Clustershmazz: Mein Kampf: Have More Heat Now By John Bradshaw Layfield



 Harry Simon; The self-proclaimed "Trivia MANGOD" has been writing about wrestling off and on for 14 years and counted. Harry has written for Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and had trivia pieces posted on LAW and Wrestling Observer;



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 it?

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 worker.
2) He's not a good promo.
3) He doesn't have good theme music.
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 Layfield?

:::sound of crickets chirping:::

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 "good."

:::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 the world.

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 rules.

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 slaughtered jews.

So in 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.