Interview With Stranglehold 2002

09:18:02 B.G. James

Q: It is a night of new names and new beginnings for the man formerly known as, well he is now known as Brian James...B.G. James.

BGJ: That is correct, B.G. James. Formerly known as you know who. Now it's me, it's's B to the G to the J-A-M-E-S, it's Brian James, it's all the same only the names have changed.

Q: Still rhyming and sounding good. I mentioned earlier that you came out and the fans were excited to see you and obviously you haven't lost that microphone touch.

BGJ: Well, I'll tell you what...I was excited to go out there because it's been a long time since I've been in the ring. It's been a long time, especially since I talked on the microphone in front of some people and their response did fuel me a little bit and I was very, very happy that they did respond in a positive way to me, rather than a negative way. We'll see if my, uh, now I gotta work here in a little while. We'll see if that's rusty, or if I still got that too. Hopefully, it's like riding a bike.

Q: The identity of the man under the mask, who the "Bullet" is, turns out to be you coming in for a little bit of a family feud.

BGJ: It's a family feud. It's definitely a family feud. The James Gang against the Jarrett Gang. I tell you what, Jeff Jarrett's been a thorn in my side for I guess seven years now and here in Nashville when he left and I left with him, thought I was doing the right thing and almost committed career suicide. But, things went uphill for me and then like Ozzy said, I kind of went off the rails on a crazy train, but I'm back on track, jack, and everything's going good in my life. B.G. James is gonna be back on the wrestling scene, you can guarantee that. Every Wednesday night right here in NWA-TNA.

Q: We had a coversation before, a couple of years ago, and you were real candid and said you had to take some time off, get things back in order, because the partying was getting the best of you. There's been a lot talked about again, more just concern from fans about how is Brian James? What's he been up to? What can you share with us, because it's been a while since we've seen you?

BGJ: I can tell you the truth. The party, it had caught up to me and it's always right there. It's always like a lion, just waiting to attack. It's always there and it's a constant battle. A daily battle. I'm a drug addict. And there's no hiding that. I've been in a drug rehabilitation center for drug addicts and it was actually Christian-based and I've been born-again, given my life to Jesus. And I try to live every day now just like God's watching me and do what would be pleasing to him, actually it's not that hard. You just kind of gotta be good and that's not that bad. I don't know what I was...I was actually a slave to drugs. I woke up everyday having to do something and that's just slavery, that's bondage. And that's no way to live life, there's too much out there to do. And I've got children and I've got a wife, and I want to bring my children up right. So, I'm still in the wrestling game. And it's corrupt, but I don't have to live my life that way anymore. And I just pray that I stay sober, and I hope that everyone else prays I do too.

Q: We will definitely being praying for you. You have family here and bring up the wife and kids. How is the family life. Are they making the recovery with you?

BGJ: Yeah, they sure are. I was actually, when I was at my worst, I was seperated from my wife and had a restraining order against me. I couldn't even see my children or talk to them on the phone. Now, we're back together and my relationship with my wife is better than ever. We're back, everything is just going great. I just realize now why everything is going so good in my life and I hate to sound like a Jesus-freak, but I am. But my family life is great now. It used to be like a burden to go home to my family and I don't know what I was thinking, or what I was running from. But, that's what's most important. It ain't being married to the wrestling game--and that's what I was when I worked for the WWF. And when you work full-time, you're really married to the road. Married to the wrestling game. And there's not enough time in your life to be doing that anymore. This is a great opportunity for me to come up here every Wednesday night and spend the rest of the time with my family and make up for some lost time. You can't make up for it, but you start now and continue. I'm glad that there's fans out there that care about me, because believe it or not, I care about this sport and I care about them. I try to please them, every time I go out there I want them to like me. I want to do well for them, and that's the truth.

Q: You are definitely still a fan favorite. We've had some conversations before with William Regal, who's gone through a very similiar circumstance, and even Malice, right here in NWA-TNA. And they both brought up the fact that you have to truly bottom out. They had gone through rehab before and it didn't take, and it wasn't until you really, truly hit. Is that what's different this time? Because you've mentioned--you've been there before. But what's different this time around?

BGJ: I think they hit it on the head, because I did bottom out this time. I was losing everything that I worked for, everything that I loved, and everything I had, I was losing. And it was because of drugs. The first couple of times I went for other people. I went because Vince wanted me to go or somebody else thought I had a problem. I think they're right, you've gotta bottom out. And that's what I did. I hit rock bottom--and I mean, rock bottom. And thank God I didn't lose my wife and children, still got them and I still got my health. There's a lot of people out there that don't. Davey Boy Smith. And I'm not saying I know how he died, but Brian Pillman, all these names of people I could go through that I loved and I miss dearly, that aren't as lucky as me--that get a second chance. It's just important to me now to try and stay healthy and keep supporting my family. It's important. Sorry, I'm getting a little emotional. But I think of things now differently. I just look at it differently. You brought that up that you have to hit rock bottom and that's true. It was never for the right reasons, and this time I realized, I'm not getting any younger-- I gotta do what I gotta do.

Q: NWA-TNA, you're getting things started here and it's heating up, the feud with Jeff Jarrett. But you mentioned before, going to rehab for other people--Vince McMahon. What is the relationship up there, because we heard you were going to rehab but then the release came out somewhere afterwards. Have you had any conversations with the guys up there since you left?

BGJ: I haven't talked to anybody up there to tell you the truth. The truth of that matter is I went to them, and told them that I was kind of going off the deep end and they told me okay. They didn't send me to a rehab or anything, they said go home and try to get your life straight. And after I got home, three days later I got a release notice. So, I don't have any harsh feelings towards them, because they have sent me through rehab before. This time, I felt like I really went to them out of my own heart to get help and they released me. And that's understandable. I was a risk to them. They didn't want another statistic and I totally understand that. But I just haven't kept contact with them. This business is a really fair-weather friends kind of thing, you make very few friends that you stay in touch with. And there's very few that I stay in touch with.



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