Quick Hits 6.03.02: First Edition


Let me take a brief moment to introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me, and then we’ll get on with the actual content of this introductory column. My name is Jeremy Botter, and I used to be the webmaster for a nice little site called The Smarks. You may have heard of it. Anyway, I’ve been on a nice little sabbatical from the internet wrestling world since about December, mostly because the WWE product sucks. Oh, there’s other reasons that I haven’t been around – I’ve got this little band that’s been making some waves in the music industry, I’ve got a nice little website that I administer on the side, and most importantly I’ve got this amazing girlfriend who rightfully takes up a lot of my free time. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though – you’ll know what I’m talking about when you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

This column is called Quick Hits because, well, that’s what it is. Each week, I’ll take three, four, or five different subjects and jot down some quick little ditties about them. It’s not revolutionary or anything, but it gets the job done and it’s a quick and easy read for those of you who don’t have the time to devour a Jay Bower or Eric Szulczewski column. I also hope to begin contributing my PPV Analysis pieces, which were largely hailed as being a somewhat revolutionary way of recapping a wrestling show when I used to do them for Emzee.com and The Smarks; we’ll see how much time I have after doing this column for a few weeks.

Enough about me – let’s talk about the professional wrestling. I’ve got some interesting stuff from the Wrestling Observer about Davey Boy Smith that I haven’t seen anywhere else, plus some other stuff I’ve been wanting to touch on for awhile.


Nearly two years ago, I wrote a Quick Hits piece for Rantsylvania.com on the crazy life of Davey Boy Smith. At the time, Davey was getting his life back on track after getting involved in rehab for his numerous addictions. In that column, I predicted that Davey Boy Smith would not be able to kick his habits, and would likely end up on the same road traveled by troubled wrestling stars like his hero and former best friend Tom Billington or Kerry Von Erich. Billington’s case is a unique one, as he didn’t end up in an autopsy room but rather confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Smith was one of the best workers in the world for a brief period of time in the 80’s, but in wrestling there is usually a dark side to every success story, and Davey had a backstory as dark as they come in this seedy business.

After Smith’s death, the Hart family again became embroiled in a bitter battle of words and emotions. After the death, both Diana and current girlfriend Andrea Hart (the former wife of Bruce Hart) attempted to claim rights to the body. Both women were said to have claimed to be Davey Boy’s wife, but neither of then had a legal leg to stand on against the other. Diana, of course, was Smith’s wife of 17 years, but Andrea claimed that Davey proposed to her several weeks before and they were planning to be married soon. This claim goes against the reports from Smith’s father, who said that Smith had intended on breaking up with Hart after the weekend vacation was over. Because of all of these disputes breaking out, Andrea scheduled a private memorial service for Smith on the 27th while the Hart family held a public service on the 28th. The public service became another place for the Harts to battle, as Ellie Hart began to question whether Andrea Hart was telling the entire truth in regards to Davey’s death before being stopped by the minister. Bret spoke for a long time, talking in length about famous matches he remembered with Davey Boy and also apologizing to the Hart family children for all the horrible battles they’ve witnessed the adults take part in. A third Smith service will take place in Manchester, where DBS will be buried alongside his mother and sister.

Now that we’ve got the information out of the way, let’s dissect the situation a bit more. Obviously, Davey Boy Smith was a notorious steroid user. He lived life with 250 pounds packed on a frame that was never meant to hold more than 170. This is all common knowledge, and it likely played a part in his death. If Smith died of a heart attack as Andrea Hart claims, then I think it’s a safe assumption that he died of the heart attack because of his massive steroid usage in the nineties. And if Smith died of steroid usage, shouldn’t it send a message of some sort to other wrestlers? No, because this is not the first time it has happened. Wrestlers drop dead at an alarming rate – if baseball players died at the same rate because of drug-related causes, you can bet your bottom dollar that the US Government would take a long, hard look at what went on behind the scenes in those locker rooms. Yet because wrestling is “entertainment,” we’re expected to believe that people DYING is part of the business and it’s a sacrifice you make to get a top spot? I don’t accept that, not even for a minute. If wrestlers are too stupid to realize that steroids and painkillers will kill you, even after the deaths of Rick Rood, Louie Spicolli, Brian Pillman, Smith and countless others, then perhaps the government should make some sort of intervention into McMahon’s policies regarding drug usage. I don’t care WHAT Vince says – it’s insanely obvious that steroids are still running rampant in the WWF, even after they claim to test for them on a pretty regular basis. All you have to do is take a quick glance at the WWF roster to see guys who are all sorts of jacked up on the juice –- Triple H and Chris Benoit are just two examples off the top of my head. And please don’t tell me that “it’s all part of the risk,” because death isn’t an acceptable risk for something that only pays $250,000 a year for most people. Serving your country and risking your life in a war, that’s an acceptable risk. Taking steroids to get bigger so Vince will notice you is not, and it’s that simple.

