Fan Questions + Answers
Did Davey Boy have a relationship/with Andre the Giant. I don’t really hear a lot about those two. But they were in the WWF at the same time and also may of had some Japan tours together.... I’ve always heard Andre and Stu Hart had a friendship although that could be a rumor. Finally, did you or Harry ever get to meet Andre and can you share any stories.
Harry remembers Andre at the corral in Calgary. Harry remembers he was really huge, and Harry, my cousins Matt and Ted got a picture with him. I never met Andre, or if I did- I don’t remember meeting him unfortunately.
Davey and Andre were friends, but I don’t recall them talking much after the Royal Albert Hall match in 1991, but they did get along good.
My moms answer: Davey and Andre were pals back from Stampede Wrestling days, 1981 and did tours together in Japan. They did a WWE European tour back in 1991, including France, and Andre was happy to walk Davey down to the ring, despite having really bad pain. They got along, and despite Andre not being overly social backstage, he was also happy to let Harry come into the dressing room at the Corral (Calgary’s big arena, until the Saddledome) and meet him. It was impractical to hope Andre would come out and see people, and also not commonplace for kids or anyone outside of the immediate wrestling promotion to go into the dressing room. But Davey quickly brought Harry in to meet Andre. Harry was only young, just a baby. Georgia wasn’t quite ready to meet Andre, just a few months old or very young, whereas Harry was already catching on to who was who and that these guys, including Davey, was on TV and had dolls of them all, including us Andre the Giant action figure.
But Andre respected and liked Stu, Helen, Davey, Diana; the Stampede Wrestling era of his time (Andre wrestled usually every July for Stu from about 1974- 1984), was fun for him, so he felt comfortable around them. Andre loved spending time at Stu and Helen’s beach, Clearwater Beach, just outside of Calgary. It was warm (July in Calgary) and the beach was scenic and really laid back. I don’t believe Andre, or any wrestlers that came through Stampede territory during warmer months could resist Clearwater Beach.
So there was a familiarity with Diana and Owen, who were just kids, barefoot and running around out at the beach, bringing Andre beer or water or crisps, and getting a pat on the head from the friendly giant. When Davey married Diana, and Harry was born, Andre was most accommodating when Davey brought Harry into the dressing room. In the early 1990s, Andre, was nearing retirement from wrestling. This was when Davey and his family moved to Tampa and he became a singles superstar. Davey did the WWE European tour with Andre, when Andre walked Davey down to the ring. That was a huge honour for the Bulldog!
I saw the interview your dad and your grandparents had with Lord Alfred. How much food did Davey go thru each day?
If you check out Davey’s diet here on the web page, it’ll give you an idea of the food be consumed each day.
Was Davey a Hulkamaniac?
Yes! He sure was!
Did Davey ever express or ponder or come to any conclusions about the meaning of life? I'm a thinker, and wonder these things!
Davey was brought up in a Catholic household, but he was also a very spiritual person. He didn’t really talked about life/death. Davey loved astrology and astronomy and was spiritual but not necessarily religious. He believed there was a heaven where everyone good went, regardless of religion.
I believe he believed his purpose in life was to wrestler and be super-strong. I say that because he lived for those things since he was a kid. Davey also believed that helping others to succeed was a measure of his own success, and this was Stu Hart’s motivation.
How did the situation with Survivor Series with Bret effect your dad, did he find it hard staying in the company, and how was the relationship with Bret when he decided to return to WWE and become a main event fighter (a place in my opinion he should have been years before)?
Out of loyalty to Bret, Davey left WWE after the ‘97 Survivor Series and went on to say it was one of the biggest professional mistakes of his career. Leaving Owen and WWE for what he got in WCW was a huge mistake. Davey remained close with the Anvil in WCW, but found Bret was detached ( perhaps dealing with his own regrets of joining WCW) and their once great connection was lost. Their bond in WWE days was much stronger, however.
Life for the whole Hart family was never the same after the 1997 Survivor Series. Owen’s death later certainly heightened the tension, but it was the Survivor Series that really was where the “cancer” (perhaps a strong term) started.
