Jim Ross Denies Dark Side Of The Ring Claim That Junkyard Dog Left Mid-South Due To Bill Watts’ Racist Comments

On AdFreeShows.com, Jim Ross answered fan questions on “Ask JR Live.” Ross shot down the Dark Side of the Ring story that Junkyard Dog left Mid South Wrestling for WWE in 1984 due to racial remarks made by Bill Watts:

“I’ll tell you this. The answer is, and honestly, I try to be honest on all these shows, was that Dog left for more money. He saw the opportunity to increase his income, you know, I don’t want to say 10-fold, but it was way up there. Right out of the gate, when you become the first African-American action figure, things like that accumulate an income.”

Dog had worked hard, and, you know, he was kind of sparring with the devil on this drug use. So he made some bad decisions. He left without notice and it wasn’t because of a racial epithet said or some bullsh*t like that. He simply had the opportunity to be the number two or three babyface in the biggest company in the business and that was going to mean he was going to make a whole hell of a lot more money. He had six-figure royalty checks for his action figures and things like that.”

“So I’ll always say the Cowboy loved Dog and they were like family. They really were and Bill defended Dog to all the NWA white guys that said Bill had too many blacks on the team. He had a black booker with Ernie Ladd and he had a black babyface with JYD and Bill defended them. They kept their jobs. They were making great money, but they weren’t going to make the kind of the money that Vince could pay them because Vince had a real elaborate early on royalty system. You made money on your merchandise and that was very attractive to a lot of guys, and I don’t blame them.”

“I do blame Dog for not giving notice. I thought that was bush league, especially when he came there from Calgary, he didn’t have two dimes to rub together and Cowboy made him a lot of money. I love Sylvester. He was funny. He was a good guy to be around, but he left because he had a chance to increase his income. Dog made enough money on his transition that he wouldn’t need to work that many more years, but a lot of it went up his nose, and boy, that’s an expensive habitat. So I loved him and I miss him. He’s gone now, of course, but that was the deal. That’s the honest truth as I know it. He left because he could increase his income, more than double his income, and he was smart enough to know that his job was tentative at best because you get hurt, you get older, gain weight, all these things. So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

(h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription)