SmackDown: blue without JBL?

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December 22, 2007

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- From a podium stationed inside a red-carpeted ring last Friday, WWE's self-proclaimed "wrestling god" instructed our fans to save their ticket stubs and mark down "the last day JBL will be on SmackDown." To be honest, John Bradshaw Layfield didn't sound like a man who was too broken up about trading in his color commentary duties for returning to ring action on Monday Night Raw. But maybe he's just trying to hide his true feelings on the subject.

Then again, maybe not.

"I've accomplished everything that you could possibly accomplish on one television show," a very unapologetic JBL explained to WWE.com. "I've carried SmackDown, so people that control The CW Network, investors … they're all going to be very upset. They understand I'm going to Monday Night Raw, but I would imagine they'll call Mr. McMahon and WWE, and they're going to be very apoplectic over this."

It seems obvious to JBL that the polish is about to come off a show he credits himself for transforming into the CW Network's "crown jewel." But do other SmackDown Superstars share his sentiment?

"I think JBL leaving for Raw is a loss," admitted the new World Heavyweight Champion, Edge, who at the time he seemed more focused in maintaining a shine on the new gold slung over his shoulder. "But it's smart for him to move on, since he probably realizes that he can't take the World Heavyweight Title away from me. Besides, I can more than carry the load of this show on my back. So while JBL leaving is a loss for SmackDown, don't worry. I can pick up the slack."

Clearly, Edge's priorities are focused elsewhere, so WWE.com caught up with other SmackDown Superstars who chimed in with more … direct comments regarding JBL. (WATCH: MVP and Batista) Some seemed to appease the wrestling deity, while others only reinforced something that he fully believes.

"You would think that the competitive nature of people would want me to leave, so they could step up in my place. The fact is, I'm irreplaceable," he said. "I can imagine the guys in the locker room are shaking in their boots. And everybody, I mean everybody on SmackDown's television crew has asked me to stay, because they understand how important I am. The fact is that I put food on their tables. I'm the one that has made these people live in nice houses.

"I'm light-years ahead of everybody else in this company," JBL added, as if he were reminding us of something he hadn't already told everyone he's seen. "I've transcended this genre like nobody else has. I'm a front-burner, and I'm going to make Raw, which was significantly the B-show compared to SmackDown, the flagship show."

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