Road Dogg Reveals ‘The Truth’ About Why He Could Not Become A WWE Executive

"Road Dogg" Brian James wore many hats during his 20-something-odd years with WWE and the Hall of Famer is thankful for it. In a new interview with Chris Van Vliet, James talked about his time as the head writer for WWE "Friday Night SmackDown", and how he eventually found himself struggling to stay afloat on the "SmackDown" boat.

"I couldn't keep up with it," James said. "I couldn't keep up with it and that's the truth. That's all there was to it. I went to him and I said, 'Hey, I feel like I'm losing my serenity, my sobriety. Like, I'm white-knuckling my sobriety right now 'cause I'm just on-call all the time and everything, my whole life was 'SmackDown', it was 'SmackDown', and that's how you have to be in the WWE. You're married to it, and it got hard and I couldn't hang, and so I went to 'NXT' where I thought I could skate for a little while and I did, but then they needed, for business decisions, to trim some fat," he said.

James returned to WWE back in 2011 and was hired on as a producer. His ten-year run was chock-full of variety as not only did he become a major part of the writing team behind-the-scenes, but he and Billy Gunn reunited for another run as the New Age Outlaws which included a World Tag Team Title reign. He got inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame as a member of Degeneration-X in 2019. James' third run in WWE proved to be life-changing for the man of the historic Armstrong family.

"Look, I called him and I said, 'Hey, thank you,'" James said about Vince McMahon. "Cause not only did he pay me for ten years and give me ten years of quality life experiences — he sent me to rehab for free and saved my life, and he did the same for my brother, you know what I mean? You're bitter at that guy? Something is wrong with you, and again, going back to the sobriety, that's what I'm trying to figure out. 'When is something wrong with me and can I fix that?'"

Before he became a full-time wrestler, James followed in the footsteps of his legendary father, "Bullet" Bob Armstrong, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. James' tour on duty was from 1987 to 1991, and he mentioned how he noticed similarities between Vince McMahon with some well-known military figureheads.

"He's a great leader," James said. "He's a leader of men, that is for sure, and I've been around some in the military. Norman Schwarzkopf, I've been around Colin Powell, and Vince McMahon is a leader of men, no two ways about it. Men follow him, men fear him, but in the same way fear is used when people say, 'I fear God.' It's just a reference, right? I'm not comparing him to God. I know he does that all the time. Another funny story — We hit some turbulence one time and I said, 'Oh God, please protect us,' and Vince said, 'You're talking to the wrong guy!' [He'd] say stuff like that and just made me laugh, but it scared me more cause I thought we were going down."

James stays active in the wrestling community, heading to fan conventions with Gunn, and also does his weekly podcast "Oh, You Didn't Know."  On the newest episode, James watches the classic WWE "Raw" street fight between Degeneration-X and the Nation Of Domination.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Insight With Chris Van Vliet" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.