Davey Boy Smith

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Davey Boy Smith
The British Bulldog.jpg
Birth nameDavid Boy Smith
Born(1962-11-27)November 27, 1962
Golborne, Warrington, United Kingdom
DiedMay 18, 2002(2002-05-18) (aged 39)
Invermere, British Columbia, Canada
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)The British Bulldog
Davey Boy Smith
Young David
Billed height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Billed weight116 kg (256 lb; 18.3 st)
Billed fromLeeds and Manchester,
Great Britain
Trained byTed Betley
Stu Hart
Debut1978
 
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The British Bulldog redirects here, for other uses, see British Bulldog.
Davey Boy Smith
The British Bulldog.jpg
Birth nameDavid Boy Smith
Born(1962-11-27)November 27, 1962
Golborne, Warrington, United Kingdom
DiedMay 18, 2002(2002-05-18) (aged 39)
Invermere, British Columbia, Canada
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)The British Bulldog
Davey Boy Smith
Young David
Billed height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Billed weight116 kg (256 lb; 18.3 st)
Billed fromLeeds and Manchester,
Great Britain
Trained byTed Betley
Stu Hart
Debut1978

David Boy "Davey" Smith (November 27, 1962 – May 18, 2002) was a British professional wrestler. Born in Golborne, Warrington (now in the Borough of Wigan), Smith is best known for his appearances in the United States of America with the World Wrestling Federation under his own name and under the ring name The British Bulldog. He was a two-time Stampede North American Champion and won many other Championships in his career.

Smith's middle name, Boy, was the result of one of his parents mistaking the name field on Smith's birth certificate for the gender field.[2]

Smith was trained by Ted Betley in Winwick, England before relocating to Calgary, Alberta, Canada to further his training under Stu Hart. While training with Hart, Smith met Stu and Helen Hart's youngest daughter Diana, whom he married in 1984. They had two children, Harry (born on August 2, 1985) and Georgia (born on September 26, 1987). He and Diana were divorced in 2000.

Smith's son Harry has followed his father into professional wrestling, currently wrestling as "Davey Boy Smith, Jr." in honor of Smith.

Career[edit]

Davey Boy Smith started competing on ITV's World of Sport when he was only 15, wrestling under the name Young David with his slightly older cousin Tom Billington (Dynamite Kid). He was then spotted by Bruce Hart scouting talent in the UK and traveled to Canada to wrestle for Stu Hart with his cousin. Stu Hart and Roy Wood trained Smith further in his "Dungeon" and Smith became a key wrestler in Hart's promotion, Stampede Wrestling. During his time in Stampede, Smith began a feud with the Dynamite Kid, and on July 9, 1982, he [Smith] won his first title when he defeated the Dynamite Kid for the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight title.[3]

In 1983, Smith debuted in New Japan Pro Wrestling where he became involved in a three-way feud with Dynamite Kid and The Cobra (George Takano) over the NWA Junior Heavyweight Title. On February 7, 1984, a three-way, one-night tournament was held, and Dynamite Kid won the tournament by defeating Smith via count-out, and the Cobra by pinfall.[4] After the tournament, Smith and Dynamite Kid formed a tag team in both New Japan and in Stampede Wrestling known as the British Bulldogs. In 1984, the Bulldogs made a shocking move by jumping to New Japan's rival, All Japan Pro Wrestling just before the start of All Japan's annual Tag Team tournament.[5] The Bulldogs made a nice showing in the tournament, which drew the interest of the World Wrestling Federation.

World Wrestling Federation (1985-1988)[edit]

The Bulldogs, along with Smith's brothers-in-law Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart were brought in to World Wrestling Federation (WWF) after Vince McMahon bought out Stampede Wrestling.[6] At first, the Bulldogs were able to tour both WWF and All Japan, but eventually McMahon gained exclusive rights to the Bulldogs. While in the WWF, the Bulldogs began a long running feud with Hart and Neidhart, who were now known as The Hart Foundation.

The Bulldogs also feuded with the Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake). At WrestleMania 2, with "Captain" Lou Albano and Ozzy Osbourne in their corner, the Bulldogs defeated the Dream Team for the WWF World Tag Team Championship.[6] The Bulldogs held the titles for nearly nine months, feuding with the Dream Team and Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik.

