Road Dogg Says Top WWE Star Had 'Bad Habits' When They Were Signed

As a producer for WWE, "Road Dogg" Brian James saw plenty of talents come and go, but one notable star was able to hang around — after breaking himself of a bad habit.

When James joined subscribers for a live Q&A session at AdFreeShows.com, a fan asked him about "bad habits" maintained by independent talent when they come into the WWE system. In response, James brought up none other than Seth Rollins, who wrestled as Tyler Black before his arrival at "NXT" and was a former Ring of Honor World Champion.

"He used to do this thing in the corner where he would jump up and down, and jump up and down, and run like he was in a mosh pit, and then just run and hit the guy with the forearm," James said. "And I thought, 'Man, that's so anti-climatic.'

"It seemed like the build-up to it was bigger than the finish of it. So I went to him and told him that, and he said, 'No, that's what I do. I'm not changing it. That's what I do.' And I went to [Triple H] and I said, 'Well, that kid, I'll never talk to him again.'"

Rollins did end up becoming the first-ever "NXT" Champion, but his initial stubbornness didn't play to his benefit.

"His bad habit was not saying, 'Okay, thank you sir,' or whatever and being respectful and then not doing what I said like every other young wrestler," James said. "At least pretend to respect what I'm telling you, you know what I mean? And what I was telling him was right. He did change it, and he did come up with something that was more [of] a bigger pop than the set-up to it."

According to James, management eventually laid their concerns on the line to Rollins, and the future WWE Champion reacted appropriately.

"They had a 'come to Jesus' speech with him down there," James said. "And he changed his whole philosophy and perspective on how he was looking at stuff, and look at him now, man. On top of the world, doing some of his best work too, I might add."

Rollins' work has indeed been getting plenty of buzz lately, as he just completed a memorable program with Cody Rhodes. Rollins and Rhodes put on a critically acclaimed Hell In A Cell match before the American Nightmare had to take injury leave due to a torn pectoral muscle.

While "NXT" was initially a have for independent wresters, who eventually started coming in without changing their names or characters, the more recent version of the developmental program, "NXT 2.0, is based more around collegiate athletes being trained by the WWE system from the ground up, particularly with their new "Next In Line" initiative. Despite that, James knows that there will always be a market for wrestlers with roots in independent wrestling.

"I think they want to build their own athletes and I don't know how many more out there there are," James said, "But I still think they'll hire people from the independent scene. I think it will just be younger talent that hadn't been out there for 10 years."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Ad Free Shows" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription

Comments