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WWE star didn't like controversial storyline during the Attitude Era; hit "too close to home"

The infamous Attitude Era was one of WWE's most popular time periods, and their most successful, as the company went up against WCW and changed pro wrestling forever. Many Attitude Era moments stuck with the fans and wrestlers as some of their favorites, but this does not apply to all because of the rather controversial nature of some of the storylines.

"Road Dogg" Brian James was a big part of the Attitude Era as a member of the red-hot DX. He teamed with Billy Gunn as The New Age Outlaws, and their first championship run began on the November 24th, 1997 edition of RAW with a win over The Road Warriors. Two weeks after the loss, the legendary Hawk and Animal took some time off until returning as LOD 2000 at WrestleMania 14 in April. Despite a push with manager Sunny, LOD never regained gold, and the new gimmicks never really caught on. This led to WWE making Droz an unofficial third LOD member.


The LOD storyline was somewhat controversial, as Hawk's real-life addiction issues were also factored in. Hawk was booked to ramble and act more incoherently, but things got much worse when a frustrated Animal teamed with Droz for a beatdown on the November 8th, 1998 Sunday Night Heat. Then, on the November 16th, 1998 RAW, a troubled Hawk climbed to the top of the Titantron and was shoved off by Droz. The problematic storyline continued as they said Droz was the one supplying Hawk with drugs and alcohol to break the team up, but again, it flopped, and LOD only made a few more appearances for the company.

At the age of 46, Hawk passed away on October 19th, 2003 after a battle with the same addiction issues that WWE had used in their storyline. Road Dogg was recently asked about the Hawk storyline on his Oh You Didn't Know? podcast. The current WWE Senior Vice President of Live Events said the program hit too close to home.

"I mean, if I'm being honest, I didn't like it then, [and] I don't like it now, and probably because it hits close to home with me, you know what I mean? It's me. It's me and Hawk are partying on the road, working with each other. You know what I mean? It's me, and it's me during that time, and so it's very close to home. And look, they were totally gonna do it from a recovery angle. Like you establish his behavior, and then you go through the process of detox and do all that, so they had the right intentions about doing it ... But that's where they were going with the Hawk story," he said. [H/T to WrestlingInc]

The last time The New Age Outlaws wrestled The Road Warriors was on June 5th, 1998 during a non-televised WWE live event from Madison Square Garden. That match saw The Outlaws retain their titles over Hawk and Animal. Hawk's last career match came at the WWE Velocity tapings on May 13th, 2003 as he and Animal defeated CM Punk and Doug Delicious in a dark match.


Road Dogg celebrates major non-WWE milestone

Brian James has worked for several pro wrestling companies, both on camera and behind-the-scenes. Today, Road Dogg works as WWE's Senior Vice President of Live Events, but his Hall of Fame career is supposedly not what means the most to him.

Like many veteran pro wrestlers, Road Dogg also battled addiction. He recently took to X to celebrate a milestone of 13 years in his sobriety.

"Today marks 13 years that I’ve been clean of drugs and alcohol! My life is 100% better! Ive learned to look inward and make course corrections/improvements as I go. I ain’t perfect, but HE is, I’ll continue to listen to that still, small voice! Thank you God! #OUDK," he wrote.
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Road Dogg recently made the case for why WWE should bring back a former Intercontinental Champion.

What is your favorite Attitude Era moment? Sound off in the comments section below!

Edited by
Harish Raj S
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