Jim Ross Discusses Davey Boy Smith's Exit From WWE in 1997, Says He Peaked At Wembley Stadium

Jim Ross believes that Davey Boy Smith's defining moment in the WWE came at SummerSlam 1992.

On the latest episode of his Grilling Jr podcast, the AEW commentator did a watch-along of the January 19, 1998 episode of WCW Nitro. During the show, Jim Ross was asked if he had any memories of Davey trying to get out of his contract with the WWE, as he was at the show, but not yet allowed to appear. Furthermore, JR noted that while it would have been cool for wrestling fans to see The Hart Foundation (Smith, Bret Hart, and Jim Neidhart) compete, once again, under that name and feud with WCW's Four Horsemen, VInce McMahon was wise to protect the company's intellectual property. He said the following:

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"The company had to protect its intellectual property. The WWE owned that brand. They owned that intellectual property. They owned the Hart Foundation. So I had no problem with that. Everybody that liked the Hart's, and a lot of people did and still do, especially Bret, they looked at it in a negative way because we were interfering in the progress of that entity. The issue is that you can't start giving away your intellectual property or everybody's going to want it. So people start changing jobs, changing territories, and they go, well you gave Bret his IP, so now there's precedent. There's a legal precedent that you will do that. I just think it would cause a bigger legal issue, and even though I'm probably one of the biggest Bret Hart fans ever, I can understand why Vince [McMahon] did that. I'm sure that I, in those meetings that he and I had, and with others, I endorsed that decision."

Jim Ross claims that there were no issues with letting Davey out of his contract and that perhaps he had done all he was going to do in the WWE. 

"I think maybe the general thought was that, maybe, Davey had run his course. What else are you going to do with him? They'd done everything with him. You know, Davey peaked in Wembley Stadium, let's be honest about it. That was his defining moment. So what do you do next?  The next thing, you know, well, he could've won the WWE title, but that was never a strong consideration as far as I can remember."

In 2020, Davey Boy Smith was going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was cancelled. WWE recently announced their plans for the next three WrestleMania's with the intention of honoring last year's class as soon as possible.

The British Bulldog is also scheduled to be one of the featured subjects on the new series, WWE Icons. 

If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription. 

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