ViRTUE's RAGE: Are JBL & Russo Verbal Bullies?
Submitted by Virtue on 04/16/2017 at 09:01 PM

April 16, 2017

Twitter: @EGW_FOW_Virtue

Verbal Bullies or Misunderstood

In 1997, there was no such thing as bullying or hazing in the wrestling business. Anything that might constitute as bullying was referred to as merely ribbing. To put it in simple terms, if someone is in the wrestling business, they must go in having thick skin. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF! Now in 2017, Mauro Ranallo is claiming he was bullied by John Bradshaw Layfield. Even Alberto El Patron (Del Rio) is saying bullying exists in the WWE locker room. What it sounds like to me is that some people that are on the way out (or already gone) from WWE, sometimes do not have nice things to say about the company or people still employed there. If all the allegations were true, wouldn't everyone who has left or been dismissed from WWE have the same claims? What it sounds like to me is that Ranallo's style just did not mesh with the WWE style of broadcast announcing. If you combine that with his recent depression issues, it is clear he may be more of a victim of his own demise. Do not get me wrong, I do not know the facts, but I do know that if you do not have thick skin and have depression issues, the wrestling business is going to get to you. There is indeed a place for Ranallo broadcasting real combat sports. His energy is very high and I get why many fans enjoy listening to him. However, I feel his voice is more in tune for a Saturday morning kids wrestling show like the former Saturday Morning Slam. Ranallo would be a very good voice man for TV commercials geared towards children.

Moving on to discuss more about JBL himself, I believe he comes across as a verbal bully to certain people. I am sure he is guilty of using his size as an intimidation factor, but truth be told, all one has to do is put JBL in his place and problem solved. Bart Gunn did it back in the late 1990s during the Brawl For All Finals! I am sure you will all enjoy watching the following, especially if you do not like JBL.

There is no doubt in my mind that JBL is misunderstood as a (verbal) bully. Perhaps his actions in a regular 9-5 office environment would not be appropriate, but he is a former professional wrestler turned broadcast announcer in the wrestling business, where everyone is for themselves. It would be one thing if Ranallo, or others, were getting black eyes and shoved to the ground by JBL backstage, but I believe being called a verbal bully is something made up by weak minded people. All it takes to cure what some people may deem as verbal bullying is better communication. Let others know where you stand and communicate it back to them to see if they like it. Never be intimidated by others or be fearful for your job, especially if you are talented like Ranallo and can find work in many places. If Ranallo realized that the WWE locker room environment was not for him, all he had to do was a professional departure rather than have things get ugly with accusations (if that is indeed what happened).

JBL has been employed by WWE for a good twenty years or so. If he was a true bully, I do not think he would have lasted that long with the company. Perhaps Vince McMahon is very lenient with guys like JBL. Think about how long WWE has been a publicly traded company, and JBL has long remained a WWE employee. We also know that Kevin Nash has recently stood up for JBL. And why? Because Nash knows what the wrestling business is like better than anyone else. Sure, Nash is a huge dude, but he is also a rather laid back dude. Here is an idea for WWE: take JBL off the SmackDown announce booth for a while. Then when it is time to get a new heel over in a big way, have JBL become their mouthpiece manager. Wrestling today needs more heel managers like back in the Golden Era. How about with Roman Reigns? LOL! My final take on JBL is although he may come across as bullish, he gets a pass as misunderstood because he is in the wrestling business.

Now on to the one and only, Vince Russo. All I ever hear about regarding Russo is how he is a former, bitter writer from the wrestling business who is desperately seeking employment by WWE or TNA/Impact. Those very same Russo detractors say he says controversial things just to stay relevant. Seriously folks, give Russo the benefit of the doubt. He has every right to say the things he says because he has real-life experience in the actual business. Despite what many people think about his work after WWE, his work is still talked about to this day. I just wish the haters would realize they are actually the ones keeping Russo relevant. And that is a good thing because he was part of the history of the business during its most successful era. He should be remembered. For the record, I do not always agree with Russo and do not always share his opinions. I for one enjoy the work from Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and to an extent, Finn Balor. Hell, I won one of Russo's fantasy baseball leagues in 2016 ($400 prize), but he disbanded it the following season. Thanks for giving me a chance to defend my title, Vince! By the way, he did pay me the winnings I was entitled to because he is a standup guy.

Russo's recent found endeavor is that of podcasting, and he has made it clear he is a huge Howard Stern fan. I would normally say mark, but I do not want Russo to get upset with me : ) ! Yes, Russo is a fan of the controversial, yet highly successful King of All Media. Nonetheless, on one of Russo's recent podcasts he referred to male wrestling fans who chant and cheer for wrestlers like Balor, Zayn, etc as either one of three characteristics: 1) being homosexual, 2) having homosexual tendencies, or 3) being in the closet. So based on Russo's statement, I myself would fall under one of those three characteristics. But guess what folks, I am not any of those three, and neither do I think what Russo said was verbal bullying or bashing. I understand how some people actually in the LGTBQ community may have been offended by Russo's statement, but let's ALL be honest here, his podcast is an entertainment show, and he clearly was not using the terms in a derogatory way, especially against the LGTBQ community. He was simply appeasing his own fan base for ENTERTAINMENT purposes only. Perhaps it was merely blown out of proportion because it was Vince Russo who said it. The bottom line is that Russo, although sometimes controversial, is NOT a verbal bully, and often times misunderstood.

Twitter: @EGW_FOW_Virtue


Josh Prohibition (@JoshProhibition)

Josh Prohibition

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