John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) recently made national and international headlines over his bullying antics, one of which caused Mauro Ranallo to leave WWE, but it seems WWE doesn't care. JBL was connected to the departure of Mauro due to bullying he had done to him both on and off the air. Most people felt like JBL's jabs on television were nothing of major note, but we don't know how personal it became off television.
JBL comes from a time in which bullying and hazing was part of the business. It never should have been, but JBL will say different. JBL himself said that there is no place for it today, yet he has been connected to bullying talent for over twenty years. That said, this has become a pattern of horrendous behavior. Some would say that Mauro should have been a man and stood up for himself and that he should have come into work anyway, regardless of the bullying.
It is no secret that Mauro has dealt with serious depression problems in the past, with clinical diagnosis confirming it. He is also bi-polar, which means even if both of these things are medicated, things will set both off pretty hard. Mauro has dealt with hazing in the past as well as he has covered combat sports and pro-wrestling for nearly twenty years. That said, he knows when things are in good fun and when they are not.
The WWE was a dream job for Mauro, who knows every name, submission, suplex, and hold in the business. He is the closest thing to Jim Ross other than the man himself. Fans really loved what Mauro brought to the table and never wanted him to go...but many feel the WWE did. Ranallo did well on the table, but then WWE added Tom Phillips to the table as "host" of WWE SmackDown Live. Apparently, Vince McMahon did not like how Mauro handled promoting advertisements.
From there, constant banter between JBL and Ranallo existed and fans felt a bit uneasy about it. So much so that it was addressed online and eventually the WWE Network. If it became a problem like this off screen, we could see the issue. Combine JBL's issue with Mauro with multiple people speaking out about JBL in the past from previous interviews and published books, and you have a man known for a major pattern of behavior the WWE preaches against!
So one would wonder, would WWE ever consider punishing JBL for his actions before or recently? According to Cageside Seats, no...they do not plan to. As of now, the report claims that JBL is unlikely to be punished for his connection to bullying in WWE in the past or with Mauro recently. The sad part is that WWE could have gotten ahead of this on Tuesday. JBL could have made a public apology to the people in Boston and around the world....he even could have done so on Twitter.
Instead, WWE has not forced an apology. On top of all of this, JBL is blocking anyone who follows both heMauro Ranallo on Twitter. WWE has been facing a lot of backlash from WWE fans and many are calling for him to be fired. Even most recently on Tuesday, a man was even escorted from the building in Boston after a "JBL bullied me" sign was brought in by the fan. Despite this, some in WWE do feel like JBL should not be fired over his antics.
WWE Hall of Famer and professional wrestling legend Jerry "The King" Lawler spoke on the matter in a Dinner with the King podcast.
"I'm a JBL fan. Here's the thing about JBL; you have to know the guy. And if you don't get an opportunity to really know JBL, you can be offended. JBL is a funny guy. He's a big guy. He's boisterous. He comes across as, sometimes, crude and loud. But you gotta know him. That's just JBL. He's the same guy on commentary as he is in catering."When it comes to the idea of JBL losing his job over the bullying allegations from past or present, the King claims, "I don't [think so], but hey, that's my opinion. I don't think he will, not over something like this."
Many of the people who have come out in support of JBL were legends or those from the time JBL really first started in the WWE. People like Eric Bischoff did so and claimed to never have an issue, but a good portion of the time JBL was in the WWE with Eric, they were on opposite brands. Plus Eric had been in the business for years and the rival company he once led was now gone, so there was no need to really be anything but nice. Others like Lawler would never be bullied by JBL.
King was a legend in the business before he ever worked in the WWE for the announce team. JBL never once tried to bully legends or who he saw as equals. A guy like Lawler would not experience the issue of what it was like to be a new guy in the locker room or on the table with JBL. Mauro and various WWE Superstars would disagree that JBL is not a bully or should not be fired.
Some WWE fans feel that asking to fire JBL is harsh, as it is the man's job. Those people believe a public apology and/or fine would be more than enough for WWE to get ahead of this. With the company now facing national and international attention from various support groups and media members, they will need for things to be addressed sooner rather than later. The very least, an apology would go a long way with WWE fans and those of whom he has wronged.
[Featured Image By WWE]