Photo Credit: WWE

JBL Explains The Biggest Challenges On Commentary, When He Truly Started Enjoying It

WWE Hall of Famer JBL is no stranger to talking behind a microphone, whether as an in-ring performer or a color commentator.

Recently appearing on GAW TV, former WWE Champion John Layfield shared some of the biggest challenges he faced in becoming a regular commentator for WWE in 2012:

“When I first got to be a commentator, I don’t know if I became any good later, but I wasn’t that good I don’t think in my mind because I still wanted to wrestle. I coached one year–I coached football one year. I played a little professional football and I coach down here in Texas right now, a little Junior College here. And I still wanted to play, and it really hurt my ability to coach these kids because I wasn’t that much older than them, and I thought ‘I really wanted to be out there’ and that hurt me a little bit.

“I think that when I was doing commentary first, but then when I went back and wrestled for a little bit, realized I was hurt, probably shouldn’t have gone back, and went back to do commentary, that when’s I really enjoyed it. Because then I was just a fan, and then I had no desire to be back in the ring. I just wanted to call the action and do the best I could with it. I really enjoyed it,” JBL revealed.

The WWE Hall of Famer went on to explain the complicated dynamics of commentating in pro wrestling, compared to sports commentating:

“People talk about commentators all the time in wrestling, we’re not legit commentators. It’s a work, you know? We’re actors just like the guys in the ring are. People say ‘why did you not see that”? Because I knew it was coming. Sometimes you say something like ‘oh who is that?” We know who it is, it’s The Undertaker. He’s been there 52 straight weeks, but you want to let the fans get it first. So unlike football, where you say ‘oh the cornerback has rolled up, that frees up my linebacker to blitz’, you tell the fans that, because that opens up the game to them.

:In wrestling, it’s just the opposite. You want to be a step behind, and that’s one of the things that’s so hard to figure out. That’s why it’s hard for play-by-play guys to come from sports into wrestling that don’t know wrestling very well, because they have a hard time being behind the action instead of being  ahead of it.”

Read More: JBL Says Vince McMahon Gets A Lot Of Heat, But He’s A Great Producer

If you use this transcript, credit GAW TV and h/t WrestleZone and link back to this post.