In January 1987, the Bulldogs lost the titles to the Hart Foundation due to a severe back injury to the Dynamite Kid. After losing the titles, the Bulldogs gained a mascot, an actual bulldog who went by the name Matilda, and feuded with the likes of The Islanders (whom, kayfabe, dog-napped Matilda), Demolition, and the Rougeau Brothers.[6]

The Bulldogs left the World Wrestling Federation in 1988, in part due to backstage problems between the Bulldogs, specifically the Dynamite Kid, and the Rougeau Brothers over a prank pulled by Curt Hennig. The Bulldogs, noted ribbers (pranksters) in their own right, were blamed for the prank, leading to a series of confrontations which culminated in Jacques Rougeau knocking out four of the Dynamite Kid's teeth with a fist filled with a roll of quarters.[7] Though there are various accounts of this situation, many suggest that Billington drew first blood by bullying Rougeau (among many others including The Honky Tonk Man, whom Dynamite, allegedly, brought to tears) in Miami. While Rougeau was playing cards backstage, from behind, Billington smacked Jacques in the ear and then punched and kicked him in the face several times and also struck Raymond, who was on crutches at the time. It was weeks before Jacques responded. Bret Hart wrote about the incident, in his book HITMAN: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling: "At first I was upset, and contemplated getting involved. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that Tom had been asking for this for years and that everyone who'd been bullied by him would rejoice at the news." After no disciplinary action was taken against Jacques, Billington quit the WWF, and Smith followed suit.

Stampede and All Japan (1989-1990)[edit]

After leaving the World Wrestling Federation, the Bulldogs returned to Stampede Wrestling, and also to All Japan Pro Wrestling. Stampede officials were hopeful that the return of the Bulldogs would revive a struggling promotion, but they were unsuccessful. Eventually, the decision was made to split up the Bulldogs, which caused some problems with All Japan owner Shohei Baba, who was still promoting the Bulldogs as a tag team. On July 4, 1989, Smith, along with fellow wrestlers Chris Benoit, Ross Hart, and Jason the Terrible, was involved in a serious automobile accident.[8] Smith, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, needed 135 stitches after slamming his head through the windshield and being thrown 25 feet onto the pavement.[8] He recovered, and the Bulldogs continued teaming in All-Japan against teams such as Joe and Dean Malenko, Kenta Kobashi and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, and The Nasty Boys.[8] Personal problems began to surface between Smith and Billington, and Smith later left All Japan to return to the WWF.

World Wrestling Federation (1990-1992)[edit]

Smith was pushed as the same character from the British Bulldogs original WWF run, but this time as a singles star under the name The British Bulldog. Over the next two years, Smith was a mid-carder, feuding with the likes of The Warlord and Mr. Perfect.

Smith was a fairly popular wrestler in the U.S., but was a huge attraction to fans in the UK, due in part to the WWF becoming a ratings hit on Sky Sports.[9] as well as the promotion touring the country holding supercards such as UK Rampage which saw Smith defeat The Warlord at the London Arena in March 1991[10] and the Battle Royal at the Albert Hall in which Smith won a 20-man battle royal by eliminating Typhoon on October 13, 1991.[11] After entering as the first man in the 1992 Royal Rumble, he eliminated "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, Jerry Sags, and Haku before being eliminated by Ric Flair.[12]

Smith again headlined the WWF's European tours at European Rampage again winning a 15-man battle royal by eliminating The Mountie in München, Germany on April 14, 1992[13] and defeated Irwin R. Schyster in Sheffield, England on April 19, 1992.[14]

In 1992, due to this newfound popularity, the WWF decided to hold its annual SummerSlam pay-per-view in Wembley Stadium in London. The show was main-evented by Smith (led to the ring by the British Heavyweight Boxing champion Lennox Lewis) and Bret Hart in a match for Hart's WWF Intercontinental Championship. On August 29, at SummerSlam, in front of 80,355 of his countrymen, Smith won the Intercontinental title in a match which is regarded by many wrestling experts as the finest in his career.[15] Shortly thereafter, Smith lost the title to Shawn Michaels on the November 8 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event[16] and was later released by the WWF. The reason for Smith's release was that he and The Ultimate Warrior were receiving shipments of Human Growth Hormone from a pharmacy in England.[17] The Warrior was released as well.

