The new 'in' thing for the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community) and several outlets in the mainstream media is to hate on JBL due to WWE's relationship with Mauro Ranallo ending. This is absurd. Not only does no one (outside of the involved parties) know exactly what led to Mauro's departure from the WWE, but JBL, by most accounts, is a great guy. Or at the very least, not a thousandth of the monster that many people try and make him out to be. Sure, he may be brash at times and be considered 'tough' even by wrestling standards, but isn't that what you want to hear about locker room leaders? The word 'bully' gets thrown around way too often, and when it comes to someone like JBL, I don't believe the term 'bully' to be an accurate depiction of the man.
Maybe it's because I've been a fan of his work and his passion for the business since I was a kid, or maybe it's because I think anyone over the age of 15 should stand up for themselves if someone is giving them grief, but I'm a supporter of JBL, and I'm not the only one. Check out a bunch of reasons why you should back off JBL, and stick around for #1.
15 Bruce Prichard likes him
It you listen to Something to Wrestle with………….Bruce Prichard, then you know that Bruce tells it like it is and pulls no punches. Loved by more people in wrestling than he’s hated by, Bruce seems to have the respect of 99% of the people in the WWE that matter, one of them being his close friend JBL. He not only likes and respects JBL on a personal level, but has also partnered with him in business ventures over the years, and considers him to be one of his closest friends. Whenever JBL is brought up, Bruce only has the nicest and most complimentary things to say, and he has the stories to back it up. Few people know JBL better than Bruce Prichard does, and Bruce Prichard couldn't have nicer things to say about the man.
14 Peter Rosenberg enjoys his ribbing
Bring It To The Table host and ESPN / Hot 97 constant contributor Peter Rosenberg is ‘ribbed’ incessantly by JBL on Bring It To The Table. I’d say that roughly 90% of what JBL says to Rosenberg on the show is at Peter’s expense, but he takes it in stride and laughs it all off. Why? Not because he’s a corporate shill, but because he gets that JBL is playing up his character, and that everything he’s doing is done in fun and not in a malicious way. Rosenberg even texted JBL after the whole Mauro fallout and offered his support.
Due to Rosenberg's career as a DJ at Hot 97, he's used to being ribbed when being the new guy, so he took nothing to heart with JBL. Since he was able to see playful barbs for what they were, playful barbs, he currently enjoys a friendship with Bradshaw.
13 Ron Simmons considers him family
Ron Simmons is a gruff guy and doesn't seem to like all that many people. But JBL? That's his best friend on the planet, that he refers to as his brother. Their friendship has lasted over 20 years, and as the APA, both were known to hit hard during matches with WWE newcomers, to see who was legitimate, and who wasn't in pro wrestling for the right reasons. Ron Simmons is also one of the people in the pro wrestling business that you'd find a hard time finding people to say bad things about. His work ethic, loyalty, and no nonsense attitude have endeared him to many, so whoever he keeps in his inner circle must share similar qualities. Yet another reason to back off JBL. I mean, DAMN.
12 The Undertaker was in his wedding party
When it comes to the WWE and the wrestling business as a whole, it’s damn near impossible to find anyone more respected than The Undertaker. From Vince, to HBK, to Austin, to pretty much anyone that has ever met / worked with him, Taker is respected and revered. Taker keeps his circle very close, and it’s notoriously difficult to make it into his inner most circle. Enter JBL, who not only has made it into The Deadman’s inner circle, but is one of his closest friends on the planet, even having The Phenom as a groomsman at his wedding.
If you have the stamp of approval from The Undertaker, with it comes the stamp of approval of pretty much everyone else in the locker room, and JBL has that stamp.
11 Vince loves him
There aren’t that many talents that have had tenures with the WWE as long as JBL has, and a main reason for that is that Vince loves the guy. Appreciating his in ring talent, off screen protection of the locker room, and loyalty to his company, Vince has stuck by JBL throughout numerous announcing team switches, brand splits, and front office changes. Add to that how seriously he takes JBL's ideas and pitches. Look no further than the JBL idea of Tribute To The Troops, which Vince has spent millions of dollars on funding every year, making it a staple of the WWE's calendar. You have to think that if JBL has stuck around the company for this long, that he must have done something right.
10 He helps underprivileged kids
Just look at JBL’s Twitter page to see some of the amazing work he has done and continues to do with underprivileged kids. He doesn't just talk the talk though. He spends hours upon hours, spending time with the kids, and even mowing fields for them to play on. His dedication to his cause is real, and something that he should be commended for. How many other people can you think of, in professional sports or entertainment or even your own life, that spend as much time helping others as JBL does? Probably zero, or at best one of two. This puts JBL in a league of his own when it comes to charitable work, and the fact that it's not court mandated, or greatly publicized, shows that the only reason he does it is to genuinely help. Kudos to him for that.
9 He inducted Teddy Long
Many people, myself included, choose to believe that JBL isn’t a bully, but merely someone who loves and cherishes the wrestling business and wants to make sure that those in it love it just as much as he does. His induction of Teddy Long into the WWE Hall of Fame showed me that he worked closely with, and befriended Teddy, at a time when Teddy Long was legitimately the lowest man on the wrestling totem pole. Teddy, a small statured man by wrestling standards, was playfully ribbed by JBL, but never bullied. Those that are diehard members of the wrestling community however have nothing but positive words to say about JBL.
