WWE Hall Of Famer JBL Assesses Heels Across Pro Wrestling Landscape

Many would call WWE Hall of Famer John Bradshaw Layfield one of the industry's great heels, with the Texas native making the move in the 2000s from a tough guy gimmick in the APA to a rich businessman character that fans despised. The retired wrestler recently made an appearance on "Busted Open Radio," during which JBL discussed the current state of villains throughout pro wrestling. According to Layfield, the industry has been lacking the presence of a heel that is truly hated by fans.


"You've gotta have that super-heel, and I'm not sure we've had one lately," Layfield said. "There's a couple out there that could be. Drew McIntyre could be one. MJF could be one."

While the obvious answer to a recent "super-heel" would be Roman Reigns, JBL pointed out that Reigns was more of an "attraction star" and somebody fans were still excited to see. In order to have a truly successful hot period in wrestling, JBL argued that it's necessary to have a villain that the audience genuinely disdains, and neither McIntyre nor MJF are there yet.

JBL Looks Back On His WWE Heel Character

When asked if his heel character could still work on television today, JBL was confident that it would, stating that it's easier to rile up fans who believe they know the complete details of the wrestling business. As long as someone fully commits to their character, it's still possible to make people buy into the illusion.


"Vince would be very careful with me," Layfield continued. "He would say sometimes, 'You're too entertaining with your promos. People are going to start liking you.'"

Recalling something he learned from WWE producer Brian James during his days as "Road Dogg" Jesse James, Layfield said that heels have to figure out what elements of their character fans are latching onto, and then take it away from them.

JBL made his most recent appearance on the April 29, 2024 edition of "WWE Raw," helping announce a pick for this year's draft. In the segment, JBL and his former tag team partner Ron Simmons were featured alongside CM Punk and Drew McIntyre, with Layfield announcing that McIntyre would be remaining on "Raw."