“Big” Jim Dotson was a well known face during the Attitude Era, regularly appearing on our screens and having a prominent position at live shows. But he was not a wrestler, although by looking at him, you’d think he would’ve been perfect for the job and in this latest piece we ask Whatever Happened to Jim Dotson.Jim Dotson was the WWE’s head of protective services from 1995 to 2001. You would often see glimpses of him in the stands making sure fans didn’t get too close to the wrestlers. Despite the brief glimpses of him on camera….Jim Dotson became just as big of a star as any of the wrestlers during the Attitude Era.
How could you not notice him? He stood over 6 feet tall and weighed over 260 pounds of pure muscle. He didn’t just protect the wrestlers at the arenas…he was also used as security for events that they attended…whether it be awards shows…talk shows..charity events…whatever.
Dotson became a fan of pro wrestling while playing collegiate football out of the University of Middle Tennessee. While thoughts of entering the squared circle might have crossed his mind…fate directed him in another direction. Jim Dotson won the bodybuilding title of Mr. Tennessee and after a friend asked for his assistance in working security at a Hank Williams Jr. concert….he knew this was the path he was going to take in life.
Jim opened up his own security firm after graduating college in his native Nashville, Tennessee. He met and became friends with a young wrestler named Mark Calaway who was working in the Tennessee territory (the USWA) at the time. The two remained good friends for years…even after Calaway signed with the WWF in 1990. When the WWF began expanding even further…Vince McMahon was looking for better security and Calaway suggested his friend Dotson.
Within a year, Dotson rose the ranks and quickly became the director of security for the WWF. As time went on, Vince McMahon saw money with his big, brooding security guard. Dotson began getting more and more screen time. Whenever the cameraman panned to the fans in attendance…Dotson always seemed to be somewhere in the shot. Whenever a big angle was about to be started…Dotson was the face chosen to be right there in the camera shot.
Vince wanted to make him into a star…but much to McMahon’s chagrin, Dotson didn’t really want any part of it. He was more content behind the scenes protecting the wrestlers and their families.
Despite Dotson’s relectance to become a bigger part of the WWF/E’s storylines…it was becoming apparent that Dotson was getting noticed by fans. People would gravitate to him asking for autographs as much as they would ask the wrestlers themselves. So from a business standpoint, it only made perfect sense to capitalize on his ever growing popularity.
So Dotson was being shown on camera more behind the scenes in segments. It was just a matter of time before the inevitable happened and it did indeed happen. Dotson was placed in a mini feud with WWF star Steve Blackman. Segements were shown where tension between Blackman and Dotson began to grow and get more physical. The feud however, never truly materialized.
Jim Dotson was being seen less and less…word got out that he was suffering from crippling migraine headaches. Before long, Dotson was off the road altogether. Seeing as there was no true relief or solution to his headaches and perhaps feeling he was starting to become a detriment to the comapany’s security…Jim Dotson resigned from his post as director of protective services.
So, whatever happened to Jim Dotson?!? After retiring from the WWE’s position…Dotson practically vanished without a trace. It has become nearly impossible to find recent pictures or jobs he may be working right now. All that we did hear, is that the migraines caused him to be classified as legally blind. While Dotson apparently can still see at close range…his vision isn’t the greatest. Despite that, Dotson still lives in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.
I did come across the most recent pic of him from his Facebook page…he still looks to be in tremendous shape..although there is no date when this pic was actually taken.
As far as Jim Dotson’s legacy goes…there is still a place for him within the WWE. We are all familiar with Seth Rollins security team of J and J Security. If you read their bio on the twitter page, it states that both Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury are graduates of the Jim Dotson School of Security. A definite, nod to the man who kept the stars safe and protected for so many years.