VS. #29 – Aaron Glazer vs. David Brashear

A question is posed. Two Pulse Wrestling writers go head-to-head. But only one will move on to next week to the face off with another member of our staff. This is VS., and this week’s question is… Should WWE hire Brian “Road Dogg” James now that he’s no longer with TNA, and if so, for what role?

Pulse Glazer

David Brashear

Pulse Glazer: Road Dogg should absolutely not be welcome in the WWE as a wrestler. Look, I know a lot of people liked the Road Dogg’s shtick when he was with D-X, but by the end of his WWE run, it was reduced to a poor one-note joke. People love nostalgia, so if he returns it’d get a bit of a pop, but the newer WWE fans have been trained to think of Shawn and Triple H as the real D-X. Dogg might get over as part of that or feuding with that… if he didn’t wrestle. I mean at all- ever. He’s absolutely terrible. That leaves him likely as a manager- which the WWE doesn’t do. Triple H and Shawn are faces, so they don’t need someone to cheat for them and they surely need no one to cut promos for them, so what would his role be besides an initial pop that Shawn and H get anyway? No, he has no role there.

WWE loves hiring older talent as either trainers or road agents. Dogg fits as neither. He’s a poor wrestler who isn’t even good at the WWE style. He wouldn’t fit in as an agent with legends like Ricky Steamboat and Arn Anderson and couldn’t be a trainer because he isn’t any good. Some would argue Normal Smiley being a trainer, since surely Dogg is better than him, but that’s simply not true. Smiley was a very good worker in the territories and even did some UWFi (worked shoot) before WCW brought him in as a pure entertainer. He’s a world ahead of Road Dogg.

Dogg was also an interviewer for a time in TNA and, honestly, wasn’t very good at that. He has a reputation as a great talker, but he isn’t. He had one really over little speech. Because he isn’t a great talker, not only should he not be an interviewer, but he’s also out of the running as a color man.

Now, I can think of three potential real uses for Road Dogg, only one of which I’d ever actually consider to be real possibilities, so we’ll save that for last.

First is the obvious one- he and Billy Gunn, who I’m sure won’t be gainfully employed for too much longer, could come in to feud with D-X. They aren’t good enough to stick around long and would really only be over for a spot of filler-feuding. Still, they might pop a buy-rate so it can’t be totally discounted, even if it should be. Shawn wants to make new stars and that doesn’t seem to fit with this idea at all. Road Dogg is old and bad- so we’d get a bad match and no one being more over for it at the expense of working with someone new. Also, Road Dogg and Billy would then not be useful and left to be released, only now with more name value, giving (cough) competition a useful group to put their guys over.

The next potential use for Road Dogg is to work with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Dogg is an Armstrong, a second generation star, so he wouldn’t even break theme. This would make him incredibly useful, if, after Shawn and Hunter defeat Jericho and Big Show for the tag titles, Legacy has turned on Orton. As faces, they could do what Raw constantly seems to do; re-hash feuds already done. Legacy as D-X with both as faces and Legacy actually going over in the end this time would make the stars. Road Dogg as their face manager, giving them “Legacy proudly brings to you, your Tag Team Champions of the woooooorld…” would make Legacy an even bigger deal than just winning the feud would. Of course, winning a feud with Shawn freaking Michaels and The Boss’s Son-in-law would make them big stars without getting the Dogg a payday, so it won’t happen. Still, the Armstrong acknowledgement would be a cool moment and probably make a good swerve against D-X if they did it with Legacy as heels.

Meanwhile, we have the only real use I’d like to see for Road Dogg, a one night role. Triple H and Shawn Michaels will be feuding with Chris Jericho and the Big Show soon. Since D-X never held the tag titles together, they will naturally take the titles from Jericho and Show to add it to their achievements. When they do, a really cool moment on Raw would be “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, Degeneration X proudly brings to you, you’re tag team champions of the wooooorld, the ‘Heart Break Kid’ Shawn Michaels, ‘the Game’ Triple H, they are, Degeneration X!” So yes, he should be brought back into the WWE, rehired for one night. And then he should disappear, never to be seen in wrestling again.

First of all, Road Dogg is a much better talker than you’re giving him credit for. TNA just didn’t write great shtick for him. That said, good ideas to have him come in and join Legacy as a 2nd-generation star, which he is, or to join DX for one night only. I think there could be a role for him backstage or on commentary, as well, so I wish you wouldn’t have downplayed them, but I do agree with you that he shouldn’t be a full-time wrestler again. Surprised you didn’t suggest him as a guest GM!

