Dynamite Kid vs Davey Boy Smith

Date: 1994 (exact date unknown)
Location: Howe Bridge, Atherton, Greater Manchester, England
Source: Armpit reader Hb2kBuzzsaw, Wrestling Observer Newsletter

There was always some tension between the Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith, who together formed the excellent British Bulldogs tag team.

The two worked together in Stampede Wrestling in Calgary, with Kid as the veteran who often bullied Smith as the newcomer. Kid, who was naturally smaller, was already using steroids, which Smith later got into as well. The two became the top tag team in the early days of the WWF’s national expansion in the mid 1980s, and were among the top workers in the company. They remained a top act until 1988, when they quit following the fallout of the two altercations between Dynamite Kid and Jacques Rougeau. When Vince McMahon wouldn’t fire Jacques over what happened, Kid told Smith they were quitting, and they returned to Stampede.

Smith lived a more glamorous lifestyle than Kid, and after leaving the WWF, was having trouble making his mortgage payments. On the verge of losing his home, he wanted to come back to the WWF. They had their chance on the US and Japan Wrestling Summit, a joint show held at the Tokyo Dome on April 13, 1990. Some of the WWF wrestlers worked the show with some of the All Japan talent, and Vince McMahon was backstage. He first approached Kid (since he called the shots for the team) about possibly coming back, to which Kid replied, “When Hell freezer over.” He said it in front of all the other boys, thus embarrassing Vince.

Vince then approached Smith, who said he did in fact want to come back. Kid was furious, thinking he was selling him out. Smith explained to him that he needed the money, and Kid replied by telling him he’d never make it as a single in the WWF. The two never spoke or saw each other again.

There were other issues between the two as well. Smith’s widow Diana Hart claimed Kid was indeed upset about Smith going back with Vince, but there was also a trademark issue over the name British Bulldogs. She told Kid that she and Smith were going to trademark it, and asked if he wanted to join them. The cost to trademark the name were significant, and Kid wanted no part of it. He saw it as Diana pulling the strings for Smith, and didn’t think she was as smart to the business as she really was (she grew up in a wrestling family and definitely knew what she was doing).

One report said Smith and Hart went after Kid for trademark infringement when he used the British Bulldogs name, but we don’t have confirmation of that. Another report is that Smith sabotaged Kid’s career with All Japan by telling them Kid had died in a car crash. Whatever the case, Kid held a grudge for years over these incidents and for what he believed was Smith saying a lot of things behind his back. Kid ended up retiring in 1991 due to ring injuries, following a stint in All Japan teaming with Johnny Smith.

Smith returned to the WWF in 1990, lasting until late 1992 when he and the Ultimate Warrior were fired when Vince got proof both were receiving Human Growth Hormone from a doctor Smith knew. He then debuted with WCW, at a time when WWF was under investigation for steroid use, and became one of the company’s top babyfaces with Sting.

In 1994, Smith was booked for an autograph show in Howe Bridge, which was only a few miles away from Kid’s house in Wigan. Kid had been making threats for awhile now, saying he was going to give Smith a beating for all the things outlined here. The Hart family was concerned, but nothing ever happened until the Howe Bridge show. Kid later said he “Couldn’t resist,” and that he “Had to go.” He did in fact show up, and when he saw Smith’s father, he tipped over Smith’s merchandise table and destroyed it. He then taped his fists as he walked down the corridor to “Knock the f*ck out of him.”

Smith got word that Kid was coming, and either locked his dressing room door or hid in the bathroom. Smith had called police, who then showed up and dragged Kid out of the building. Kid was kicking and screaming on the way out, shouting all the things he was going to do to Smith.

While some chuckled at the visual of Smith hiding from Kid, the truth is that Kid was quite banged up by this point in his career and likely much smaller from being off steroids. Kid was very tough for his size, but Smith was also tough as well, younger than Kid, and in better shape at the time. Given that it was considered a family affair, most likely Smith just wanted to avoid anything violent happening between the two. He also may have done it out of respect for the local promoters of the show, as he didn’t want the reputation as someone who brought violence with him wherever he went. In short, Smith did the right thing, and few will ever question how tough Smith is no matter how you view this story. Smith had his share of scuffles out of the ring, but was almost always defending himself or others, and was never the bully Kid was. Many have gone on record saying Kid was generally an unhappy person, while Smith was known for having a great sense of humor and far more jovial.