On January 5, “Road Dogg” Brian James was released from his WWE contract as part of the company’s restructuring of the “NXT” brand. The WWE Hall of Famer had been working behind the scenes as a producer, but due to “NXT’s” change in direction in the summer of 2021, a reshuffle gradually took place.
Speculation mounted that James was let go because of his close association with Triple H, who successfully led the brand for many years before the reshaping of the show took place. “The Game” ultimately took a step back following his health scare around the same time as the changes, with Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard reportedly taking a more hands-on role with the new direction. “Road Dogg” shed some light on the “conspiracy theory” surrounding his release at the turn of the year.
“In every conspiracy theory, there’s a wrinkle of truth, right?” James told Inside The Ropes. “So I don’t think that’s the case [being let go because he was a close associate of Triple H]. I think what they did – and look, I think again, it’s business. And so because I was on the business side of this business for the past ten years, I look at it differently than I would’ve looked at it from the boys’ perspective …
“The fact that they cut me and my brother and thirteen others that day from NXT, from a business decision, ‘Man, you just saved us probably 5-10 million dollars in a year.’ You know what I mean? So from a business perspective, ‘Hey, we’ve gotta trim some fat down there.” Now, if by trimming that fat – my name came into play because I was a Hunter guy, I can’t speak to that, I don’t think that would be the case. I think it would be, ‘Hey, we’ve gotta get rid of a bunch of people. These are the people that are making the most money, to be quite honest with you.’ I don’t like saying that, but, ‘How do we trim the fat?’ And it just so happened that I was some of that fat. It’s business decisions. Vince and I spoke after that via text, and everything’s all gravy.”
Before James took up the role behind-the-scenes at “NXT,” he was working as lead writer for “SmackDown”, but ultimately walked away from the position after WrestleMania 35. He had initially re-joined the company in October 2011, after inducting his father “Bullet” Bob Armstrong into the WWE Hall of Fame earlier that year. “Road Dogg” had been previously let go by WWE in January 2001 due to his problems with substance and alcohol abuse.
To quote this article, please credit Inside the Ropes and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
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