WWE News: Former World Champion Is Next Confirmed Hall Of Fame Inductee For 2020

John Bradshaw Layfield — better known to fans as JBL — is the latest confirmed member of the WWE Hall of Fame’s class of 2020. The news was announced on Tuesday night’s edition of WWE Backstage, one week after rumors first circulated that he would be joining the likes of Batista, the New World Order, and the Bella Twins in this year’s batch of inductees.

As recapped by WrestlingNews.co, Layfield made his WWE debut in 1995 under the ring name Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw, back when the company was still known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). With his name soon getting shortened to Bradshaw, he then spent close to a decade in the WWF/WWE mid-card, working as one-half of The New Blackjacks alongside Barry Windham and teaming up with fellow Hall of Famer Ron Simmons (aka Faarooq) in the Acolytes Protection Agency (APA).

While he became a fan favorite during his time in the APA, it was only in 2004 when Layfield became a top-tier star, taking on the JBL gimmick and presenting himself as an evil businessman inspired by Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing character in Dallas. As separately noted by Bleacher Report, the now-53-year-old retired wrestler held the WWE Championship — his only world title in over a decade with the promotion — and held it for 280 days. During his time on top of the SmackDown card, he was involved in memorable feuds against The Undertaker and the late Eddie Guerrero.

Aside from the WWE Championship, Layfield also got to hold three WWE Tag Team Championships with Faarooq as one-half of the APA, as well as various mid-card titles — the Intercontinental, United States, and the now-defunct European Championship. He was also a decorated member of WWE’s short-lived hardcore division, where he won the Hardcore Championship 18 times. Outside of the ring, Layfield reportedly came up with the idea for the promotion’s Tribute to the Troops shows, which are typically held once a year to honor members of the United States Armed Forces.

Despite being a key part of the WWE Universe for multiple decades, Layfield encountered his share of controversies during his time with the company. Most notably, he has been accused by multiple talents of bullying and was widely blamed for current NXT play-by-play man Mauro Ranallo’s departure from the SmackDown announce team in 2017. However, WhatCulture opined that his many on-air contributions to WWE — both as a wrestler and as a villainous color commentator — nonetheless make it “easy to see” why he will officially be entering the Hall of Fame during WrestleMania 36 weekend in April.

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