John Bradshaw Layfield is a very divisive figure within the WWE Universe. He’s a long tenured member of the Smackdown Live announcers team – but has courted controversy for his reported backstage antics. Now JBL has announced his departure from the announcing booth.
Taking to Twitter, JBL stated;
“After much consideration, I will be stepping back my weekly role as Smackdown Announcer to dedicate more continuous time on the work I have done since 2010 with at risk kids and communities. My new schedule will allow me to continue to be a part of the WWE family and also continue my work that I feel is the most important thing in my life. I will continue my 20+ year relationship with WWE and will appear on such marquee shows as Tribute to the Troops, WrestleMania, amongst others.
“With the help of Beyond Sport, I founded Beyond Rugby Bermuda in 2010–which has been recognized as one of the world’s best charities for work with at risk, gang focused, youth intervention. Beyond Rugby Bermuda won the 2014 NACRA Fair Play Award out of 7,000 programs and 17 countries for its work with at risk kids. I was named as a Beyond Sport Global Ambassador–an organization backed by all major sports leagues in the U.S.”
“I’m proud to say that in addition to being Smackdown’s longest reigning WWE Champion, I inspired WWE’s Tribute to the Troops over 10 years ago. WWE has been my partner in all my philanthropic works and this new deal with WWE ensures that will continue. WWE has made my dreams come true and helped me become a global name. And now, WWE is helping me use that name to make a difference.”
“WWE admires JBL’s continued determination to make a difference in the lives of at-risk kids in Bermuda and around the world.”
It seems that he’ll remain an ambassador for WWE, likely feature during some of the company’s bigger events, but his on-screen tenure has come to an end.
For my money, this should have happened months ago. It’s hard to not be annoyed at JBL for his antics through the whole Mauro Ranallo incident earlier this year – the former WWE Superstar reportedly grieving the announcer a hard time. WWE came under heavy fire for not removing him then. I guess they wanted to save face in the situation.
What do you think, are you glad to see JBL removed from the Smackdown Live announcers booth?