JBL was supposedly not a fan of his Road To WrestleMania dialogue in WWE SmackDown Vs. RAW 2010, as revealed by former WWE games writer Justin Leeper!
The self-proclaimed ‘Wrestling God’ played the main antagonist in Shawn Michaels’ Road To WrestleMania story, costing ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ the WWE Championship and even setting a $250k bounty on him before laying down the challenge for a Career vs Career match at WrestleMania. The story could branch into two endings where, depending on if the player won or lost the story’s final match, either Michaels or Bradshaw retired.
Speaking to Inside The Ropes‘ own Innes McVey, Leeper was asked if there were any WWE stars he worked with that stood out for being particularly memorable. The writer, designer and director of Road To WrestleMania in SmackDown Vs. RAW 2009, ’10 and ’11 responded that JBL came to mind as, despite apparently disliking his lines, he went above and beyond in his delivery!
“There were some people who weren’t too happy with the lines, I remember hearing that JBL didn’t like a lot of the stuff that we wrote for him but that HBK/JBL storyline, I think he did awesome. I had him singing the Sexy Boy theme song and he nailed it so I can’t complain about that!”
“Rey Mysterio was a little rough getting the voiceover, he’s not the best voice actor but he was a big part of many stories. Guys like Punk, guys like Mr Kennedy, guys that I knew from my wrestling background were pretty easy to write for and they nailed it all the time.”
Natalya was another name with fond memories attached, as Leeper recalled meeting her and why she was so different in Mickie James’ Road To WrestleMania versus her character on WWE programming at the time!
“She was there one time and you could see her enthusiasm and love for wrestling, she was like ‘You love Japanese wrestling? I love Japanese wrestling! Wow, wow!’, you know? Just that bubbly personality and I was like ‘That’s what I want! For somebody to kind of ‘Mickie James’ Mickie James in her own story’.”
Road To WrestleMania would feature across four WWE games between 2008 and 2011, allowing players to experience ‘what if’ scenarios like the reunion of Edge & Christian and Rey Mysterio turning heel! The mode would eventually be replaced by Attitude Era mode in WWE ’13 which recreated the biggest moments of the Monday Night Wars in video game form.