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8 Wrestlers Who Saved Their WWE Careers (By Being Awesome At Something Else)

8. JBL - Finance

WWE.com

JBL was fairly doomed by the early 2000s.

It took years for him to connect as a talent. A burly powerhouse of a man, his deeply basic, colourless work looked painful without being entertaining, drawing crickets in every incarnation - cowboy to satanist - until the Acolytes morphed into the APA, and he was encouraged to show off his belligerent quick wit on WWF TV. "I'd offer you a beer, but I only got six," was a boy-popping example of it, but they couldn't hang with the TLC generation, and were mostly - effectively - used as ancillary characters in Chris Kreski's sublime shared universe.

With Kreski gone, and the Attitude Era fading, Bradshaw failed to impersonate Stan Hansen and toiled in an exponentially less interesting Hardcore division. This might be trademark romantic exaggeration on the part of Bruce Prichard, but he has claimed that Bradshaw was on the same chopping block as partner Faarooq, were his new character to have failed to get over.

That new character - John Bradshaw Layfield - adhered to the age-old adage. This was Bradshaw's real personality, amplified; an astute investor, he had released 'Have More Money Now' to earn more of it, which informed the pitch.

His side-gig mutated into a pro wrestling-sized version of a mega-moneyed sh*t-heel, the libertarian element of which in turn informed his infamous xenophobic promos. This did save his career, if not his job, and that isn't an exaggeration; somehow, JBL became a main event-level talent by suffusing the backlash with buckets of blood in dramatic spectacles that just about did the job.

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Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!