David Smith Biography & Facts
David Smith (27 November 1962 – 18 May 2002) was a British professional wrestler. Born in Golborne, Lancashire, Smith is best known for his appearances in the United States with the World Wrestling Federation under the ring names Davey Boy Smith and The British Bulldog. He 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 on 7 October 1984. Their son Harry is also an accomplished professional wrestler who wrestled in WWE and won tag-team gold in NJPW, Pro Wrestling NOAH,Smith won titles within the WWE in three decades, from the 1980s to the 2000s. He headlined multiple pay-per-view events for the WWF and WCW, which included matches for the WWF and WCW world heavyweight championships. Smith also defeated his real-life brother-in-law Bret Hart for the WWF Intercontinental Championship in the main event of SummerSlam 1992 at London's Wembley Stadium, in front of an alleged 80,355 fans. Hart considers that to be his best match, as he alleges he was forced to abandon the planned spots in the match and call the match on the fly, because Smith, who Hart alleges was recovering from a drug binge, was unable to remember any of the planned moves.He was the inaugural WWF European Champion and holds the records for longest single reign (206 days) and total days as champion (253); he also held the title on the sole occasion where a match for that championship headlined a pay-per-view event, at One Night Only in 1997, where he faced Shawn Michaels in a losing effort (Michaels, by winning the European Championship at this event, became the WWE's first-ever Grand Slam Champion). Prior to finding singles success, Smith achieved stardom as one half of The British Bulldogs tag team, alongside his cousin Dynamite Kid. Smith was inducted into the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame.
Smith was born in Golborne, where he grew up with his father Sid, mother Joyce, his brother, Terrence and sisters, Joanne and Tracy. Joyce's nephew was Tom Billington, also known as the Dynamite Kid, who was Smith's frequent tag-team partner. Smith had partial Italian ancestry.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (1978–1984)
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 the Dynamite Kid Tom Billington. Mentored by Billington's friend Alan Dennison, in 1979 Smith appeared to have won the British Welterweight championship from Jim Breaks only for the win to be disallowed due to Dennison distracting Breaks. Smith then held Breaks to a 1–1 draw, as a result of which Dennison himself challenged and defeated Breaks for the belt. Smith was then spotted by Bruce Hart, who was scouting talent in the UK, and both he and Billington travelled to Canada to wrestle for Stu Hart. Hart and Roy Wood trained Smith further in Hart's "Dungeon" and Smith became a key wrestler in Hart's Stampede Wrestling. During his time in Stampede, Smith began a feud with the Dynamite Kid, and on 9 July 1982, he [Smith] won his first title when he defeated the Dynamite Kid for the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight title. 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 7 February 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. 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. The Bulldogs' performance in this tournament drew the interest of the World Wrestling Federation.
The Bulldogs, along with Smith's brothers-in-law Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart were brought in to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) after Vince McMahon bought out Stampede Wrestling. At first, the Bulldogs were able to tour both WWE and All Japan, but eventually McMahon gained exclusive rights to the Bulldogs. While in the WWE, 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 Lou Albano and Ozzy Osbourne in their corner, the Bulldogs defeated the Dream Team for the Tag Team Championship. The Bulldogs held the titles for nearly nine months, feuding with the Dream Team and Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik, but the Hart Foundation bested the Bulldogs to win the titles on a January 1987 episode of Superstars. 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 (who in kayfabe dog-napped Matilda), Demolition, and the Rougeau Brothers.The Bulldogs left the WWE in 1988, in part due to backstage problems, specifically between the Dynamite Kid and the Rougeau Brothers. The Bulldogs had allegedly pulled a number of ribs (pranks) on the Rougeaus. Curt Hennig also pranked the duo, who, assuming that the Bulldogs were behind that prank as well, retaliated: Jacques Rougeau knocked out four of Dynamite Kid's teeth with a fist filled with a roll of quarters. 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 brought to tears) in Miami. No disciplinary action was taken against Jacques. Billington shortly afterwards quit the WWE over a dispute with WWE management over the issuance of complimentary plane tickets, over which he resigned from the company, and Smith followed suit.
Stampede Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling (1988–1990)
After leaving the WWE, 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 in May 1989, 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 4 July 1989 Smith, along with fellow wrestlers Chris Benoit, Ross Hart, and Jason the Terrible, was involved in a serious automobile accident. 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. 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. Personal prob.... Discover the David Smith popular books. Find the top 100 most popular David Smith books.