John Bradshaw Layfield
200px-John Bradshaw Layfield 081204-A-5049R-108
Real name John Charles Layfield
Ring Names Blackjack Bradshaw
John "Bradshaw" Layfield
Johnny Hawk
Justin Bradshaw
Vampiro Americano
Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight 290 lb (130 kg)
Date of birth November 29, 1966
Place of birth Sweetwater, Texas
Date of death {{{death_date}}}
Place of death {{{death_place}}}
Resides New York, New York
Billed from New York City, New York
Trainer Black Bart
Brad Rheingans
Win/Loss Record {{{winloss_record}}}
Debut September 23, 1992
Retired {{{retired}}}

John Charles Layfield (born November 29, 1966) is a American professional wrestler and is best known by his ring names, Bradshaw, John "Bradshaw" Layfield or JBL in WWE For Extreme, where he is a former WWE Champion. He's also known as the longest reigning WWE Champion in SmackDown! history with a reign lasting 280 days.

Layfield's main gimmick as John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) – a wealthy, gladhanding businessman – was based on Layfield's real-life accomplishments as a stock market investor. Layfield is a regular panelist on Fox News Channel's The Cost of Freedom, has appeared on CNBC, and has written a best-selling book on financial planning called Have More Money Now. (ISBN 0-7434-6633-0). Layfield also hosts a weekend talk radio program, syndicated nationally by Talk Radio Network, in which he discusses his conservative political views. Layfield is also employed by Northeast Securities as its Senior Vice President.

In WWE, Layfield held seven championships multiple times including five reigns as WWE Champion, two reigns as United States Champion, one reign as European Champion, seventeen reigns as Hardcore Champion, one reign as ECW Champion, one reign as WWE Tag Team Champion with Refugee Matt, and three time as World Tag Team Champion with Faarooq as part of the Acolytes Protection Agency (APA). He is also recognized as the twentieth Triple Crown Champion, and the tenth Grand Slam Champion.


Prior to his professional wrestling career, Layfield was a collegiate American football coach for Trinity Valley Community College and player for Abilene Christian University. At Abilene, Layfield was a two-year starter on the offensive line and was named first-team All-Lone Star Conference as a junior and senior.

Layfield signed with the Los Angeles Raiders as an undrafted free agent, but was released before the 1990 season began. Layfield did play in the World League of American Football, starting all ten games of the 1991 season at right tackle for the San Antonio Riders, wearing jersey number 61.

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Global Wrestling Federation (1992–1994)Edit

Layfield was trained initially by Brad Rheingans and first started wrestling in the Global Wrestling Federation (GWF) in Texas. His first gimmick was as Johnny Hawk, storyline cousin of the Windham brothers. He formed the tag team "Texas Mustangs" with Bobby Duncum, Jr.; they quickly won the GWF Tag Team Championship from Rough Riders (Black Bart and Johnny Mantell) on November 27 but dropped the titles to Bad Breed (Ian and Axl Rotten) on January 29, 1993. Later that year, Hawk won his second GWF Tag Team Championship with Black Bart on December 25 from Steve Dane and Chaz Taylor. They held the title for a long time before losing them to The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin and Terry Gordy) on June 3, 1994. Layfield also won the NWA North American Heavyweight Championship on January 14, 1995, defeating Kevin Von Erich. Two months later, he lost the NWA North American Title to Greg "The Hammer" Valentine.

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (1996–2006)Edit

Debut (1996–1997)Edit

After three and a half years touring the independent circuit, Layfield signed a contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in late 1995 and debuted in January 1996 as Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw. His initial gimmick was that of a tough cowboy/mountain man. After victories, he branded his opponents with the symbol "JB". Of course, the brand was in ink, rather than being seared into the flesh. Managed by Uncle Zebekiah, the character fizzled out by the end of the year, perhaps remembered only for a feud with Savio Vega and a match with Fatu which he won in eight seconds.

New Blackjacks (1997–1998)Edit

Main article: The New Blackjacks

Layfield paired up with his storyline cousin Barry Windham to form The New Blackjacks, complete with the traditional "Blackjack" handlebar mustaches and short, jet black hair.

Windham's injuries piled up throughout 1997, so the team disbanded, and Layfield wrestled only occasionally on TV as "Blackjack Bradshaw", sometimes teaming with fellow Texan Terry Funk. He earned a shot at the NWA North American Heavyweight Championship against Jeff Jarrett at No Way Out of Texas: In Your House and won by disqualification but Jarrett retained the title because a title cannot change hands by a disqualification. In 1998, he wrestled as a mid-carder wrestling the likes of Marc Mero at Mayhem in Manchester, Kaientai (Funaki, Dick Togo, and Men's Teioh) with Taka Michinoku in a handicap match at Over the Edge, and Vader in a Falls Count Anywhere match at Breakdown.

