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The W - Pro Wrestling - Has the JBL era really lasted this long?
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It's False
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Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.52
I visited WWE.com a few days ago to get some images and stumbled onto an interesting fact. JBL's title reign is about to head into its eighth month, which is astounding for so many reasons. What it makes me think of is:

-In this day and age, how rare is it to see a world champion (and even some of Triple H's reigns haven't lasted THAT long) hold onto the belt for more than six months.
-Who would have ever thought Smackdown's longest reigning champion in years would be BRADSHAW?
-Is Smackdown's talent roster so subpar that Bradshaw remains the best option as champion?

Like many others, I'm pleasantly surprised by the success of the JBL character. But he's hardly shown any improvement in the ring and the matches are becoming...well...boring. They're far from good, but not bad enough to elicit screams of torture like a Heidenreich match. JBL's matches are just a bore and they end with the same screwjob finish every time.

While Wrestlemania looks like a good place to end the JBL era, should it have even lasted this long?




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Since: 1.3.02
From: Westminster, CA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.24
The longer JBL is champion, the more I've actually enjoyed him as such. I like Eddy Guerrero, but his title reign was fairly unimpressive.

JBL constantly muttering "I'm a wrestling god" at the Rumble was hilarious. I watched that bit half a dozen times.




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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.47
Blame Brock. And look at the diminishing returns of Angle and Benoit's departure and the alleged inability of Eddy to handle it and Booker T's shelving and RVD and Cena and others held in the midcard and Big Show's injuries. And blame Taker for dominating the feud with the Cabinet.

It's not that Bradshaw himself should never had the shot at the title, because I think his transformation from the heavy-drinking acolyte is nothing short of astonishing. Why not the rich bastard as champ? And why shouldn't he feud with the Latino rascal, the black fan-fave and the Texan badass?

But hold the belt this long by dint of an unremarkable posse? THAT's rotten. We have no reason to react to these guys except their affiliation. They have no pizzazz, no style, no memorable moves. Even when Taker had his Acolytes, they had some measure of personality to them and distinction. If he's gonna be a truly hated stable head, we have to see him as being the less deserving within his own group. One of the Cabinet needs to be a vibrant performer, either because of his presentation, moveset or presence. But no. I'm not esposuing a carbon copy of the break-up of Evolution. By no means. The better stablehand doesn't have to confront JBL; he just has to bring something to the table than the belt-saving guido.

JBL is a perfectly acceptable wrestling performer, saddled with the inability of the writers to make his reign more interesting than because of the length of his reign. Once HonkyTonk man didn't have that title, he had no other true commodity. JBL can work the crowd and his gimmick better than what we got from HTM, and he can work as a character when he doesn't have the belt. I believe that. And I think we'll see that after WM.



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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.46
I think the Cabinet is a great schtick. Orlando went from a wholly generic guy with good abs to an entertaining toady. The Bashams, who are good workers but totally unremarkable, got saved from the scrap heap and put in a useful position. Miss Amy ... wears a crown. All in all, it's one of the few examples in the last year you can point to of creative actually making good use out of the underneath guys on the roster, who would normally just be part of an interchangeable mess of spare parts. It's also in total contrast to Kurt Angle's pathetic team on the same show.

As far as JBL and the belt, well, no. He has come a long-ass way, and completely reinvented himself to become really entertaining and one of the best promos in the company. He's far from up to par in the ring, but does work a lot harder to try to justify a top spot. Still, no. I wouldn't have put the belt on him at any point, because Eddie Guerrero had so much more potential and deservedness that it's almost hilarious. But even if you're going to shoot JBL to the top, they mangled it bad and it's killed the brand. You can't just snap your fingers and put a tagteam guy who jobbed to Rikishi in the next PPV main event. There is a path you can take where you make a new heel, but it doesn't work when it goes straight to the title match, let alone straight to the title itself. That just buries the title underground.

If you pretend Smackdown is stuck in a vacuum -- which it wasn't, because if Triple H was as desperate for opponents as Eddie Guerrero was, they would've raided Smackdown for, hypothetically, Benoit and Edge, so that you don't end up in a position where you're headlining a PPV with HHH vs. Bubba Ray Dudley. But leaving SD with just the unfair cards they dealt it, let's say you decide that you're going to elevate Layfield to the top.

Well, OMG, how about you put him over some guys to get him ready for a top spot and to justify his being a newer, better, worthier Layfield? In WWE philosophy, this of course means that Rob Van Dam is putting over Bradshaw. But it's my game, so I say he goes into his Undertaker program first, where it doesn't stick out because it's not the main event, and UT is used to feuding with the New Tall Guy of the Month. Bada bang, JBL gets his tainted win and Guerrero's challenger for the Great American Bash can say he soundly defeated (oh, liar!) the Legendary Phenom to become the natural #1 contender.

