"Tell them you love them" - Details on Vince McMahon's incredible advice for top WWE heel

WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon
Danny Hart

John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) recently recalled how Vince McMahon instructed him to tell WWE’s Canadian fans he “loved them” during his time as a heel.

JBL performed as one of WWE’s top bad guys throughout his 280-day reign as WWE Champion between June 2004 and April 2005. During that time, the Texan had planned to brag about America’s superiority while cutting a promo at an event in Canada.

However, speaking in a YouTube Q&A, the WWE Hall of Famer revealed he listened to Vince McMahon’s advice and treated the crowd with respect instead.

“I had this promo where I tell them how they suck, America’s better, all this, blah, blah, blah, and he [Vince McMahon] said, ‘No, no, no. Tell them you love them.’ I thought about it, and I thought, ‘You know, I think that’s gonna work.’ I went out there and said, ‘I just want you all to know that I love you. I think you’re the greatest. I’m so proud of you being our neighbor.’ And people booed me out of the building,” JBL said.

JBL recently said on his Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw podcast that Vince McMahon essentially wrote the JBL character for himself.

JBL on the art of being a heel in Vince McMahon’s WWE

"JBL would have never existed if it hadn't been for Eddie Guerrero."#WWEHOF @JCLayfield

While some WWE heels occasionally receive positive reactions from fans, JBL’s arrogant gimmick was universally disliked by audiences around the world.

The retired former WWE Champion believes his character’s “out of touch” mindset helped fans dislike him even more.

“Being a heel is not about shouting out ‘You suck!’ and people shouting ‘You suck!’ back. You can always get a response. It’s about believing that you’re the good guy. JBL always thought that he was the good guy. JBL always thought that he was on the right side of everything, and that’s what added to people hating JBL. ‘How can he be that out of touch?’ To me, that part of it – the psychology and the timing – is the hardest thing to learn,” JBL said.

JBL performed for Vince McMahon’s WWE as an in-ring competitor between 1995 and 2009. Since retiring, he has worked for WWE as a commentator and pay-per-view kickoff show analyst.

Please credit JBL’s YouTube channel and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.

Did a respected WWE Hall of Famer predict a major title switch at Extreme Rules right here?

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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