Before the era of roided-up-dickheads that couldn’t work a match to save their lives, there was an era that very few people remember or know about to begin with – one where roided-up-dickheads actually COULD work matches, or at the very least, put some effort into maintaining that perception. That segues nicely into the subject of Hart family scrutiny for today.
Davey Boy Smith broke into wrestling in Europe when he was 15 years old, with his slightly older cousin, The Dynamite Kid. It was at this tender and impressionable age where Dynamite put ideas into Davey’s head about how to succeed in the business. As well as ideas about things like drug addiction, spousal abuse, rape, infidelity, and other things that would turn Dynamite into a crippled, babbling, drooling and incoherent shell of his former self.
A few years later, Davey spotted a man snorting coke while having sex with minors while wearing sunglasses indoors. This was the man we all know and love as Bruce Hart. Stu Hart, needing an excuse to get Bruce away from doing these activities on his own property as well as get him out of his own promotion for a while, sent Bruce to the UK to scout talent. This worked out well for Davey and Dynamite however, who both soon joined and became big players in Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling. In his most memorable feud there, Davey defeated Dynamite for the title with the most contradictory name in wrestling history: the Calgary Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title. I didn’t make the name of that championship up. The old CSBCMHT.
It was also during his stay in Stampede Wrestling that he decided to dip his pen in the company ink by fucking the batshit insane Diana Hart. Bulldog was from outside the Hart family, and it was not hard to see how absolutely and completely fucked the family as a whole was, but in a move that most likely inspired the chorus lyrics “You’re Crazy Bitch, But You Fuck So Good I’m On Top Of It”, he began to date her as well. The two were soon married, and Diana states in her book that she was soon raped every single night that she was unlucky enough to have Davey at home.
During their Stampede Wrestling stay, they also went to New Japan to lose whatever green taint still remained on them. It was in Japan where Davey and Dynamite formed the tag team The British Bulldogs. Amazing story here – one day in 1984, drunk and stoned off his fucking gourd and not speaking a word of Japanese, Dynamite unknowingly drove himself and Davey to the wrong arena. Fortunately, this arena ALSO happened to be hosting a wrestling event. Unfortunately, THIS event happened to be with New Japan’s rival, All-Japan. All-Japan just decided to not correct them, and pointed them to the ring and their opponents while giggling. They worked the match for All-Japan, believing it was New Japan. I didn’t make that up either. Later that week, Davey and Dynamite were shocked to learn that they themselves had turned on New Japan in favor of All-Japan. They did not refute the story because jumping promotions felt kind of good. So good in fact, that Davey made a career-long habit out of it.
After this, they debuted in the WWF and feuded with Dianna’s brother Bret and his partner Jim Neidhart, who had also married into the Hart family. This produced some of the best tag-team wrestling of the era. The Bulldogs also feuded with Demolition, The Rougeau Brothers, Shiek & Volkoff, and the extremely aptly-named “Dream Team”, which consisted of, obviously, Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine.
Dynamite eventually started to feel eviscerated from his 3 friends Bret, Davey and Jim. You see, Bret was a Hart, and Jim and Davey had both married into Bret’s family directly. Dynamate had only married Bret’s WIFE’S sister, so he was one step more removed. This did not impair Dynamite’s inherited crazy gene from taking complete hold over him though, and his backstage problems started.
These problems got worse when Curt Hennig pulled a prank on The Rougeau Brothers. Amazing story here – Jaques Rougeau, known for making solid career decisions and being as exact a target shooter as they came, then took revenge on Curt Hennig by knocking out 4 of Dynamite Kid’s teeth with a roll of quarters. Anyone can see the kind of impact this would have on Curt Hennig. Dynamite was quick to respond while Rougeau was playing cards backstage. He snuck up on Jaques Rougeau, smacked him in the ear, then punched and kicked the living shit out of his face. He then beat the shit out of Ray Rougeau, who was on crutches at the time. Davey made the ultra-sound career decision to allow a drug-addicted cripple-beating bully speak for him, and the Bulldogs left WWF when Dynamite got pissed that the Rougeaus were not punished.
Curt Hennig was nowhere to be found during all of this, but was reported by peers to have said about the situation: “BEST. PRANK. EVER.”
The Bulldogs went back to Stampede Wrestling and All-Japan. Around this time, Davey, along with Ross Hart and Chris Benoit (who had taken Dynamite’s finisher as his own, a maneuver well-known for producing nothing but rainbows, puppy dogs, and positive long-term effects)Â got into a car accident. Davey, apparently having decided that seatbelts were for weiners and not wrestlers without a financially stable employer, slammed his head through the windshield and was thrown 25 feet onto and into the pavement. This required 135 stitches. Somehow, no one’s quite sure why exactly, Davey started taking pain pills around this time. This led to his relationship further deteriorating with Dynamite, who insisted that HE, not Davey, was the Hawk or the Joey Mercury of The British Bulldogs. The team split shortly thereafter, each one still determined to out-drug the other.
