John Bradshaw Layfield by Rob Schamberger © 2012 Rob. All rights reserved.

John Bradshaw Layfield

John Bradshaw Layfield painting by Rob Schamberger

Acrylic and spray on 24″ x 24″ wood

John Bradshaw Layfield was the guy who made me ‘get’ professional wrestling. I had enjoyed his time in the tag team division as one of the Acolytes with Ron ‘Farooq’ Simmons, where he was a physical competitor that always put on a solid match. But it was when he transformed from ‘Bradshaw’ to John Bradshaw Layfield, or JBL for short, that I really took notice. See, I hated this guy. I really, really wanted to see someone beat the hell out of him, to get the title off of him, because I could not stand him. That went on for months, until one day it clicked in my head: “Whoa, he’s good at being a heel.” Then? I was all about this ass hat in a cowboy hat and how good he was at making me hate him.

Then Eddie Guerrero died and I saw JBL as a man, not as this larger-than-life personality that he portrayed on television. I lost it. Absolutely lost it. I remember watching that episode and I slid right off of the couch and sat there on the floor. Seriously, watch this: http://youtu.be/RDeXiwdNTnc Still gets me choked up.

Layfield’s biggest contribution to the wrestling world was his suggestion to Vince McMahon to do the Tribute to the Troops shows, which have gone on to be one of the best things about pro wrestling. WWE’s talent entertain soldiers at bases around the world as a simple thank for all that they do for us. That’s pretty awesome.

Prints of this painting will be available for $25 each at the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in Waterloo, Iowa this Friday and Saturday, with the proceeds going to the Hall of Fame and museum!

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