Road Dogg Says Controversial WWE Storyline Was Primarily Vince McMahon's Idea

James Ellsworth has been a controversial figure in the world of professional wrestling. The punchline-turned-main-eventer's rise through the ranks on "WWE SmackDown" led to encounters with A.J. Styles, Dean Ambrose, WWE Championship matches, and even a stint managing Carmella. According to Brian "Road Dogg" James, there's one man who defied all the other voices backstage and insisted on pushing Ellsworth.

"Ellsworth, I'll tell you whose idea a lot of this stuff with Ellsworth [was] and that's Vince McMahon," James said on his "Oh...You Didn't Know" podcast. "He saw it and he was right and when it comes to ratings which is how [we] judge whether someone's right or not in the TV business, we did well with Ellsworth. Ellsworth and A.J. [Styles]. Ellsworth and Dean Ambrose. What are we doing here? and it was like, 'No sir. We're not gonna put him in the main event again,' and he's like 'God, you have to!' And he was right! Every week! It was better and better."

Ellsworth has said that McMahon was always supportive of him. He told the story of returning backstage after his first match in WWE to an eager McMahon. 

"Vince McMahon was looking for me and when he found me," Ellsworth recounted, "he shook my hand. He said, 'Great job out there! I'm going to hire you.'"

Ellsworth famously grabbed the women's Money In The Bank briefcase in 2017, a controversial finish that led to Carmella not only holding the briefcase but eventually winning the "SmackDown" Women's Championship in 2018. Ellsworth was released later that year. He returned to WWE for the celebration of the 1,000th episode of "SmackDown."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Oh...You Didn't Know" with an h/t to Rllegends for the transcription.