Path Of Destruction: Activated
Form Of: Drug Abuse
Davey returned to the WWF after this as a singles wrestler under the name The British Bulldog. He was a very popular wrestler in the States, and as over as anyone can get anywhere in the UK. The WWF held major supercards in the UK around this time, where their main events would consist of dream matches like The British Bulldog defeating Typhoon. Nikolai Volkoff, Ted DiBiase, IRS, and his good friend Jaques Rougeau. While wrestling in the States, Vince, obviously not prepared to give these kinds of main-event matches away just anywhere, decided he needed to give Davey something to do in between sending him to the UK to bring him back dump trucks full of money. So he threw a mask, a helmet, or some furry tights (really, whatever was sitting around unused in the WWF prop department) onto random wrestlers and fed them to Bulldog in the domestic markets. This led to Bulldog’s memorable feuds with The Barbarian, The Berzerker, and The Warlord.
But Vince could not get past how UK crowds reacted to Bulldog and Typhoon. It was as if the Brits thought they were seeing Hogan and Andre The Giant. Vince was perplexed by this, but smart enough to smell mad cashola in doing a big money PPV with The Bulldog winning the Intercontinental Title from Bret at Wembley Stadium. This match is widely regarded as the best of Davey’s career, and not just because they allowed the major draw that was Diana Hart into the angle.
Shortly thereafter, Smith lost the title to close Hart family friend Shawn Michaels on a Saturday Night’s Main Event. It was around this time that The British Bulldog, along with The Ultimate Warrior, decided they had grown weary of fucking themselves senseless on domestic drugs and decided to give the imports a try. It was a success, so the two had some fine chaps in Britain ship them the good stuff once a month. Both soon became as drug-fucked as any wrestler ever thought they could ever be. So much so, that they forgot to hide the shipments from WWF management. ANOTHER great story – legend has it that they actually had one of the shipments sent to the arena one night. Vince, facing a possible jail stint over a steroid scandal at the time, got a hold of the drugs and presumably blew his fucking stack. Warrior and Bulldog were fired. This was the second firing for both.
Long before this trend became cool, Bulldog went to WCW, engaging in feuds with Sid and Vader. He even wrestled Vader for the WCW Heavyweight Title at one PPV. He also formed a partnership with Sting that Wikipedia describes as “mildly successful”. But the unquestionable highlight of his WCW career came when Booker T, in his Harlem Heat tag-team, became injured, leaving Stevie Ray without a partner. WCW, using all the wisdom that made them successful, put Davey Boy Smith as Stevie Ray’s new partner. Given enough time, they should have been The REAL Dream Team that Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine COULD have been. However, they lost their match to the also-extremely-logical tag-team pairing of Road Warrior Hawk and Rip Rogers (presumably whoever was in the revolving door of WCW bookers had already given his 2-weeks notice but remained working for health benefit reasons), plus Bulldog beat the shit out of some guy in a bar for making a pass at Diana. This meant that Bulldog and Stevie Ray never reached the heights as a tag-team that we all know they could have. “Harlem Bulldogs” has a nice ring to it.
Vince and his lack of long-term memory (See: Hall, Scott. Hogan, Hulk. Roberts, Jake. Etc, etc.) brought Davey back to the WWF for a third stint, and put him in the Hart Family feud that saw him team with Bret against Owen and Jim Neidhart. Bulldog also competed in a Royal Rumble the following year, entering at the start of the match with Shawn Michaels, and lasting until the very end with Shawn before being eliminated. Bulldog them formed a team called “Allied Powers” with Lex Luger. They fought people who posed deadly threats toÂ the US and UK, like The Blu Brothers, Owen and Yokozuna, and Men On A Mission. The team found it’s demise when the same thing that brought them together (a love of jumping promotions like there’s no tomorrow) tore them apart when Lex left for WCW.
Davey then did the two things that signify an epic heel turn – attack Kevin Nash and cut your hair. He did so, and joined Owen and Yoko in a stable managed by Jim Cornette. He beat up Bam Bam Bigelow for a while, and then fought Diesel for the WWF title but lost. He later fought Bret for the strap, but lost. He should have been all out of title shots after this, but he accused Shawn Michaels of raping his wife (before he had a chance to) so he got a title shot from Shawn as well, that ended how the others ended. He then lost to Yokozuna. Playing off this incredible singles success, he formed a tag-team with Owen. They got the belts and reigned over the tag-team division at the time, which consisted of The Smoking Gunns, Furnas & LaFon, Vader & Mankind, The Leigon Of Doom, and lest we forget Techno-Team 2000.
Vince then turned his smell-o-scope (watch Futurama) towards England and smelled more money. He created a belt called the European Title. Everyone was eager to see if Vince would put his shiny new European belt on the only singles European wrestler he had at the time, and of course he did. Interestingly enough, Davey defeated his own tag team partner, Owen Hart, also a heel at the time, in the finals, which made Smith a double champion. This was a match considered one of the best that year. According to Bret Hart’s autobiography, the title was awarded to Smith to appease him for unfulfilled promises Vince McMahon had made. I wonder if that explains TNA’s Legends / Global / TV Title?
