Bruce Prichard On Undertaker Saying JBL Might Be The Most Underrated Wrestler In The Last 30 Years

WWE Senior Vice President Bruce Prichard recently took to an episode of his “Something To Wrestle With” podcast, where he talked about a number of topics including WWE Hall of Famer JBL’s incident at a house show in Munich, Germany, where he goose-stepped and made Nazi signs during a match with Eddie Guerrero that resulted in CNBC releasing him in 2004.

Prichard said, “I remember a lot of all of it. And yeah, let’s make no mistake about it. It’s not silly. It’s — especially true for the German population and the Jewish population, that is very, very sacred to them. And it’s not something they want to relive. And they take it very seriously, rightfully so. To that end, the fact that people had portrayed German characters and portrayed Nazi characters on television in wrestling and entertainment for many years that were not even of German descent. And doing that, and portraying a bad guy in the entertainment world had been done. To do it in Germany, it had been done forever in Germany as well. Poor taste? Very guilty of poor taste. Not the time to do it.”

“What is interesting is the reports. The Dave Meltzers of the world that had reports of people live in the arena being very disgusted, and all these things and heaping it all on John Layfield. So his reports were so accurate that he didn’t get the other reports of other people On the same event, even in the same match, doing the exact same thing. But because he didn’t like John Layfield, and John Layfield was probably the biggest star and had something to lose over on CNBC, it was focused on John and everything was put there. That’s the part of — you know, where I cry bulls**t. But John did it. John was guilty of doing it. And it was in poor taste, and especially in his position outside of the company in his other job. Look, not a good look. And I think that they knew what they were getting into, CNBC. And they had a heel bad guy character on a television show doing things. They are what they are, you know what I mean? They fired him, great. Whatever. Did it help him be more of a bad guy for us? Yes. But I hate to say that because of what he did in Germany. Because I think what he did in Germany was in poor taste and probably shouldn’t have been done. Not probably, it shouldn’t have been done. But the overall reports and everything, they didn’t report everything. And also right, wrong, and different, it was something that was still being done in Germany, in wrestling. Otto Von’s group and other groups there, they did it on a regular basis. So John was singled out because John wasn’t really — I would venture to guess, and this is me speculating. He isn’t well-liked by the Dave Meltzers of the world. So let’s get him.”

On turning it into a good thing:

“We were already there. We were already there with John and America, and leaning into that heavily. Because America at that time, you know, look at everything with the border. That was heating up during George Bush’s administration. And you had Bush down on the border; you look at John when he would wear the windbreaker thing and all that stuff. That was George Bush on the border. And yes, we leaned into that big time because that is what was topical in America at the time.”

On Undertaker saying that JBL might be the most underrated wrestler in the last 30 years:

“I couldn’t agree with him more, because it’s true. You took a guy that had done a lot of different gimmicks, who came in trying to emulate Stan Hansen that, okay. Again, when you try to when you try to become something else. John Layfield is a very smart businessman. He’s very controversial in his beliefs and everything, but he is a financial whiz. And he studies; very intelligent as a human being. And all we did was take the human being to turn him up [in terms of] volume 100 times, said, ‘Here we go and here’s JBL.’ It was him being himself turned up to 100. Because that was the guy. The man he wakes up at five o’clock in the morning, he reads all the trades and studies all of his financial stuff. Looks at all the world news. But studies it, and goes to all different sources. Doesn’t make his opinion based off one. I want to say he reads roughly four to five newspapers now; he’s on the internet, obviously. But every morning, starting at five o’clock in the morning, he would start getting his trades done, and know what he was going to do that day financially. And watch the stock market, but also prepare for stuff at CNBC but then later on Fox Finance. He’s just a bright guy. That’s who JBL was. We just turned it up and gave him an edge. So it was — people don’t like successful people. And especially when those successful people throw it in your face.”

You can check out the complete podcast in the video below.

(H/T to for transcribing the above quotes)