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Jim Ross Recalls Giving Davey Boy Smith a Rehab Ultimatum, Smith’s Final WWE Match & Release

December 4, 2022 | Posted by Jonathan Hunter
Davey Boy Smith British Bulldog Image Credit: WWE

Two weeks ago on Grilling JR, Jim Ross revealed giving the British Bulldog a rehab ultimatum, Davey Boy’s final match in WWE, and what ultimately led to Ross having to fire the Bulldog. Excerpts can be found below:

On himself and Bruce Prichard giving Davey an ultimatum about rehab: “There was no margin for error on this. We had a plan. Vince wanted his potential recurring star to be healthy. So that’s why when Davey said “I’ll go after this tour is over,” well no. You’re going to separate from your drugs. You’re not going to take them with you, you’re not going to have them with you. You don’t need to get high for another two or three days, THEN go to rehab. This is it. You’re going tonight or you’re not going. And I think Davey’s sense of family responsibilities became abundantly clear. He knew that now [his] back was against the wall. “I can’t negotiate out of this deal.” I was a little skeptical. I’m not so sure I believed that he was going to say okay. Denial is such a huge part of addiction.”

On the responsibility to take care of talent: “If you have a scenario where you know that a talent is compromised, and that talent inadvertently hurts somebody in a match, the lawsuit on that by the injured individual would be magnified. So you can’t take a gamble on it.”

On Davey’s final match in WWF, a house show in the Hart family hometown of Calgary, Alberta: “[Jack] Lanza called me. “Davey’s messed up, he’s screwed up, slurring his speech, et cetera.” Well, we can’t put him in the ring, and I don’t want him to hang around the locker room all day. Send him home. Davey’s personal life was unraveling. I didn’t remember that he had a girlfriend; and by the bye she was the former wife of Bruce Hart!”

On firing Bulldog: “[Davey] doesn’t need to stay in the locker room impaired, period. And much less get in the ring with somebody and have their life in his hands while he’s impaired. Makes no sense. So I think I made the only decision I could make that made sense.

On the tragedy of Davey Boy Smith: “It’s just a sad thing because we tried to elbow in how great a talent Davey Boy Smith was. Athletically speaking, he was an absolutely tremendous talent. But he couldn’t beat that one opponent, and finally that one opponent beat his ass and killed him.”

If you use any of the above quotes, please credit Grilling With Jr h/t 411mania for the transcription