WWE News: Fans chant “Fire JBL” at SmackDown in London
Will the controversy continue to surround JBL and the WWE?
What’s the story?
SmackDown Live hailed from the 02 Arena in London, England and was the source of continued controversy for SmackDown Commentator John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL). Before SmackDown went on the air, fans started “Fire Bradshaw” chants that were heard on tonight’s broadcast.
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JBL has had an alleged history of bullying wrestlers and other WWE employees for years now, but his rumoured bullying of Mauro Ranallo seemed to be the tipping point that had fans calling for his job.
Ranallo was noticeably absent from television heading into WrestleMania 33 and many fans began questioning what the reason for this. Eventually, it was revealed that Ranallo would not be returning to the WWE after a bad bout with depression allegedly caused by JBL.
There have been multiple “Fire JBL” chants and hashtags since the story with Ranallo broke and they have not ceased despite him issuing a statement claiming his departure from WWE had nothing to do with JBL.
The heart of the matter
While it may have slightly helped that Ranallo issued his statement about JBL, many fans believe this is nothing more than some public relations move meant to make Layfield look better.
With JBL’s alleged history of hazing and some of his controversial comments on Bring It to the Table, many fans seem more inclined to believe that he is at the centre of Ranallo’s departure.
Furthermore, former WWE announcer Justin Roberts discussed being hazed by JBL along with several former employees. All of these allegations and rumours have only strengthened the desire amongst fans to see JBL punished for his actions.
On the latest episode of Bring it To The Table, there was no mention made of any of the issues surrounding JBL’s alleged bullying and his problems with Ranallo. If the WWE wouldn’t bring it up there, it will likely never be addressed, considering that Bring it To the Table is the WWE’s controlled shoot program where fan grievances and opinions are discussed.
The situation with JBL continues to garner negative press for both the WWE and JBL himself. Due to the company’s kid-friendly program that promotes anti-bullying campaigns, any reports of hazing from WWE employees would make WWE look like complete hypocrites.
Aside from JBL being fired or addressing the issue or making it a storyline, there isn’t much the WWE can do if these chants continue after this episode of SmackDown.
The following tweets are the fans response to the “Fire JBL” chants that were heard on tonight’s episode of SmackDown:
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