Brian James, best known as The Road Dogg Jesse James, one half of popular WWE Attitude Era tag team The New Age Outlaws, suffered an apparent heart attack late last week. The fifty-one year old was taken to the hospital and saw a kidney specialist and had a stress test done. His kidney tests reportedly came back clear; so, now he’s scheduled to have a heart catheterization on Monday.
The updates have been coming from Road Dogg’s wife Tracy James who has been using social media to let friends, family and all his fans know about his condition. There has also been an outpouring of support from the wrestling community and WWE family since the upsetting news was first announced. You can read a quote from one of Tracy James' updates below…
Born into a wrestling family, James bounced around the wrestling circuit in the late 1980s and early 1990s, eventually getting some lower card action in the WCW before he moved to the WWE in 1994. He worked quite a bit as a sidekick to Jeff Jarrett initially but he couldn’t really gain any traction with fans until he partnered up with Billy Gunn. The two men formed the New Age Outlaws and by 1997, had won their first tag team championship. They would later join D-Generation X, one of the most successful and popular wrestling stables in history.
In the early 2000s, Road Dogg left WWE after some behind the scenes problems and personal life issues. He later successfully completed a stint in rehab and had a good run in TNA where he reunited with Billy Gunn, who has also moved around a bit. He was later hired as a producer for WWE and has reportedly been working behind the scenes since, first as a writer and later at the WWE Performance Center helping with in-ring promos. He still makes the occasional TV appearance.
His work in the WWE Performance Center shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone considering Road Dogg is widely considered one of the strongest on-mic workers from the WWE Attitude Era and maybe one of the strongest on-mic workers among tag team wrestlers of all-time. Look at him spar with The Rock, who might be the greatest mic worker of all-time, in this amazing clip from 1999 and listen to how over The New Age Outlaws are with the crowd which goes absolutely nuts seeing them reunite…
It’s not easy to get a crowd pop like that, and it’s certainly not easy to get a crowd pop like that against The Rock and Mankind. It’s a testament to just how over the New Age Outlaws were at their peak, and it’s the reason why they were so integral to the success of DX. Our thoughts go out to Road Dogg and his entire family during this tough time. Here’s to hoping he makes a full recovery and is back to helping future WWE stars rock the mic sooner rather than later.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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