Regarding the situations with JBL and his bullying, the proverbial cat is out of the bag. Stemming from his harsh words toward former WWE SmackDown Live announcer Mauro Ranallo on the episode of Bring It to the Table, more former WWE talent spoke out about how JBL would be a bully backstage. Justin Roberts explained that JBL asked someone to take his passport to prevent him from traveling.
While JBL denied these claims, stating that he did not take the passport and calling Roberts an “idiot,” former WWE Intercontinental Champion John Morrison stated that JBL did indeed ask him to take Roberts’ passport, in which he refused.
“JBL asked me and my partner to steal [Justin’s] passport, and we didn’t. JBL was one of the main event guys at the time, and I don’t remember exactly what Justin Roberts did to become the target for the hazing of this specific oversea trip, but JBL asked me and Joey to snag Justin’s passport.”
He went on to state that JBL told him that it would be presented as a great prank, as that was something that happened regularly. Although Morrison did admit that it was enticing, he realized that taking his passport while he was asleep four rows on on the plane was not the best thing to do.
Now, there are more people commenting on how JBL is backstage. Rich Brennan became popular after being an announcer for Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling promotion in Texas. He gained an opportunity to announce for WWE and took over as lead announcer for NXT. Brennan would go as far as commentating on SmackDown, but only for a short time. He would return to doing NXT work and backstage WWE segments, before getting released in April of 2016.
During an interview with Under the Mat Radio, Brennan explained how difficult it was working with JBL.
“JBL was difficult to work with as a broadcast partner, it’s nothing you can do about it because that’s [Vince McMahon’s] guy. With this whole thing going on [with Mauro Ranallo] I don’t know but it seems like he’s entrenched there. He basically violates all rules when it comes to broadcast announcers in how we are trained to be announcers because he can. Difficult to work with part of that is his heel persona, some of that is if [JBL] doesn’t like you or respect you then it’s dialed up little bit. At times I felt like he really didn’t work to make the product better he was just there to get himself over. Backstage he was ok to me, can I see him giving Mauro a hard time? Absolutely I can.”
Like Brennan, there is a good chance that there are even more stories like this concerning working with JBL. From many accounts, he is very loud backstage and is one of the first ones that would pull a rib on someone. With many veterans, hazing was seen as an initiation of a sort into the family, especially for newer talent who has not “paid their dues.”
However, there are some people who have stood up to JBL in the midst of his bullying, and he has backed down. For instance, Joey Styles was once picked on by JBL, but lashed out physically and punched him. From the reactions of that incident, JBL was thought to lose some “street cred” for backing down.
Ultimately, with the Be A Star campaign that WWE promotes, not taking action would be counterproductive to their mission to stop bullying. This does not seem to be something that will fade away in the coming weeks. If anything more stories my surface.
[Featured Image by WWE]