This is still my game, so Layfield never wins the belt, and Guerrero goes on to retain in PPV title defenses against Angle and Show, while Layfield steals the U.S. title from John Cena, brags about being the greatest champion of all time, and keeps retaining it undeservedly by the skin of his teeth.
BigSteve
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Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.40
Bradshaw has been really good in his role, I don't think that anyone really disputes that anymore. But should he have the belt? I think so.

One of the problems, as Justin talked about, is that he was never made a main eventer in the sense that people should care about him. He was never put over ANYONE strong. Now, I know that one of the points of his schtick is that he's the undeserving champ in the Honky Tonk Man role, but over eight months, even as a heel, he should have beaten SOMEONE better than Shannon Moore, Spike Dudley, or El Gran Luchador clean. He didn't beat Taker, Eddie, Booker, Angle, or Show clean. Not a single time. That doesn't help him.

But on the other hand, Smackdown's ratings have gone up a little lately. Is that because of JBL? I don't know, but hes on the short list of guys that are actually worth caring about on that show right now, at least IMO. Because business hasn't dropped through the floor (it hasn't done well, mind you, but if you use him as evidence that he can't draw or whatever, I think that you have to make the same case about Guerrero and Benoit), there's no real need to put the belt on someone else until you have someone else worth putting it on. Obviously everyone would like to see Eddie get eight months with the Title and a few good opponents to see if he's the next Rock/Austin/Hogan or if he's the next Diesel/ Hogan:2002 /Sid. Obviously, he's probably somewhere in the middle, but who knows.

What's my point, you ask? Well, my point is don't take the belt off of JBL just to do it. Angle, and Show, and Taker, that's all retread stuff that is not going to do a damn thing to make Smackdown any better. Maybe Guerrero should get it back eventually, maybe they should wait for Cena. It seems like cena is next in line to get it, but I hope not. I just don't think that he's a good worker or a good enough promo right now to be THE MAN. He's over, so that's a huge plus, but that only goes so far. If he can't carry his end, he'll be ruined as a draw forever.

So, in my opinion, they should ride JBL out as champ until whenever someone else comes along (let's just hope that's soon, for WWE's sake).

(edited by BigSteve on 3.2.05 1751)
TheMikeSays
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Since: 30.10.04
From: Kalamazoo, MI, USA

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.47
-Is Smackdown's talent roster so subpar that Bradshaw remains the best option as champion?

Absolutely not. If you think otherwise, it's probably because they put so much effort into putting him over all the other contenders (Guerrero, Undertaker, Booker, Angle, and soon Big Show) that it made everyone else a bit weaker in comparison. Bradshaw is an abysmal champion, a bad worker, and very hit-and-miss on the microphone. The buyrates for his headlined PPVs have been in the toilet and all-time lows, and that's even with the aforementioned stars on the opposite side. But it's not their fault, maybe not even his; I'm sure he's told those in charge of his faults, but as long as they stick with it, the state of the WWE continually goes further down the drain.



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Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.40
    Originally posted by TheMikeSays
    -Is Smackdown's talent roster so subpar that Bradshaw remains the best option as champion?

    Absolutely not. If you think otherwise, it's probably because they put so much effort into putting him over all the other contenders (Guerrero, Undertaker, Booker, Angle, and soon Big Show) that it made everyone else a bit weaker in comparison. Bradshaw is an abysmal champion, a bad worker, and very hit-and-miss on the microphone. The buyrates for his headlined PPVs have been in the toilet and all-time lows, and that's even with the aforementioned stars on the opposite side. But it's not their fault, maybe not even his; I'm sure he's told those in charge of his faults, but as long as they stick with it, the state of the WWE continually goes further down the drain.


You are most certainly entitled to your opinion, but I think you're wrong about some things.

I don't feel that Bradshaw is "hit or miss" on the mic. He's almost always good, and occasionally great when he has a good night. I don't think he's a "bad" worker. Sure, he's not a good worker, in any traditional sense of the phrase, but I, personally, find his work to be a lot better the Hardcore Holly, Snitsky, Heidenreich, Cena, Flair 2005, Suzuki, Tomko, and others. Now, I know that might be damning him with faint praise, but that's not my intent, truly.

I think we're really watching two different shows if you feel that they're putting JBL over at the expense of other talent. As I said in my above post, I don't think that there has been one time where JBL has had a match against a main eventer, where I came out of it thinking that JBL is a real badass and his oppponent got buried. Certainly, screwjob wins over Undertaker and Booker T haven't hurt those guys.

And buyrates haven't dropping hasn't been JBL's fault in my opinion. No Way Out with Eddie vs Brock didn't do that much better than No Mercy with JBL vs Taker. The NWO main event was far superior, IMO, but didn't draw much at all. You can say that JBL doesn't draw, and that would certainly be true, but I think it's unfair to solely blame JBL for declining buyrates.

But hey, those are just my thoughts.

(edited by BigSteve on 3.2.05 1850)
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Since: 4.4.03
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.38
At first I thought the JBL run had to a be fluke...unfortunately it's grown on me. He's not the top wrestler in the world, best, or even technical. Yeah, his matches are down right boredom to even the causal fan. Smark outcries lie on deaf ears in the WWE front offices.

I believe this reign will be remembered for about five things...

1. Making Smackdown the B Show
2. Some comedic digs. EG: I am a wrestling god. We all know better.
3. Reference on the most part
4. Dummies Guide: What not to do when you have better talent to promote.
5. John "Bradshaw" Layfield he WAS, gasps can be heard, a WWE Champion.

I can't wait for that fifth one soon enough. I like JBL in general but not the fact he's the top champ.




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Since: 5.10.02
From: Battle Creek, Michigan

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.30
I've never particularly understood why they didn't do Eddie/Taker instead, since that would've been a much hotter feud.

I've grown to like JBL against my will, but as it's been said like 13563893738 times before, he just isn't a guy people will buy as a champion.



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Since: 8.1.02
From: Modesto, CA

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.98
I'm a casual fan who stopped watching Smackdown due to boredom when the whole JBL thing first started. In recent weeks I'm really liking the Cabinet though, and have gone back to making Smackdown a regular show I watch. I think the "Amy" factor has something to do with it (WHAT, a diva who is actually being used creatively as a smart valet?) but the entire stable has been a success, in my opinion. Not too long ago we were complaining that the WWE doesn't know how to do a good stable anymore, and if the Cabinet are half-way entertaining, I say keep it going.

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Since: 2.1.02
From: Philly Suburbs

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Underwater
    I've never particularly understood why they didn't do Eddie/Taker instead, since that would've been a much hotter feud.

Because that would have (most likely) necessitated Taker working as a heel, and I guess he "wasn't feeling it".



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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.65
Just for kicks, here's a list of champions since the end of the Hogan era with longer title reigns than Bradshaw's current seven-month plus WWE Championship reign....

* Yokozuna
* Diesel
* Shawn Michaels
* Triple H's first World Heavyweight Title reign

That's IT. Presuming that JBL holds onto the title through to Wrestlemania, he'll top Michaels and come very close to Yokozuna (and might pass him, if I had a calendar handy).

It's jaw-dropping that aside from HHH, Hogan, Savage, Yoko, Diesel and the Warrior, JBL has had a longer reign than any other champion in modern WWE history.



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Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.84
    Originally posted by Big Bad
    Just for kicks, here's a list of champions since the end of the Hogan era with longer title reigns than Bradshaw's current seven-month plus WWE Championship reign....

    * Yokozuna
    * Diesel
    * Shawn Michaels
    * Triple H's first World Heavyweight Title reign

    That's IT. Presuming that JBL holds onto the title through to Wrestlemania, he'll top Michaels and come very close to Yokozuna (and might pass him, if I had a calendar handy).

    It's jaw-dropping that aside from HHH, Hogan, Savage, Yoko, Diesel and the Warrior, JBL has had a longer reign than any other champion in modern WWE history.


The "Crash-TV" Era arguably began with Stone Cold's WWF Title win at WrestleMania XIV. The long (5+ months/150+ days) long reigns of that era are:

WWF/UNDISPUTED/WWE TITLE & WORLD TITLE:
-Steve Austin [4/1/01 to 9/23/01; PPV defenses against Undertaker (2), Kane, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho & Kurt Angle]
-Triple H [12/15/02 to 9/21/03; PPV defenses against Scott Steiner (2), Booker T, Kevin Nash (3), Goldberg, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels & Randy Orton]
-Brock Lesnar [9/16/03 to 2/15/04; PPV defenses against Undertaker & Hardcore Holly]
-Chris Benoit [3/14/04 to 8/15/04; PPV defenses against Triple H (2), Shawn Michaels & Kane]
-John Layfield [6/27/04 to 2/20/05+; PPV defenses against Undertaker (3), Booker T (2), Eddie Guerrero, Big Show & Kurt Angle]
WCW TITLE:
-Goldberg [7/6/98 to 12/27/98; PPV defenses against Curt Hennig & Diamond Dallas Page]
-Scott Steiner [11/26/00 to 3/26/01; PPV defenses against Sid Vicious (2), Jeff Jarrett, Animal & Diamond Dallas Page]
AND, AH HELL, THE ECW TITLE:
-Taz [1/10/99 to 9/19/99; PPV defenses against Sabu, Bubba Ray Dudley & Tajiri]
-Justin Credible [4/22/00 to 10/1/00; PPV defenses against Lance Storm & Tommy Dreamer]



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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
I distinctly remember people complaining about titles being switched around so much. So...now that somebody has held the title for a long time, what's the problem?



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Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.84
    Originally posted by Grimis
    I distinctly remember people complaining about titles being switched around so much. So...now that somebody has held the title for a long time, what's the problem?


Well Grimis, the argument AGAINST a lot of title changes is that they devalue the belts...but the argument FOR a lot of title changes is that since there's so many goddamn shows (and now, a lot of goddamn PPVs) every year, the titles HAVE to change hands a lot to give the impression that something is happening. Building up value is one thing, but stagnation is another. It's difficult to tell right now whether or not JBL is a stagnant champion or not. I'm leaning towards "not". They're trying to cross Honky Tonk Man & the Million Dollar Man with him, and not succeeding totally.



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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.76
I look at JBL as the champ and keep thinking of how I wish Ted DiBiase would have made an incredible champion.

That's not to say that I don't like JBL; far from it...he's a very entertaining champion, and he's grown in leaps and bounds. I guess having the title put on him has made him improve.

I'd be happy to see JBL hold the title for another four months...hell, make it another eight. Just as long as he makes the product entertaining.



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Since: 5.2.03

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.55
Just hypothetically, if the WWE's ironclad plan was to keep the belt on JBL until they can give the title to a returning RVD, would you be more dismayed of many more months of JBL as champ or heartened that they were finally giving RVD the belt?
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Since: 7.1.04

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.41
    Originally posted by SOK
    I look at JBL as the champ and keep thinking of how I wish Ted DiBiase would have made an incredible champion.

Ted DiBiase was in an era when there were other qualified options. JBL got the strap in part because the roster was depleted.

    Originally posted by SOK
    I guess having the title put on him has made him improve.

    I'd be happy to see JBL hold the title for another four months...hell, make it another eight. Just as long as he makes the product entertaining.


I agree wholeheartedly. Who would have made that statement eight months ago? Credit has to be given not just to JBL, but also to Eddie, who helped establish the whole JBL character. The belt has always meant credibility, but usually its the lesser (US, IC, or tag) belts that are given to establish a new character.
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Since: 12.2.03
From: New York, USA

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.10
    Originally posted by BigSteve
    I don't think he's a "bad" worker. Sure, he's not a good worker, in any traditional sense of the phrase, but I, personally, find his work to be a lot better the Hardcore Holly, Snitsky, Heidenreich, Cena, Flair 2005, Suzuki, Tomko,


Um, how is that not like saying "Paul Wight isn't tall. He isn't short in any traditional sense of the word, but I find him to be not as tall as El Gigante"? What did I miss? Bradshaw seems to be the same in-ring worker that he always was, that being a stiff slug one who can't even have a enjoyable match with Eddie...'IMO'.

Yes I know, he's shown progress on the stick and has been amusing. So has Christian, so where is his title reward? Shall we even head in that direction?
I don't know, I've always thought there was a fine line between slightly improving mid-carder and "world title material". It makes it that much more ridiculous that a Ted Dibiase, Curt Hennig or Roddy Piper never got a run.

Konan was right, is Bradshaw the best WWE can do?
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Since: 2.1.02
From: nWo Country

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.38
"Bradshaw seems to be the same in-ring worker that he always was, that being a stiff slug one who can't even have a enjoyable match with Eddie...'IMO'."

Except by a wide consensus-excluding your good self, of course-he had not one, not two, but THREE perfectly good matches with Eddie last year. I'm not saying he's Justin Bradshaw: Super Worker or anything, but he has VASTLY improved as a singles wrestler since early last year. He's got really good in-ring timing and a half-decent moveset, and he's pretty damn excellent at selling. If he could get himself into good cardiovascular shape it'd solve a lot of his problems.

"Konan was right, is Bradshaw the best WWE can do?"

Well, they could hire his useless ass and see how that would work out.





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