On top of Africa: John Layfield scaled Mount Kilimanjaro last week as he raised money for the Family Centre. Mr Layfield is attempting the Seven Summits Challenge to help Bermuda’s youth. *Photo supplied
On top of Africa: John Layfield scaled Mount Kilimanjaro last week as he raised money for the Family Centre. Mr Layfield is attempting the Seven Summits Challenge to help Bermuda’s youth. *Photo supplied
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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10: Having an unchained lion prowling and roaring outside your tent would be enough for most people to be reaching for the Charmin to help clean themselves up, but John Layfield certainly isn’t ordinary.

And a roaring lion will certainly not be the scariest thing he faces in the coming months as he is about to scale ‘Mount Death’.

Mr Layfield, who was the longest-reigning WWE champion when he wrestled under psuedonym JBL, just completed climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

He is doing The Seven Summits Challenge — climbing the highest peak on every continent — to raise money for the Family Centre.

Kilimanjaro was the second peak attempted by Mr Layfield. Back in June he had to turn back when he was in sight of the top of Mount Elbrus because the weather was turning from bad to deadly.

Mr Layfield, who started the Beyond Rugby programme for at-risk kids in Bermuda, is now back on the island.

He said: “I had the craziest thing happen this week. My first night in the Serengeti I heard a lion outside my tent.

“I was in the end tent and every time I got up to blow my nose the lion roared outside my tent. Needless to say I slept very little.

“I was thrilled to summit Kilimanjaro. We had an almost 14-hour summit day. It was so cold at night that we had got to 18,500 feet for camp and I didn’t want to spend another night in the cold so we went ahead to summit at 19,334 feet and had a five-hour climb to the first camp. That was a long day.”

Layfield has a busy lead-up to his next climb as Beyond Rugby is going to start and he will be doing more commentating for the WWE as well as doing his regular Saturday show for Fox TV, Cashin’ In.

“I am finally back from Africa — so happy to be home.

“Bermuda is great this time of year. But there are only two days rest as I start training Sunday for the next and toughest mountain — Aconcagua in South America — it’s the highest mountain outside of Asia and has a 30-per-cent success rate.”

On top of that Aconcagua has been nicknamed “Mount Death” because an average of three climbers die every year attempting to reach the summit.

“I had always planned to use Kilimanjaro as part of training for Aconcagua.

“I am 14 weeks away from going to South America. This mountain is a beast, if I can make it I can make any mountain.”

Mr Layfield said he is “looking forward to returning” to WWE programming.

“I am currently filling in for Jerry Lawler at WWE’s main show while Jerry recovers from a heart attack.

“I am hoping to use this to promote both Bermuda and our kids’ programme.

“The WWE continues to partner with me and because of that 100 per cent of the money goes to Bermuda kids.

“WWE programming did a big feature on the climb last week and will do more this week as will Fox News, my main show Cashin’ In (which airs on Saturday morning Bermuda time at 12:30pm).”

Mr Layfield is paying for all the climbs out of his own pocket so all money donated will go to the Family Centre and not to pay for him to climb the peaks. If you wish to contribute go to www.SevenSummitsForKids.com