This leads me to believe that JBL doesn’t have a tolerance for people that don’t respect wrestling and are in it only looking to only exploit the business for their own personal gain, and when he finds people that truly love wrestling, he embraces them completely.
8 Tribute to the troops
He personally pitched the idea of Tribute To The Troops to Vince McMahon, and it has become a staple of WWE programming ever since. He did so not for profit (as far as I can tell he personally hasn't made a nickel off of it), but for the respect that he has for America's armed forces. This is something that you can't simply shrug off. The men and women of the armed forces sacrifice everything to protect the country they love, and JBL recognizes that sacrifice and encouraged the WWE to do more to show their appreciation for it. That's not only a fantastic gesture, but commendable that he was able to get it accomplished, and help keep it going for as long as it has.
7 He's loyal
Remember the 90s? When everyone in WWE was heading over to WCW for the easy work schedule, fat paychecks, and guaranteed pay? JBL never left the WWE, choosing to stay by Vince McMahon's side with only a select few mid/upper card acts that could have gone South to work for Ted Turner. Even when TNA was making a big push in 2009, JBL shot down rumors he even talked to them. Not satisfied with simply brushing off rumors, JBL even went as far as to issue a statement shooting down any and all rumors that he was even entertaining anything from TNA or any other non WWE company. In addition to business, he's had the same set of close friends for over 20 years, which says a lot about his character and loyalty to those he cares about.
6 He's been married a long time
He's rich, successful, famous around the world, and in the entertainment business. All things that make it near impossible to make a marriage last longer than, well, a Kim Kardashian marriage (pre Kanye). JBL has been married to his current wife for over 12 years, even relocating to Bermuda at her suggestion. He's a one woman man, and with all the temptations of 'the road', that's something that's incredibly rare. His wife also happens to be brilliant and successful in her own right, which is always a huge plus. In a profession where most marriages can't endure the hardships of life on the road and outside distractions, JBL is a dedicated husband, which is something to applaud. That's something that's nice to see in the business.
5 He's passionate
Whether they love him or hate him, ask any professional wrestler if JBL is passionate about pro wrestling, and the answer is a "Hell yeah!". He loves what he does and cares about the craft, and it shows with his knowledge of the sport, and his dedication to it throughout his entire adult life. How many people can say that about their jobs? The people that seemingly can't stand him would even readily admit that he's very passionate about what he does, as well as the professional wrestling business itself. It's very rare that both supporters and detractors can find something to agree upon, but in JBL's case, no one can even dispute that he's incredibly passionate. Considering the other gigs he balances on the side, that's commendable.
4 He didn’t bury Hulk Hogan
When the cool thing to do was throw rocks at Hulk Hogan immediately after his tape leaked with less than savory sentiments towards African Americans, JBL didn't take the bait when he was asked about Hulk. He spoke to Hulk's kindness toward him and children over the years, and how he never saw Hulk do or say anything racist in his life. At a time when everyone was piling on in an attempt to be PC, JBL stood by his colleague. He didn't take the easy way out, and made himself readily available for ridicule by supporting someone that had practically zero support at the time. That takes guts, and is something that most people in the same situation would never even think of doing.
3 He backs down when appropriate
Some people are bullies that pick on people to upset them. Others just look to test people to see what they're made of before letting them into their circle. JBL is the latter. When he was picking at Edge and annoying him on a bus trip when Edge was new to the WWE, Edge slapped the beer out of JBL's hand and challenged him to a fight. What happened next? JBL told him to relax and things were immediately smoothed over. Edge now considers JBL a close friend today so obviously, JBL was just testing the waters with Edge. Edge won his respect and the two have obviously remained on good terms going into today. JBL clearly saw Edge was built to last in the business.
2 He mans up and owns his mistakes
When JBL said something on SmackDown a few years back about tag teams that couldn't make it as singles wrestlers, he mentioned The Dudley Boyz, who are friends of his in real life. Rather than chalking it up to 'a mistake due to a live mic' or simply ignoring his comment, he issued a full length apology to his friends and cleared the air. It takes guts to admit when you're wrong, and it took a lot to handle the manner the way JBL did. How many 'shoot' interviews have wrestlers given where they do everything in their power to bury someone they worked with? Thousands. How many of them even own up to what they said? Not many. Usually if someone is caught saying something less than complimentary, they act as if they were taken out of context. In JBL's case, he took the bull by the horn and took control of the narrative, by correction it and putting over his friends' hard work.
1 Del Rio hates everyone. Except JBL.
Seriously. In WWE, Alberto Del Rio, currently Alberto El Patron, seems to hate pretty much everyone. He can't go on Periscope without shouting angry comments referring to 'big nose' this and 'big nose' that (you can guess who he's not so subtly referencing), and calling everyone at WWE cowards. However, when Del Rio was asked about JBL after the Mauro scandal, he backed up JBL 100% and said that JBL has always been great to him. Kudos to him for not taking the opportunity to pile on at a time when everyone no longer with the company seemed to jump at the opportunity. Someone with legitimately zero reason to say nice things about JBL, took his time and went out of his way to compliment JBL and his character. That says a lot.