A Changed Life

ROAD DOGG: A CHANGED LIFE posted 3-19-03

In the late 1990s, Brian James was one of the most popular wrestlers in the world. “The Road Dogg” Jesse James, as he was then known; and his exploits with Degeneration-X were the backbone of what World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon used to create the “WWF Attitude”. This attitude is what led to fans shutting off World Championship Wrestling programming and tuning into World Wrestling Entertainment shows.

Degeneration-X was famous for its crotch-chops and raunchy behavior, which included their signature phrase, “SUCK IT!” That was all well and good for the adults in the audience, but small children began using the phrase and imitating what the group did on television. At the height of his popularity, that fact didn’t bother James, but since then a dramatic change has happened in his life and he has an entirely new outlook on life.

I was almost a part of a demoralization of society,” James said at a card held recently in Dora , Alabama . “I would have parents come up to me and tell me their kid had gotten suspended from school because he said the things I said on television. It didn’t hurt me then and I’m not too proud to say it, but I was in a drug-induced haze. I was living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.”

Since his days on WWE programming, James has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and has kicked the drug problems that haunted him.

I was on a highway to hell in more ways than one,” James added. “I was ging to die for one, because I was going to overdose on some kind of drug. Then God intervened in my life. He made me wreck while I was driving under the influence. Only by his grace did I not get hurt, but I was in jail for 21 days. I was a law-breaking, good-for-nothing, no-good husband, no-good father. I wasn’t the Road Dogg in there. I wasn’t anybody. I was a number and that humbled me.

Then God intervened again and I got an opportunity to go to a bible-based drug rehab facility,” James continued. “It was live-in rehab and I lived there for six months of my life. God put me there so I could meet my maker, Jesus Christ. I prayed there for him to come into my heart, because I knew in my mind and my heart that I was a sinner and going to hell.”

Since his stay in the rehab center, James has completely changed his lifestyle. Instead of the living like a rock star, he is more concerned with being a good husband and a good father.

I knew I had to make a change,” James said backstage at the Dora event. “I was going to lose everything that I cared about if I didn’t. I’ve got one (child) and one on the way and I’ve got to be there for them. That is what is number one in my life. I love my family and they mean the world to me.”

James has stayed busy since leaving the WWE. He has appeared on the World Wrestling All Stars pay-per views and toured Australia several times with that company. James was also a mainstay on NWA-Total Nonstop Action for several months. Now he is traveling the Southeast independent circuit with his father Bob Armstrong and his brothers.

It’s great having Brian around,” Bob Armstrong said. “He’s my youngest son and he does a great job in the ring. I like to sit back and watch him do his thing.”

With the war in Iraq impending, James, a Persian Gulf veteran; said his thoughts and prayers are with the troops.

I was there,” James said. “It is tough over there. My prayers are with the troops and I hope this thing will be finished soon. War isn’t a good thing, but he (Saddam Hussein) is an evil person who needs to be stopped.”

James will be back in action Friday, March 21 at the Yellow Rose in Birmingham , Alabama as a part of the Global Championship Wrestling card.