John Bradshaw Layfield Officially the Greatest WWE Champion of All Time

Alfred KonuwaFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2012


The best wrestling story of 2012 isn't even a wrestling story. 

With the onset of the 24-hour news cycle, damage control has become a full-time job for WWE officials, as the company's promotional machinery habitually battles bad press. 

But the WWE won't need a shrewdly worded statement from a spokesperson for its involvement in a charitable mission that, if completed, will borderline on miraculousness. 

Former WWE Champion and SmackDown announcer John Bradshaw Layfield has partnered with the WWE and is currently in the midst of a Seven Summits world tour.  The noted tough guy will look to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents in order to raise money for children in Bermuda. 

Absent from Layfield's heroic journey are the juicy details of an ugly divorce for a high-profile superstar or the equally ugly politics of a Connecticut senate race.  Unfortunately, interest in Layfield's ongoing trek is also comparatively bleak. 

It may be impossible for JBL to permanently shed his unsavory reputation as a backstage bully, especially by undertaking a project that is to the press what vegetables are to toddlers.  But what Layfield is attempting to accomplish for children in Bermuda is the antithesis of any characteristic befitting a bully.

Just three months removed from Layfield's first summit in Mount Elbrus in Russia, where the former WWE champion stated that he was lucky to be alive following an ailment-riddled climb that fell short, JBL successfully climbed his second summit in Africa, as he scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro this past Saturday. 

This amazing test of endurance made my otherwise monumental conquering of Diablo Grande's Tough Mudder on the same day—as part of Team Shogun—seem like a power walk.  

Layfield's admirable accomplishment from this past weekend is an encouraging sign for the 45-year-old philanthropist, as well as for his charity.  Layfield showed incredible resiliency in conquering a taller, tougher mountain during his second summit, punctuating this rare feat by planting a WWE flag atop the tallest mountain in Africa.

WWE has invested considerably in the upstart video-sharing website, but few Touts (if any) were more important than the one made by a triumphant yet noticeably haggard John Bradshaw Layfield, who signed off after finishing his latest installment in an already successful venture for charity.