At SummerSlam, Batista defeated Layfield in a rematch.
The two would soon unite as the , but disbanded after defeated the Undertaker at.
In 2010, referenced Layfield in an onscreen promo about hazing he faced in the locker room early in his career.
On the September 16 episode of SmackDown! Bradshaw was to where his gimmick had an increased emphasis on his Texas roots, which included him carrying a to the ring and teaming up with fellow Texan.
The storyline ended when Michaels hit sweet chin music and defeated him before WrestleMania.
Layfield's unbroken nine-month reign was billed as the longest in a decade, lasting 280 days.