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WRESTLING COLUMNS

His Name Is Finlay, And He Loves Ta Fight
February 8, 2006 by Stephen Ground


If you have been paying any attention to the Smackdown! Scene lately you will have seen promos for an Irishman named Finlay. Most of you probably know that this is Fit Finlay, but for those of you who don't, let me give a brief history.

Fit Finlay started his career 28 years ago in Great Britain. He won 17 titles there including titles in light, middle, and heavyweight divisions. He also won the Tag Team Titles with Marty Jones in 1990. He won 6 of his titles in CWA (Catch Wrestling Association), and then in 1995, he made the move to WCW. There he was dubbed the Belfast Brawler. He bounced around the company for a few years until finally, in 1998, he beat Booker T for the TV Title. He retained that title in a match against Chris Benoit , but finally losing it back to Booker T. The rest of his WCW career was mainly uneventful except for winning the Hardcore Junkyard Invitational, and being seriously injured by Brian Knobbs. After this injury, doctors only gave Fit a 50% chance of walking again.

Fit Finlay left WCW and spent some time back in Britain, but after that, WWE hired Finlay as a road agent. Finlay spent about 4-5 years training WWE Divas to wrestle. Some would argue he didn't reach much success, but when you look at wrestlers like Trish Stratus, Lita, and you look at things like how much Christy Hemme improved in her time there, the man deserves some credit.

The most amazing thing about Fit Finlay, however, is his return to wrestling. At an age of 57 (Editor's Note: Correction, he is 47) years old, this Irishman returned to the ring in WWE, boasting the slogan "My name is Finlay, and I love ta fight!" I am sad to say that I never got the chance to see Dave "Fit" Finlay wrestle in his prime, because I have seen him do things in that ring that I never would have dreamed of. Take his squash match on Heat before Royal Rumble. He faced Brian Kendrick, better known as Spanky, and he did three moves that I thought were VERY cool and innovative.

1. Finlay grabs Kendrick's arm while he's prone on his stomach, steps over it, and kicks his heel back right into Kendrick's face. I've never seen this before, and it's the type of spot that really catches you of guard. Here you think he's going to go for the roll up, and WHAM!, he kicks him.

2. Kendrick goes for an airborne move to the out side, and Finlay pulls out the ring apron, gigging Kendrick between the legs. This looks like it hurts so much, and it's so original, it's just awesome.

3. AHHHH, yes. The Kryptonite Krunch. Refreshing isn't it" As long as I can remember, WWE has banned moves like this, because they're just too dangerous. This veteran is using it though, and it's a beautiful thing.

There you have it. I hope you get a chance to watch Finlay in the coming weeks, trust me, he's a breath of fresh air to actual wrestling.

by Stephen Ground ..


Erkka Järvinen wrote:
I dont really care about Finlay but i noticed an error in your column. Finlay is only 47 years old
James Watts wrote:
I AGREE TOTALLY WITH WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IN THIS COLUMN!!!!! It is so great to see the legendary Fit Finlay in the WWE at last. I was so excited when I heard he was coming to Smackdown because he had great rivalries back in WCW with Booker T and Chris Benoit (did you see the match they had recently" It was brilliant!) I foresee a Triple Threat Match for the US title soon: Booker T vs. Chris Benoit vs. Fit Finlay. How great would that be" Incidentally, another big rivalry I would love to see would be between two men on Smackdown who love to fight: Fit Finlay and Hardcore Holly (if WWE hasn't released him).
FJ Parlon wrote:
When I saw the WWE showing clips about the coming of Finlay, I immediately checked him out. He turned out to be a roadie (whom I saw appeared in last year's rumble trying to separate Kurt Angle from Shawn Michaels), and a fromer WCW wrestler. But all that I saw were nothing that impressed me, especially of course that he's old and what's the good use of it.

When I saw him wrestle Matt Hardy, I said "Oh... He loved to fight, eh..." Yeah, he's got entertainingly innovative moves, and really looks like he love to go at it.

Also, you're article gave me a better light on why Finlay is currently good as a wrestler for the business. He wrestles pretty well, a higly experienced, seasoned veteran, who reminds us of old school wrestling, somthing that most of us is longing for. I've only got some questions:

"How long is he gonna stay""

"What kinds of storylines will he be involved in""

"Is the WWE gonna push him at this point of his career""

Well, the current situation instill some good signs to SmackDown!, I hope RAW will have some. Furthermore, I want more wrestlers to be like Finlay, what I mean is to pay great attention to PURE WRESTLING, not just entertaining.

But oh, Stephen Ground, Finlay is just 47 years old don't make him that old. =)
Guy Rugged wrote:
David "Fit" Finlay is 48 years old this year, not 57, he was born in 1958. He is a second generation wrestler and started wrestling in the UK in the 1970's. As far as I can remember, his first TV appearance in the UK was against Davey Boy Smith, it was also Davey's first appearance and they were both young, Davey about 16 and Fit about 19 years old. Both just skinny lads with a lot of potential. Finlay picked up the nickname "Fit", because he was always in great condition and could wrestle for hours without needing a break. Fit Finlay formed a "heel" tag team in the early 1980's with Skull Murphy (uk version) called "The Riot Squad" that became a top rule breaking attraction.

It was about this time that Finlay really became big, by bringing in his wife, "Princess" Paula Valdez (who was also a wrestler) to be his valet/manager. You have to understand that in the UK, until the late 1980's, wrestling in the UK was very different to the USA, the matches were very mat based and submission based with plenty of real wrestling, not a series of punch, kick, clotheslines and the rules (as drawn up in the 1940's by Admiral Lord Mount-Evans) were stricktly adhered to. This made rule breakers like Mick McManus, Mark "Rollerball" Rocco, Adrian Street, and Fit Finlay incredibly unpopular (but great draws) with the crowds. I think Princess Paula was the first valet/manager in the UK and she did a great job of whipping up the crowds into a chorus of boos and catcalls. At their peak, as Finlay and Paula approached ringside for a match, the MC could not be heard for the jeers of the crowd.

Dave Finlay won a number of titles in the UK and also for the CWA promotion in Germany, run by Otto Wanz.

Even at this age, Finlay should prove a great asset to the WWE, if they use him correctly.
Stephen Ground (Original Author) wrote:
I sincerely apologize about the age mistake. I knew he was only 47, it was just a typo I missed in editing. The Benoit/ Finlay match WAS fantastic.
Sean Spears wrote:
When I think of Fit Finley, 2 things come to mind: His match with William Regal at the first Uncensored back in WCW. And his feud with Booker T. and Chris Benoit. David Finley has always been a consumate ring general and I think he could be a great asset...to TNA. Vince will only misuse Fit. I'd like to see him, Burchill, & Regal form a version of the Euros in TNA. Seeing him hit the Kryptonite Krunch was a good sight. It's is like his old Tombstone in WCW. I wish Fit the best of luck. He deserves it.
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