"Iraq Punchout"

United States
December 9, 2008 2:37pm CST
From PWInsider.com: "One of the most newsworthy events that transpired on World Wrestling Entertainment's tour of Iraq last week took place nowhere near any of the cameras that were filming the tour. I was stunned at hearing the following story over the weekend and initially chalked it up to being just an urban legend, but as it turns out, it was completely accurate. Retired WWE announcer (and current WWE.com personality) Joey Styles punched out former WWE champion JBL in Iraq during an altercation between the two, busting JBL open under the eye. No, that is not a typo. As the story was initially explained to me (and all versions I've heard since have matched the original report I was conveyed), JBL made Styles something of a target because it was Styles' first tour of Iraq for the company and was hazing the former ECW announcer. I was told JBL was trying to bully Styles with a lot of condescending comments and actions, including allegedly spilling a drink on Styles on purpose. JBL was more or less pulling a lot of the shenanigans that a lot of of the performers in the company can't stand but deal with since he has the political stroke of being a tenured veteran. Several days into the tour, JBL (who by all accounts, had been drinking ) did something that caused Styles to physically retaliate in defense. A number of wrestlers stepped between them and held the two apart. When JBL broke free, he went towards Styles, who "nailed him perfectly with a pretty good shot" according to one witness, laying JBL out, busting himopen and blackening his eye. There were no further incidents between the two on the tour after that. There were a number of performers who pointed out to me that the story was something of karma coming back to bite JBL in the rear because his antics had caused Smackdown talent Palmer Cannon to quit the company during a European tour (and Cannon wasn't the only victim of JBL's hazing over the years) as well as the famous 2005 ECW One Night Stand beating of the Blue Meanie during the PPV closing brawl inside the ring. At last night's Raw in Philadelphia, the story was the talk of the day among wrestlers, who were amazed by the incident. I was also told JBL was acting completely subdued at the taping, something absolutely out of character for him, as he knew the story was making the rounds. Styles, meanwhile, was trying to downplay the incident to those who brought it up to him at Raw. It was considered doubly embarrassing for JBL among the wrestlers since he was so involved with setting up the Iraq tours. In a strange way, some theorized the incident would get Styles over with McMahon because it showed his "toughness" and could pave the way for his return to TV. I have no idea whether Styles' cameo last night was part of any direct result of the "Iraq Punchout", as it was termed to me."
4 responses
• United States
9 Dec 08
I think it is great that someone finally put JBL in his place. Surprised though that it came from Styles. However, JBL is one of the most obnoxious performers that WWE has at this time. Next to Edge that is.
@Marcola (2776)
• United States
9 Dec 08
Edge doesn't act like that backstage.
@allen0187 (33914)
• Philippines
10 Dec 08
marcola, it seems that you know a lot about wrestler when they're off-cam. hopefully, you can start a discussion about how these wrestler act when they're not in front of the cameras doing their thing. i bet that will be a good read. thanks in advance.
@Marcola (2776)
• United States
9 Dec 08
Hmmm...never would've expected that out of Styles. The thing is, JBL most likely wont be punished for this, due to his relationship with Vince. I guess you never know though, since Hardcore Holly has been off TV since June and he's been with the company since '93 or '94. He's also notorious for pushing around younger guys. Anyway, good for Styles sticking up for himself. I wouldn't mind seeing more of him on TV. Maybe he could replace Michael Cole?!
• United States
9 Dec 08
I hope Styles does come back to TV. I loved his stuff from back in the day in ECW, was watching some ECW stuff from 93 and for got Styles was doing play by play with them back then. I never cared to much for JBL and I think he had what was comeing to him. karma is a b itch
@Marcola (2776)
• United States
9 Dec 08
Yeah, I like his style of announcing better than what WWE has its' announcers do. He actually called the match and called the moves out as they happened. Now, you have Michael Cole refer to just about any submission hold as "that lethal submission" or a "devastating hold", etc.
@allen0187 (33914)
• Philippines
10 Dec 08
very funny story here. thanks for sharing it. it's great that styles stood up to jbl. this sort of thing, bullying, happens all the time in all places, schools, offices, and apparently as the story mentioned even in the wwe. i think jbl had it coming to him. it would have been great if it was captured on film. plus this wasn't all scripted so imagine the look in jbl's face when he got punched by little joey styles. lol! i do miss styles' way of play calling in the wwe. hopefully he comes back. as for jbl, i'd like to see and know how he'll get back at styles. that will be one for the ages.
@jakeb1 (562)
• United States
9 Dec 08
Wow, I am completely surprised by this story. Styles used to be a good color commentator on ECW but I didn't know he was a wrestler. Maybe he used to be a boxer in his youth. But isn't JBL a foot taller than Styles? Styles must of caught him with an overhand right. JBL got what he deserved, it was karma. Hope Styles comes back to TV.