The Acolytes / Acolytes Protection Agency (1998–2002)Edit

Main article: Acolytes Protection Agency

In late 1998, Bradshaw teamed alongside former Nation of Domination member Faarooq to form the tag team Hell's Henchmen, managed by the Jackyl. After the Jackyl left the WWF, Faarooq and Bradshaw joined The Undertaker's new Ministry of Darkness under the name The Acolytes. The Ministry went on to feud with the Corporation. As part of the Ministry, Bradshaw feuded with Ken Shamrock. The two stables would soon unite as the Corporate Ministry, but disbanded after Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated the Undertaker at Fully Loaded. When the Undertaker went on hiatus in September, Bradshaw and Faarooq's dark gimmick faded.

On the May 31, 1999 edition of Raw is War, the Acolytes (still with the Corporate Ministry) won their first WWF Tag Team Championship by defeating Kane and X-Pac. On the July 5 edition of Raw is War, they dropped the titles to the Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) before defeating the Hardyz and their manager Michael "P.S." Hayes at Fully Loaded for their second WWF Tag Team Championship. On the August 9 edition of Raw is War, they lost the titles to Kane and X-Pac.

The duo became fan favorites and changed their gimmick to cigar-smoking, bar-brawlers-for-hire. In jeans and t-shirts, Faarooq and Bradshaw became the Acolytes Protection Agency (APA), with a motto of "because we need beer money." The duo was often seen in the backrooms of arenas with a poker table and later a framed doorway comically in the middle of the often large, open aired hallways; they insisted that anyone entering the space use the door. Occasionally, if the "room" was destroyed in one arena, it was set up exactly as it was destroyed at the next arena, pushing continuity through time and space for comic effect.

The Acolytes earned a shot at the WWF Tag Title at the Royal Rumble against the New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn), but lost the match. Their next shot at the title was at Fully Loaded when they faced Edge and Christian. The Acolytes won the match by disqualification but did not become champions. After unsuccessfully challenging for the tag title in 2000, APA won their third WWF Tag Team Championship on the July 9, 2001 edition of Raw is War by defeating the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von). On the August 9 edition of SmackDown!, they lost the tag title to Alliance members Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon.

On the October 22 edition of Raw is War, Bradshaw defeated The Hurricane to win the WWF European Championship, his first singles title in the WWF. He lost the title to Christian on the November 1 edition of SmackDown!. At No Way Out in 2002, APA won a Tag Team Turmoil match and as a result, they challenged for the tag title at WrestleMania X8 along with Hardys and Dudleys, in a Four Corners Elimination match. The champions Billy and Chuck retained their title.

Singles competition (2002-2003)Edit


Layfield at a 2002 house show during his time as Bradshaw.

Shortly after WrestleMania, Faarooq and Bradshaw split due to the WWE Draft. Layfield was drafted to Raw where his Bradshaw gimmick had an increased emphasis on his Texas roots, which included him carrying a cowbell to the ring. Bradshaw joined the hardcore division after debuting on Raw and won the WWE Hardcore Championship seventeen times, with his first title win coming over Steven Richards. He renamed the title the Texas Hardcore Championship. It was also during this time that his finishing move was briefly renamed from the "Clothesline From Hell" to the "Clothesline From Texas" or the "Clothesline From Deep in the Heart of Texas". Jim Ross often called the move as such during his commentary, although the name eventually reverted back to the original "Clothesline From Hell".

In the hardcore division, Bradshaw feuded and exchanged the title with the likes of Richards, Shawn Stasiak, Raven, Christopher Nowinski, Big Show, Justin Credible, Johnny Stamboli, Crash Holly, Jeff Hardy, and Tommy Dreamer, before the title was unified by WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam in August 2002. In September 2002, Layfield suffered a torn left bicep at a house show. He was out of action for six months until returning to Ohio Valley Wrestling and then a few weeks later to the active WWE roster.

