JBL Likely Going Babyface to Combat Bullying Allegations
Monday, April 17, 2017
WWE announcer John Bradshaw Layfield has been in the news a lot recently due to accusations that he frequently bullied and hazes WWE talent, including fellow announcer Mauro Ranallo. The issue with Ranallo had led to the latter going through bipolar depression, as well as a likely departure from the company this summer. Since then, supporters of Ranallo have encouraged WWE to fire Layfield for his actions. It seems now that things won't be going that far.
Cageside Seats is reporting that WWE will likely be turning JBL into a babyface announcer to help improve his image. He has been acting as a heel for most of his announcing career, though he recently gave a speech at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony wherein, prior to introducing inductee Theodore Long, he encouraged everybody to be accepting of others and to treat people fairly. On the other side, the Mauro Ranallo incident is far from the first accusation of bullying to be thrown Layfield's way.
This story has been gaining more attention everyday. Former personalities like Justin Roberts have told stories of WWE encouraging hazing, while more "old school" wrestlers such as Booker T, Jerry Lawler, and Kevin Nash have defended JBL. It's becoming a divisive topic by wrestlers, by the media, and fans alike. It would be foolish for WWE not to take some form of action against it, but we'll have to wait and see if Layfield will be good in the role, or if it will backfire on them over the next few weeks.