Home / WWE / Road Dogg Steps Down as SD Co-Lead Writer, Writer Fired For HOF

Road Dogg Steps Down as SD Co-Lead Writer, Writer Fired For HOF

According to PWInsider, Brian “Road Dogg” James has stepped down as one of the head writers of Smackdown LIVE. James reportedly informed WWE Officials this past Wednesday as WrestleMania 35 week was coming to an end that he was stepping down.

Since 2012, James had been leading SmackDown LIVE with Stephen Guerrieri. When 2014 came, James became The Head Writer Of SmackDown LIVE, with him going on the road from time to time with the blue brand while Guerrieri would work out of WWE HQ in Stamford, CT. Word backstage is that James had become increasingly frustrated with changes made to SmackDown LIVE scripts by Vince McMahon and he finally hit a “breaking point” at Tuesday’s post-WrestleMania 35 edition of SmackDown LIVE from The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

There is no word yet on who may be replacing James in the co-lead writer role on the blue brand, but sources indicated that with the way WWE creative is set up these days the lead writer is more of a formality as opposed to a specific voice that drives the show. Everything pitched for SmackDown LIVE comes through the team to Vince and is then approved with Vince tweaking the script up until it’s time to go on the air. There is also no word yet on if James will be transitioning into another role with WWE.

James had been working on The SmackDown LIVE Creative Team since 2016. He was quickly promoted to become co-lead writer with Ryan Ward.

While it is not known if this is directly related to him stepping down as Co-Lead Writer, but James posted a tweet about change on Wednesday, writing, “Today I pray that I face the change, that is inevitably coming, head on and with faith and courage. The only constant is change! #HOPE #FAITH #OUDK”

James also defended SmackDown LIVE creative on Twitter, as he often does. Responding to criticism over the two six-man matches on this week’s show, James wrote, “What about either 6 man last night was BS? A lot of the time it gets more talent on tv. I really don’t see what there is to get so angry about!”

In other WWE creative team news coming out of WrestleMania 35 Week, WWE Writer Robert Evans was fired this past week. Word is that Evans was fired at The WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony after he helped produce The Bret Hart speech for The Hart Foundation’s Induction and it featured a mention of Vince. According to PWInsider, Vince has strongly stressed for years that he does not want to be mentioned or praised during Hall Of Fame speeches, to the point that it has become a running joke. When Vince was mentioned in Bret’s speech, Evans reportedly took the blame as the writer and producer of that segment. Evans was reportedly fired backstage in The Gorilla Position as the ceremony was going on.

For those who missed it, Bret’s speech included a story of the first time Vince reacted to The Hart Foundation and praised their in-ring work. DX later joked about Vince’s name being mentioned during their speech that wrapped the ceremony and these jokes may have been inspired by Vince firing Evans for the earlier mention in Hart’s speech.

Evans was reportedly liked by those who worked with him backstage. Evans previously wrestled on the indies as RD Evans & Archibald Peck before joining The WWE creative team in the fall of 2016.

You can check out Road Dogg’s tweet on “change” below along with the exchange defending SmackDown LIVE:

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