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WRESTLING COLUMNS

A Tribute To The British Bulldog
June 23, 2006 by Stephen Kerr-Robinson


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The British Bulldog, also known as Davey Boy Smith, is arguably the greatest British wrestler of all time. He was born in Manchester England , and started his career at the tender age of 17, where he wrestled all over England, Germany and Japan. If there's one person who helped bring Davey Boy Smith into wrestling it was his cousin Tom Billington, also known as The Dynamite Kid, an international star especially admired in Japan and Canada.

Davey Boy Smith joined Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling based in the North West of Canada. Before teaming up with The Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith engaged in a feud with Dynamite Kid which lasted a few months. After a successful run in Stampede wrestling, Vince McMahon Jr signed on both Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid and they formed a tag team known as The British Bulldogs. Their first taste of Tag Team gold came when The British Bulldogs defeated Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake at WrestleMania 2. This reign was a lengthy one as it lasted nine months, until The Hart Foundation, which consisted of Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart, won the titles from the two British men. Unfortunately The Dynamite Kid had suffered a serious back injury, so the team could not continue.

After a short time in WWE, the British Bulldogs went back to Stampede and almost immediately won the International Tag Team titles. But they also lost the titles very quickly and The Dynamite Kid blamed Davey Boy Smith for the loss, and this was the start to a long and violent feud. After this feud Davey Boy Smith decided to go solo, and it proved a wise decision as he defeated Don Muraco, for the North American Heavyweight title.

After a successful time in Stampede Davey Boy Smith decided to join the WWE again. But this time he was known as The British Bulldog, and he developed quite a winning streak. And he even earned himself an Intercontinental title match at Summerslam, in his home country. He would go up against his brother-in-law Bret Hart. This match is arguably the best match in The British Bulldog's career, and also he became the Intercontinental Champion. He was Intercontinental Champion for 3 months before losing it at Saturday Nights Main Event, to Shawn Michaels. The British Bulldog had to take some time off due to injuries.

The British Bulldog returned to wrestling , but this time joining WCW and going back to his old name of Davey Boy Smith. Davey Boy Smith quickly began a feud with the WCW Champion Vader, at Slamboree 1993. He defeated Vader, but the title didn't change as Vader was disqualified. After a long feud with Vader, he began a feud with fellow European and reigning T.V champion Steven Regal. This was only a short feud as at Halloween Havoc, the time expired and there was no clear winner. Davey Boy Smith's contract was terminated after getting into a fight at a bar, putting the man in hospital for seven weeks and causing permanent brain damage.

Davey Boy Smith signed on with the WWE again , and forming a tag team with Lex Luger and they were known as The Allied Powers. The Allied Powers were scheduled to battle Men on a Mission, but Lex Luger did not show up so, Diesel stepped in and teamed up with The British Bulldog. But The British Bulldog turned on Diesel.

This time around Jim Cornette managed The British Bulldog. He had numerous amounts of WWE title matches but lost them all, but then he became the first ever European champion defeating long time friend Owen Hart.

The British Bulldog then joined The Hart Foundation, and this group were the ultimate heel group when they were in America, but as soon as they crossed the border to Canada they were heroes. At an event in England the British Bulldog lost his European title to Shawn Michaels. After the famous Montreal Screwjob when Bret Hart left for WCW, the British Bulldog paid the WWE $150,000 to have his contract terminated.

Davey Boy Smith joined WCW but only got a limited push, after being treated unfairly in WCW as alot of the wrestlers were, he left but part of the reason he left was because of injury, he had a spinal infection he spent 6 months in hospital.

After having many conversations with Owen Hart he decided to join the WWE again, so they could work together but unfortunately Owen Hart tragically died. But he still continued in the WWE winning the Hardcore title on several occasions. Unfortunately times were getting worse for The British Bulldog as his drug problem got worse, and he was addicted to steroids, but he was placed in rehab which is possibly the only thing that could save him.

In the ring The British Bulldog seemed on the right track but was struggling with rehab. And shortly after his wife Diana filed for divorce, The British Bulldog hit rock bottom and the only thing keeping him going was wrestling but he was released.

Sadly on May 18th 2002 Davey Boy Smith died on holiday in British Columbia. The autopsy showed he died of a heart attack. The British Bulldog was most probably the greatest wrestler to never hold the WWE championship.

by Stephen Kerr-Robinson..


Rob Dedom wrote:
Very nice article, only thing I would disagree with is the greatest wrestler to never hold the World belt to me, would be Curt Henning. All around, he's a least a whole level above Smith.
Stephen wrote:
Hey Stephen, Nice article. When I began watching wrestling in 1999, British Bulldog was onne of my favourites, mostly because he was from England, where I am from. I enjoyed watching him wrestle as well, though. Even though I haven't seen many of his matches, I know he is a legend in wrestling and should be inducted to the Hall Of Fame. When he passed away, I was really sad. By the way he died in 2000. I hope his son Harry Smithdoes well in WWE. RIP British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith
LJ Stewart wrote:
Hi Stephen, I was lucky enough to meet the Bulldog in 1994 at a small independent show in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire. I saw him in the cafe and interrupted his meal (I know I'm a bad girl!!) anyway he was really happy to talk and signed my wrestling pro and and a powerslam magazine he seemed geniunely interested in chatting and got very animated when I told him I'd watched him against Steve Regal and we talked about how it was good to see brits wrestle. Such a nice guy
Ritwik Bhuyan wrote:
No, DaveyBoy Smith aka The British Bulldog is not the greatest British wrestler of all time. Tom Billington aka The Dynamite Kid is considered the greatest British wrestler of all time, as well as arguably the greatest mat wrestler of all time. Not to disrespect the late DaveyBoy Smith, but The Dynamite Kid is leagues ahead of him.
Navin Panesar wrote:
I Do Agree that the British Bulldog is one of the best wrestlers no to hold the World Title, but then you have left a big chunk out, like him stealing the British Bulldog trademark and the Dynamite Kid not even able to speak Davey Boys name bcause of thier big family fall out, you have missed alot out in the article, but i do agree with soime points in this article
wrote:

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