The British Bulldog's Bio
Height : 5'11"
Weight : 253 lbs.
Date of Birth : 11/27/62
Married to Diana Smith
Hometown : Manchester, England
Pro. wrestler since 1979
Finishing maneuver : Running Powerslam
Former Stampede British Commonwealth
Former 4 time Stampede International
Tag Team Champion
Former Stampede Wrestling World
Former 2 time Stampede North American
Former 2 time WWF Tag Champion
Former WWF Intercontinental Champion
Former WWF European Champion
Davey Boy Smith, the man known to fans as “The British Bulldog”, and half (along with The Dynamite Kid) of what many consider one of the greatest tag teams of all time, “The British Bulldog” passed away Saturday night of a heart attack while on vacation in British Columbia with Andrea Hart, wife of Bruce Hart. Smith was 39 years old.
As a young child Davey Boy Smith's ambition was to become a wrestling star, he went to the gym to take lessons from a wrestler named Ted Betley, who used to fight under the name of "Doctor Death".
By the time Davey Boy had turned 17, he was already wrestling semi-professionally. His father used to drive Davey Boy all over England to matches. In those days Davey was only a lightweight, but he relied on his athletic ability.
In the early 1980's Davey Boy, now a full-time professional, became a tag team partner for Big Daddy (Shirley Crabtree) then one of the most popular wrestlers in Britain. Davey Boy also wrestled in Germany, South Africa and Japan before he moved to Canada to compete for Calgary Stampede Wrestling.
In Japan, where the Bulldog wrestled for the New Japan federation, he was a part of the Ishingun, a group of outsiders, whose leader was Riki Choshu. In 1984 the Ishingun jumped from New Japan to All Japan, a move which almost destroyed New Japan.
In Canada Davey Boy was soon recognised as a talent. The first two years Davey Boy feuded with his cousin and future tag team partner Dynamite Kid (Tom Billington), who was one of the biggest stars in Calgary at the time.
In Calgary Davey Boy also met his future wife, Diana Hart, one of the daughters of Stu and Helen Hart.
In 1984 Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid settled their differences and joined forces to win the Stampede International Tag Team Title. While it was Davey’s first title, it wouldn’t be his last as he took the British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title, the Stampede Wrestling World Mid-Heavyweight Title, the Stampede North American Heavyweight Title, and the International Tag Team Title 3 times, before he and Dynamite Kid joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1985.
When Davey Boy and Dynamite Kid joined the WWF, they were brought in by legendary manager Captain Lou Albano. The duo was now know as the British Bulldogs and they became an instant hit with the fans because of their wrestling style. Their style complemented one another in various ways, Davey Boy's powerhouse tactics and penchant for roughhouse moves mixed well with Dynamite's lightning-like quickness and daredevil maneuvers.
At WrestleMania 2 the British Bulldogs with Albano and Ozzy Osbourne in their corner went up against the then WWF Tag Team Champions, the Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake) in a tough match the British Bulldogs became WWF Tag Team Champions.
The Hart Foundation and manager Jimmy Hart eventually dethroned the Bulldogs, after Dynamite Kid sustained a serious injury to his lower back. In January 1987 the Bulldogs faced the Hart Foundation in a match which the storyline said Jimmy Hart had bribed referee Danny Davis to help the Harts defeat the Bulldogs for the title.
The Bulldogs swore revenge against the Hart Foundation and Danny Davis, but they couldn't come up with the right formula to defeat the Foundation and reclaim the title. After a defeat to the Hart Foundation and Danny Davis at WrestleMania III the Bulldogs took a sabbatical from wrestling. It was necessary because of Dynamite's injuries, and Davey Boy needed a break from the grueling road schedule and the constant pounding of competition that went with it.
The Bulldogs returned to action in late 1987, the time with a bulldog called Mathilda, which led them to the ring. They quickly re-established themselves as a noteworthy duo. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs weren’t able to perform as well as they had when they first set the WWF on fire. Dynamite's injury was much worse than expected, as years of constant abuse had finally taken their toll, and would eventually lead him to a wheelchair.
