It’s almost hard to imagine D-Generation X without “Road Dogg” Jesse James and Billy Gunn, but according to Vince Russo, the New Age Outlaws were a very hard sell to the rest of DX.
Russo appeared on “The List & Ya Boy” podcast on Fightful to talk about how the idea of the New Age Outlaws joining the rebellious stable was pitched in WWE. Russo said that it was actually Vince McMahon’s idea to put the two groups together, but Russo was skeptical about the idea, as was Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
“I got to give all the credit in the world to Road Dogg and Badass Billy Gunn,” Russo said. “Vince McMahon pitched that to me when we had Triple H, Chyna and Shawn as DX. One day, in a creative meeting, Vince pitched to me that Brian James and Billy Gunn join them. Bro, looked at Vince like he was out of his mind. I did not see that. Where they were, at the time, in the card, I thought they were certainly not up to the level of Shawn, Hunter and Chyna. I thought Vince was freaking nuts, but Vince wanted to do it, so we did it. The next thing I had to do was sell to Shawn and Hunter. Bro, they wanted no part of those guys. Absolutely no part. They thought those guys were beneath them. They felt those guys were going to bring DX down, which is why we did all the stuff with the New Age Outlaws on their own first. It was almost like an audition and they had to prove themselves to Triple H and Shawn and then, when they finally did, and the time was right, we brought them into the fold. That was a Vince pitch. I did not see that at all.”
The New Age Outlaws did become a huge part of DX, joining the group in 1998, and winning a total of six WWF/E Tag Team Championships. They last competed for WWE from 2012-2015, when they won the WWE Tag Team Championships.
You can listen to Russo’s comments in the video above at around the 1:03:00 mark. “The List & Ya Boy” podcast, starring Fightful owner Jimmy Van and Fightful managing editor Sean Ross Sapp can be seen live on Fightful every Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.