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5 WWE stars that should be in the Hall of Fame


1. John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL)

In the mid-2000s JBL was one of the WWE’s go to guys as the company reeled from the loss of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. Never the most stylish or wrestler’s JBL was a brute and formed arguably one of the best heel personas in the 2000 decade, battling with the newcomers in the business that were making a name for themselves such as John Cena and Batista.

JBL first entered the WWE in the mid 1990s as Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw in a heel cowboy role with manager Uncle Zebekiah acting as his mouthpiece in what little TV time he got. This action was however to be short-lived and he formed the re-incarnation of the Blackjack’s called uniquely ‘The New Blackjacks’ with Barry Windham. Though the name recognition should have got them some action, injuries to Windham cut this team short too and Bradshaw was left to battle it out with other lower card wrestlers until a gimmick could be found.

Next he would form The Acolytes with former Nation of Domination leader Farooq (aka Ron Simmons) joining the Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness acting as the group’s henchmen before they would in turn become the Acolytes Protection Agency or the APA. This found Bradshaw his first real shot at TV time and they made the most of it during the attitude era, where they could often be found involving themselves in a brawl.

They also found infamy in backstage segments playing cards and being approached by anyone wanting their services for ‘protection’ as they called it. In a see through office, clients were made to knock on the door and in an era of comedy, it was a touch of class!

However all things had to come to an end and with Farooq nearing 50 years of age, the team were broken up as Simmons went to Smackdown and Bradshaw went to Raw where soon after went to his Texan roots and became a character that was a prelude to his most successful character, JBL, a rich cowboy persona that actually mirrored much of his real-life.

A brief APA reunion occurred but his full fledged change to JBL took place in 2004 and he took on a heel persona that would see JBL become one of the most hated heel’s of the decade feuding with Eddie Guerrero, who he would eventually win the WWE Championship from at The Great American Bash. From here he created the cabinet and was involved in feuds with The Undertaker and Booker T. He would hold the title for nine months, the longest serving champion in a decade in the WWE, proving how far JBL had come in his career.

Though he would never win the WWE Championship again, he still hung around the upper-card and was a big player in the Raw vs Smackdown battle in late 2005, this time on the side of the Smackdown team before he made a semi-departure in 2006/07.

Bradshaw returned in 2007, going after the WWE title once again but failed to win it for a second time and was subsequently put into full retirement in 2009 and disappearing from the WWE. However that wasn’t to be the last we saw of JBL and he made sporadic appearances before returning in 2012 to form part of the commentary team, where he stuck up a pretty decent relationship with Michael Cole on the outsideof the ring, keeping his JBL heel persona going.

So inducting JBL into the Hall of Fame is the logical next step for this great warrior who was arguably the top heel in the mid 2000s. His excellence on the microphone, more than made up for his lack of technical skills as a wrestler, but it was all about brute force and power with JBL and he without doubt has earned a place in the WWE Hall of Fame, it’s just a matter of time before he makes it into the illustrious group.


British Bulldog Demolition Hall of Fame JBL Owen Hart Rick Rude WWE

About Andy Moore

Andy is Chief Editor of The Sports Lowdown and a sports journalist by profession having written for both print publications such as The Sun, The Rugby Paper as well as various online digital sites such as The Aviva Premiership, The Women's Super League plus many many more.

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