JBL has opened up about long-time tag team partner Ron Simmons saving him from a potential stabbing during a bar fight in Canada.
John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield began teaming with Ron Simmons in WWE on the night of Survivor Series 1998, initially under the tutelage of The Jackyl. Before long, the team became a key part of The Undertaker’s burgeoning Ministry of Darkness.
The team then hit its peak popularity as the Acolytes Protection Agency, also known as The APA. Here they were seen in numerous backstage skits in their ‘office’ with no walls but a door they forced incomers to walk through.
Both men are now WWE Hall Of Famers in their own right with Bradshaw morphing into the JBL character after Simmons stepped away from the ring in 2004. Speaking on a Q and A on his YouTube Channel, JBL discussed Simmons having his back outside the ring as well, with the two men caught up in a bar fight in Canada.
“People ask ‘was The APA Ron and I turned up?’ No, it was actually us turned down. So we’re in a bar one night, we’re up in Canada and we had got separated. Ron’s on one side of the bar and I’m on the other side. I hear these guys around me – there’s obviously a lot of cliques here in this bar, which I found out later was gangs. They said ‘we’re gonna jump him’ and I’m sitting there thinking ‘they’re gonna jump somebody’. Then I realised they were talking about jumping me.”
“So I’m sitting there and I look over at Ron and he’s way across the bar and he doesn’t see me. I thought ‘I’m in trouble here.’ So anyway one big guy was there and the fight started and I went up and get a good punch in on him, he goes down. Knives come out. So knives come out and about 4 or 5 guys had knives and I back up against the wall. I’m thinking ‘this could be it.’ Then I see Ron like an Avenger come running from across the bar toward me. Right before he gets there he grabs a beer bottle off a table and he steps right in front of me. This is some superhero stuff going on.”
Luckily for JBL, Simmons’ own particular powers of persuasion seemed to work on the gang:
“There are knives pointing right at him. Ron cuts probably the best promo I have ever heard in my life, I wish it was recorded. These guys are looking at him like ‘we may have bit off more than we can chew’ and they’re the ones with knives. At the end of it, Ron says ‘I’m gonna hit the first white man that moves with this beer bottle right dead in your face.’ I sat there and looked around and I thought ‘I’m the only white guy in the bar, if Ron’s coming to save me why would he hit me with the beer bottle in order to save me.’ That makes no sense whatsoever and this is what I’m thinking while we’ve got these knives pointed at us.”
“Ron realises that I’m looking around because I’m the only white guy in the bar and says ‘no, no, not you’. Those guys looked at us like we’re the two craziest human beings on the planet. One guy was right in front of Ron and Ron’s got the beer bottle and that guy’s gonna eat the beer bottle. He says ‘alright listen, you can go, just get out of here now’. So me and Ron scooted round the wall, knives out everywhere. Everything stopped. We get outta there and leave and didn’t have to pay our bar tab so the night worked out perfectly well.”
On his last Q and A, JBL shared a story from early in his career when he fell foul of Mexican legend and Canadian wrestler, Vampiro.