KAMPF: "HAVE MORE HEAT NOW" BY JOHN BRADSHAW
The IWC is outraged.
The wrestling media is in a tizzy. In case you
haven't heard about it by now (and if not, thanks
for checking out my column before reading any news
sites. You rule!), John Bradshaw Layfield recently
upset everyone during a Smackdown tour of Germany.
You see, JBL thought it would be a hoot and possibly
even a holler to goose-step around the ring and give
"Heil Hitler" salutes to the German fans. To say JBL
just "got heat" would be an understatement. Fans
reportedly had to be restrained from jumping the
rail to get a piece of JBL. Apparently, such antics
are not only tasteless in Germany; they're illegal.
No charges were filed against JBL, and he was
allowed to leave the country.
Keep in mind that the
purpose of a heel is to get heat from fans. But
there are different kinds of heat. "Cheap heat" is
when hot-button topics are pressed. Racial remarks,
sexual innuendo, insulting the local sports team,
etc. Personally, I think it's a crock. There's no
such thing as "cheap heat." Heels are SUPPOSED to
piss off the fans by hook or by crook. The sticky
thing is that there's a fine line between "ticket
selling heat" and "go away heat" (which is also
sometimes called "X-Pac heat").
When news hit the
states, all steph broke loose. The heat got so -
well, HEATED - that the WWE even issued the
following public apology: "WWE and John Layfield
deeply regret Mr. Layfield's actions in the ring at
our event in Munich, and apologize if it has
offended or upset our fans. Mr. Layfield has been
reprimanded for his actions."
It's about damn time
they've apologized for Mr. Layfield's "actions in
the ring." That apology should have been issued nine
years ago, but that's just because he sucks. Though
Bradshit's suckiness is not the issue here...or is
Gimmie a break, people.
JBL's real crime wasn't the Nazi stuff; it was the
fact that he is JBL. Don't lie, I know you too well.
This is another one of those hot "stories of the
week" that gets blown out of proportion to make it
seem more important than it actually is. But what
the hell, let's suspend disbelief. You guys wanna
make an issue out of this? I'm game.
The IWC doesn't like
JBL for many reasons. Including but not limited to:
1) He's not a good
2) He's not a good
3) He doesn't have good
4) His finisher is a
clothesline; a relic from the 80s.
5) He's been having a
bad hair day since 2003.
6) He's a locker room
bully who hazes and abuses the young guys.
7) He occasionally cuts
"cheap heat" promos on the internet as a whole,
dissing the IWC.
And so on. Let's say it
was John Cena who did the Nazi stuff. Mind you, not
the watered-down "Man On A Mission" U.S. champion
Cena who we've been subjected to over the past year.
But rather the 2003 cutting-edge daring heel who
didn't know the meaning of the word "taboo." After
all, cheap heat is okay when done by a "cool" heel,
right? You want precedent? I got precedent.
During his famous
"Loose Cannon" year in 1996, Brian Pillman tried
everything under the sun to get heat, cheap or
otherwise. During one infamous woot (worked shoot)
promo in the ECW Arena, Pillman even dropped the
N-word to get a reaction. Yes, THAT N-word. New Jack
in particular was none too pleased, but that's
another story. There was no real uproar against
Pillman. No one suggested that he get suspended or
fired. (I know, I know. Technically he wasn't under
contract with ECW, but that's not the point.) So,
IWC, why is cheap heat okay for Pillman, but not
:::sound of crickets
Don't bother, I'll
answer for you. The honest answer is "Because
Pillman is one of our favorites, while JBL is not."
Pillman fans fondly remember their hero stealing
NWA/WCW shows, having classic matches with Ric Flair
and Jushin Liger, and teaming with Steve Austin for
the coulda-been-epic "Hollywood Blonds" duo in 1993.
Sadly, Flyin' Brian was never the same worker after
the car wreck that almost ended his life in 1996.
Quick, name one great or even "very good" match he
had in the WWF. Hell, I'll even take just plain
:::now even the
crickets are quiet:::
But Pillheads look the
other way because he's one of their boys. Look,
EVERYONE plays favorites. I do. You do. Your boss
does. Your dog does. Everyone. It's just the way of
For what it's worth,
JBL isn't the only one in the wacky world of
wrestling who has a problem with Das Fatherland.
During a WCW tour, Bill Goldberg outright refused to
wrestle there, citing the obvious reason (you know,
the whole "slaughter of 6,000,000 people" thing).
Say what you will about Bill, but the guy has
principles and hangs onto them like a hippie hugging
a tree. In hindsight, it's one of the reasons why
the guy never really had a chance at any long-term
future in this dirty business. Well, that and the
whole "not understanding selling" thing. But now I'M
even digressing from the issue, ironically.
The question here is
intent. Was Bradshaw just trying to get heat from
the German crowd? Was Bradshaw legit pissed at
Germany as a whole for the whole Nazi thing to begin
with? (As we remember from his infamous 9/11 rant,
JBL doesn't take kindly to foreign countries who
wage war with the good ol' USA.) The problem is that
only one man knows for sure, and it's not like we
can take his word for it.
JBL: Balls of brass, or
head of dick? The answer is probably "both." Look,
in no way am I writing this to defend JBL or his
actions. Even by the low standards of pro wrestling,
JBL is universally regarded as the asshole's
asshole. The guy deserves no mercy for any of his
sins, and this is certainly one of them. But that's
not the issue here. Not really.
I got news for you,
people: JBL knows that he's a jackass. He doesn't
care what you think. Not outwardly, at least. If
anything, he's probably getting a kick out of the
fact that so many "gay internet smart marks" are
wasting perfectly good time and bandwidth discussing
his actions. Any way you look at it, it's heat.
It's easy to just write
the whole thing off as "Layfield is a douchebag."
But it also glosses over something so serious and so
real, it really has no place being discussed by a
bunch of people who spend their days arguing over
whether or not Danny Hodge would tap out to Tazz.
The bottom line is that I just can't fathom why
people are pissed at JBL for mocking a Nazi, but
they're not pissed at Germany for actually STARTING
THE NAZI MOVEMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE.
When it comes to
Germany and Nazis, are we supposed to forgive and
forget? Let bygones be bygones? Okay, fine. Then I
don't want to hear a damn thing from black people
about that whole "slavery" thing ever again. They
should just get over it. If Germany gets a pass, so
do the sharecroppers. Isn't that equality? Hey,
don't look at me, ya liberal bastard. They're YOUR
The expression goes
"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to
repeat it." It's particularly important to put
things in their proper historical perspective when
it comes to man's inhumanity toward man. No one's
off the hook. Not the Americans who all but wiped
out the Indians and took their land. Not the whites
who owned slaves. Not the terrorists who flew planes
into the WTC. And for damn sure, not the Nazis who
conclusion, fuck Nazi Germany. And fuck
Politically-Correct Liberal America. The REAL
outrage is that it's getting harder and harder to
tell the two apart.