Stu and Diana strongly recommended Davey stay with WWE, and let things (Bret and Vince feud) cool off; Owen encouraged Davey to stay in WWE but he predicted they all would be back with Vince, which actually did happen, maybe too much, too little, too late.
Davey was a loyal guy; that was how he was. To underline this point is when he left WWE in 1989, out of loyalty to the Dynamite Kid, his first cousin. Davey had no issues with WWE and had no bad blood with the Rogeau Brothers. It was Dynamite who had the issues and could not get along with many people; Davey was the opposite, and did not need to be a bully to be respected or idolized amongst his peers.
When Davey was invited to return to WWE, thanks to Owen, in April 1999. The arrangements and discussions were solidifying when Owen tragically died (May 23/99).
A few months prior to Owen’s death, Davey suffered a broken back and was terminated from WCW.
He was in the hospital and had no job, no income and an uncertain future. Owen started the negotiations for Davey to come back to WWE, likely working with him as manager. No one at this point knew what Davey could do physically due to his back injury Davey was was super-grateful and had a new lease on life.
This euphoria was short lived, when Owen died suddenly, and Bret/Martha ridiculed Davey, Stu and Diana for returning to Vince. There were definite sides taken regarding Owen’s death and Davey, by continuing on in the path Owen, he and Vince were making, was looked at by Bret and Martha as a traitor. Davey was not a traitor, nor was Stu or Diana for strongly supporting him in his decision.
Bret and Davey were not really close or even talked after that.
Bret, however was a huge influence on Davey up until spring 1998, at WCW, when they all realized they were being wasted there with their talent.
Who would you like to see from today’s WWE roaster have a feud with Bulldog mine would have been Bray Wyatt or John Cena.
I would love to see Davey feud against Drew McIntyre, Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, and AJ Styles are my top picks! Also, Randy Orton would have been a very interesting feud between Davey and Harry.
How did your Dad get into Professional Wrestling? Did he ever tour Australia?
His mom and dad got him into wrestling as a way to keep him safe and healthy; basically keep him away from bad influences; keep him off the streets, as a young teenager. He started training at Ted Betley’s home in Warrington.
Ted had trained Davey’s older cousin Tommy Billington aka Dynamite Kid.
Davey did tour Australia in 1982 as Steve Rackman’s son. Steve was the big promoter there at that time. Steve was the big thug (super nice guy too) in the first Crocodile Dundee movie.
Davey also toured Australia for WWE in the later 80s. Davey lived in Australia for 5 years as a young boy.
What did Davey think of his European championship match against Shawn Michaels at the In Your House in England? Always thought it was a bit disrespectful what Shawn did during the match but nonetheless it was a good match. Did Davey have any personal feelings on this matter?
He was kind of shocked and surprised but he did what he was told. Bret, Owen, Diana and Davey’s mom and dad felt bad for Davey after the match was over. Davey did re-injure his knee in that match after his fibreglass knee brace was kicked and smashed up by Shawn.
In hindsight, like a few weeks later, Davey began to think it was part of a bigger plan to aggressively dismantle the Hart Foundation when it was definite Bret was leaving for WCW. It seemed to the HF that they had to much power and if the they (Davey Owen and Neidhart , who was not under contract with WWE at the time), all decided to leave collectively and join Bret at WCW, it could really hurt WWE in the very heated ratings war at that time. It was an extremely tumultuous time in the WWE. What happened to Davey was kind of overlooked in the big picture, and was a devastating “event” for him, as was the Montreal Screw Job was to Bret. Davey just handled losing in his home country, by blatant cheat, in front of his family, as part of his obligations. It did not seem right though.
It certainly got heat for Shawn and Company and the fans were almost rioting. I don’t know that anyone, even the wrestlers, thought the fans would get so upset. Their reaction probably further fortified WWE in their decision to dismantle this granite Hart Foundation powerhouse.
What was the relationship between Davey and the lesser known Harts or the ones not talked about as much. Bruce, Keith, Smith, Dean, and so on? Did he have a chance to ever see Natalya wrestle or did he help her with training at all?
