This Day in Rasslin’ History: Goose Steppin’

On this date in 2004, John Bradshaw Layfield brought some of the worst publicity possible unto the WWE.  At a live event in Munich, Germany days before, Layfield performed a Nazi goose step during a tag team match in an attempt to generate heat from the crowd.  The gesture, which is actually an arrestable offense in Germany, greatly offended members of the live crowd, and days later, the inappropriate behavior made news world-wide.  When pictures surfaced of the taunt in question, the WWE issued a statement apologizing for the debacle and assuring that JBL had been reprimanded.  Although he faced no real consequences from the WWE, the rest of the media were not so forgiving.

On June 8, 2004, CNBC issued a statement regarding the objectionable action.  Layfield had been serving as a financial analyst for the network for the preceding few weeks but found himself on the outs after his Nazi salute.  “CNBC has terminated its relationship with John “Bradshaw” Layfield following his conduct this past weekend in a wrestling match”, said the issued statement. “We find his behavior to be offensive, inappropriate and not befitting anyone associated with our network.”  JBL’s explanation for his choice to display such mannerisms was not what you’d describe as apologetic.  “I’m a bad guy [on WWE TV],” explained Bradshaw, “I’m supposed to incite the crowd. I’ve done [the Nazi salute] for decades.”

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