John Layfield

From Academic Kids


John Charles Layfield, better known by his stage names John 'Bradshaw' Layfield (JBL), and Bradshaw (born on November 29, 1967 in Sweetwater, Texas) is an American professional wrestler. Prior to his wrestling career, Layfield was a football player for Abilene Christian University collegiately, and the Los Angeles Raiders professionally. He also had a short stint in the CFL. He is also known outside the wrestling business as a conservative stock market analyst, and has been featured on the Fox News and CNBC channels. He has written a book on financial planning, Have More Money Now (ISBN 0743466330). While Layfield continues to perform for the WWE, he also hosts a nationally-syndicated weekend talk radio program bearing his name.


Early career

John Layfield started wrestling in the Global Wrestling Federation in 1992 as Johnny Hawk. He was billed as the cousin of the Windham brothers, but he is not related. He formed the "Texas Mustangs" with Bobby Duncum, Jr. and they won the tag team titles.

Layfield first appeared in the WWF (now the WWE) as Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw in the mid 1990s. His initial gimmick was that of a sadistic cowboy. He later paired up with "The Stalker" Barry Windham to form "The New Blackjacks." Bradshaw was then 'sacrificed' by The Undertaker and became an Acolyte, alongside Faarooq, and shortened his name to Bradshaw. After this 'dark side' gimmick, he turned face as a cigar-smoking bar-brawler. This gimmick was an evolution of the Acolyte gimmick and continued his teaming with Faarooq as the Acolyte Protection Agency (or the APA). Their motto: "We need beer money." They were promoted through a series of vignettes parodying Pulp Fiction and old noir films. The storyline was slightly absurdist as well, as it featured a door frame and door in the middle of a room which was not attached to any walls, being the door to their "office". Whenever anyone walked around it instead of knocking they would yell at them to have manners.


Since the retirement of his tag team partner, Simmons, Bradshaw has changed his gimmick from a bar room brawler to a posh New York businessman (John Bradshaw Layfield) on the SmackDown! brand, and also turned heel. Like Triple H on RAW, he is now the biggest heel on SmackDown! He rides a white limo to the ring and wears $2,000 10-gallon hats. JBL previously feuded against The Undertaker, Booker T and Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Championship, which he won from Eddie Guerrero on June 27, 2004. On November 14, he was able to defeat Booker T to retain his WWE Championship. He defeated all three: Eddie Guerrero, Booker T and The Undertaker in a Fatal Four Way at the Armageddon PPV, after interference by Heidenreich. At the 2005 Royal Rumble, Layfield was able to defeat both The Big Show and Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat match. He even managed to defend succesfully his title against The Big Show one-on-one in the first-ever Barbed-Wire Steel Cage Match at No Way Out. At No Way Out, John Cena won a tournament to determine JBL's next challenger, and later defeated JBL for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles. JBL later came out the victor in a four-way elimination match against Big Show, Booker T, and Kurt Angle to regain the number one contender's status for Cena's WWE Championship, but was once again defeated by Cena at Judgment Day, this time in an "I Quit" Match.

Many observers considered his future in WWE to be in doubt after an incident that occurred during a WWE house show in Munich, Germany, on June 5, 2004. In an attempt to draw heel heat, he gave the crowd several Nazi salutes and goose-stepped around the ring. Such a display, if used to incite riot or for other political purposes, is illegal in Germany. The German government did not prosecute since the display was intended as part of the showmanship of wrestling. On June 8, 2004, CNBC, which had recently hired Layfield to regularly appear on one of its shows after he had become prominent as a financial commentator, terminated its relationship with Layfield for his actions in Munich. However, Layfield's actions did not prevent WWE from putting its championship belt on him, as noted previously. Some have even speculated that it was this incident which encouraged the decision to make him world champion.

Missing image
Have More Money Now book cover.

The JBL character has slowly become more egotistical with time, at first mimicking the actions of a man running for office (campaign speeches, kissing babies etc) now referring to himself as "a Wrestling God", much to the disdain of RAW's then-World Champion, Triple H. At just over nine months, JBL's WWE Championship reign was the longest in more than ten years (Kevin Nash was the last one to hold the WWE Title for a long period of time when he held the title for 12 months, from November 26, 1994 to November 19, 1995), a fact often mentioned by JBL near the end of his reign.

On June 12, 2005 Layfield appeared at ECW One Night Stand as an anti-ECW "crusader." In the course of the night he stiffed Brian Heffron (The Blue Meanie), reopening cuts Heffron had sustained two days earlier at Hardcore Homecoming. Layfield and Heffron have had a real-life rivarly for several years. As a result, the former ECW wrestler Tracy Smothers challenged Layfield to a shoot fight anywhere at anytime; Layfield failed to respond to this challenge.

In addition to his wrestling career, Layfield has been hosting a nationally-syndicated talk radio show (The John Bradshaw Layfield Show [1] ( since May 2004. The show broadcasts Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons on affiliate stations of the Talk Radio Network.

The Cabinet

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"The Cabinet": (from left to right) Doug Basham, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Orlando Jordan, Amy Weber, Danny Basham.

Layfield currently has a "staff" working for him, it is a stable entitled The Cabinet. His staff includes Orlando Jordan; who is his Chief-of-Staff, and Doug and Danny Basham; his Co-Secretaries of Defense. Amy Weber was also a member, being JBL's image consultant, but later left the WWE due to alleged harrassment. The WWE explained Weber's absence by saying that JBL "fired" her.

Financial career

The JBL gimmick can be credited to his real-life rise as a successful Wall Street investor. After the publication of his book Have More Money Now, he became a stock analyst for Fox News Channel and later joined the CNBC television program Bullseye as the program's only conservative analyst.

Personal Life

On February 11, 2005, Layfield married FOX News Channel finacial analyst Meredith Whitney. Former tag-team partner Ron Simmons was the best-man. Whitney appears weekly on Layfield's radio show, but no mention has ever been made of their marriage. Layfield instead calls Whitney his "sidekick."


Finishing and signature maneuvers

With Faarooq

Championships and accomplishments

WWE Championship Reigns
Preceded by:
Eddie Guerrero
First Succeeded by:
John Cena

Template:WWEchampions Template:WWEEurochampions

External Links

  • WWE Profile (

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