WWE Hall Of Famer JBL is a veteran in the pro wrestling world, having started his journey during the Attitude Era in the late 90s. He has had a storied career, winning multiple championships along the way. He also has quite a few interesting stories to tell and JBL did just that recently.
While speaking on a Q and A on his YouTube channel, JBL told a story of the time he got into a fight while in Japan working on shows promoted and ran by the Yakuza. As the story went, JBL visited a noodle shop in Japan along with Teddy Long and Ron Price.
While they were drinking at the shop, they were being disturbed by a man who was very drunk. It came to a point that Ron Price broke an entire table on the man and all hell broke loose. However, as wrestlers back then worked for the Yakuza, the situation did not escalate and was straightened out, even as police arrived.
“We were in a noodle house in Japan. It was me, Teddy [Long] and Ron Price [and JBL’s friend James Beard]. There might have been some others but I don’t remember, I know us three were there. You have to understand in the noodle houses back then they would ban some of the gaijin [foreigners]. They always banned the mafia guys especially the ones with ink. They wouldn’t ban guys with the missing fingers, that’s who we worked for, the Yakuza. But they would ban for sure the guys with ink but they also banned wrestlers essentially. They banned Americans.
So we found one that allowed us in and we get there and a guy starts smarting off right away. He’s drunk, we’re drinking, this is not gonna end well. As we get up to leave Ron Price, who’s one of my good friends, dumps their table on him [laughs], the whole table. All hell breaks loose. So we are outside and here come the bicycle police, we’re gonna be in trouble. You have to understand, Americans had almost immunity back then in Japan. The wrestlers did because we worked for the Yakuza, we worked for the mafia so whatever happened, it pretty much got straightened out, we didn’t have a lot to worry about as long as you didn’t do anything too stupid.”
This was certainly a very bizarre story told by JBL and it is likely he has many stories such as this to tell. The situation in Japan is certainly very different now and it is unlikely anyone in JBL’s position in today’s world would get off scot-free.
h/t to Inside The Rope for the quotes.