APA reunion (2003-2004)Edit

Bradshaw returned on an episode of SmackDown! in 2003, which saw him and his old friend Faarooq saving the Undertaker from the hands of Chuck Palumbo and Johnny Stamboli. Layfield returned with a new look by cutting his long hair, returning it to its natural color, and going clean shaven. His new look would only be referenced once when, in a scripted segment, Faarooq asked him directly about it. Bradshaw insisted that he had already told the story to Faarooq, who rejected this claim. The duo would return to perform their regular segments, as they did before the brand extension, such as playing poker, drinking beer, and bribing superstars of their money. Unlike before, they would not attack or protect other superstars at the employ of other superstars (as none would hire them. At Vengeance, Bradshaw won a bar room brawl match which featured Faarooq and a variety of mid-card superstars and other WWE employees. The duo wrestled tag teams such as the Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny) at No Mercy and The World's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) at No Way Out. At WrestleMania XX in 2004, they unsuccessfully challenged for the WWE Tag Team Championship in a fatal four-way tag team match. The gimmick continued on-and-off until the March 18 edition of SmackDown! until losing a tag team "You're Fired" match to Tag Team Champions Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty for the tag title. In the lead-up to the first Draft Lottery, many face superstars on the SmackDown brand would indicate their certainty that they would be moved to Raw away from the then-SmackDown! General Manager Paul Heyman. Frustrated by the APA's insult, Heyman told Faarooq that if he did not win the aforementioned match, then "You're Fired". After the match, Bradshaw led Faarooq back to Heyman's office to state they had not been fired, but had resigned. Then Heyman cleared up the mis-understanding and pointed out that he said that if they did not win the titles, then he told Faarooq "You're fired." His reason for saying this directly to Faarooq was because it applied only to Faarooq because "WWE Management" still saw a lot of potential in Bradshaw. He left them after telling Bradshaw to think about his own future, hinting at his status as a successful author and then Fox News Channel personality. Faarooq shouted after Heyman that he was not fired because they (Faarooq and Bradshaw) had quit. But Bradshaw hesitated. Faarooq took Bradshaw's hesitation to mean that he would not resign, and so Faarooq promptly disbanded the APA and left. In reality, the WWE had decided to stop using Ron Simmons as an on-air performer. He was initially fired, but he was later re-hired to work behind the scenes in the WWE under various roles.

JBL, WWE Champion and the Cabinet (2004-2005)Edit

The next week, Bradshaw changed his gimmick into a J. R. Ewing-esque villainous persona complete with a suit, cowboy hat, and tie as he began his first main event push. He began referring to himself as John "Bradshaw" Layfield, or JBL. His finishing move's name was part of the overhaul, becoming the Clothesline From Wall Street until he later changed it back to its original name. His first promo was on the border between Texas and Mexico, where he hunted for incoming illegal immigrants in order to win a "Great American Award", which granted the winner number one contendership to the WWE Championship. He won, and immediately challenged Eddie Guerrero for the title. The storyline leading up to the match was that JBL caused Guerrero's mother to have a heart attack at a house show when he threatened her and grabbed her by the shoulder. At Judgment Day, JBL defeated Guerrero via disqualification in a match for Eddie's WWE title. A title cannot change hands by DQ, so Guerrero retained the title. JBL controversially won the WWE Championship from Guerrero in a Texas Bull Rope match at The Great American Bash. The initial decision of Guerrero's victory was reversed by then-General Manager Kurt Angle, awarding the match and the title to JBL; the replay showed that JBL touched the fourth corner before Guerrero. JBL won a rematch in a steel cage two weeks later, again with Angle's assistance.

250px-JBL as WWE Champion

John "Bradshaw" Layfield, during his reign as WWE Champion.

After claiming he would not be defending the title at SummerSlam, the Undertaker challenged JBL for the title. Around this time, JBL hired Orlando Jordan to help him in title matches. At SummerSlam, JBL won the match by disqualification. After the match, Undertaker chokeslammed JBL through the roof of his limo. JBL wore a halo complete with his cowboy hat on top for the next few weeks to sell his "injuries". SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long then booked a Last Ride match for the title at No Mercy. JBL retained the title with some help from Heidenreich. Though JBL held the title for many months, most title matches were won controversially. At Survivor Series, JBL defeated Booker T to retain his WWE Championship by hitting Booker in the face with the title belt when the referee was knocked out. JBL defeated Eddie Guerrero, The Undertaker, and Booker T in a Fatal Four-Way at Armageddon (2004) after a run-in by Heidenreich, who incapacitated the Undertaker, allowing JBL to take advantage and hit Booker with the Clothesline From Hell to get the pinfall victory.

Main article: The Cabinet (professional wrestling)


The Cabinet: "Chief of Staff" Orlando Jordan and Layfield, the WWE Champion.

