JBL has shared the hilarious story of the time when he and Mexican wrestling icon Vampiro almost got into a fight over some stolen gear.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield recounted the story on his YouTube channel where he was hosting a Q and A for fans. The former WWE Champion kicked off with a story about his time wrestling in Mexico early in his career.
JBL was involved in a storyline with Vampiro, who Layfield compared to the biggest names in wrestling seen in the United States.
“Vampiro was the biggest name in Mexico – and when I say he’s the biggest name, I don’t think that people that didn’t see him understand how big he was. He had a rock band, he had his own cologne, it was insane. He sold out everywhere he went. I’ve seen guys over. I was with the Von Erichs, the Freebirds in Dallas, Stone Cold, The Rock, Hogan, John Cena, you name it I’ve seen it in the last 30 years in this business. He was as over as anybody I’ve ever seen.”
“I didn’t realise they [CMLL] had had a problem with Vampiro. Vampiro, great guy, love the guy, never had an issue with the guy apart from one which I’m about to tell. They had a bunch of stooges around Elizondo, anybody who was in charge back then had all these stooges. Rumour was Vampiro had punched one of these stooges. I don’t know what happened, I never did ask him, don’t blame him if he did. Every time a stooge gets punched, that’s a good thing. They were bringing me down to replace Vampiro – I didn’t know that. He’s irreplaceable. This is like replacing Hogan in his heyday. I’m not making that up, how popular he was at the time.”
JBL continued, recounting what happened when he finally came face to face with Vampiro:
“I think I’m going down as The Dark Vampire, same as The Dark Patriot. I’m the heel. Working all over the territory, I’m Vampiro, they put the title on me. Now all of a sudden, I’m coming up to face Vampiro at the Plaza del Toros – the big blow-off, at least part of it. I’m sitting there in a room with him, and now this is the first time I’ve met Vampiro in person. I’ve been going around all over northern Mexico, as Vampiro Americano, he’s Vampiro Canadiense, and working up to this angle for the title, for the name, for everything. And I’m sitting there this little small room, and he’s just sitting there staring at me. And I can’t figure out why he’s not receptive, and I can’t figure out what the heat is.”
“Finally I say ‘brother, we got heat?’ and he’s sitting there, looking at me and he says ‘you’re wearing my sh*t’, and I said, ‘well yeah, that’s the angle. I’m the heel vampire, you’re the good guy. Eventually, I’m going to lose the name to you and the title to you and all that stuff, it’s story’. And he’s still sitting there and I say ‘I don’t understand, what’s wrong?’ He looks at me again and he says ‘you’re wearing my sh*t’, and now I had no idea what he’s talking about and I said ‘brother, I’m sorry, you’ve lost me here’ and he looks at me and all of a sudden he just relaxes and he says ‘you’re not in on it are you?’”
This is when Layfield was let in on what the actual issue was. Rather than taking Vampiro metaphorically, he should have taken him literally:
We’re on the edge of a fight and all of a sudden he just relaxes, and I have no idea what calmed him down, I have no idea what made him mad – nothing. I said ‘brother, please smarten me up to this’ and he said ‘that’s my stuff!’. I said ‘I know it’s your stuff, I’m your gimmick, it’s storyline’, and he said ‘no no no’. He had ordered this stuff in Monterrey and I don’t know if he paid for it or not, I heard he did, I don’t know if he did or not, but it’s been 20-something or 30 years. And the office went by and picked up his stuff and gave it to me.”
“So I’m sitting there across from him, wearing his gear that he ordered and I think he paid for. And he’s thinking ‘the audacity of this guy to sit in front of me, wearing the gear that he stole from me’, that’s what he’s thinking. And I just started laughing. The office didn’t smarten me up. We’d have been in a fight if that had gone differently.
According to JBL, the words Vampiro repeatedly told him jogged his memory when the two men bumped into one another, years later:
“About 20 years later, I’m in an elevator, going up, and I see this guy get on, bald-headed, or head shaved or close, good-looking guy. I don’t really pay any attention, and he goes ‘you not gonna say anything to me?’, and I said ‘sorry?’, and he said ‘you’re wearing my sh*t’, and we just started laughing.”
“It was Vampiro, the first time I’d seen him since I’d been in Mexico, we hugged. Great guy, we had a terrific run, it was the most money I’d made at the time, I’d been nowhere, really. Made money with him down in Mexico, dropped the name, dropped the title, and then I left and never went back, went to Japan, went to Europe, and then to WWE. He continued his name and had a run in WCW. Terrific guy. I always had a terrific relationship with him.”
JBL has also recently told the story of the time he nearly got arrested in Spain while on tour with WWE.