World Championship Wrestling (1993)[edit]

Smith had a stint with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1993, engaging in feuds with Sid Vicious and Big Van Vader, whom he challenged for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Slamboree 1993, and formed a mildly successful alliance with Sting. He was officially billed as Davey Boy Smith, as the WWF had trademarked the "British Bulldog" name, although he and announcers continued to use it as an unofficial nickname. In 1993, he was reportedly involved in an altercation with a man at a bar who was making advances towards his wife. As a result of the altercation (and the ensuing legal issues that followed), WCW released him from his contract. His final pay-per-view appearance for WCW came at the Battlebowl pay-per-view. He was teamed with Kole in the first round of the Lethal Lottery; they lost to Road Warrior Hawk and Rip Rogers. He worked for some independents in Great Britain before returning to the WWF.

World Wrestling Federation (1994-1997)[edit]

1994-1996[edit]

Smith returned to the WWF at SummerSlam 1994, where he immediately became involved in an ongoing family feud between Bret Hart and his brother, Owen Hart. Smith teamed up with Bret against Owen and Jim Neidhart in a series of tag team matches.[6]

Smith entering the ring at a WWF event in 1995

Smith appeared at the 1994 Survivor Series in a 10-man elimination match. His partners were WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, and The Headshrinkers. They faced WWF World Tag Team Champions Shawn Michaels and Diesel, Owen Hart, Jeff Jarrett, and Jim Neidhart. Smith was eventually counted out.

After entering the Royal Rumble as the second entrant, Smith and Shawn Michaels were the final two at the end. Smith tossed Michaels over the ropes and celebrated on the second turnbuckle. However, only one of Michaels feet hit the floor and he was able to reenter the ring and eliminate Smith from behind. Soon after, Smith began teaming with Lex Luger as the Allied Powers. The team wasn't much of a success and only wrestled on two pay-per-views as a tag team. The first came at WrestleMania XI were they defeated The Blu Brothers. The second came at In Your House 2 were they lost to WWF World Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and Yokozuna in July. Afterward the team briefly began feuding with Men on a Mission. On an August episode of Monday Night Raw, the Allied Powers were supposed to face Men on a Mission but Luger (kayfabe) no-showed the match; Smith found a replacement in then-WWF champion Diesel. During the match Smith unexpectedly attacked Diesel and turned heel, helping Men on a Mission beat up Diesel and aligning himself with Jim Cornette's stable with Owen Hart and Yokozuna, who had been his adversaries just a month earlier.

At In Your House 4 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Smith received a World Title shot against Diesel. Smith won by disqualification after Bret Hart interfered. At the Survivor Series in Landover, Maryland, Smith participated in the Wild Card eight-man elimination match. He teamed with Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, and Sycho Sid. They faced WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon, Dean Douglas, Owen Hart, and Yokozuna. Smith, Michaels, and Johnson were the survivors.

In December, at In Your House 5 from Hershey, Pennsylvania, Smith was granted a title shot against new WWF Champion Bret Hart in a rematch from their SummerSlam 1992 match. They had another great match yet Hart won this time. A notable incident from this match was that Hart bled during the match, which was controversial because WWF outlawed bleeding at the time.

Smith entered the 1996 Royal Rumble where he made it to the final four before being eliminated by Shawn Michaels. At In Your House 6 he lost to Yokozuna by disqualification after Vader interfered. At WrestleMania XII he teamed with Vader and Owen Hart to defeat Yokozuna, Ahmed Johnson, and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. At In Your House 7 in April, Smith and (Owen) Hart defeated Johnson and Roberts after Smith forced Roberts to submit.

1996-1997[edit]

In 1996, after Shawn Michaels became World Champion, Smith was put in a feud with the new champion. The feud was supposedly based on Smith's wife, Diana, accusing Michaels of hitting on her, which made Smith mad and determined to take the Title from Michaels.[18] The two main-evented the In Your House 8: Beware of Dog pay-per-view, and their match ended in a draw, leading to a rematch at the 1996 King of the Ring pay-per-view. Michaels ended up successfully defending the title.

