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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Good, Bad, & Ugly Of JBL's Character/Gimmick
June 7, 2004 by Chris Chambers


Everyone dislikes JBL for many reasons and some I agree with. You have fans saying they don't like him because he is this rich white man from texas who has come into money and moved to New York and became a prick. Other fans don't like him because of his gimmick. The majority of the fans don't like him because WWE shoved him down our throats by pushing him to early in the Main Event picture. Even though I do agree that his push is too fast, there are definitely alot of positives of JBL's character. In this column I will talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of JBL's character or gimmick (whichever ya wanna call it).

I am going to start off with the very bad of JBL and then do the ugly of JBL and to show that I am not a JBL bandwagon hater or bandwagon fan I am going to talk about the good of JBL. There are many reasons why JBL's character/gimmick is bad and not liked. The main reason that I can think of is that his main event push as JBL was too fast. Now if JBL (character wise), was given time to mature amongst the fans and he started off maybe in the US Title picture and then eventually work up to main event then it wouldn't be so bad.

Now onto the the minor bad things about JBL. One of the minor problems is that his character is based on racism. Don't get me wrong racist jokes is an easy way to get heel heat but come on you shouldn't stoop that low to get heel heat. Another minor problem with JBL is that he comes off too arrogant. I know heels are supposed to be obnoxious but to be so arrogant like JBL it gets ridiculous.

Onto the very ugly of JBL's character. The very first ugly thing about JBL's character is his limo entrance. I think they can do away with it IMO. It was definitely ugly seeing JBL make things personal like bringing Eddie Guerreros family into it. Also constantly making racist remarks and jokes is also very ugly. One ugly thing about JBL is if he was to win the title and hold it for a long time. Don't get wrong a JBL WWE Title run is inevitable but to see the title on him for a long time would make it a very ugly thing. One major ugly thing in retrospect, is if JBL doesn't get a WWE Title run, it would make WWE look very bad because they would have to admit they were wrong. Why build up a new heel, push him in main event too soon, and not give him the title? If they did that it would be a huge and I mean huge mistake.

Now onto the good of JBL's character. One major good that comes to mind is that he has done good so far as JBL. He has received heat, he gets the fans to hate him, and most of all he pulls off the character very well. I know and everyone else knows its not a big secret why he was given that character and put in the main event. The reason is because Smackdown is lacking top heels and as a pro sd fan I will admit that. However, JBL has done the best he can do with the character he was given. People say JBL sucks in the ring, well in the technical department I will agree but in an overall look of different styles JBL is a definitely good brawler. He also does wrestle ok in the technical dept but not alot. I will admit at first that I didn't like JBL at all, but as time progressed he started to grow on me. Now back to the good things about JBL. Another good that everyone will agree with is that JBL has the "H-Factor". What is the "H-Factor" you say? Well it is simply the Heel Factor. As a heel, Bradshaw is definitely better than being a face.

Now I will go on record and say this fans who bash JBL for not doing his job as a heel is completely wrong. When JBL was a face in APA, the same fans cheered him and loved him and now that hes heel they don't like him. There are some bad and ugly things about JBL but why be so over critical? Focus on the good of something once in a while instead of focusing on the negatives. This is why SD is bashed alot because fans are over critical. Sure its ok to critique something but to over do it is definitely wrong. I will touch on this subject in another column. Untill next time, Chris Out ! ! (yes I know its a rip off of, Seacrest Out ! !, but whatever ;) )

by Chris Chambers..


