Layfield is born in Sweetwater, Texas. He develops an early interest in sports, pursuing football through high school and college. He attends Abilene Christian University as a student athlete before deciding to pursue professional wrestling.
WWE SmackDown makes its television debut. The event features Blue Blazer vs Val Venis, Big Show vs Test, Ken Shamrock vs Bradshaw, Mankind vs Big Boss Man and Steve Austin and The Rock vs The Corporate Ministry.
Wrestlemania 21 is held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The event features a 30 man battle royal, Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero, The Undertaker vs Randy Orton, Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels, John Cena vs JBL and Batista vs Triple H.
Cena defeats JBL at Wrestlemania 21 to become WWE champion for the first time.
SmackDown officially moves to Friday nights with first broadcasts in new slot. The event features Ken Kennedy vs Paul London, Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio and Batista vs JBL.
Wrestlemania 24 is held at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The event features boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. vs Big Show, JBL vs Finlay, Batista vs Umaga, Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair in a retirement match and The Undertaker vs Edge.
Jericho substitutes for CM Punk in championship scramble match and defeats Batista, Rey Mysterio, Kane and JBL to claim the title.
Layfield talks about his debut in the WWE:
I didn’t think I’d be there very long. I really thought I’d be there two or three years. That’s about all people were around for at that time. People came and left a lot and I really figured I’d be there two or three years and I’d go back to Japan and maybe even going back to college and being a coach somewhere. I didn’t expect to be there for 15 years or whatever. That was completely unexpected to be there that long.
Layfield talks about returning to WWE for Raw’s 1000th episode:
I really have enjoyed coming back and doing stuff and I’ve really enjoyed watching the shows recently. So, that’s a big part of it, you know. It’s been a part of my entire life, I’ve wanted to be a wrestler since I was a little kid. I don’t think that ever leaves you. Me, coming back for the Hall of Fame and then Raw 1,000 — that was a lot of fun.
Layfield discusses his WWE singles career:
Eddie Guerrero, he was the biggest influence on my singles career. I’m not sure the JBL character would be alive if not for Eddie, he really made the career that I had. The Undertaker feud that I had was huge for me, but I got to wrestle every top star during that era, I got to wrestle, Booker T, Dave Batista, John Cena, I really had a fun and incredible run, the run came later in my life so I really had the opportunity to enjoy it
JBL appears to speak at the Beyond Sport Summit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as an ambassador for WWE. Layfield:
You had people coming together who want to make a difference and want to use sport to make that difference