Road Dogg was released from WWE in January 2022, leading fan speculation to assume this was because he was a ‘Triple H Guy’, but he has now revealed… that’s not quite the case.
In January 2022, the first batch of mass releases for the year were let go from WWE. The difference here was that these were largely backstage WWE personalities, as opposed to on-screen talent, with William Regal, Scott Armstrong, and Road Dogg among them.
When Road Dogg’s name was included in the list, fan speculation instantly jumped to this being WWE’s way of ushering out the Triple H era of NXT. NXT 2.0 had replaced the beloved black-and-gold era of NXT that Triple H was in charge of. Road Dogg, as a long-time ally of ‘The Game’ in D-Generation X, was one of the ‘Triple H Guys’ responsible for the brand’s success.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes’ Liam Alexander-Stewart, the real-life Brian James has addressed this theory, looking at the release purely from a business perspective:
“So, look, in every conspiracy theory, there’s a wrinkle of truth, right? So I don’t think that’s the case. I think what they did, it’s business. So because I have been on the business side of this business for the past ten years, I look at it differently than I would have looked at it from ‘the boys’ perspective.
Look, the fact that they cut me and my brother and 13 others that day…from a business decision, you just saved yourself probably $5-10 million in a year. You know what I mean? So from a business perspective, ‘Hey, we got to 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 and I don’t think that would be the case.
I think it would be, ‘We got to get rid of a bunch of people’. These are the people that are making the most money, to be quite honest with you, but how else do we trim the fat? Vince and I spoke after that via text and it’s all gravy, I thanked him for the ten years of life experience and ten years’ worth of pay.”
Road Dogg had been with WWE since 2011, where he re-joined the company as a producer. Eventually, the former WWE Intercontinental Champion would be promoted to the position of SmackDown’s Head Writer, though he resigned from the role following WrestleMania 35. At the time of his January 2022 release, Road Dogg taught classes at the WWE Performance Center.
During this decade, Road Dogg would also make an in-ring return, reuniting with Billy Gunn as The New Age Outlaws in 2013. The pair held the WWE Tag Team Championships one last time in early 2014 before disappearing from regular WWE programming after WrestleMania XXX that April.
Many thanks to Podcast Heat for facilitating our chat with the WWE Hall of Famer.
Road Dogg co-hosts the phenomenal Oh…You Didn’t Know podcast alongside Ryan Katz via Podcast Heat – their latest episode, focusing on a tag team Mount Rushmore, is available to watch on YouTube or to listen to via iTunes, Spotify, and all good podcast providers.
If you use any quotes from this interview please provide a link back and h/t to Liam Alexander-Stewart of Inside the Ropes.