Davey was completely family with all of the Harts. He had his first intro to a Hart in the ring in England, where he wrestle Cowboy Smith Hart around 1979. His love for sushi grew through his friendship with Wayne Hart. He was often tag partner with Bruce Hart and did a lot of building and yard work around Stu’s house with Keith Hart. He was close with Dean because Dean, as he was with Owen (pre-WWE days) because they were close with Diana. Dean was also a brilliant mechanic who helped Davey a lot with his various cars he acquired in Calgary. Dean also booked Davey to work for Peter Mavia in Hawaii, which was quite the working vacation. Davey and Ross were very close because Ross was the producer of Stampede Wrestling and had a lot of input about matches. Ross also was very close to Diana, which brought Davey close to Ross. Ross and Owen stayed at Davey’s mum and dad’s home on different occasions while they wrestled in England during the 80s and Ross again I. 1994. They basically were all like brothers to Davey. He definitely fit in with the whole Hart Family, including the sisters and brothers-in-law. And Mrs Hart (Helen, Stu’s wife) adored Davey because he went to Jazzercise regularly with her, Diana and Georgia (Hart Annis) when he had days off from the road. He and Helen had a very special bond. And Stu loved Davey and had a connection with him through their animals, athletics, training, food, good wrestling, solid work ethic, love of grappling, Diana, and the grandchildren (Harry and Georgia).
I apologize if this has been asked before. But with your dads time in Japan did he spend any time with the gaijins. I’d like to no if he had a relationship with some of the great foreigners to come to japan like Stan Hansen, Terry Funk, Terry Gordy to name a few. I don’t want to bombard you with names. One other wrestler id be curious to ask about is dr death Steve Williams. Those to would’ve had an incredible match in all.
Yes, Davey was good with all the lads in Japan. Both Japanese and foreigners. I’d reckon Dynamite was closest to him since they were on tour all the time together. Probably was good friends with Terry Funk, Stan Hansen and Harley Race.
I recently randomly came across a match with the British bulldogs vs Abdullah the Butcher and tiger Jeet Singh. My question is did your dad have an opinion on that style of wrestling? I never saw to much of your dad vs those type of opponents, like Abdullah, the sheik and so on. Also if I can ask I never really see to many clips of Davey with the crimson red. Did he choose not to hurt his head in that matter. (Trying to be respectful and not use the b word).
Not sure? I know he did bleed in the ring on a few occasions, in Stampede Wrestling. I think that Dynamite seemed to like that more than him though.
With the recent loss of Pat Patterson I was wondering if you could share a story or some info on the relationship between your dad and Pat? He always seemed very close to whole hart family and also am wondering if you and Harry ever spent time with Pat?
I remember the King of the ring in 1996, Pat Patterson actually babysat us at our house in Land O’ Lakes Florida. Harry and I watched the King of the ring pay-per-view with him then, and was really nice and a lot of fun! Not sure why he was watching us that day? But, it was fun! That was one of my memories of Pat Patterson, every time I’d see him he’d always give me a huge hug and tell me I looked like my dad. Davey was very loyal and protective of Pat. He had a huge amount of respect for Pat, and would defend him always. You messed with Pat, you messed with Davey!
Being your children what did you think of the Undertaker? We’re you and Harry scared of him if you saw him backstage?
Yeah, but he was always really friendly and quiet, and couldn’t believe how big he was in person!
With the Undertaker retiring, I was wondering if you ever had the chance to speak to Taker about your dad? Did your dad and Undertaker get along backstage and if so what was there relationship like? And finally, any stories you could share of a young Georgia or Harry backstage with Paul Bearer or The Undertaker?
Harry didn’t talk to him much about my dad when he was in the company, but Undertaker always speaks fondly about my dad when I see him. He also can’t believe I’ve grown up haha, because all the times I saw him was when I was little. My dad and Undertaker were close and spent a lot of tine together on the road. My backstage story about the Undertaker was I remember my dad and Lex Luger doing long hours of filming promos for Wrestlemania 11, and I fell asleep against the wall outside the door. Undertaker came up and laid his jacket on me, because he thought the arena was a bit cold. I thought that was really nice of him. Paul Bearer and Undertaker were and are the earliest memories of my childhood. Always really nice and respectful towards my family.
