WWE Hall Of Famer John Layfield recently spoke with The Angle Podcast where he reflected on becoming the WWE Champion in 2004 and his JBL character.
JBL stated that he believes Eddie Guerrero was crucial in getting over his JBL gimmick.
“It was all Eddie Guerrero. When the day the character debuted, I thought I had pretty much retired. I had a torn bicep,” he revealed. “I had two hernias operations, I really thought I was done. I thought, ‘you know, that’s okay, I had a good career, I got to tag with Ron for a number of years. And I’m happy with what happened.’ They called me out of the blue and said, ‘hey, we need somebody to face Eddie in about six-seven weeks in the Staples Center and the character didn’t work right away. They still saw me as the APA and they still saw me as this guy was Ron Simmons.
“And Eddie and his brother Chavo came up with the idea of giving his mother a heart attack in El Paso. And filming it like it was a security camera filming it, so it looked like it was legit. That’s the whole thing that made the character. Without that, it would’ve been a one-and-done. After that video aired, that’s when we started seeing crowds increase. That’s when ticket sales started selling, we ended up selling out, we don’t if we could sell tickets to the Staples Center, we ended up selling, I believe at the time, an attendance record at the Staples Center. But it was all because of Eddie and his brother Chavo coming up with that idea.”
H/T to Wrestling Inc for the transcription