In a recent episode of Unskripted with Dr Chris Featherstone, John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield was asked about his favourite WrestleMania moment. JBL quickly responded with his WWE Championship match against John Cena at WrestleMania 21 in 2005. It was in this match that Cena won his first of 16 world titles.
“No doubt about it, going out against Cena, I think it was WrestleMania 21 at the Staples Center, that was such a thrill, man, to go out in the main event of WrestleMania as the champion. I’m such a huge wrestling fan and remember all the WrestleManias growing up as a kid, from WrestleMania one, two, three. I remember the build-up to the big body slam of The Giant with Hulk Hogan. So getting to be in WrestleMania, then also getting to walk out as champion, I don’t know if I’ll ever have a moment that will be any more cool than that.”
When asked if there was any type of heat for Cena getting that type of push for the WWE Championship at the time, JBL said there wasn’t.
“Absolutely not. None whatsoever that I know of and I think I would have heard it.
The former WWE Champion went on to recall being one of the first to wrestle with Cena in longer matches, and how that led to him telling Vince McMahon he thought he was his guy.
“You know it’s easy to go 8 minutes in a match. You go out there, it’s basic format of the match, it’s hard to go to your first 30-35 minute match and I was the first to go with John Cena on the road. That’s when you really feel if a guy knows what he’s doing, and I remember coming back and talking to Vince and Vince said “How is he?”, I said “The kid is awesome”, he said “Really?”
“He wasn’t surprised, it’s not like he didn’t expect him to be good, he was just surprised about how effusive my praise was of him. I said “He has an incredible feel, he has a knack for this business, I think he’s your guy.” In saying that, I don’t want to take credit for Cena’s career, I just happened to be the guy that was there that handed the title to him and he would have had that happen eventually anyway.”
JBL has been announced as an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame Class as part of the class of 2020. WWE has not yet announced when this will take place.
Credit to Fightful for transcript.