Road Dogg On Maintaining His Sobriety, Leaving His Job On SmackDown: ‘I’m A Lot More At Peace Now’
Photo Credit: WWE
“Road Dogg” Brian James recently appeared on WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves where he discussed various topics. One highlight includes the discussion of his sobriety, something he proudly says he’s been able to maintain for almost a decade. James said things got a little tough when he was running things on SmackDown a few years ago, and he needed to pull himself out of the situation and take care of himself at home.
“To not be around the boys, per se, helped me a great deal in my sobriety. Now you mentioned the pressure cooker and it—look, eventually, it was the reason I said I need to step away from this for a second was because I did feel like it was getting in between me and my serenity, me and my sobriety. So it was something that I did have to take seriously. I work a program of recovery where I attend meetings, and I wasn’t doing that, so I literally was white-knuckling my sobriety and thank God and heaven above that I never slipped. I haven’t, I’ll be ten years in October,” Road Dogg said, “and I can’t believe that for myself. I’m incredibly proud of that for me, but I also started to feel it slipping away, and it was because of that high pressure, like you work for, especially as the lead writer for a show, you work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If the boss calls, you answer and you get on whatever question he has, you know what I mean, or whatever statement he makes, you get on that, so there’s no rest for the weary. So it got stressful and it was the reason I ultimately said I can’t do this anymore, I’m going home and thank God I had a soft place to land.”
Road Dogg says he’s still working and communicating via text message a lot, and still visits the WWE PC in Orlando under normal circumstances but his situation is much better overall. He cites seeing his family more and the laid-back nature of the PC compared to live TV, and says he feels like switching brands just as NXT got a TV contract was a blessing in disguise.
“I’m a lot more at peace now. I attend meetings in Orlando right by the Performance Center every day that I’m down there. A whole new group of guys and girls that are a support system for me so man, my sobriety has never—the company also provides some resources for recovering addicts and alcoholics that are former Superstars, so it’s so much better now as far as the recovery goes. Then, as far as my relationships, not just here at home, but at work also,” Road Dogg said, “everything flourishes when you’re spiritually fit, you know what I mean, when you’re centered, spiritually, emotionally.
“I’ll tell you what I did do, you like to have a couple of drinks after you have a long day, I like to have a couple of cheeseburgers after a long day. So I’ve gained a lot of weight, as people can tell, but it was literally, that’s how I handled the stress for a long time up there, is when I got to my room, no matter what time it was, I would eat my feelings away and go right to sleep, you know what I mean? And then you gotta get up in the morning, really early if you wanna train before you gotta be back at the venue, so it was a double-edged sword for me,” Road Dogg said. “But instead of drinking or drugging, I just turned to food. And look, I still love a couple of good cheeseburgers, but I’m trying to get back into where I’m spiritually fit and physically fit at the same time. It’s a work in progress and then I pivoted to live television.”
The full episode is available below: