Great news from JBL's Facebook (facebook.com): He and WWE have come to terms for him to permanently stay as a color commentator for the Smackdown brand.
Here's the relevant part of his status update:
Very happy WWE and I have worked out a deal for me to return on a full time basis. There came a need when my friend Jerry Lawler had a heart attack and was not able to work, however, I realized how much I enjoyed being back and this was the basis for my decision to return.
I truly love this business, one of my youngest memories as a kid was watching The Von Erich wrestling out of Dallas on Saturday nights. I missed being a part of it over the last few years.
I have been amazed at how hard these guys work, it is a pleasure to be calling their matches. And a pleasure to do homework on each guy so that I can do my part.
When I first had to retire it was the same as my first year coaching football at TVCC in Athens Texas-I was still too close to it to really enjoy the work. When I was coaching I was still playing in the World League so I had more desire to play than to just coach. My first commentary run I had just found out I was hurt and couldn't wrestle and my desire was to return to the ring. I was doing commentary thinking that I might be able to return one day.
I now just enjoy doing commentary, and no, have no desire to ever be in the ring again. I am in the best shape I have probably ever been in due to the mountain training, but a twisted knee, ankle or back and I lose my dream of the Seven Summits-not worth the risk to me and I had my time and I loved it. Commentary is where I want to be.
I will doing Smackdown with Josh Matthews. I have filled in on Main Event some but mainly when Miz has a large part in the show and can't do commentary.
Raw is 100% Jerry's. He and Michael are a great team, I enjoy listening to Jerry and there are no plans for a three man booth with me in it. I am happy on Smackdown.
It looks like I will be doing PPVs as a representative for the Smackdown brand as part of a three man booth with Cole and King.
I cannot say enough how impressed I am with Michael Cole, there is so much more to the commentary game now and he is the best I have seen. Josh prepares well and we don't have the sync that Michael and I have yet, but we will get there. Josh is fun to work with, I love when I get him so frustrated he throws his hands up in the air not knowing what I will say next. Michael and I had a year of commentary behind us already when I returned, Josh and I have only been doing it for a short time.
I don't know where Josh buys those horrible sweaters and gets that spiky haircut though.
And yes, I do have fun ribbing my old boss and Okie friend JR. It's all in good fun.
“@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
I love this move even though I don't watch Smackdown. I see some of the PPV's, so I will get to see JBL there. Just knowing that he is on there is enough for me. Plus he seemingly doesn't want to wrestle again, which is another win for all of us.
"Put on your helmets, we'll be reaching speeds of 3!" "It was nice of you to give that dead woman another chance." "All right, look alive everybody...oh sorry Susan."- MST3K: Space Mutiny Click Here (facebook.com)
Originally posted by Matt TrackerHe'll be GM within a year.
While I love having him on commentary, I wouldn't mind this at all. JBL is simply a great talker. Any position that they give him on the show where he gets to show that off is worthwhile to me.
I really appreciate JBL letting us all know that rationale behind his decision, as well as discussing building chemistry with Josh Matthews (which he correctly notes isn't quite there yet). It's good to have him back, and it's great to know he'll be around for a while.
When JBL was on commentary before I HATED him, just absolutely couldn't stand it. But this time around he's been dropping knowledge and generally actually adding to the matches. The only thing I don't like is his constant berating of Josh because ( & I know I'm in the minority here) I have always liked Matthews on commentary. So for now I'm ok with this.
Originally posted by OndaGrandeThe only thing I don't like is his constant berating of Josh because ( & I know I'm in the minority here) I have always liked Matthews on commentary. So for now I'm ok with this.
It's hard for me to separate the "character" of JBL the Announcer being douchey towards Josh from everyting I've heard (ok, read) about the real John Layfield being a big ol' douche in real life.
I'm pretty sure that the 'real life' douchiness of JBL is fabricated or overblown, given that he coaches a rugby team of disadvantaged children in Bermuda, and is climbing mountains to raise money for charity. He's made his money on the stock market and he's married into a strong Canadian financial institution, so he can spend his time doing whatever he wants, and that's what he wants to do. Good for him!
Worst case scenario, it's an HBK-ish situation where he did stupid things when he was younger and moved past it.