Renee Young confirmed during this week’s WWE Backstage episode on FS1 that former WWE Champion JBL will be going into the Hall of Fame this year.
It was reported earlier that The APA, JBL and WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons, were planned for an induction together this year, but Simmons was not mentioned in tonight’s announcement on Backstage. JBL spoke with the WWE Backstage panel and revealed that he recently got the Hall of Fame phone call from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
JBL credited Simmons and WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero with helping him have a Hall of Fame career of his own. He then received a special pre-recorded message from another former rival – John Cena.
“Hey John, it’s John. Remember that young whippersnapper that you put over at WrestleMania for the strap? I just want to thank you for everything you’ve ever done for me. I have great perspective of all the people that have helped me along my journey, and there is no me without you. We had some wonderful times and I hope that as you get inducted into the Hall of Fame, maybe you can relive some of those times and enjoy some of those memories like I do every single day. I’m just really thankful for what you have done for me. As far as I’m concerned, this is something that you’ve absolutely earned. I never use the word ‘deserve’ – you have earned every inch. I hope that you enjoy the Hall of Fame ceremony and all that it encompasses, because it is well earned. Thank you, John,” Cena said.
WWE has now confirmed JBL, Batista, the nWo (Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman), and The Bella Twins for the 2020 Hall of Fame Class. Other rumored names are “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and Jushin Thunder Liger. The 2020 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on April 2 from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, during WrestleMania 36 Week.
Below is WWE’s official announcement on JBL’s induction, along with clip from the Backstage appearance:
JBL to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame
JBL, the brash, bruising cowboy-turned-stock market maven and World Champion, is the latest inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020. The “Wrestling God” will take his place in sports-entertainment history on Thursday, April 2, in Tampa, Fla., during WrestleMania 36 Week.
JBL joins Batista, The Bella Twins and nWo members Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman and Kevin Nash in the 2020 class.
The road to the WWE Hall of Fame began for JBL in 1995, when he arrived as Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw, an ornery Texan with a propensity for taking his opponents’ heads off with a lariat so devastating that it would go on to be known as the Clothesline from Hell.
But it was when he joined forces with another hard-hitting Superstar, fellow WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons, that his career truly began to take off. Known as The Acolytes, Bradshaw and Simmons served as the ruthless enforcers for The Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness, ensuring The Phenom’s will was done and bulldozing anyone who stood in their way.
But when The Ministry disbanded, Bradshaw and Simmons stuck together, showing a little entrepreneurship in the process. The two opened The Acolytes Protection Agency, renting out their services as bodyguards to anyone who could pony up the cash to keep the cold ones coming. The APA always had a line out of their makeshift office door, whether it was Superstars looking for protection or someone looking to get in on their rowdy poker games. The two heavy hitters also racked up three reigns as World Tag Team Champions along the way.
But when The APA closed its doors for good, Bradshaw did not ride off into the sunset. No, instead, he showed us that underneath his gruff exterior lied one of the most cunning competitors in WWE history. Embracing his success on the stock market, John “Bradshaw” Layfield traded in his sleeveless tee and jeans for a white cowboy hat and suit, along with a limousine with bull horns attached to the hood. Though the WWE Universe was not thrilled with the shocking change, it proved to be the jolt that the Texan needed. The tycoon became an immediate contender for the WWE Championship, and defeated Eddie Guerrero at The Great American Bash 2004 in a Texas Bull Rope Match to win the title. JBL held onto the championship until WrestleMania the following year, where he was dethroned by John Cena.
JBL went on to capture the Intercontinental and United States Championships, becoming one of the few Superstars that can call themselves a Triple Crown winner. Though he hung up his boots after WrestleMania 25 in 2009, he did not stay away from WWE for long. He returned in 2012, this time as a color commentator, lending his expertise on the mat game to give the WWE Universe unique insight. After stints calling the action on Raw and SmackDown, as well as a turn as NXT’s General Manager, JBL left WWE to focus on his charity work with at-risk kids and communities through organizations like Beyond Rugby Bermuda and Beyond Sport, where he was named a Global Ambassador.
For his incredible career in the ring and behind the microphone, JBL is being recognized with the ultimate honor: induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. Don’t miss JBL take his place in sports-entertainment history during the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, April 2, during WrestleMania 36 Week. Tickets for the ceremony are available now at Ticketmaster and the Amalie Arena box office.