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JBL: A Championship Career Renewed
After 20 months at the SmackDown announce desk, John Bradshaw Layfield is returning to the ring ready to throw punches instead of verbal barrages.
Believe it or not, his extensive championship-laden résumé speaks louder and more forcefully than the opinionated SmackDown commentator ever did on Friday nights. The self-proclaimed "wrestling god" is the second-longest reigning WWE Champion of the past decade, holding the title in 2004-05. He is also a three-time World Tag Team Champion as a member of the APA with Ron Simmons.
Renowned for his rugged toughness over the years, JBL held the now-retired Hardcore Title 18 times during his career and competed in some of the most-brutal matches in WWE history -- a Barbed-Wire Steel Cage Match and a Texas Bull-Rope Match.
After the APA disbanded in 2004, the patriotic JBL arrived on SmackDown, winning a "Great American Award" and soon after, the WWE Championship. The Texas tycoon created a Cabinet of Superstars to support and protect him inside and outside the ring. Their influence, combined with JBL's in-ring tactics, helped the Wall Street maven hold onto his title for a then-record 10 months.
In 2006, JBL added more gold to his trophy case, winning the United States Championship at WrestleMania 22 -- very fitting for a man who bleeds red, white and blue, and is widely regarded as the innovator of WWE's annual Tribute to the Troops tour. However, his title reign was short-lived as Bobby Lashley defeated the tycoon in May 2006, and in the same night, Rey Mysterio defeated JBL in a stipulated World Championship Match that forced the millionaire to retire from in-ring action until now.
As Tazz left the SmackDown announce team to join ECW, JBL found a new home broadcasting with Michael Cole. He also expanded his business influence on Wall Street, making weekly appearances on the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Channel, and has started several entrepreneurial efforts. Since then, other than some run-ins with the likes of Batista, Undertaker and Rey Mysterio, JBL has attacked SmackDown Superstars with his words alone through the announcers' headset. Again, until now.
During Chris Jericho's accidental contact with JBL at Armageddon and further insulted the former WWE Champion on Raw, Y2J has become Enemy No. 1 for the "wrestling god."
As the self-proclaimed diety of the ring, will JBL rain down heavens of pain and punishment onto the Second Coming for his infraction? If past performance is any indication, look for the former WWE Champion to cash in, adding to his already success-filled legacy.