John Layfield Announced For WWE Hall Of Fame Class Of 2020

As first announced Tuesday night on the FS1 studio show WWE Backstage, tag team veteran, former WWE world champion, and long-time broadcaster John Layfield will be the next name inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2020.

Layfield’s in-ring career spanned nearly two decades. He got his start wrestling in Texas in the early 90s, and signed with WWE in 1995.

After a short-lived run as Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw, a cowboy who branded his victims with ink, and one half of the equally short-lived New Blackjacks, he found his first real success teaming with Ron Simmons, then known as Faarooq, to form The Acolytes.

The Acolytes, who later became the Acolyte Protection Agency (or the “APA” for short) were staples of the WWE tag team division throughout the Attitude Era, winning the WWE Tag Team Championships three times. Bradshaw himself was also an 18-time Hardcore Champion.

Bradshaw underwent a major transformation heading into the Ruthless Aggression era. After splitting off from Faarooq, his character abandoned its Texas roots for the bright lights of New York, donning a suit and tie to become the eternally obnoxious business tycoon, John Bradshaw Layfield.

JBL was the top heel of the Smackdown brand for nearly a year, working controversial, often bloody programs with the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, Big Show and The Undertaker. At one point he was arguably the most hated man in wrestling. That became a major springboard for a young John Cena, who JBL helped establish as a top babyface leading to their match at WrestleMania 21.

He went on to win the U.S. Championship and Intercontinental Championship before retiring in 2009. Since then, Layfield has been used numerous times on commentary, and at several points has been full-time in the role. He moved to Bermuda shortly after retiring, and has developed his non-profit, Beyond Rugby Bermuda, in an organization that has helped hundreds of young people in the country.

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