The European championship was always my favorite. I loved how it looked. Did Davey ever talk about being the 1st, or did he talk about being glad to have it again in his later run with WWF?
Yes, it was my favorite as well! Such a cool belt. Yeah, he was very happy to be the first. As I believe Vince made the belt for specifically for him. I also believe that was one of his stipulations of him resigning in 1999- was that he got to win the European title back.
Aside from the Hart family, who else did Davey like to travel with?
Davey travelled, and was good friends with The Warlord, Ultimate Warrior in the early 90’s, and then later on it would’ve been Lex Luger and Bart Gunn. Then in the late 90’s- he enjoyed travelling with Steve Blackman and Bob Holly.
What do you think your dad would he doing now professionally if he was with us still. Could see making some occasional appearances and also possibly being a trainer in NXT or alongside Harry in MLW.
I think Davey would have his own wrestling school, or he would be a trainer for NXT. I know Davey wanted to relocate to Florida, so he would for sure be here. I also know he wanted to get more involved with acting and stunt work. I also think he would be doing appearances and events worldwide. I also know he wanted to open up a gym.
I recently saw on your Instagram ama you said Rick rude was your favorite wrestler to hang out with in WCW. Did Davey and Rick have a friendship outside of thing? I’ve never heard any stories of those Two together. Seems like they would be polar-opposites with Rick being a hard ass as opposed to your dad who IMO was happy go lucky.
Ric was a family man. He and his wife Michelle threw great birthday parties for little Ric Jr. Ric and Davey were really good friends back in our Florida days (1991-96). Our families did a lot of stuff with Ric’s family, like a lot of jet skiing in Tampa Bay in particular.
Ric was a devoted husband, father and wrestler. Davey really loved and respected Ric in wrestling, in the gym and at home as a family man. To be honest, Ric was one of the good ones!
I thoroughly enjoyed a young Davey boy vs a young fit Finland. Did Davey and fit have a friendship outside of the ring?
Yes, they were good friends going way back to the 80s. They had good chemistry and knew a lot of the same good old European wrestlers. They didn’t hand out much off the road though, because Davey abs Dave never lived in the same cities simultaneously. Davey had tremendous respect for Fit (Dave) and his father, who was highly respected in the Irish Army. Davey regarded Dave/Fit as one of the “tough as nails” guys.
I want to ask you a question and if you can answer for Harry also if that’s okay. Who was your favorite wrestler or wrestlers to hang out with backstage at the shows? Same question in regards to Harry? Also, what kids of wrestlers would you to love to hang out with if you saw them backstage. Ie Brooke hogan, or maybe if you saw David Benoit during the WWF days?
My favourite wrestlers to hang out with were Shawn Michaels, Sensational Sherry, Lex Luger, Sean Waltman (aka X-Pac/123 Kid), Sunny, Chris Candido, The Head Bangers, Hawk and Animal, Randy Savage, Scott Hall, were some of favorites. A lot of them were also family friends that came to our family events as well.
I’m regards to which wrestlers’ kids- We were close to Mike Rotunda’s family, and we used to go to the Rotunda house when we were little. I actually went trick-o-treating with Wyndham Rotunda (aka Bray Wyatt.) As I got older, I grew a strong bond with the ‘Samoan Dynasty’ (the Anoai‘ family), and I’m good friends with Afa Anoai’s daughter, Vale Anoai’. I’m actually one over bridesmaids for her wedding coming up. It’s crazy, because our families go way back, and we’ve always been friends. They’re an amazing and strong family, who I’m lucky to have in my life. We’ve had many adventures with them, and they’re very much like my family.
Nope, was never close with Brooke or David.
Does WWE own all the rights to your fathers video library. If not would you consider ever releasing a DVD of your dads never been seen matches. Could potentially include some of his earlier matches while starting in the UK. Would love to watch a young Davey wrestle before he became the British Bulldog.