Let me bottom-line this for you, if I may: the same fate that Davey Boy Smith suffered is waiting for just about every single professional wrestler out there. People like William Regal and Eddie Guerrero have been headed down that road and have been able to come clean, but who’s to say that a major WWE superstar won’t drop dead tomorrow because of painkiller abuse or heart problems? You can’t logically tell me that it won’t happen, because history has proven that life is generally unkind to the health of people in the wrestling business. Vince isn’t going to change anything, however, because people who are chemically enhanced monsters will almost always get a push as long as they have a decent look. Guys like Lance Storm, the only guy in the WWE who you can legitimately say does not use steroids, will never get a chance because they don’t have the muscular look of a Brock Lesnar. That mindset only serves to drive the rest of the superstars to steroids, because they realize that with a little needle and juice they can carve their own destiny

even if it means risking lives to do it.


The following stats are taken from the June 3rd issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. They are from Raw telecasts since the split in April, and are based on the average number of viewers added to a show when a certain performer appears on the screen. Based on four years worth of stats, a main eventer should be at or above 250,000 viewers added during their segments. The highest numbers ever were achieved by people like Ric Flair, Bill Goldberg, Vince McMahon, and Sable. All hovered around the 500,000 mark, while The Rock and Steve Austin came close to those marks during their peak. Basically, these stats aren’t perfect, but they are a good way to see who is a television draw and who isn’t. The results will surprise you, I think.

As a side note, these stats are another perfect reason why you should order a subscription to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. (http://www.wrestlingobserver.com for subscriptions)

1. Steve Austin — 334,600

2. Ric Flair — 324,800

3. The Undertaker – 284,300

4. Scott Hall – 198,000

5. Bradshaw – 148,000

6. X-Pac – 132,000

7. Rob Van Dam – 74,200

8. Molly Holly – 10,400

9. Brock Lesnar – 10,000

10. Spike Dudley – 7,200

Other notables include Hulk Hogan at 7,000 and Kevin Nash at 4,000. The worst draw by far is the Hardy Boyz, who combine to turn off nearly 350,000 viewers each time they are on the screen.

What do these stats tell us? Well, for starters, it’s obvious that Steve Austin and Ric Flair are carrying Raw, but we already knew that. It’s also apparent that as much as everyone hates him, the Undertaker has become a draw and his title reign has only given him more drawing power when it comes to television. I’m not sure why Scott Hall is so high up on these rankings while Nash is so low, unless people were just tuning in to hear his catchphrase. It doesn’t matter any more, I guess. I’m not sure why Bradshaw and X-Pac are so high up – I don’t even hate X-Pac, but Bradshaw? Molly Holly is the only female to make the list, and former female champion Jazz is FAR away from the list, turning away viewers in droves at –178,000.

Hogan at 7,000 is proof positive that his star has faded, and no matter how big the pops at the arena are, this nostalgia train has left the station and they were wise to pull the plug when they did. Right now, he should help build up younger stars (like he’s doing with Edge) and finish up his career by putting over Steve Austin and a host of younger atheletes.


Well, I spent a lot of time on the Davey Boy Smith/drug stuff, so I’m going to call it quits for the week. If you’re in Houston, come out to Fitzgeralds on Saturday night and see us perform – I’d love to meet some readers and fellow wrestling fans. Be sure to read all the other awesome 411 columnists, and I’ll see you next week!