Brian “Road Dogg” James recently appeared on WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves, where he discussed several topics. One highlight includes his discussion of Dexter Lumis and the importance of characterization.
On Dexter Lumis:
James: “He was one I was really interested in and went way too far with. And I had him licking people in a rear chinlock and lick their cheek and you know, just go way too far. And then you see what works and what doesn’t, it’s easy to reel it back in. The hard part is get them out of their comfort zone and get them to go that far, and then you can kinda reel it back in and control it a little bit. But he was one that was definitely a team effort, but his character alone has already got people talking. And his character alone has already got us thinking, like, main events and stuff like that, you know what I mean? Like this guy he wasn’t even on TV three months ago, and now we’re talking about putting him in that picture. And so it’s just, he’s a really cool one. Velveteen Dream continues to evolve, and we continue to try different things with his character. There’s gonna be a lot of things coming up, a lot of people moving around from sides of the roster and stuff that we just wanna try things with different characters with different people. And different characters with some of the same people you’ve been seeing, but Dexter Lumis is the one who jumps right out to me. Because, as a character, he is that, a lot of people go out there and they’re wrestlers, and they wrestle, you know what I mean, and they’re great wrestlers and that’s what they do. This guy can work and cut flips out of the ring on his feet, all kinds crazy crap, but that’s not why he’s cool. He’s cool because there’s something about him that’s cool and it’s, he ain’t doing much, he’s just staring at people. But it’s so interesting and cool. We’d spent like two hours talking about where he’s from, ‘Where’s this guy from?’, you know what I mean? Like we landed on Recluse, Wyoming, which is a real place, Recluse, Wyoming, yeah and that was so cool. But I wanted to say he was from Skinwalker Ranch, like I don’t know if you ever watched that on the show now but there’s a place in, I think Wyoming or Utah maybe, called Skinwalker Ranch, and it’s like a hotbed for UFO sightings and paranormal activity and all these things. There’s a show on Tuesday nights, I don’t know why I’m plugging the show so much, Tuesday night’s the end of the season, but I watch it and I got into it but that’s the kinda thing, like it’s cool to spend time coming up with that, every little aspect of the character, you know what I mean, what’s his backstory,. So we’re gonna be diving into that stuff soon.”
On the importance of characters in storytellling:
James: “As long as we can tell a little bit of a character’s traits, and it doesn’t have to be every character every week because that’s impossible, so sometimes the character’s gonna have a wrestling match, sometimes he’s gonna win, sometimes he’s gonna lose, that’s the nature of the beast. But if you can advance somebody’s characteristics, let the viewer know a little bit more about a character, on every episode, then you’re doing the right thing, you know, and we’re trying to do that now. That’s what I was doing, before we left on this hiatus, I was going out a lot and sitting down, doing sit-down interviews, and just real talking with a lot of the different characters, the Dominik Dijakovics, who are great performers, but I don’t know anything about them, you know what I mean? So, and then you just piece it together, and you let people know a little bit about this person and a little bit about the character that he’s portraying, and all the sudden, you’ve got people you can invest in, you can emotionally invest in, and that’s what we’ve been missing for a long time, those vignettes, those infomercials on a character where you go like, ‘Oh my god, Shotzi Blackheart loves punk rock, I love punk rock,’ you know what I mean?”
The full episode is available below: