WWE McMahon Misdirection: Vince Wanted a Babyface JBL?

Marc MattalianoCorrespondent IIIFebruary 10, 2012


Just read this story and had to pass it along with some additional insight and research.

PWTorch.com is reporting a story about former superstar John Bradshaw Layfield and how a disagreement between he and McMahon, as well as a number of high-profile stars leaving the company at the time, may not be what Vince had in mind for Layfield's prominent solo character makeover.

"Vince McMahon will deny this because he didn’t see any parallel with the J.R. Ewing character (from "Dallas"), but in my mind it was a J.R. Ewing character. It was my idea," JBL said. He noted McMahon wanted him to remain a babyface at the time when he debuted the character, but "a confluence of factors happened. Big Show got hurt, The Undertaker got hurt and Brock Lesnar left the company and they needed a guy to face Eddie Guerrero. Vince asked me if I wanted to do the JBL character and I said, 'I’d love to and let’s give it a whirl.'"

It seems more and more these days that stories come out spotlighting McMahon's ineptness at making crucial character decisions. 

So many people are quick to say how great a businessman Vince has been for such a long time, but is that really the case?  While he may have come up with a few good ideas over the years, the majority of his choices just seem way off.

For starters, how in the world could a Texas transplant to New York who made money on Wall Street be a babyface? 

Granted, JBL was a really talented star, and he was more amazing on commentary than I ever thought he could be.

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If anybody could take an oil tycoon-style character and make him a fan favorite, JBL damn sure could.  All a combination of the right words and tone during promos, the right demeanor, etc.

However, in the wrestling world, where the majority of fans are fairly blue-collar?  

The rich-man gimmick has typically been a heel character. 

It's textbook!

Ted DiBiase Jr. seems to be doing OK turning such a gimmick into a face role, but it's not gaining much ground so far.

Not only that, but JBL was one of the crucial factors in validating pivotal John Cena's face turn.  Cena debuted in June 2002, turned heel a few months later with his rapper gimmick, turned face around the time of Survivor Series 2003 and by WrestleMania 21 in 2005, Cena had won his first WWE Championship from JBL.

Even though Cena had beaten high-profile stars before that, building JBL to be one of the biggest heels in the company at the time, and booking Cena to win his first world title over him? 

Cena might not be as big a star today if JBL had been a babyface.

Cena either would've turned heel after taking the title from a beloved star like Bradshaw, or the two never even would've crossed paths because they would've been afraid to mess with the integrity of two faces with a major loss.

Defeating JBL and taking his title, at that time, was seen as practically impossible, too. 

Superstar after superstar tried and failed. 

JBL won the title from Eddie Guerrero in a Bull Rope Match at the Great American Bash on June 27, 2004, and survived Undertaker at SummerSlam, Big Show, Kurt Angle, Booker T and others, held the title for almost a year, and who was allowed to beat him? 

John Cena.

Cena did the impossible.

Cena's stock might never have risen as high had JBL been a babyface, Vince. 

You may want to admit your mistake on that one, seeing as how you gleefully lean on Cena so well these days.

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