WWE does not own the rights to any of Davey’s World of Sport or Japanese (New Japan or All Japan Pro Wrestling Promotions) matches. They do own the Stampede Wrestling, WCW, and WWE matches. Any other independent matches Davey had that were televised or filmed are owned by the individual or independent promotion that recorded them.
What is your favorite wrestling match of your dad that wasn’t in WWF or WCW that you would recommend a fan to go and watch?
Any of Davey’s New Japan Pro Wrestling matches or All Japan Pro Wrestling matches. Two favourites, both are tag team matches, are Davey and Dynamite Kid vs the Malenko Brothers (Dean and Jody) as well as Davey and Dynamite vs Dan Kroffat and Doug Furnas, (both All Japan Pro Wrestling); a great singles match to watch is Davey Boy Smith vs Dynamite Kid (New Japan Pro Wrestling). Let us know if you find them and what you think. Thx.
Hmmm... I would recommend watching my dads last match where he’s tagged teamed with Harry. You can find this match on YouTube. It was for a wrestling promotion in Winnipeg called TRCW. Davey was in phenomenal shape, and you can see how much fun him and Harry were both having.
I’d recommend Davey and Johnny Ace vs. Kobashi and Kikuchi. You can find it on YouTube.
Your family has a rich legacy in professional wrestling. I grew up and still live in Texas where the Von Erich name is almost royalty. Mr. Stu Hart was a great father, teacher, and mentor to those who knew him. On the other side, Fritz Von Erich micromanaged his son's lives and careers and lives. Did the Hart family and Von Erich family have any sort of relationship?
Stu and Helen Hart were close friends with Fritz and his wife Doris for many years, beginning back in early days of the late 1950s. Fritz and Doris lived in Calgary for a while, and Stu, as a promoter, recommended Fritz to a fellow promoter in Houston to hire Fritz to be a main attraction for the Houston area. As far as I recall, Fritz left Calgary for Houston upon Stu’s recognizing Fritz’s strong abilities in the ring and dedication to the sport. Fritz and Doris went on to build the empire that made the Von Erics’ legends. I recall Helen and Doris were close as well as Stu and Fritz. A mutual admiration for each other all around; their mutual respect for athletics, wrestling and promoting family-run businesses was a strong bond they shared always.
What did Davey think of his Summerslam 1992 match? I’ve heard the rumors about him forgetting the match due to issues at the time. No disrespect and I understand if this question is not answered. I loved watching your dad grow.
That’s an absolute lie. I’ve only heard one person in the world make this absurd claim, and no one has ever backed him up. Looking at the match, how great it was, the timing, the moves, the emotion, the strength, the endurance, the fans, and the pure and basic physicality to have that iconic match and for that duration , well, it takes two to tango, and Bret could not have had that great a match if Davey was forgetting things; and vice versa! Davey had phenomenal matches with everyone, so Bret isn’t the reason why this match was so great, and again vice versa. They were in their day, two of the greatest wrestlers. Davey, no longer here, as well as Joey Morella (referee) cannot challenge this ridiculous claim, spawned out of jealousy, I guess. This claim about Davey’s mental-state is totally unfounded and unsubstantiated.
When was Davey’s first tour of the United States wrestling wise? Was his first-time wrestling in the states when he joined with the WWF with dynamite?
Yes, beginning officially in late 1984 but they didn’t start touring regularly, (due to their final tour in All Japan also in late 1984) until 1985. At WrestleMania 2 the British Bulldogs won the WWF World Tag Team belts from the Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake). Ozzy Osbourne was with Davey and Dynamite when they won, being their special ringside guest. Big day for them all!
Did Davey know Chris Adams or William Regal? If so what his opinions on his fellow countrymen?
Yes, he knew them both, but I don’t recall Davey hanging out with Chris because they didn’t work in the same territories at the same time. Steve, being from Blackpool England, (not all that far from where Davey grew up), were closer. Davey and his family met Steve’s mum at shows in Blackpool. They worked together in America in WCW in 1993 and then in WWF in the later 1990s. Davey and Steve were mates because they were together a lot in two major American territories, whereas Davey and Chris were more just associates, I suppose.
