CALGARY, AB: One of professional wrestling’s most overdue Hall of Fame inductions finally looks to be happening this year.
As first reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith is set to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
“So obviously they announced Batista and the nWo, these are confirmed,” Meltzer commented on the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Live podcast. “The Bella Twins people know about them, that was out last week along with Jushin Liger and the other one is Dave Boy Smith. Dave Boy Smith will be going into the Hall Of Fame.”
Smith is widely regarded as one of the most well-rounded professional wrestlers of all-time. Though he originally began his professional wrestling training in Winwick, England, it was in Calgary where he truly began to make a name for himself. After being spotted by Bruce Hart, Smith - along with fellow Englishman “The Dynamite Kid” Tom Billington - made his way to Canada to continue training at the legendary Hart Dungeon. It wasn’t long before “the British Bulldog” became one of the key players in Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling promotion, During his time in Stampede, Smith began a feud with the Dynamite Kid, and on 9 July 1982, Smith won his first title professional wrestling, defeating the Dynamite Kid for the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Championship.
Shortly after their feud concluded, Smith and the Dynamite Kid would begin teaming together under the name the British Bulldogs. In the midst of the two’s teaming together, however, Stampede Wrestling was purchased by Vince McMahon. As part of the purchase, the Bulldogs - along with fellow Stampede stars Bret Hart and Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart - made their respective ways to the then-WWF, with the four beginning a feud immediately upon joining the promotion. Shortly after, the British Bulldogs began chasing the WWF Tag Team Championships, eventually defeating Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake at WrestleMania II in a match that famously featured Ozzy Osbourne in the Bulldogs corner. After carrying the titles for nearly nine months, the British Bulldogs finally lost the titles to the Hart Foundation in January 1987.
Unfortunately, despite the duo’s success in the WWF, a series of injuries to the Dynamite Kid began to unravel the team, and in 1988 both Billington and Smith left the WWF. However, though the Dynamite Kid would never return to the promotion, Smith returned to the WWF in 1990, taking on the moniker of the British Bulldog for himself. Though the first two years of his return saw him primarily wrestle in the mid-card of the promotion, his popularity in the United Kingdom was one of the leading factors in WWF deciding to host the 1992 edition of Summerslam in London’s Wembley Stadium. It turned out to be a history-making decision, as in front of over 80,000 people, Davey Boy Smith captured the Intercontinental Championship in the evening’s wildly-successful main event.
Unfortunately, only a few months later, Smith was again out of the WWF after being released from the promotion. Much like his first release, however, his absence didn’t carry on for long, as he returned to the promotion in 1994. During this time, Smith was heavily involved with his former Stampede Wrestling cohorts, whether feuding with them or as part of the most famous incarnation of the Hart Foundation. Though the stable traditionally worked heel, they were wildly beloved in Canada, creating a rift between American and Canadian professional wrestling fans. Unfortunately, however, the faction lasted less than a year due to the events of the Montreal Screwjob. Shortly after it occurred, Smith left the WWE, albeit briefly, for WCW. Smith then returned to the WWF for roughly a year before leaving for good in May of 2000.
Smith passed away on May 18, 2002. However, the British Bulldog name has lived on through his son, who currently wrestles for Major League Wrestling as Davey Boy Smith, Jr.
Join all of us at the WCSN in congratulating Smith and the entire Hart family on the British Bulldog’s long-overdue induction.
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