Hall of Fame
WWE Superstars - Smackdown
John "Bradshaw" Layfield, or "JBL" (born John Charles Layfield on November 29, 1966) is a former American professional wrestler. He is currently working for World Wrestling Entertainment as a color commentator on WWE Friday Night SmackDown!.
The JBL persona is based largely on Layfield's real-life accomplishments outside the ring. Known as a successful stock market guru, Layfield is a regular panelist on Fox News Channel's The Cost of Freedom shows and previously appeared on CNBC. He has also written a best-selling book on financial planning called Have More Money Now (ISBN 0-7434-6633-0). While Layfield continues to perform for WWE, he also hosts a nationally-syndicated weekend talk radio program discussing his conservative political views. Layfield also is employed by Northeast Securities as a consultant.
Layfield was born in Sweetwater, Texas. Prior to his professional wrestling career, Layfield was a successful football player for Abilene Christian University collegiately. On a Spike TV network biography, Layfield claimed to have broken his leg in the 3rd quarter on the second to last game of the season, while playing for Abilene Christian. Knowing the next game would be his last, he played the remaining of the season with a broken leg. There have been claims that he played in the NFL for the Los Angeles Raiders, but he is not listed on the team's all-time roster. (Note, however, that it is possible that he played in preseason games for the Raiders.) He is also said to have had a short stint in the Canadian Football League.
Layfield was trained initially by Brad Rheingans and first started wrestling in the Global Wrestling Federation in Texas in 1992. His first gimmick was as Johnny Hawk, the cousin of the famous Windham brothers. Though the Windhams are also from Sweetwater, Layfield is not actually related to them. He formed the "Texas Mustangs" with Bobby Duncum, Jr., and they quickly won the tag team titles but dropped them to Ian & Axl Rotten (Bad Breed). Layfield also won the NWA North American Title, defeating Kevin Von Erich. Two months later, he lost the NWA North American Title to Greg "The Hammer" Valentine.