JBL's 10-gallon hate for Mysterio
Rey Mysterio and Finlay go one-on-one in the squared circle at No Mercy this Sunday, and they have two people to thank for that: The first is Vickie Guerrero, who made a huge impact in her first weekend as SmackDown's Acting General Manager by declaring what should be a great battle of contrasting ring styles. The second is none other than former WWE Champion and current SmackDown commentator, John Bradshaw Layfield, who just about all of our fans would claim is responsible for escalating this rivalry.
JBL, on the other hand, prefers to lay the blame elsewhere.
"Rey Mysterio's a disgrace to this country, and he's a disgrace to SmackDown," he insisted to WWE.com after SmackDown went off the air last Friday night. "The guy goes out there wearing Mexican tattoos, but I don't see an American flag on him anywhere. He has allegiance to the 619, his ‘homeboys' in San Diego, but he has no allegiance to this country? It's fine with me if he has allegiance to another country, but then he needs to be in that other country."
Spoken like a self-professed "American hero" who at one time even chased alleged illegal aliens back over the "unprotected" Texas-Mexico border. Still, one has to wonder why JBL has entered SmackDown's ring over the past few weeks to verbally assault the "un-American" Master of the 619…especially when he has no problem accepting a helping hand from Finlay, a Belfast-born-to-brawl Superstar who puts the "ire" in "Ireland."
Obviously, Layfield is aware that Finlay still harbors resentment for Mysterio, who beat him in a Championship Competition last month to become No. 1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title at Unforgiven. And since his contract as a SmackDown commentator prohibits him from physically attacking Rey, it's not unreasonable to conclude that JBL is trying to meet his own agenda by inciting international tensions between the two Superstars.
"I haven't incited anything," the retired "wrestling god" argued. "Finlay came over to this country as a legal immigrant. Finlay has made a name for himself here, he's proud to be here and he's also proud of his native Ireland. That's the big difference. And I imagine whatever happened between Finlay and Rey Mysterio gestates out of that. It has nothing to do with me."
Regardless of who's responsible, there's no place for bigotry in sports-entertainment, or anywhere else, for that matter. Yet while JBL keeps attacking Mysterio's nationalism, Rey has countered with his own accusations. As he reminded Layfield and our fans last week, he defeated JBL in a match on SmackDown that forced him to retire from wrestling more than a year ago. And that loss is still eating at him.
Layfield told WWE.com that Mysterio is "trying to cloud the issues," but it's clear from the look on his face that it's a point of contention he continues to wrestle with. His agitation only grew upon our mention of former APA tag team partner Ron Simmons, who recently returned to ring action on Raw. And when we asked him if he's itching to find a way back into the squared circle himself some day, JBL approached us like a man who was deep in thought about replacing the bull-horns ornamenting his stretch limo with our carcass.
Thankfully, too many people were around the locker room area. So John Bradshaw Layfield simply got in our face, replied, "I'm a multi-millionaire. I don't have ‘itches,'" and walked away. And WWE.com knew better than to follow him.