Afterwards, Smith formed a tag team with his brother-in-law, Owen Hart, and the two soon won the World Tag Team Titles from The Smoking Gunns. The team defended their titles against teams such as Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon, Vader and Mankind, and The Legion of Doom.

In 1997, the WWF created the WWF European Championship, and Smith became the first ever holder of the title, winning a tournament which culminated in him defeating his own tag team partner, Owen Hart, in the finals. He held the title for seven months before losing the title to Shawn Michaels at One Night Only on September 20, 1997.[19]

Hart and Smith later joined forces with Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, and Brian Pillman to form a new form of the Hart Foundation, a heel faction which feuded with Stone Cold Steve Austin and other American wrestlers. This created an interesting rift between American fans, where the Hart Foundation were vilified, and Canadian fans, who revered the Hart Foundation. Smith and Owen dropped the World Tag Team Titles to Austin and Michaels, and lost the final match in a tournament for the vacant Tag Team Titles[citation needed] to Austin and Dude Love. Smith then started a feud with Ken Shamrock for the European Title, and eventually lost the European Title to Shawn Michaels at the British Pay-per-view event One Night Only.[20] Smith was booked in the main event to defend the belt against Michaels. However, Michaels convinced Vince McMahon that he should win, as it would create build-up not only for his impending rematch with Bret Hart, but also for a rematch against Smith at the next British pay-per-view.[21] Smith reluctantly agreed, and fans at the event, who gave Smith an ovation, voiced their displeasure by booing Michaels and littering the ring with garbage.[21] This marks the only time Smith lost on a WWF card in the United Kingdom. After the events at Survivor Series 1997, Smith, along with Bret Hart and Neidhart, left the WWF for WCW.

World Championship Wrestling (1998)[edit]

Smith re-joined WCW as the British Bulldog (with the WWF allowing him to use the name for this WCW run, unlike his first) and immediately began a feud with Steve "Mongo" McMichael, who was complaining about all the wrestlers coming from "Up North". Smith and Neidhart later formed a tag team, but were only featured sparingly on WCW Thunder. They challenged for the WCW World Tag Team Championship on several occasions, but failed to win the titles.

Smith suffered a knee injury in April 1998 that sidelined him for a month. He suffered another injury on September 13, 1998 at Fall Brawl during his match with Neidhart against the Dancing Fools, Disco Inferno and Alex Wright. While taking a bump, Smith landed awkwardly on a trapdoor that had been set in the ring to enable The Warrior to make a dramatic entrance in the night's main event. The result was a spinal infection that nearly paralyzed Smith, hospitalizing him for six months. While recuperating, Smith received a FedEx informing him that his WCW contract had been terminated.

World Wrestling Federation (1999-2000)[edit]

Smith returned to the WWF in September 1999 following the death of Owen Hart in an in-ring accident. In keeping with the company's new "Attitude era", Smith began wrestling in jeans instead of his usual Union Flag-adorned tights and his theme music was changed from "Rule, Britannia!" to a remix of that particular theme, and later to generic rock music (complete with the sounds of a dog barking as the song began) that WWE used for most of its talent at the time. On the September 7 episode of SmackDown! in Albany, New York, Smith defeated the Big Boss Man for the WWF Hardcore Championship. Smith forfeited the title later that evening, giving the belt back to Al Snow, because Boss Man had previously (kayfabe) dog-napped Snow's dog Pepper to win the title from him, and driving him insane in the process. Smith then began pursuing the WWF Championship, eventually turning heel and beginning a feud with The Rock. Smith headlined Unforgiven as part of a six-man WWF Championship Match that was won by Triple H. On October 2, Smith returned to England as a heel at Rebellion. After losing to The Rock at No Mercy, Smith was moved down the card.

