JBL Opens Up On “Father Figure” Blackjack Lanza’s WWE Career

Following the unfortunate passing of Blackjack Laza, JBL joined Busted Open Radio to talk about Lanza's career. He stated that Jack was an amazing person, discussing how important his role was backstage in WWE.

"Jack was an amazing guy, Bubba, as you know," JBL said. "I've never seen anybody say anything bad about Jack. You look at the people who are putting out Tweets, from every different ideology and everything. They all say Jack was a mentor and a friend. There was nobody that said anything about Jack. You know, Jack was a real tough guy, he was a man's man.

"But he had a way of dealing with every single person on the roster where literally he was everybody's friend and mentor. He was an incredible person, he was the right person for Vince McMahon to have in that position," he stated. "Probably the most important person in the company, other than Vince McMahon was Jack Lanza."

JBL admitted that Jack was like a father figure to him. He revealed that he requested his permission when it came to doing the Blackjack gimmick.

"Jack was, like a lot of people, like a father figure to me and I was once a Blackjack," he recalled. "Jack gave me his blessing and, in fact, I pulled him aside and I wouldn't have done it if Jack hadn't given me the blessing. He told me, he said, 'I'm honored that you're going to be the one carrying on the legacy,' which meant the world to me. I've been really tight with Jack over all the years."

JBL also revealed that he and Barry Windham actually tried to get Lanza to manage them. However, while he didn't want to do that, he was always happy to help backstage.

"He really helped me a lot. When I first came in, I was a bit lost, especially when I became a Blackjack. Jack did our vignettes for us," JBL said. "He did a bunch of them and kind of put them all together and made it into one vignette. Barry and I really tried to talk Jack, and Vince did too, to being our manager. But Jack just wanted no part of it. When he left the ring, I think it was 85, he never went back. He said, 'I'm not getting back in the ring, I'm just not doing it. Once you do that, you're back.' Jack never would. But he would always help us with so much stuff."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.