In the latest WWE news and rumors, a fan was recently removed from an arena during a WWE event for having a sign about the recent JBL bullying scandal. There had been recently-alluded to incidents about John “Bradshaw” Layfield (JBL) in a book written by former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts, as well as rumors that JBL caused SmackDown Live commentator Mauro Ranallo to leave the company over the past month. With all of that said, the WWE fan reactions to the bullying allegations have been quite strong, even to the point that there are now odds offered on whether JBL will remain employed with WWE or not.
Within the past week, it was reported by the Inquisitr and other sources that Mauro Ranallo appeared to be done with WWE. This news came after weeks of Ranallo being absent as a part of the commentary team on SmackDown Live. At first, various reasons were given for his absences, including bad weather causing him to be unable to make it, or “being sick.” However, it was soon learned that Ranallo has been diagnosed as bipolar and deals with depression regularly. In addition to that, rumors began to surface that the SmackDown commentator may have been subjected to John Bradshaw Layfield’s bullying.
As Bleeding Cool reported on Wednesday, during Tuesday’s SmackDown Live taping, a fan was holding up a sign reading “JBL Bullied Me” in response to all of the allegations and rumors of JBL’s bullying of various WWE talent. The fan was shown in a Twitter video being escorted out by security while continuing to hoist the sign up above his head to show the fans in attendance. Many fans cheered on the man who was ejected and it was also reported that other fans in the arena participated in a “Fire Bradshaw” chant.
In addition to all that, Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s Dave Meltzer recently mentioned that JBL has been quite active with regards to maintaining his image on Twitter. As 24Wrestling reported from Wrestling Observer Radio, JBL has apparently been blocking people who were following both he and Mauro Ranallo on Twitter. In addition, he has been blocking various members of the media covering his alleged bullying over the years, or more recently.
With regards to the bullying scandal, there have been fans calling for WWE to fire JBL due to the fact he has allegedly been harassing or bullying other stars. If true, it would seem to be a major conflict with WWE’s promoted anti-bullying campaign, “Be A Star,” that is shown quite often during various WWE programming. Due to all of this, the Irish sports book Paddy Power is even offering betting odds over whether or not JBL will still be working with WWE as this summer.
The site lists a “JBL special” for “Will JBL still be contracted to WWE on July 1st, 2017?” As of this report, the “Yes” option had the stronger odds at 4-6, while “No” had 11-10 odds for bettors to contemplate. As the WWE Leaks site suggests, the company may simply decide to keep JBL as an employee, but could deal with him another way. They could possibly suspend John Bradshaw Layfield, or even enter him into some sort of anti-bullying program or course, and publicize it for the fans to know about.
In recent weeks, WWE has certainly seen fans become extra passionate about matters regarding storylines, bookings, and also what may be real life bullying. On the Raw episode one night after WrestleMania 33, the crowd chanted and booed superstar Roman Reigns following his win over the Undertaker, which may have been Taker’s last match. Reigns finally spoke a few words but only after waiting out nearly 10 minutes or so of crowd chants and noise.
In what appeared to be an attempt to remove Reigns from the live television shows for a bit, WWE had an incident backstage on this past week’s Raw where Reigns was brutally attacked by his rival, Braun Strowman. The incident involved Strowman tossing Reigns around the back parking garage and pushing him off a ledge on a stretcher. It concluded with Reigns being loaded into an ambulance only for Strowman to tip that over in a feat of strength. A day or so later, a fan had started up a petition to fire Braun Strowman, showing how the lines of reality and storylines can become so confused by some fans.
In the case of the JBL bullying, WWE certainly has a serious matter on its hands to deal with. While the allegations need to be investigated fully to find out what has been going on and what the truth is, there has been a lot of media coverage given to these WWE rumors now. Having a fan removed from an arena with a “JBL Bullied Me” sign isn’t going to help WWE get rid of the matter any faster, as the viral video may have given some fans more reason to chant or protest.
[Featured Image by WWE]