New York Times bestseller and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley wrote a touchdown to the late dynamite Kid. Britain's legendary legendary legendary bulldog died Wednesday on her 60th birthday after fighting a number of major health problems in her postgraduate career. Foley proves that Dynamite Kid is a great wrestler on his personal Mount Rushmore and promises he will continue to watch his classic games. Readers are also encouraged to go to Foley's Facebook and share their favorite memories of Dynamite Kid.
Just a week ago, I asked my Mount Rushmore about a professional match. Almost everyone has one – and with so many incredible choices, not the right or bad set. My personal Mount Rushmore has probably changed a dozen times. But more often than not, as was the case last week in the UK, I had Tommy Billington, The Dynamite Kid, carved in stone in my mountains.
I believe I saw Tommy on TV for the first time in 1984. I had no knowledge of the fight against Stampede in Calgary, let alone any kind of mad action happening in Japan. I just knew that this man was exciting and intense, and when Broadcaster Vince McMahon followed a post-match Dynamic kip-up from Dynamite, saying "The man is ready!", I agree. But until 1986, when I was a few months in my own fight, this colleague Brian Hildebrand (later known as WCW reefferee Marc Curtis) suggested watching a videotape with a concordance between Bruiser Brody and Terry Funk to work on my rings that were in at that time just terrible. This videotape tape was my entry into a Japanese professional match and in a sense a window into a whole new world. Brody vs Funk was all that Brian promised to be – the wildest battle I've ever seen. But I was evenly overwhelmed by the Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask – a match that included athleticism that I never thought could be in the ring and the intensity that gave the competition a staggering sense of legitimacy. It was a struggle that I would show my enemy friends – cynically, doubtful – and never managed to open their eyes and drop their jaws.
In 1986, when I went to a 700-mile trip to Dominic DeNucci, he slept in the car every Friday night, barely jumped a lot of money for the trip, let alone food, I was 6 feet 4, 220 pounds. In spite of reading all the cultural journals of today and careful training from the age of 14, I only had my throat or suggestion of muscle tone. I wanted to argue like Bruiser Brody, but I knew it was not physically enough. I wanted to fly like The Dynamite Kid, but she absolutely knew I was not a fraction of an athlete who was Tommy Billington. But WHAT, I thought. What if I could combine the two styles I was so in love with – drinking like Brody and using his own body as a weapon; and so I set out for Dynamite. Maybe I'm gonna do something! Later I borrow from Terry Funk's catalog and with the help of too many people, things will happen to me. But without the videotape, without Brody, without Tommy Billington, there's a good chance no one knows my name.
Imagine how I felt like I was terrified of Tommy in the second match of my career, a contest I liked and a great British Les Thornton against Tommy and Davey Boy Smith as British bulldogs. While it is true that after this game I was worse and for three weeks I could not eat a solid diet, it was a valuable lesson; a strong example of how high the bar is set, and how hard I would have to work if I hoped to get it. You are witnessing suffering here if you dare! At this point I was about £ 230. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez5YQUWPP7Y
I had the opportunity to work with Tommy again in 1991, on my first and only tour with a match in Japan. He liked me, respected me, trained me and encouraged me, and having the faith of someone I looked up helped me believe in myself. Tommy was only 33 at that time, but already in chronic pain. Night after night, I watched when he tried to put on his stockings and clean his shoes – and then he found him somehow to come out and tear the house. Every night.
In recent years, I have been friends with Tommy's daughter Bronwyn and his former wife, Michelle, and I always look forward to joining and sharing stories as I travel to Calgary. Today, as I was preparing for this article, I watched the classic match between Tommy and the Tiger Mask of Madison Square Garden in 1982 and smiled and thought that Michelle was one of the few games Tommy had ever fought. Because he did not have a green card and did not want to stick to the border, he did not go with his stockings and boots – and he had to borrow some boots and suitcases from one of the other wrestlers before this landmark.
When I return home on Monday, I will make my T-shirt Dynamite Kid and spend some time watching some of his classic games. Today it's easy – simply enter his name on YouTube and watch. But the time has elapsed when I eagerly await the arrival of new VHS cassettes in the mail, and then I will try to solve some interference in the midst of the broken swirling lines of those obsolete cassettes, some of them the 5th or 6th generation. It was worth it. Because when I watched Dynamite Kid, I watched the best and spread the possibilities of what one day I could be capable of. The rest of the peace, Tommy. Your size is timeless and continues to inspire a new generation of athletes.
Do not hesitate and share your favorite match or Dynamite Kid memory.