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JBL on how he originally got to WWE, why Vince McMahon put the APA together



John Layfield was on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast this week to talk about his wrestling career.

JBL talked about how he originally got into WWE and his friendship with Gerald Brisco:

“Bruce Prichard and Pat Patterson somehow got a tape. I sent them a tape years before, literally a couple years before, and somehow they got to it. We were in Brahmin, Germany. I was working for Otto (Wanz) up there. We were at the end of the tour and it was the Christmas season. Somebody told me, ‘WWE is going to call you.’ Literally, it was on a payphone on a street in the middle of Germany. I don’t know how they got the number. I never even asked. I couldn’t believe that they found me somehow and wanted to talk to me. It was Bruce Prichard and he was there with Pat (Patterson). He said, ‘We want you to come through and do a tryout match on the way through.’ I went to Philadelphia. It was snowing, and Tony Garea threw me out in the back. He didn’t think I was supposed to be there and literally threw me out. I thought, ok, I’ll just leave. I was going to WCW next. It was snowing so bad, I couldn’t leave and the airport was closed. I went to Bethlehem and met Dutch Mantel. He said, ‘Well, I’ll walk out with you.’ He walked out with me, and literally Gerald Brisco saw me for the first time in the ring with Savio Vega, went to get Vince McMahon, and said, ‘Have you seen this kid? They brought him from Europe. He’s a big kid, played a little pro football, and was trained by Brad Rheingans.’ He said, ‘We have to sign him.’ Vince said, ‘Well then sign him.’ That was it. Vince never saw me. Jerry saw me and it was just in a trial match. Jerry pulled me aside and said, ‘I want you to sign.’ He and JJ Dillon pulled me aside and said, ‘We want to sign you. We understand you’re going to WCW.’ I said, ‘Yea I am.’ They said, ‘Well give us your word you won’t go’, and I said, ‘Well give me your word I have a contract.’ Gerald said, ‘Yes.’ We shook hands and Gerald and I have literally been really close friends ever since.”

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JBL talking about the formation of the APA:

“It came from Vince McMahon seeing me and Ron (Simmons) drinking some beers on my birthday. My birthday is November 29th. We had a shot in Philadelphia. We were driving down to Baltimore. I was with Godfather, Ron, and Teddy (Long), either Teddy or Flash Funk. We had a few drinks on the way down. It was my birthday. Everybody was celebrating and having a good time. Me and Ron got down to the bar. We rarely ever went to the TV hotel because it’s not good form to go to the cheap hotel. Too many people repeat things and things get blown out of context. So me and Ron would usually go somewhere else, but we didn’t have anywhere else to go, and we went to the TV hotel. The next day, Vince McMahon called me in and said, ‘I want to put that on television.’ I said, ‘Put what on television?’ He said, ‘You and Ron. That’s what guys do. You’re sitting around just having beers, telling stories, and having a great time. That’s what guys do. I’ll call it the Acolyte Protection Agency. People are going to hire you guys to beat up people for beer money.’ Vince came up with the whole idea. It was all him after seeing me and Ron on my birthday in Baltimore.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with a h/t to for the transcription.