February 1999 WWF Raw Magazine Page 42 - 45

To Silently Protect.
By Kevin Kelly

Possibly one of the strongest men working for the 
World Wrestling Federation is somebody the fans
are never suppossed to see. Covered in muscles,
shrouded in long hair and tattoos, the man 
responsible for co-ordinating the safety of
everybody at a World Wrestling Federation event
is out of sight, but impossible to miss.

His name is Jim Dotson. At first glance this veritable 
bull of a man looks like trouble, instead of the one
who prevents it. i got the idea for this article by
seeing him in action. Following a RAW taping, I was 
leaving the building at the same time as Mr. McMahon
and his associates. Jim stopped a wall of people 
and parted them like Moses did that famous body of 
water. No incidents would befall the Chariman of the
Board on this night. The Chairman of "Protective
Services" was on the case.

A Huge right forearm extends a massive hand.
Thankfully, Jim Dotson is offering it to me as a 
greeting, not a warning. Soft-spoken, humble, 
but infinitely confident, Dotson, described a 
Federation event as a combination of "a rock
concert, New Year's Eve and Halloween." His
meeting with me is midway through a 16-hour
day for the Federation's Head of Protective
Services. His is one of the many jobs that are 
less than glamorous, but necessary for a live
event to take place.

Earlier in the morning, Dotson arrived and met 
with the head of the building. It was a brand-
new facility on the campus of Ohio State
Universtiy, and there were still an army of
construction people putting the finishing touches
on the beautiful new home of the Buckeyes and
the World Wrestling Federation on this night.
All that work would have to stop and those
doing the work would need to leave by a set
time. It was up to Dotson to ensure that the
building's manager carried out his game plan.
Nothing is left to chance. According to Dotson, 
everybody's safety is at stake.

From there, his eyes and ears are wide open as
the Federation Superstars begin to arrive. After
making certain that the building follows his
directions on crowd-control issues, Dotson 
focuses his attention on the stars of the show. 
The graduate of Middle Tennessee State 
University and former football player for the
Moccasins looks like one of the men he's hired 
to protect. 

"So," I asked, "If you are responsible for 'protection,' 
then why don't you get into the ring and break 
apart disputes involving Federation Superstars?"

Dotson replied, "It's interesting that you ask me that 
because I cannot allow myself to become personally
involved due to the fact that I have an entire arena
to be concerned about. [The Federation Superstars'}
issues are not my issues. I have to be very fair in 
what I do. Therefore, I stay very neutral with the
personal issues."

That neutrality comes into play when he has to 
provide protective services for Vince McMahon in 
New York City's Times Square, as well as for
Stone Cold Steve Austin at the Billboard Music
Awards. He can't afford to get involved. This 
reminds me of the Secret Service. Rarely seen,
but always there. Dotson agreed, but he was 
quick to downplay his role.

Dotson said he now handles about 90 percent
of his confrontations verbally. Occasionally a 
fan might get out of control and jump over the
railing, for example. It's Dotson's job to restrain
the fan until the police can take over. With a
blend of disarming charm and a study of
martial arts based-joint manipulation he handles 
adversity with minimal impact on the offender.
But, it hasn't always been that was for the man 
who has spent 14 years in the field.

"During the early days, I did have a bit of an 
'ego problem'," Dotson explained. "I think 
that everyone [in this field] does, but you grow 
out of it and I don't have an ego problem now. 
Being six feet and over 260 pounds, there are 
times where I am challenged...verbally. If 
someone wants to call me something, I know 
they don't know me personally. but when I was
working my way through school...at some
events that were in a hostile environment, there
was a time when I tried to satisfy my ego. But
when you've been doing this as long as I have, 
you grow out of it."

It would be easy to mistake Dotson for a 
Federation Superstar. he gets asked for his
autograph quite often. Fans run up to him and
ask him who he is. he proudly says, "I'm Jim 
Dotson, Protective Services."

For a man who had an ego ehich got him into 
trouble when he was younger, he states that
he is proud of who he is and what he has done
for the last 14 years. He was a high school
football star, played MTSU and earned his
degree while working and playing ball. He does
have a lot to be proud of.

But would there ever be a day when the man 
providing the protection would want to emerge
from the shadows and become one of the 
superstars he is paid to protect? He has the 
look, the athletic background...

Quickly he cut me off, "Never. That is a different
breed of cat and I have no interest in 
tangling with one of those tigers!"

I asked the question again, but in a hypothetical
fashion. "What would happen if you tangled with
one of those tigers, hypothetically?"

Dotson paused...and responded, "Hypothetically?...
They'll be provided with protective services..."

Interview over. Time for the show. I can't help 
but wonder if that "ego problem" is completely
gone. i wonder if the adoring fans of Steve
Austin or DX make Dotson yearn for the days
when he was the star on the gridiron.

They say that once you get a taste of stardom
you never forget what it's like...

In the meantime, I feel very safe with Jim
Dotson, Protective Services, in control.