Former WWE star JBL has admitted that today’s wrestlers are being micromanaged by the company.
The 51-year-old, known as John 'Bradshaw' Layfield during his time in the ring, was WWE Champion and Intercontinental Champion, winning each belt once. He was also Hardcore Champion on 18 occasions.
Now working as a financial commentator, the ex-ring performer spoke as a guest on Busted Open Radio with Dave LaGreca and Bubba Ray Dudley recently and touched on wrestlers being overly controlled by the WWE after being asked.
"Look, my understanding, and I haven't been around the locker room for over a year, and when I was there as an announcer, I wasn't in there in the locker room," He said.
"I was busy with notes and trying to figure out what's going on with matches, so I don't have a good feeling of what's going on in the locker room. I'm not sure it's even fair for me to answer, but I'll do my best to answer the question.
"I think they are micromanaged a bit, but I think if guys want to do something to get over, look at Dean Ambrose. I remember Dean Ambrose would do all kinds of crazy stuff off script and do all kinds of mannerisms. And he came back one time and Vince [McMahon] goes, 'show some personality!' It was a joke, tongue-in-cheek. Vince loved it, so I think there's an opportunity to stand out.
“There may even be an opportunity more to stand out now than even with us because all of us tried to. Now, you have guys that are just happy to have a job, from my understanding. A lot of them, some of them, not so. And they're just conforming to the cookie cutter mold that they were given, but some guys always did that.
“Back in the 90s, you had guys that were just happy to be there. They would not do anything out of the norm and they'd be around for a while and then, they'd be gone."
There are many former WWE stars who will tell you that they enjoy a lot more freedom wrestling for various other promotions as they have way more control over their storylines and are handed the liberty to be creative.
Rey Mysterio - who carried a long-running, kayfabe feud with JBL back in the day - sang a similar tune earlier this year but the company has managed to coax him back.