Bret then became a terrorist and recruited Owen and Davey and brought back Jim. Their stableÂ feuded with American wrestlers. Davey and Owen dropped the tag-team titles to Michaels and Austin in a series of good matches, then feuded with Dude Love and Steve Austin and lost again. Davey then feuded with Ken Shamrock, but eventually lost the EuropeanÂ belt to Shawn Michaels at a British Pay-Per-View event. You want to see heat towards someone, watch that match and the reaction towards Shawn after he wins. This marked the only time Davey everÂ lost on a WWF card in the UK. It also marked the third title that Davey lost to Shawn Michaels.
Then Montreal happened. Blah blah, woof woof.
After the dust cleared, Davey Boy went to WCW with Bret. Rather than supporting Bret in his feud against (or with, who honestly remembers the timing of such things) the nWo, Davey set his heights on a much bigger target – Mongo. The storyline was based around Mongo complaining about wrestlers coming in from WWF. !!!SHOOT!!!
Neidhart showed up in WCW as well. One day, Davey was sitting around with Neidhart, Curt Hennig, and Brian Adams. The four of them agreed that all WCW ever wanted to do was sign talent from WWE – they didn’t actually know what to do with them after that. So the four decided they would do tag-team matches against each other. No one stopped them, as no one had any better ideas of what to put on TV since Leni and Lodi hadn’t worked out the way management was sure it would. The announcers didn’t even notice the 4 were putting on a match, at least not enough to bother calling said match. But in their defense, they were too busy covering who was in the building that night and what color of nWo t-shirt that our favorite stars would come out wearing… ah, you remember.
At the height of his WCW, nay, his wrestling career, Davey was set to team with Neidhart against Alex Wright and Disc(qu?)o Inferno. Unfortunately, WCW did not have the qualms that the WWF did about having foreign drugs shipped directly to wrestlers’ dressing rooms, and Davey got high with his old friend The Ultimate Warrior that night for old times sake. The Warrior knew that there was something that he was supposed to tell Davey before Davey went out for the match of his career, but… well, he was high. Then during the match, Davey landed awkwardly on a trap-door that had been set up for his good Warrior friend and completely fucked up his back. *Warrior snaps fingers* “THAT’S what it was! Boy is my face red!”. Eric Bischoff, in a show of the management style that made him so popular amongst employees past and present, fired Davey.
Davey then went back to the WWF for a FOURTH run. Vince figured what the hell, he wanted an excuse to piss Bret off, plus they had some money laying around that they didn’t have to use to pay Owen anymore because… well, you know. Smith joined the Attitude Era, and showed he was down with the kids and real with the people by wrestling in jeans. Davey won the Hardcore Title from Big Boss Man and gave it back to Al Snow. He’s good like that. Smith then does what every wrestler does after forfeiting a meaningless title, which is go after the World title. He was unsuccessful. After throwing a trash can at Stephanie McMahon in a locker room, he fought with D’Lo Brown for the European Title. Now that was a match he could win, and he did, and he won the belt along with it. He then defended the title against Val Venis in another match that he could win… but he didn’t.
Then he busted into Eddie and Chyna’s locker room one night screaming about how they weren’t treating the European Title with the respect it deserved… then they all lost their straight faces, busted out laughing, dropped acid and took pills until they all passed out. They had a match, but they were too fucked up and both were disqualified.
In some of the last matches of either’s career, Davey traded the Hardcore Title with Crash Holly. This didn’t work out too well for either one of them. Jim Ross once spoke about Smith’s difficulty to get over with the fans during his last run, saying: “How many times can you repackage a guy like the British Bulldog?”
Then in early 2000, he and Diana split, and Davey acted on the impulse we’d all like to: plow your sister-in-law. Fortunately, the brother-in-law that she was married to was Bruce, so no one cared all that much. Well, besides Bruce, but really, fuck Bruce. It was around this time that Vince put Bulldog into rehab.
Then he died of a heart-attack in BC because he took steroids. Bruce Hart took his revenge on Davey after Davey died, making the dick statement: “Davey paid the price with steroid cocktails and human-growth hormones.” After making the statement, Bruce straightened his sunglasses and went to do a kilo of blow with his wife, who is half his age.
Despite the troubles of his career, Davey Boy could definately work a match. He had great matches against Bret, Owen, Michaels, and Hennig, just to name a few. The company-jumping and the ending aside, his career path followed the exact blueprint of how a wrestlers arc should – tag team, babyface, bigger babyface, heel, new look, babyface. After that, things went downhill and that’s unfortunate for Davey.
But he did get involved with The Hart Family. So… there you go.
Oh, and one night while raping Diana, he forgot to pull out, so he’s DH Smith’s father too. The end.
I’ll be in my trailer.
Tags: Anvil, Bret Hart, British Bulldog, bruce hart, Davey Boy Smith, DH Smith, Diana Hart, Hart, Helen Hart, Hitman, Jim Neidhart, natalya neidhart, Owen Hart, Rocket, Smith Hart, Stu Hart, teddy hart, TNA, Tyson Kidd, WCW, WWE