Brad Dykens:
Nice job with the "Chris Out" schtick hah.. My only problem with your column is the first line. "Everybody dislikes Bradshaw for many reason", well don't group me in with that. I love Bradshaw and I think his character is brilliant and a much-needed breath of fresh air. I don't agree with what he did in Germany, but I'm convinced that he really didn't know the severity of what he was doing. However, Bradshaw's character is "old school" and we're always complaining that we're tired of the new school, so we should be happy about this. I once watched a tape of Mid-South wrestling and I watched Ernie Ladd rip the head dress off Native American Jay Strongbow's head and tear it into pieces and stomp on it. Isn't that a lot worse than anything JBL has done!?
Dazz Jones wrote:
So everyone hates Bradshaw now. Doesn't that mean he's doing his job? Now as a top heel on Smackdown! he needs to get over that way. The major push I think is to get some heat going his way. From a face in APA and on his own he needed to get some heat to become a top heel as Smackdown is, as Chris said, lacking with the departure of Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle's injuries as well as Big Show. Personally, I like the JBL gimmick, it generates heat, all be it a questionable way of going about it. It's good to see someone new in the title picture but I personally don't see Bradshaw the wrestler as being Main-Event calibre. And if the Great American Bash buy rate is anything like Judgement Day, I think JBL will be reduced to a Mid-Card role and WWE may be forced to try something new. Possibly Kenzo Suzuki.....
Mike Petralia wrote:
AH finaly someone like Brad Dykins knows what hes talking about. Will Bradshaw go down in the record books as a great heel prob not...but know what hes doing a hell of a job...why becuase everyone hates him we are supose too. Some of his actions are over board yes...but teh 60s through teh 70s was all based on wrestlers having ethnic gimicks. Does anyone remember pipers pit w jimmy snuka a little racist huh but id nt see anyone complaining, how bout bret hart during the USA vs Canada fueds all he did was down grade americans. They are just gimicks not what teh wrestler truly feels
Rob C wrote:
While the Native American head-dress thing can be considered offencive and morally wrong it is no where near what JBL did. Giving the nazi salute is actually a offence that can be punished with a jail term, much like defacing Old Glory would be in American. While i am not a JBL fan i don't hate him to the level most people do, and i do believe he is getting off rather easy considering what he has done.
J.J. Gerardi wrote:
I think what JBL reportedly did in Germany was way off-base characterwise and otherwise; I thought Layfield was supposed to portray who is an overbearing American capitalist and he reportedly goose-stepped and made a Hitler salute?!?! I know he is a mega-heel, but couldn't he find better ways of attaining heel heat? Just horrible error of judgement on his part if it was indeed Bradshaw's idea. Consequently, his reported actions have cost him his side job at CNBC and I wouldn't be surprised if Vince McMahon & Co. take action as well.
Sam Tindall wrote:
I think it was a bad judgment...the Nazi salute. He should have done something more close to his gimmick, like attack their financal state. I don't know if Germany has any problems with that, but he could always find a worm hole somewhere. I don't totally hate JBL and I disagree about the limo being a bad idea I think it gives his entrance a little more character. If he was with out the limo, wouldn't he be even MORE boring? I think JBL is doing a good job considering he was pressured right to the main event like that after being in low pressure matches for so long. He was close to main event before on RAW before he got into trouble from that Plane Ride From Hell back in '02. So, he isn't exactly a stranger to it. I think it's also about time he gets a fresh look. The APA was nice to bring back, but it was brought back how many times? Too many. Once is enough to bring a tag team back. Plus...Faarooq is just too old to wrestle, in my opinion. And as far as him NOT winning the title. I think it'd be dumb to have him beat Eddie, but I guess so. If Undertaker is pulling a joke on Heyman and the Dudleyz to save Bearer and he remains face, then I think he'd be a good guy to squash JBL at Summerslam or Survivor Series. JBL isn't a small guy tho and I'd kinda like to see Eddie Vs. 'Taker for the title. I think that would get a over all, better buyrate. That's my thoughts, thanks for reading.
Samuli Suontamo (from Finland) wrote::
Sorry, I feel like most of you americans, Bradshaws nazi salutes were just for heel gimmick action ...

But ... If I was from Finland and I've done a gimmick in which I was an anti-US guy and I've mentioned 9-11 and said like "I made your tower's fall down and I'm gonna make fun of it becouse I'm a heel." What would you think?

Maybe couple of decades will smoothen our memories, but ... nobody will never ever forget 9-11 (my father was on his way to Canada on that very day, lucky his alive) but come on, no one should ever, never ever salute nazies, not even for entertainment reasons or any reason ...

And yes, I saw Wrestlemania (1) in 1984 (in Finland we had satellite access to british Sky-channel, that was before ppv:s. And oh man ! those Saturday Night Main Events, with fried pig parts and those 1980's "superstars" !!!
wrote:

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