-stepping around the ring. Such a display is illegal in Germany if used for political purposes. In an interview with The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

, Layfield explained "I'm a bad guy [on WWE TV]. I'm supposed to incite the crowd. I've done it for decades. I really didn't think anything of [the Nazi salute] - I know how bad it is, I've lived [in Germany]. I've been to Dachau, seen those places where they exterminated millions of Jews. I draw the line between me and my character. That's like saying Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, KBE , best known as Anthony Hopkins, is a Welsh actor of film, stage and television...

 (who portrays Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal Lecter M.D. is a fictional character in a series of horror novels by Thomas Harris and in the films adapted from them.Lecter was introduced in the 1981 thriller novel Red Dragon as a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer...

) really enjoys cannibalism
Cannibalism
Cannibalism is the act or practice of humans eating the flesh of other human beings. It is also called anthropophagy...

."

Layfield married Meredith Whitney
Meredith Whitney
Meredith Ann Whitney is a banking analyst and frequent contributor to CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg News programs. Based in New York City, Whitney manages her own advisory firm, Meredith Whitney Advisory Group LLC, where she produces company-specific equity research on financial institutions...

 on February 12, 2005 in Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida
Key West is a city in Monroe County, Florida, United States. The city encompasses the island of Key West, the part of Stock Island north of U.S. 1 , Sigsbee Park , Fleming Key , and Sunset Key...

.

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves

    • Clothesline From Hell / Clothesline From Wall Street (Running high-impact clothesline, or a running lariat)
    • JBL Bomb / Release powerbomb, with theatrics – 1998–2006

  • Signature moves

    • Abdominal stretch
    • Backbreaker rack
    • Bearhug
    • Big boot
    • Eye poke
    • Flowing DDT
      DDT (professional wrestling)
      In professional wrestling a DDT is any move in which the wrestler has the opponent in a front facelock, and falls down or backwards to drive the opponent's head into the mat...

    • Last Call (Fallaway slam, sometimes from the second rope)
    • Multiple elbow drops
    • Sleeper hold
    • Swinging neckbreaker

  • With Faarooq
    Ron Simmons
    Ronald "Ron" Simmons is an American semi-retired professional wrestler and retired American football player. He is recognised as being the first Black world heavyweight champion in professional wrestling and the first of only two African Americans to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship,...

    • Finishing moves
      • Aided powerbomb
    • Signature moves
      • Double spinebuster

  • Managers
    Manager (professional wrestling)
    In professional wrestling, a manager is a secondary character paired with a wrestler for a variety of reasons. The manager is often either a non-wrestler, an occasional wrestler, an older wrestler who has retired or is nearing retirement or, in some cases, a new wrestler who is breaking into the...

    • Uncle Zebekiah
      Dutch Mantel
      Wayne Keown is an American professional wrestler, and author better known by his ring name, Dutch Mantel or Dutch Mantell. He currently is semi-retired but still makes occasional wrestling appearances. He was previously with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as a writer behind the scenes...

    • Skandor Akbar
    • The Jackyl
      Don Callis
      Don Callis is a Canadian former professional wrestler and manager, known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation as The Jackyl, and Extreme Championship Wrestling as color commentator Cyrus.-Early life:...

    • Jacqueline
      Jacqueline Moore
      Jacqueline DeLois Moore is an inactive American professional wrestler, who was most recently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling...

    • Amy Weber
      Amy Weber
      Amy Marie Weber is an American actress, model, film producer, former professional wrestling valet, and singer who is best known for her time as a WWE Diva for World Wrestling Entertainment under the SmackDown! brand...

    • Jillian Hall
      Jillian Hall
      Jillian Faye Fletcher is an American professional wrestler who is currently signed to Women Superstars Uncensored. She is also known for her tenure in World Wrestling Entertainment under the ring name Jillian Hall or simply Jillian...

    • The Kat
      Stacy Carter
      Stacy Carter , better known as Miss Kitty or The Kat, is an American former professional wrestling valet.During her tenure in the World Wrestling Federation, she held the Women's Championship once, although she was not a trained wrestler...


  • Nickname
    Nickname
    A nickname is "a usually familiar or humorous but sometimes pointed or cruel name given to a person or place, as a supposedly appropriate replacement for or addition to the proper name.", or a name similar in origin and pronunciation from the original name....

    s
    • "Big"
    • Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw
    • "JBL"
    • "The Wrestling God"

  • Entrance themes
    Music in professional wrestling
    Music in professional wrestling serves a variety of purposes. The most common uses of music in professional wrestling is that of the entrance theme, a song or piece of instrumental music which plays as a performer approaches the ring...