What territories did Davey wrestle?
Davey didn’t work for any promotions in Canada outside of Stampede Wrestling. He did one show in Winnipeg with his son Harry in early May 2002, just prior to his passing.
He did work in South Africa for Ish Mahal prior to debuting Canada in 1981, and he wrestled there again in 1989.
In Feb/Mar 1982, Davey wrestled for Steve Rackman, as Steve’s son. Steve, btw, was in the original Crocodile Dundee movie, and was a well-respected wrestler/promoter.
What did Davey think of the new Stampede promotion? Just recently saw the angle where they split and Dynamite attacked Davey.
Davey always loved the Stampede Wrestling days in the early 80s, so when returning to work for Stu and the promotion in 1989, it seemed like a great way to give back to the place that helped him get such a leg up in WWF (late 1984-early 1989),
But Stu felt it was a step in the wrong direction for the WWF superstars (Davey and Dynamite). The Stampede territory at that time had great wrestlers coming up, Owen, Chris Benoit, Brian Pillman, Gary Albright, Larry Cameron, Keichi Yamada/Justin Liger just to name a few. But the economy in Alberta was horrible and Stu was getting older. He really hoped for the best for all his wrestlers, and asked Davey and Dynamite to reconsider leaving WWF. Their reason for departure from WWF was Dynamite Kid has a fight with Jacques Rougeau, and decided after he could not work it out with Jacque and decided for himself and Davey they would return to Stampede.
In hindsight, Stu was right, but he did appreciate what the Bulldogs tried to do for his territory and Davey worked tremendously hard for Stu before the-joining WWF as a singles guy in late 1990.
Dynamite refused the invitation to return to WWF and went back to England on a sour note as the Stampede territory basically folded. Dynamite was convinced cousin/tag partner Davey
would be a failure on his own, but instead, Davey became a superstar, and Davey deserved every standing ovation he got in his new-found independence in WWF.
Could you give some more information on the car crash Davey was involved in during his time in Stampede? I believe Chris Benoit and Jason the Terrible were involved also.
It was July 4, 1989. The Bulldogs split as a tag team in Stampede. They were scheduled to have the Dog Fight of the Decade, and the tour was beginning in Northern Alberta/Northern BC town of Prince George (I think). The crowds in Calgary were not great due to a bad recession but in the northern parts of the provinces, people were starving for entertainment and sporting events. The advance ticket sales were very high.
The driving time for this tour’s first show was a good 12 hours. Everyone was to meet early Monday morning and leave to get to Prince George (again I’m not positive of this town) for a likely 7 or 7:30 pm start time.
Well Dynamite, who was temperamental, was visited by Stu Sunday evening, to be reassured Tom would be making this trip. Tom had been unpredictable and although he was part of planning this match (Dog Fight of the Decade) he seemed like a loose canon at the time. He maybe had it in his head that he was actually going to finish Davey off, I’m some dillusional mind set, and then realised he was out of his mind. Whatever he was thinking however, he deliberately failed to show up for the trip. The heel van which he was supposed to be riding in waited at least two hours for him. Stu told them to go ahead and have the baby-face van (the one Davey, Ross, Benoit, Moffat, and one Japanese wrestler) wait for Tom. They waited another hour and a half, and finally left, and had to make up time with basically only gas stops.
Approaching the Alberta/BC Jasper National Park border, the van, being driven by Ross Hart, went around a hairpin bend, driving on ice and nearly went over a “death” cliff. They colluded with an oncoming camper truck and that prevented them from going over the cliff and all dying.
Davey was hit quite badly and suffered a fractured neck. He was the front seat passenger.
Is Davey apart of any other wrestling Hall of Fames?
Yes, Davey is in the The New England Wrestling HOF.
What was Davey’s favorite sport team? Also, his favorite American sport? Was he a fan of American football?
Davey liked the combative sports the most but did like European football. After living in Canada, he started to do to CFL games because of his friends like Brian Pillman, who was an ex Calgary Stampeder football player.
