WWE Hall Of Famer JBL has opened up about the one regret he carries with him from his long and storied WWE career.
JBL first debuted for the World Wrestling Federation in early 1996 as Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw after several years on the independent scene. His WWF career really took off when he teamed up with Faarooq as The Undertaker’s Acolytes before the duo morphed into the beloved APA.
It wasn’t until 2004 when Faarooq decided to retire from the ring that Bradshaw underwent a transformation into the money-hungry JBL that his first big singles run took place. In June 2004, at The Great American Bash, JBL finally reached the top of the wrestling mountain when he defeated Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Championship.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes’ own Liam Alexander-Stewart, John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield that the one regret of his career was having to wait until the age of 37 to finally capture the biggest championship in wrestling:
“Yeah, I wish I’d have got the Championship run younger. You know, I don’t want to cut my APA time off. But, you know, I wasn’t ready when I came into the WWE for a big-time run. I thought I was, but I was overwhelmed by the system and, you know because you’re a champion in different places and you’ve been successful in places you’ve been you think you can go up to the big stage and you’re automatically going to be a champion and be successful.”
“It doesn’t work that way. You know, it’s still a progression, you know, very rarely do guys who are great college athletes go into the pros and automatically right away become as good as they are comparatively in the pros, as they were in college. And I had that run and right when I kind of figured the business out, my body gave out on me, and that’s the only regret I have.”
JBL himself walked away from the ring in 2009 after losing the Intercontinental Championship in mere seconds to Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania 25.
During the interview, JBL also discussed some of the most feared stars he ever had to share a WWE locker room with.
JBL is part of the incredible Stories With Brisco and Bradshaw podcast available via Podcast Heat – their latest episode featuring an interview with WWE legend Al Snow is available to watch on YouTube or to listen to via iTunes, Spotify, and all good podcast providers.
Thank you to John for taking the time out to speak with Inside The Ropes and a huge thank you to Podcast Heat for facilitating our conversation.
If you use any quotes from this interview please provide a link back and h/t to Liam Alexander-Stewart of Inside the Ropes.