JBL Reflects on ECW One Night Stand

Dec 23, 2020 - by James Walsh

During a recent Q&A on his YouTube channel, JBL commented on learning about Brawl For All, the ECW One Night Stand crowd, and more. You can check out some highlights from the Q&A below:

On learning about Brawl for All and his fight against Bart Gunn: “Bart won the Brawl for All and knocked me silly. Nobody knew Bart could hit like that. When they came up with the idea for the Brawl for All, Bruce Prichard called me on a Thursday and said, ‘Do you want to be in a shoot fight on Monday?’ And I said, ‘Why would I be in a shoot fight on Monday?’ He said we’ve got this Brawl for All. I said, ‘Why are you doing this?’ Dr. Death – everybody assumed was just winning it. He was one of the toughest guys in the business. But he had a lot of injuries, and this was 10 years later than his prime. I said, ‘Doc’s not gonna win this. You know that, right?’ Bruce said it’s fine. I said, ‘You’re gonna put me in there against Henry Godwinn aren’t you?’ He said it’s a blind draw.

“I said, ‘Bruce, it’s not a blind draw. Are Shamrock and Severn in it?’ Yeah. I said can you at least put me in the second round where I face one of those guys so I have a chance of winning one? He goes, ‘John, it’s a blind draw. You’ll face whoever you face.’ I said I guarantee it’s Henry Godwinn because they wanted to see the two cowboy hillbillies beat each other up. I get there on Monday, and Bruce to this day says it was a blind draw – I’m facing Henry Godwinn in the first fight. Bart was a good friend of mine before, and he’s a good friend of mine after. Bart hit a lot harder than I could take. In fact, before the fight, Godfather called me and said, ‘You have no idea how hard Bart Gunn hits.’ I said c’mon, he can’t hit that hard. He did hit that hard.”

On the crowd at ECW One Night Stand and how it compares to NXT crowds: “I didn’t get ECW. I mean get it as the understanding, the passion behind ECW. We were traveling and working 52 weeks a year. We didn’t watch anything really. You get to the hotel late, you go to bed, you get up early, you train, you go to the next town. So, I never really saw ECW, not because I didn’t want to but because we were working every night. That passion of that crowd – I’ve never felt anything like that. I’ve been in some crazy arenas – that crowd was awesome. They told me, ‘Don’t walk through the crowd. We can’t guarantee your safety.’

“So, of course I walked through the crowd. If I get mugged, beat up, or whatever, it’s gonna be great television. It was awesome. I loved being a heel there. I loved those fans. I loved everything about it. I understood after being there for One Night Stand how great ECW was. I think NXT is kind of like that now. The passion that people feel – going to some of these NXT TakeOver shows, you feel that same type of passion. Fans feel like they belong, and you want them to feel that way. They are part of the show. I think NXT is very similar to ECW in that way. I could work in front of crowds like that every single day.”

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