    • "Born in the U.S.A.
      Born in the U.S.A. (song)
      "Born in the U.S.A." is a 1984 song written and performed by Bruce Springsteen. Taken from the album of the same name, it is one of his best-known singles. Rolling Stone ranked the song 275th on their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". In 2001, the RIAA's Songs of the Century placed...

      " by Bruce Springsteen
      Bruce Springsteen
      Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

       (GWF)
    • "Cotton Eye Joe" by Rednex
      Rednex
      Rednex is a Swedish techno/folk/bluegrass band. They had an international novelty hit with the song "Cotton Eye Joe" in 1994. Although extremely popular in Germany, where the band holds the record of most total weeks at No.1 on the German singles chart over the past 30 years—scoring such hits as...

       (GWF)
    • "Bar Room Brawl" by Jim Johnston
    • "Protection" by Jim Johnston (used while part of Acolytes Protection Agency
      Acolytes Protection Agency
      The Acolytes Protection Agency , was a professional wrestling tag team that consisted of Bradshaw and Faarooq. They wrestled for the American promotion World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment between October 1998 and March 2004....

      )
    • "Longhorn" by Jim Johnston
      Jim Johnston (composer)
      James Alan "Jim" Johnston is an American music composer who has been working for WWE since 1985. His work is often accredited to the names Jim Johnston, James A...

       (March 25, 2004–April 5, 2009,March 7, 2011 )

Championships and accomplishments



College football

  • Abilene Christian University
    Abilene Christian University
    Abilene Christian University is a private university located in Abilene, Texas, affiliated with Churches of Christ. ACU was founded in 1906, as Childers Classical Institute...

    • 1989 NCAA
      National Collegiate Athletic Association
      The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

       Division II All–American
      All-America
      An All-America team is an honorary sports team composed of outstanding amateur players—those considered the best players of a specific season for each team position—who in turn are given the honorific "All-America" and typically referred to as "All-American athletes", or simply...


Professional wrestling

  • Catch Wrestling Association
    Catch Wrestling Association
    The Catch Wrestling Association was a professional wrestling organization based in Austria and Germany and was founded in 1973. It was formerly run by famous AWA champion Otto Wanz. The CWA featured a traditional brand of mat wrestling mixed with various “Strong Man” competitions...

    • CWA World Tag Team Championship
      CWA World Tag Team Championship (Germany)
      The CWA World Tag Team Championship was the tag team professional wrestling title in the German professional wrestling promotion the Catch Wrestling Association. It was established in 1988, and lasted until the promotion's 2000 closing.-Title history:...

       (1 time) – with Cannonball Grizzly
      Paul Neu
      Paul Neu is an American professional wrestler. He is perhaps best known under the ring name PN News and for his stints in Extreme Championship Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling...


  • Global Wrestling Federation
    Global Wrestling Federation
    Global Wrestling Federation was a professional wrestling promotion based in Dallas, Texas. It started in June 1991 and folded in September 1994. At one time its shows were presented on the ESPN television network. On many weeks, the promotion provided programming five days a week airing at 4 p.m...

    • GWF Tag Team Championship
      GWF Tag Team Championship
      The GWF Tag Team Championship was the tag team title in the Global Wrestling Federation in Texas. The title existed from 1991 until 1994, when GWF closed. The title was featured on the promotion's show that aired nationally on ESPN...

       (2 times) – with Bobby Duncum, Jr.
      Bobby Duncum, Jr.
      Bobby Duncum, Jr. was an American professional wrestler. He was best known for his stint in World Championship Wrestling as a member of the West Texas Rednecks.-Professional wrestling career:...

       (1) and Black Bart
      Rick Harris
      Rick Harris is a former professional wrestler better known by his ring name , Black Bart. He is the son of the late George "Two Ton" Harris.-Career:Rick Harris started wrestling in 1975...

       (1)

  • International Wrestling Institute and Museum
    • Lou Thesz Award (2012)

  • Memphis Championship Wrestling
    Memphis Championship Wrestling
    Memphis Championship Wrestling was a professional wrestling promotion run by Terry Golden, based in Memphis, Tennessee. The promotion's first event was on February 20, 2000, and it remained active up until mid-2001...

