Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Remembering the Bulldog

The British Bull"hog"
By Kevin Hunsperger

It's hard to believe it's already been 9 years since the passing of "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith.  He was only 39 years old when his heart gave out on May 18, 2002.

Davey Boy was one of my favorites, but he was also a part of my all time favorite tag team, the British Bulldogs.  He and Dynamite Kid brought something new to the WWF back in the mid 80's when they arrived in the company.  Davey Boy was without a doubt the power house of the duo, but he could certainly work a great match too.

After reading "Hitman" by Bret Hart, I've learned some things about DBS that I had heard read online in the past.  I know life on the road is tough.  The training, the traveling, the injuries.  All that pressure takes a toll on a person.  Sometimes these superstars aren't strong enough to beat the demons they face.  According to Bret's book, Davey used steroids and other drugs.  That coupled with his intense training and work in the ring likely cost him his life.  He's another wrestler gone way too soon.

But I'd rather focus on the good memories I have of DBS.  As you can tell from the picture posted, he obviously had a sense of humor.  That was at a house show in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  He and Owen Hart were defending the tag team titles in a fatal four way.  The Smoking Gunns, the New Rockers, and the Godwins were their opponents.  It was a few days before Halloween in 1996, and since HOG & PIG were there, I'm guessing Davey Boy decided to don the pig mask.  Even though he and Owen were the heels, I cheered loudly for the two of them.

Davey was one of those wrestlers I always cheered, whether he was a heel or a face.  I liked his work in the mid 90's, after he turned on Diesel and feuded with Bret Hart and started teaming with Owen.  Jim Cornette was their manager.  I really felt like at one point DBS would go on to win the world title, but that day never came.

I was stoked when he won the Intercontinental title from Bret at SummerSlam 92.  I think that match will hold up as one of the all time great IC title matches in the history of the company.  It's also one of the best SummerSlam matches ever.  Maybe the best.

Davey Boy jumped from WCW and WWE several times in his career.  His last run with the WWE was a brief one and saw him in more of a role of putting guys over.  He was on the losing end of his program with the Rock, and then was partnered with the Mean Street Posse briefly.  I'm not exactly sure why that came about.

Photo from: WWE
Another one of my favorite memories was watching he and Dynamite win the tag team titles from Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine at Wrestlemania 2.  Ozzy Osbourne was in their corner and proclaimed after the victory "The British Bulldogs forever!"  Sadly that wasn't the case and the two eventually split up when they returned to Stampede in 1989.

I'll always have those memories of Davey Boy's days in the WWE and WCW.  Now I look forward to watching his son, David Hart Smith carry on the family name.  I just wish the WWE would come up with something better for this young man.  I still believe he has a lot of potential.

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  1. Smith's match with Bret Hart at Summerslam 92 was the first match that blew me away as a wrestling fan. It was at that moment I understood what workrate was all about.

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