JBL And Ron Simmons Thought They Were Going To Be Fired, APA Was Formed Instead

John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) shares how The Acolytes morphed into the APA.

The newest edition of WWE Untold tells the story of the Acolytes Protection Agency, as well as the careers and friendship of Ron Simmons and JBL. In the documentary-special, Simmons (Faarooq) talked about how people would ask, and be willing to pay, to travel with him and Bradshaw just so they could take part in their exploits outside of the ring. JBL then shared how he and Simmons thought they were going to be fired when Vince McMahon first pitched the idea for them to sit around drinking beer and BS'ing.

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"I think we had an afternoon shot in Philadelphia. We're coming down to Baltimore. They're just feeding me every substance known to man. It's my birthday. I'm messed up by the time I get down to Baltimore. We go to the hotel and in come Vince and Shane.

I go back to the Red Roof, Ron left early. Go back to the Red Roof and Ron and I were splitting a room at the Red Roof, that's how cheap we were, it was probably 29 bucks, 15 bucks each. Ron wakes up and he goes, how'd you get here? I said, limo. He said, limo? I said, yeah, Vince and Shane. He goes, oh, we're fired. I started laughing. I said, yeah, we may be, and he said, you still got a connection in Japan? I said I hope so. 

So I come to TV the next day in Baltimore and they said Vince wants to talk to you and I thought, man you know, I was drunk at the hotel, I'm probably in trouble. So I walk in there and Vince laughs about how hungover I am, and he's in a jovial mood. He goes, I'm going to put that on television. I said, what are you going to put on television? He said I'm gonna put on television about you and Ron sitting around drinking and BS'ing. He goes, that's good stuff. He said that's entertaining. I was shocked. I was expecting to be reprimanded, to be in trouble.

I come back out and Ron goes, uh, yeah, when we going to Japan? I said we're not. He said, what do you mean were not? I said Vince wants us to drink beer on television, and Ron said, that's the greatest idea I've ever heard."

The APA lasted from January 2000 until the brand-split in March 2002. They reunited from 2003-2004 before JBL turned on his partner in favor of a prolonged singles run. As a team, Bradshaw and Simmons won the WWE Tag Team Titles 3-times. They were each inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Simmons in 2012 and JBL in 2020 (ceremony postponed due to pandemic).

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