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The JBL - Blue Meanie ECW controversy
ECW's One Night Stand may have ended two weeks ago, but what took place in the middle of the ring during the successful pay-per-view's closing moments is still quite a source of controversy.
During the wild brawl that closed the show, former ECW wrestler The Blue Meanie and SmackDown! Superstar JBL appeared to trade some heavy blows, with the 6-foot-6 JBL seemingly getting the better of the exchange.
Photos and witnesses later confirmed that JBL did a fair amount of damage to The Blue Meanie's face, even opening up some stitches he had received just a day earlier.
The incident has since been one of the hot-button topics making the rounds on the Internet. WWE.com was able to track down JBL, Meanie and Paul Heyman to talk about the bizarre events of that night.
Outside sources have tried to interview JBL, but they declined after being asked to record the conversation. As a result, WWE.com has the first words from JBL on this topic.
"People don't know my side of the story, so I'm glad WWE.com has given me a chance," JBL said. "But I'm not sure who'll believe me anyway. I'm really surprised at all the backlash and I wish I was never associated with this and that it never happened."
Many Internet reports have indicated that JBL and Blue Meanie had some previous run-ins during Meanie's stay with the company in 1998, 1999 and part of 2000, and that those problems are the genesis of the ECW incident.
"The incident with Meanie had nothing to do with any old heat, I don't even know the guy," JBL said. "I understand he worked here, but I don't even remember working with him. I couldn't care less about the fat little kid. "
Meanie, who worked with WWE from October 1998 to June 2000, finds it almost impossible that JBL doesn't recall his time there.
"That's BS, he remembers me," Meanie said when reached at home by WWE.com. "From my first day to my last, JBL never liked me. Maybe it was because I wasn't an All-American football player or because my body wasn't chiseled from granite, but he had it in for me.
"I enjoyed my time at WWE, I loved the work and I got to see the world," Meanie continued. "I liked everything about it except JBL. When I was fired I was actually happy I wouldn't have to see him anymore, that's how depressed he had me."
Here's JBL's version of the final moments of the pay-per-view:
"Before the brawl at the end of the pay-per-view, he starts cutting a shoot promo on me, saying I'm the reason he got fired and the only reason I got where I am is because I CENSORED Vince McMahon's CENSORED. I was incredulous," JBL said. "I thought there's no way he could really mean this. So I got to work with him at the end, and here we are trying to give the fans a great finish when we begin to lock horns in the melee. But he's basically not even acknowledging my presence. Now I might have caught him snug with a shot, but then he starts throwing back heavy punches, including a body shot. So make no mistake, I club him back to make sure he knows I'm not playing, and I think I got him with a shot over the eye and one near the forehead and apparently opened him up a little."
"Backstage I asked him if he wanted to finish it right then and there," JBL continued. "He told me it's all a show and that he didn't want to fight. And he pretty much ran off."
Meanie, as you might expect, had a much different view of what transpired.
"I was jaw-jacking with everyone, that was the whole point," Meanie said. "The tape doesn't lie. He went right for me and hit me when I wasn't even looking. He even tried to pull my shirt over my face and have one of those hockey fights. He wanted a receipt for the things I've said about him.
Meanie is referring to old interviews on various Internet sites that quote Meanie calling JBL a "bully."
"I tried to fend him off the best that I could, but at that point, I was also trying to protect the 14 staples I had in the back of my head from the night before," Meanie added. "He's a real big guy and there's only so much I was able to do."
JBL claims any accusations The Blue Meanie has made regarding JBL sabotaging his job with WWE are ludicrous.
"Apparently he blames me for getting him fired here," JBL said. "I don't have that kind of power, and even if I did, I wouldn't use it on him. I really couldn't give two sh**s about this guy. I don't care if he ever wrestles again and I don't care if he becomes a World Champion. Beating up the Blue Meanie doesn't benefit me in any way. It just makes me look like a complete a**hole to attack this kid."
For his part, Meanie is also trying to put the incident behind him.
"To me, it's just really sad. JBL is supposed to be one of the top guys," Meanie said. "He's supposed to lead by example, not by fear."
ECW head Paul Heyman, who you might remember had some harsh words himself for JBL during One Night Stand, certainly isn't surprised at the amount of attention the incident as drawn over the past week.
"I'm not surprised the JBL-Blue Meanie incident is still generating so much buzz," Heyman told WWE.com. "The top star on SmackDown!, a former WWE Champion, hit ECW's court jester with his best shots and couldn't knock him out? This is like The Sandman pounding on Howard Finkel and Howard walking away with some bumps and bruises."
Furthermore, Heyman wouldn't mind seeing both men settle their differences in the ring. In fact, Heyman wonders what WWE brass is waiting for?
"It's pretty amusing the SmackDown! brain trust hasn't capitalized on the interest in JBL and The Meanie and begged Vince McMahon to allow this match to take place on TV or pay-per-view," Heyman said. "If they don't have the vision, ECW certainly does, and I'd welcome that match on any platform ECW is afforded. I even propose we allow the two to fight in the streets of New York City and broadcast on ECW.com! After failing to silence his harshest critic, I think it's on JBL to prove if there's anything but bullsh** behind the Wrath of the Wrestling God."