JBL Details “The Hardest Thing To Learn” In Pro Wrestling

WWE Hall of Famer John "Bradshaw" Layfield recently went live on his YouTube channel to do a Q&A with fans. JBL talked about what is the most difficult thing to learn in pro wrestling, and he recalled a learning experience that he gained from Vince McMahon.

"They always say the light goes on, and that's true. It's about timing," JBL stated. "It's not about moves. Most people can learn moves. It's about timing. I remember one time, we were in Canada, and Vince asked me, this is when I was JBL, 'What's your promo?' And I had this promo where I tell them they suck and America's better and all this blah, blah, blah. And he said, 'No, no, no, just tell him you love them,' and I thought about it. I thought, you know, I think that's going to work, and I went out there.

"I said, 'I just want you all to know that I love you. I think you're the greatest so proud of you being our neighbor.' People booed me out of the building. Being a heel is not about shouting out 'you suck' and people shouting 'you suck' back. You can always get a response. It's about believing that you're the good guy. JBL always thought that he was the good guy. JBL always thought that he was on the right side of everything, and that's what added to people hating JBL was 'how can you be that out of touch?' And to me, that part of it, the psychology and the timing, is the hardest thing to learn."

JBL was then asked if legacy pro wrestlers have it easier because their parent was in the business or harder because of the perception that they have it easier than others. JBL looked at different examples of legacy pro wrestlers and their successes.

"To me, the answer is both," JBL said. "You look at guys who are second-generation wrestlers, look at Barry Windham, at age 18, headlining matches in Florida. You look at Randy Orton, youngest champion, third generation. Look at Dusty, both of his kids, Cody and Dustin, both done amazing work, but you also have some second-generation that weren't able to live up to a very charismatic father.

"Some had different names. Brian Christopher, for example, how do you live up to being Jerry 'The King' Lawler's kid in Memphis, but he did. He worked under a different name. They didn't tell people whose kid he was out in the public. Brian made a pathway on his own, a startup. It was really amazing. He was a charismatic guy. Later, people realized that this was Jerry 'The King' Lawler's kid, but it is tough on these kids to have to live up to their father's name, but that inherent knowledge of growing up in the business is something that you just can't replace."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.