In 1988 the Bulldogs returned to Calgary Stampede with a blast by defeating the Cuban Commandoes to capture the Stampede International Tag Team Title for the second time as a team. The regain didn't last long though the Bulldogs lost the title 18 days later, Dynamite Kid blamed the loss on Davey Boy and attacked him, which resulted in a split for the team and a heel turn for Dynamite Kid.
With the split of the British Bulldogs, Davey Boy and Dynamite Kid started a violent feud, with a lot of both single and tag team action. After the feud with Dynamite, Davey wanted some gold, so he challenged Don Muraco for the Stampede North American Heavyweight Title which he won in March 1989, but lost it in April the same year. Davey Boy stayed with Calgary Stampede until it folded late in 1989.
Davey Boy then decided to go to Europe and Japan, where he gained vast popularity and added a new dimension to his repertoire.
Davey Boy returned to the WWF in the end of 1990, as the British Bulldog, he was stronger and quicker than ever and immediately started a feud with the powerful Warlord, who Bulldog defeated on several occasions. By 1992, the British Bulldog was the leading contender for the Intercontinental Title, which belonged to his brother-in-law Bret Hart.
But it wasn't until Summer Slam 1992 at London, England's Wembley Stadium before a capacity crowd of more than 80000 spectators, the two would meet. The match is regarded as one of the greatest athletic encounters in the WWF. The exhaustive battle raged for nearly 25 minutes, and after the dust cleared and the adrenaline petered from their battered bodies, the British Bulldog stood victorious as the new Intercontinental Champion. After the match Bulldog, Diana and Bret all celebrated in the ring.
During the rest of the summer Bulldog took on all comers untilShawn Michaels entered the picture. Michaels challenged Bulldog to a match during the final installment of Saturday Night's Main Event in October 1992. Bulldog fought valiantly, but in the end Michaels walked out as the new IC Champion.
With the loss to Michaels, Bulldog decided that his time in the WWF was over, he wrestled some dates in Japan and on the independent circuit, amongst them ECW (when it was known as Eastern Championship Wrestling) where he teamed up with Todd Gordon to take on Jimmy Snuka and Hunter Q. Robbins III, December 19, 1992, Bulldog won the match for his team as he pinned Snuka.
The British Bulldog made his WCW debut in 1993 and immediately became a hit with the fans and joined Sting fighting the monster heels of WCW. The Bulldog was ready for a shot against WCW World Champion Vader, but his only victory against the monster was via disqualification, when Harley Race interfered.
Since the Bulldog was not able to defeat Vader, he was put in a lot of tag team and thriple team matches against Vader and his cohorts. The Bulldog was then put up against fellow Englishman and TV Champion, Lord Steven Regal, the two put up some great technical matches, but most of them ended in a draw.
Before the Bulldog entered the WWF again, he worked for some indy federations, and also wrestled in Japan and Europe.
At Summer Slam 1994, the British Bulldog made his return to the WWF, his brother-in-laws Bret and Owen was locked in a vicious feud and would go up against each other in a cage match. Since Owen had acquired the services of Jim Neidhart, Bret wanted the Bulldog to be his security. The match went back and forth, both wrestlers slugged it out up the cage, over the top and on the way down, when suddenly Bret slammed Owen's head against the cage. Owen got his ankles caught between the bars, Bret jumped, landing feet-first at ringside. The British Bulldog cheered, when suddenly Neidhart attacked him. Owen and Neidhart dragged Bret back into the cage and started beating on him. Bulldog got to Bret's rescue. This event was reason for some great tag team matches between Bret/Bulldog and Owen/Neidhart during the rest of the summer.
With Lex Luger he formed the Allied Powers. The British Bulldog, in a tag team encounter against MOM (Men on a Mission), was the first to lift the massive Mabel from the ground in a display of pure strength. Some weeks before Summer Slam 1995 the Allied Powers had to go up against MOM, Lex Luger was a no-show and since the then champion Diesel was locked in a feud against Mabel, the Bulldog asked Diesel to join him, which he accepted. During the match the Bulldog turned on Diesel and caused him a severe beating.