    • MCW Southern Tag Team Championship
      MCW Southern Tag Team Championship
      The MCW Southern Tag Team Championship was the tag team title in Memphis Championship Wrestling from 2000 until the promotion closed in 2002.-Title history:...

       (1 time) – with Faarooq
      Ron Simmons
      Ronald "Ron" Simmons is an American semi-retired professional wrestler and retired American football player. He is recognised as being the first Black world heavyweight champion in professional wrestling and the first of only two African Americans to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship,...


  • NWA Texas
    National Wrestling Alliance
    The National Wrestling Alliance is a wrestling promotion company and sanctions various NWA championships in the United States. The NWA has been in operation since 1948...

    • NWA North American Heavyweight Championship
      NWA North American Heavyweight Championship
      The NWA North American Heavyweight Championship is the second most prestigious title in the National Wrestling Alliance that was created in 1994 after World Championship Wrestling withdrew from the NWA. There were other versions of this title before this one was created...

       (1 time)

  • Ohio Valley Wrestling
    Ohio Valley Wrestling
    Ohio Valley Wrestling is an American independent professional wrestling promotion based in Louisville, Kentucky. OVW is run by owner Danny Davis and was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance from 1997 until 2000...

    • OVW Southern Tag Team Championship
      OVW Southern Tag Team Championship
      The OVW Southern Tag Team Championship is the tag team titles of Ohio Valley Wrestling. Created in 1997, the first champions were Nick Dinsmore and Flash Flanagan. As of 2011, the current champions are Ted McNaler and Adam Revolver, known as The Elite in their fourth reign...

       (1 time) – with Ron Simmons
      Ron Simmons
      Ronald "Ron" Simmons is an American semi-retired professional wrestler and retired American football player. He is recognised as being the first Black world heavyweight champion in professional wrestling and the first of only two African Americans to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship,...


  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    Pro Wrestling Illustrated is a professional wrestling magazine. PWI is currently based in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania and published by Kappa Publishing Group.-History:The first issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated was released in 1979...

    • PWI ranked him #5 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2005

  • Pro Wrestling Report
    • Color Commentator of the Year (2006)

  • United States Wrestling Federation
    • USWF Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with The Equalizer

  • World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment
    • WWE Championship
      WWE Championship
      The WWE Championship is a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in WWE. It is the world title of the Raw brand and one of two in WWE, complementing the World Heavyweight Championship of the SmackDown brand. It was established under the then WWWF in 1963...

       (1 time)
    • WWE Hardcore Championship
      WWE Hardcore Championship
      The World Wrestling Entertainment Hardcore Championship is a hardcore wrestling championship in World Wrestling Entertainment and is contested under "hardcore" rules, meaning there is no disqualifications, no countouts, and pin falls could be counted anywhere...

       (17 times)
    • WWE Intercontinental Championship
      WWE Intercontinental Championship
      The WWE Intercontinental Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE. It is the original secondary title of the promotion. Currently, it is the secondary championship exclusive to the SmackDown brand...

       (1 time)
    • WWE United States Championship
      WWE United States Championship
      The WWE United States Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE. It was originally a National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling championship, and is currently the secondary championship of the Raw brand....

       (1 time)
    • WWF European Championship
      WWE European Championship
      The WWE European Championship was a professional wrestling championship competed for in World Wrestling Entertainment. A coveted singles title of the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was held by superstars such as Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero, and was...

       (1 time)
    • WWF Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Faarooq
    • Tenth Grand Slam Champion
    • Twentieth Triple Crown Champion

  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
    • Best Gimmick (2004)
    • Worst Worked Match of the Year (2002) with Trish Stratus
      Trish Stratus
      Patricia Anne Stratigias , better known by her ring name Trish Stratus, is a Canadian professional wrestler, actress and television personality currently signed with WWE. She is also a former fitness model....

       vs. Christopher Nowinski
      Christopher Nowinski
      Christopher John Nowinski is an author and a former professional wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment. Nowinski is renowned for being WWE's first Harvard alumnus, as he graduated with an A.B. in sociology. He is also recognized as the youngest Hardcore Champion in WWE history...

       and Jackie Gayda
      Jackie Gayda
      Jacquelyn Gayda-Haas is an American semi-retired professional wrestler and valet, best known for her work on World Wrestling Entertainment 's Raw and SmackDown! brands and in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as a TNA Knockout...

       on Raw
      WWE RAW
      WWE Raw ) is a sports entertainment television program for WWE that currently airs on the USA Network in the United States...

      , July 7

External links