David Brashear: Should the WWE hire BG James? An interesting question, and let’s take a good look at it.

Whenever the WWE hires anyone, it’s always to see what they can get out of them. What could they get out of James?

The first option would be to use him as a manager. After all, he can definitely talk and that was his first role in the WWF – as Jeff Jarrett’s manager the Roadie. It wasn’t until Jarrett left that he morphed into the “Real Double J.”

Let’s face it. The WWE has little use for managers these days, especially male ones. The only male managers they’ve got right now are Tony Atlas and Ranjin Singh (and is Atlas even managing anymore since Mark Henry got drafted over to Raw?). They’d much rather send women out with the wrestlers because 1)they’re easier to look at and 2)they’ve got to do something with all those Diva Search contestants they signed.

The entire purpose of having a manager has traditionally been to help wrestlers who can’t cut good promos. The majority of those problems have now been resolved because of how tightly the WWE’s promos are scripted now. After all, what’s easier? Get told to cut a promo on New York and take four minutes to do it, or get handed a piece of paper and told “Memorize this”? If Khali was able to speak English, Singh would likely be gone as well.

Since being a manager’s out, the next likely job would be as a wrestler. Let’s face it – he was never a stellar talent in the ring. He was definitely able to wrestle, but he wasn’t at the level of a Bret Hart or a Ric Flair. His heat always came from his mouth. Add to that the fact that James is about a decade older than he was during his WWE peak, and it’s easy to imagine how his in-ring skills have degraded.

The main reason that the WWE would even look at bringing James back would be to most likely try and work him into an angle with DX to play off his past history with them. If they wanted to do that, then why haven’t they brought Sean Waltman in already? Ever since he left the company, they haven’t touched him. Plus, to really get the angle going they’d need Kip James as well and he’s under contract with TNA.

Since it doesn’t look like he’d be coming back in-ring, maybe they’d hire him for another position. James has great mic skills, but it’s unknown how he’d do at commentary. In addition to that, most color commentators are former wrestlers (a few examples are Jerry Lawler, Taz, Matt Striker, Dusty Rhodes, Larry Zbyzsko, Jesse Ventura, Mick Foley, and Roddy Piper). With him being such an unknown quantity, it’s doubtful that the WWE would risk hiring him for the desk.

At TNA James was working as an agent. Right now the WWE has plenty of agents with names like Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat, Dean Malenko, Gerald Brisco, Blackjack Lanza, Harvey Whippleman, Mike Rotunda, Steve Lombardi, and Tony Garea on the roster already. As a matter of fact, the WWE started letting some agents go in the last group of releases with Sgt. Slaughter and Ron Simmons getting cut.

So with all of these avenues closed, it doesn’t seem like there’s a place for James on the WWE roster. And if there’s no place for him, there’s no reason to hire him. Unless, of course, they decide to have him replace Linda McMahon as CEO.

Of course, his history with drugs also has to be considered. With the potential black eye of Jeff Hardy looming on the horizon, the WWE’s doubtless avoiding any more potential problems which could lead to more bad publicity. Add this in to the fact that there’s nowhere for him on the roster, and I think that the answer is clear – there’s no way that the WWE would hire James back at this time. There’s always a chance for him to get picked up down the road (especially if the E can reform the New Age Outlaws) but for right now that’s not going to happen. My final answer is no.

Great point about X-Pac. I’m guessing there must be good reasons that neither Waltman or Nash has come back recently, but who knows? Also while this is indeed a “never say never” business, Billy Gunn RIPPED on Hunter and Michaels in a shoot interview a while back, and as much as a quick DX/NAO feud would be fun for those of us who remember them in the WWF, I can’t see it happening (yes, Brian’s past isn’t news to the Internet Wrestling Community, but that was so long ago; the Billy shoot was relatively recent). I was hoping when Aaron didn’t that you would bring up James’ brother (recently evil ref Scott Armstrong) being in WWE and go with my idea: that the two James/Armstrong brothers team up to align with either Teddy Long or CM Punk. Plus, doesn’t anyone remember his awesome pairing with R-Truth? Haha.

Whatever the case may be, I do think there’s a place for him, at the very least with a quick DX angle to help sell some more merchandise as the holidays approach. Since Aaron at least left the door open, I’m going to have to go with him here for the second week in a row.

Winner of VS. #29: Pulse Glazer

Do you agree with David or Aaron or do you have an entirely different opinion? Let us know in the comments section, below!

Until next time…

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