The Bulldog hired Jim Cornette as his manager, and with his new attitude brought him straight into a title-shot for the WWF World Title. The Bulldog's first title-shot was against Diesel and if not for Bret Hart's interference Bulldog could have been World Champion.
Camp Cornette then had a short feud with Yokozuna, who had broken out of the camp, Bulldog was also involved in the feud. Then there was Ahmed Johnson, with whom the Bulldog would spend more time arm wrestling with than actual wrestling. After these feuds, the Bulldog set his sights on yet another title-shot, this time against Shawn Michaels.
After a short feud with Sid, the Bulldog decided to concentrate on tag team wrestling again. This time the Bulldog teamed with his brother-in-law Owen Hart. The team was an instant success, at In Your House 10 the Bulldog and Owen defeated the Smoking Gunns to capture the WWF World Tag Team Title.
At the Royal Rumble 97, Owen "accidentally" eliminated the British Bulldog from the battle royal. In February of 1997, the first ever WWF European Champion was crowned via a tournament in Germany. The final saw the tag team partners Owen and Bulldog go at it. It was a tough, but very technical match, and in the end it was Bulldog, who stood triumphant with the new belt. After the match Owen launched a post-match tirade about Bulldog's lack of respect for him. It seemed like the split was just around the corner.
At Raw is War after WrestleMania 13, Owen and Bulldog had to fight the Headbangers for the titles. Bulldog and Owen got in a fight at the end of the match, Owen said that he demanded a shot at the Bulldog's European title at the following Raw is War, Bulldog gladly accepted.
The following Raw is War it was time for the match for the European title between Owen and Bulldog. It was a brutal match, where Bulldog was going to use a chair on Owen, when Bret entered the ring. Bret got the two combatants separated, he then told them, that the WWF and the American wrestling fans were doing everything in their power to destroy them. Bret also told Owen and Bulldog that he needed and loved them, and that he wanted them to join forces with him against Steve Austin, WWF and the American wrestling fans. They accepted, the Hart Foundation was founded.
The following weeks Owen and Bulldog watched out for Bret, by attacking Austin and Michaels. Pillman and Neidhart also joined the Hart Foundation. Owen and Bulldog's constant attacks on Austin and Michaels lead to a challenge from the Tag Team Champions. On an installment of Raw is War Austin and Michaels won the titles from Owen and Bulldog, who had held on to the titles for 8 months.
Shawn Michaels would eventually take the European Championship away from the British Bulldog at One Night Only, a pay-per-view in England for England in the main event.
After the infamous Survivor Series 1997 in Montreal, Davey Boy Smith and Jim The Anvil Neidhart left with Bret Hart for WCW.
The British Bulldog made his debut at Nitro, January 26, sooner than expected, where Steve McMichael asked for a challenge, and he got it, when the Bulldog answered it. McMichael was no match for the Bulldog, who finished him off with the Running Powerslam.
At Nitro, March 23, the Bulldog went up against Curt Hennig, the Bulldog was about to use the Running Powerslam on Hennig, when Rick Rude interfered and even handcuffed the Bulldog to the top rope and started pounding on him.
Unfortunately Davey was hospitalized with a spinal infection, which was caused after he was slammed into a trap door which was to be used by the Ultimate Warrior. It took nearly six months of intense treatment with powerful antibiotics, but despite nearly dying, Davey Boy Smith pulled through.
WCW terminated Davey Boy's contract shortly after it was known that he would be out of action for at least four months, and the
The WWF hired Davey Boy in August of 1999, and immediately put him in the main event. The new look Davey Boy, with jeans and work boots immediately took off running. However less than a year later the WWF would release him after he failed to complete rehab in order to kick an addiction to pain pills.
The last two years of his life were spent in and out of court, fighting allegations that he threatened his wife, and his brother Bruce Hart. The charges were eventually dropped, and Smith and Diana divorced.
Two weeks before his death, Davey Boy and his son Harry wrestled together in a tag team match in Winnipeg.
Davey Boy Smith is survived by his ex-wife Diana Hart, his son Harry, and his daughter Georgia.