In his new book, "Best Seat in the House: Your Backstage Pass through My WWE Journey," former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts details his experiences working with the company, and it also contains many accounts of bullying and hazing that he says he experienced while on the road as well. Roberts states that one of the individuals responsible for the behavior is current SmackDown LIVE commentator John "Bradshaw" Layfield.
Below are some of the claims that Roberts makes about JBL in his book:
--"JBL would throw my bags down the street…he typically referred to me as dipshit and numbnuts despite my always trying to do a great job…every day I saw him, he asked me why I was still alive and told me to go kill myself"
--Roberts says that someone from SmackDown stole his passport from his bag during the final night of a WWE tour of the United Kingdom and that it was never returned to him. This resulted in him having to go to the U.S. embassy in London to have it reissued. Said Roberts, "Stealing a passport out of someone’s bag is a pretty evil rib and not giving it back means it’s no longer a rib."
--While WWE was on a tour of Japan, Roberts says there were separate buses for faces and heels to ride on. Roberts then says that JBL allegedly made both buses pull over and neither would move until Roberts moved to the "heel bus." When he did, Roberts says he was bullied by JBL and others for the remainder of the journey. "I was very comfortable working the RAW tours. I was scared for my life to work SmackDown tours."
--Roberts also noted one instance when a teenager was interviewing JBL and that the young person accidentally dropped his notes. Roberts then says that JBL asked the teenager's mother if "she had any children who weren't mentally disabled."
Roberts says that these incidents were "just the tip of the iceberg" and implied that the behavior was encouraged by JBL's superiors and was "part of a hostile corporate culture."
JBL himself has since responded to Roberts's claims via his official Twitter page by posting the following:
I won't answer Net rumors-but I didn't take Justin Roberts passport. Could have been anyone/he was hated by the whole crew. He's an idiot.— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) April 7, 2017