During JBL's time as WWE Champion, he employed a "staff" to work for him. The stable was named The Cabinet. At its peak, the stable contained Orlando Jordan, who was JBL's "Chief-of-Staff" and Doug and Danny Basham, who were his "Co-Secretaries of Defense" until "quitting" the Cabinet on the June 16, 2005 episode of SmackDown!. Amy Weber was also a member, being JBL's image consultant, but later left WWE. WWE explained Weber's absence by saying that JBL "fired" her after an episode of SmackDown! taped in Japan. That episode saw Weber accidentally shoot JBL with a tranquilizer gun. Jordan is the only member not announced to have left the group, though mention of the term cabinet went on hiatus after SummerSlam and Orlando was released from WWE in May 2006.

JBL's luck continued in early 2005; at the Royal Rumble, he sneaked past both Big Show and Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat match when he pinned Angle after the Clothesline From Hell. He once again emerged with his title intact from WWE's first-ever Barbed Wire Steel Cage match at No Way Out against Big Show. JBL won the match when Big Show chokeslammed JBL off the top rope through the ring. JBL managed to crawl out from under the ring apron before Show could make it to the floor, winning the match by escape. On the next edition of SmackDown!, JBL had a "Celebration of Excellence" in which he and his Cabinet celebrated the fact that he was the longest-reigning WWE Champion in ten years, a party which was broken up and ruined by newly-crowned number one contender John Cena. JBL Was aggervated consistently by John Cena thus to make him retaliate as John Cena could then strike back but Cena failed to convince Layfield To do so

On the final Smackdown before Wrestlemania 21, JBL had John Cena arrested (kayfabe), and while Cena's hands were cuffed behind him, JBL kicked Cena in the groin(fake). And John Cena got payback as JBL had lost the WWE Championship to Cena at WrestleMania 21. His unbroken nine-month reign was billed as the longest in a decade, lasting 280 days. On the April 28 edition of SmackDown!, JBL defeated Big Show, Booker T, and Kurt Angle in a four-way elimination match to earn a rematch for the WWE title, but lost to Cena at Judgment Day (2005) in an "I Quit" match.

WWE For ExtremeEdit

The Cave WrestlingEdit

Personal lifeEdit

His parents are Lavelle Layfield, who is a minister, and Mary Layfield.

Layfield makes regular appearances on the Fox News Channel weekend business show, Bulls & Bears. His company, Layfield Energy, launched a drink called MamaJuana Energy. In March 2009, Layfield Energy became the main sponsor and advertiser of Ohio Valley Wrestling, a former WWE developmental promotion based in Louisville, Kentucky.

During a WWE house show in Munich, Germany early in June 2004, in an attempt to draw heel heat, he gave the crowd several Nazi salutes while goose-stepping around the ring. Such a display is illegal in Germany if used for political purposes. In an interview with The Washington Post, Layfield explained "I'm a bad guy [on WWE TV]. I'm supposed to incite the crowd. I've done [the Nazi salute] for decades. I really didn't think anything of it - I know how bad it is, I've lived [in Germany]. I've been to Dachau, seen those places where they exterminated millions of Jews. I draw the line between me and my character. That's like saying Anthony Hopkins (who portrays Hannibal Lecter) really enjoys cannibalism."

Layfield married Meredith Whitney on February 12, 2005 in Key West, Florida.

In wrestlingEdit

  • Finishing moves
    • Clothesline From Hell / Clothesline From Wall Street (Running high-impact lariat)
    • JBL Bomb / Release powerbomb, with theatrics – 1998–2005
  • Signature moves
    • Backbreaker rack
    • Bearhug
    • Big boot
    • Eye poke
    • Flowing DDT
    • Last Call (Fallaway slam, sometimes from the second rope)
    • Multiple elbow drops
    • Sleeper hold
    • Swinging neckbreaker
  • With Faarooq
    • Finishing moves
      • Aided powerbomb
    • Signature moves
      • Double spinebuster
  • Managers
  • Nicknames
    • "Big"
    • Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw
    • "JBL"
    • "The Wrestling God"
  • Entrance themes
    • "Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen (GWF)
    • "Cotton Eye Joe" by Rednex (GWF)
    • "Longhorn" by Jim Johnston
    • "Bar Room Brawl" by Jim Johnston

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

College footballEdit

  • 190px-JBL-US-Champion

    JBL during his reign as United States Champion

    Abilene Christian University
    • 1989 NCAA Division II All–American

Professional wrestlingEdit