Smith defeated D'Lo Brown for the WWF European Championship on SmackDown! on October 26.[22] He lost the title to Val Venis in a triple threat match at Armageddon on December 12 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.[23]

On May 6, 2000 in London, Smith defeated Crash Holly for the Hardcore Championship. In one of Smith's last televised appearances, Holly regained the title from him in New Haven, Connecticut on the May 11 episode of SmackDown!. His last televised match with the WWF was on Sunday Night HeAT some weeks later, when he burst into Eddie Guerrero and Chyna's locker room, accusing Guerrero (whom was the European Champion at the time) of not treating the belt with the respect it deserved. This led to a title match on HeAT, in which both men were disqualified.

In early 2000, Smith's wife Diana divorced him, with Smith being given shared custody of their children. At the same time, he entered a drug rehabilitation clinic at the behest and expense of Vince McMahon due to his problems with prescription painkillers though they were not the only drug he was using. He was released from the company shortly thereafter.

Death[edit]

Smith died on May 18, 2002, after suffering a heart attack while on vacation in Invermere, British Columbia with his girlfriend, Bruce Hart's estranged wife Andrea Redding. An autopsy revealed that past anabolic steroid use may have played a part in his death, however no certain reason was found. It is apparent that stress, serious injuries, and the use of drugs took its toll on the wrestler. Bruce Hart claimed "Davey paid the price with steroid cocktails and human-growth hormones."[24]

Before his death, Smith had been training with the intent of resuming his career, and had wrestled in three tag team matches with his son, Harry "D.H." Smith the previous weekend.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-5502-2683-6. 
  2. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the Worlds Greatest Wrestlers. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 28. ISBN 978-1582618173. 
  3. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the Worlds Greatest Wrestlers. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 31. ISBN 978-1582618173. 
  4. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the Worlds Greatest Wrestlers. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 33. ISBN 978-1582618173. 
  5. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the Worlds Greatest Wrestlers. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 34. ISBN 978-1582618173. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Profile on Davey Boy Smith". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  7. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the Worlds Greatest Wrestlers. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 38. ISBN 978-1582618173. 
  8. ^ a b c Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the Worlds Greatest Wrestlers. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 39. ISBN 978-1582618173. 
  9. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the Worlds Greatest Wrestlers. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 40. ISBN 978-1582618173. 
  10. ^ Karlsson, Peter (2005-04-12). "UK Rampage 1991". American Wrestling Trivia. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  11. ^ Karlsson, Peter (2005-04-12). "Battle Royal at the Albert Hall". American Wrestling Trivia. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  12. ^ Karlsson, Peter (2005-04-12). "Royal Rumble 1992". American Wrestling Trivia. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  13. ^ Karlsson, Peter (2005-04-12). "European Rampage Again, Germany". American Wrestling Trivia. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  14. ^ Karlsson, Peter (2005-04-12). "European Rampage Again, UK". American Wrestling Trivia. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  15. ^ "WWE: Inside WWE - History of the Intercontinental Championship". WWE.com. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  16. ^ "WWE: Inside WWE - History of the Intercontinental Championship". WWE.com. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  17. ^ Hart, Bret. Hitman: My Real Life In The Cartoon World Of Wrestling. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-53972-4. 
  18. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the Worlds Greatest Wrestlers. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 44. ISBN 978-1582618173. 
  19. ^ "WWE: Inside WWE - History of the European Championship". WWE.com. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  20. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the Worlds Greatest Wrestlers. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 47. ISBN 978-1582618173. 
  21. ^ a b Michaels, Shawn; Feigenbaum, Aaron. Heartbreak and Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story. WWE Books. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-4165-2645-2. 
  22. ^ "WWE: Inside WWE - History of the European Championship". WWE.com. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  23. ^ "WWE: Inside WWE - History of the European Championship". WWE.com. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  24. ^ "Wrestling deaths and steroids". USAToday.com. 2004-03-12. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  25. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.83)
  26. ^ Davey Boy Smith Online World of Wrestling Profile
  27. ^ Davey Boy Smith Online World of Wrestling Profile (OWOW)
  28. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 - 1993". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  29. ^ a b "Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  30. ^ "Stampede Wrestling British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  31. ^ "Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  32. ^ "Stampede World Mid-Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  33. ^ "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  34. ^ "WWF European Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  35. ^ "WWF Hardcore Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  36. ^ "WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  37. ^ "WWE World Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 

References[edit]

Trivia[edit]

External links[edit]