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JBL Explains Why ‘Mother Teresa’ Promo On SmackDown Was ‘The Most Make Or Break Moment’ Of His Life

JBL pinpointed the one promo on Smackdown that put the wheels in motion for his WWE Championship run.

The WWE Hall of Famer held the WWE Championship for 280 days. During this time, he was one of the top heels in the company. However, he was not considered a top star for most of his career.

The former WWE Champion was fired from his analyst role on CNBC in 2004. This was after he was caught using the Nazi salute in the ring during a European tour in Germany. The network soon severed ties with the Superstar, which helped him develop the JBL character further.

Soon after on Smackdown, JBL cut an impassioned promo on the media and their coverage of the US military. He called the fans “mindless zombies”, before discussing his support of the troops.

This led to him uttering the immortal line “Calling me anything but a great American is like calling Mother Teresa a prostitute”. This cemented his role as a top heel on Smackdown. It also made Vince McMahon see him as a champion for the first time.

JBL confirmed this on Twitter, replying to a clip of the promo. He called the promo “the most make or break moment” of his life. He noted that, backstage, Vince McMahon asked if he should make JBL the WWE Champion. Everybody agreed that he should do that.

“I had just been fired from CNBC, this promo was the most make or break moment of my life. All Vince asked me was what was I gonna say, I gave him a general idea. The person standing next to Vince backstage told me Vince said halfway through “should I put the title on him?’ The response was “ya think?” After this it was set in motion.”