Wrestling god, No. 1 color commentator...referee?
It's up to YOU, WWE Fan Nation, to select the special guest referee for the World Heavyweight Championship Match at Cyber Sunday, and boy, do you have three blockbuster choices. You decide whether "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Mick Foley or JBL -- all former World Champions themselves -- will be the arbiter for Batista vs. Undertaker.
Being former World Champions and top-flight WWE Superstars, each of these three men shares a history with at least one of the combatants -- some good moments, and definitely some bad ones as well. While the third man in the ring is normally a neutral party, one has to wonder if your selection will call it right down the middle at Cyber Sunday. After all, JBL didn't become a self-proclaimed "wrestling god" by being fair and balanced, and one of Stone Cold's biggest mottos is "Don't Trust Anyone." As for Foley…well, the two ring combatants are players in two of his biggest and most memorable rivalries, so even he can be influenced -- right there, in Washington, D.C.!
So just who is JBL and what kind of history does he have with Batista and Undertaker?
Well, regarding the above title, two out of three ain't bad for JBL. Right now, he claims to be the former two of that adjective triumvirate, and if you so choose, he definitely will be the latter. JBL can at least provide backup for his claims; he's the second-longest reigning WWE Champion of the last 10 years -- only John Cena held the title longer -- and a multiple-time World Tag Team Champion. As SmackDown's color commentator, he's been providing insight for almost 18 months now, and he supplements that air time with his own radio show and frequent appearances on Fox News Channel. Although he is far and away the least fan-friendly of the three choices, and has no guest officiating experience to speak of, he does know both Undertaker and Batista inside and out.
During his lengthy reign as WWE Champion in 2003-04, JBL had a heated rivalry with Undertaker. The two battled in numerous contests, including the first-ever Last Ride Match, with JBL often narrowly holding onto the gold at the end of the day. Thankfully for JBL, the combination of his in-ring talent, the influence of his Cabinet and outside factors -- he brought back former Ministry members Viscera & Gangrel to help him at one point -- kept the gold in his camp. Still, he knows first-hand the wrath of The Phenom; just last week on commentary, he followed up Michael Cole's description of the Tombstone's devastation by quipping, "I know, Michael. Why do you think I'm only 6'6" now?"
Flashing forward to 2005, JBL was on the other side of the equation, frequently challenging Batista during The Animal's first reign as World Heavyweight Champion. The roles truly were reversed, as despite numerous tries, JBL was unable to wrest the gold from around Batista's waist.
When it comes to being the man in the middle, JBL knows not. However, the neutrality JBL must show as an announcer -- his issues with Rey Mysterio notwithstanding -- might make him the best choice come Cyber Sunday.
JBL lobbied for votes on the latest Around the Ring, describing what he would do if chosen by you:
"I think it would be phenomenal; I've wrestled both for World Championships and I would enjoy being in there in a different capacity," he said. "I think I'd be more unbiased than Stone Cold; he has had problems with Undertaker in the past. I have a problem with both Undertaker and Batista, so I don't care who wins. You have my word as a gentleman that I would call it right down the middle."
Will you vote for JBL to serve as special guest referee, or will he watch as Stone Cold or Foley get the nod? The world will find out at Cyber Sunday, but until then, keep voting!