When we lived in Tampa in the 90s, Davey became friends (through Mr Perfect Curt Hennig) with Wade Boggs, a fantastic baseball player for the New York Yankees. He met a lot of ex-NFL or college football players who became wrestlers, and he learned about the sport through them.
He also loved loved power-lifting and strongman competitions.
Always curious, how much of Bulldog’s iconic braids were real and how much were extensions? Did he like them? Were they hard to upkeep?
They started out short with extensions and over the years he grew his hair to be quite long. So, in the beginning it seemed like a mullet, short hair (actual length) on top and the longer hair in the back was long enough to braid hair extensions in.
He had naturally curly hair. He liked the look but when he moved to England in 1994 to be with his mum and dad for a while, there was no one around up in his hometown or surrounding area (Wigan) who did that kind of braiding.
So he stopped, and the hair you see him with at SS 1994 in Chicago (cage match between his brothers-in-law Bret and Owen) was his actual length, with an inch or two of dead split ends cut off.
Did Davey’s family ever venture to the states and or stampede to watch him wrestle?
Yes, they travelled abroad to Calgary and to Tampa many times. They loved Tampa because of the beaches and relatively short flying time, compared to flying to Calgary.
They were always proud of Davey and were treated like royalty by wrestlers and promotions.
When Davey was in WCW were there any talks of him joining the NWO? I bet he loved being a baby face again! I was so happy.
No, there were not. Would have been cool though. I think Bret Hart felt they needed to stay united.
Did Davey as young David in WOS tell you any good memories of giant Haystacks or Les Kellet? I wish Davey and Lochness/ haystacks did something together when they were in WCW.
He did have fun with both of them. Giant Haystacks came to Canada and worked with Davey in Stampede Wrestling in summer of 1982, I believe.
How did It come about for Lennox Lewis to carry the British flag on Davis’s ring walk at SummerSlam - Wembley Stadium?
Lennox was a super boxer and ready to on the boxing world at that time, like Davey. They both had ties to Canada and of course the UK. It seemed like a good fit. Lennox was really cool in Davey’s eyes.
Bulldog was one of my all-time favourite wrestlers. He had natural ability and was very good in the ring. I vaguely remember him on ITV on World of Sports. Now roll on to 1997 the Montreal Screwjob, how to Bulldog react to the incident? He was pals with HBK and Bret being family did he ever talk about it and did he regret living WWE at that time.
He did regret leaving WWF at that time, he said later, after being in WCW for just a month. Davey had a fine relationship with HBK and HHH, and actually it was out of pure loyalty to Bret that he left WWF, even paying a $100,000US fine to get out of his WWF contact so he could be loyal to Bret.
WWF was home to Davey and Stu Hart as well. Stu got on well everywhere but his roots with the McMahons were decades deep of good relations.
Did Davey ever meet TJ Wilson/Tyson Kidd?
Yes, Davey was actually like a father to TJ growing up, and TJ also lived with us. TJ and Davey were very close, and trained everyday together.
Why was Davey billed as being from Leeds earlier in his career, but later as from Manchester? And is there any plan to introduce a charity or something similar in his name?
The Dynamite Kid was already billed out of Manchester and his Manager John Foley was billed out of Liverpool prior to Davey coming to stampede wrestling in 1981. So not too confused things Davey was billed out of Leeds England.
He was later billed out of Manchester when he returned to WWF as a singles fighter.
So far, any charities we have been involved with relate to rescuing Bulldogs. The Florida Bulldog Rescue Is one we have been supporting through sales of our bulldog shirts. We hope to expand as we expand ourselves and if it happens to do with saving Bulldogs in other places, those might be ideas to think about.
What do you think the story line between Harry and Davey would have been. I can see it now “Harry and Davey in a tag match, and tired of being in his dads shadow he attacks his own father after the match.” Not being disrespectful at all just I feel it would’ve been a heck of a story line.
That would be awesome! Davey would definitely be the good guy and Harry would be spoiled son who can’t take living in his father’s shadow. I wish I could see my dad here to make that happen. It would be an awesome match.
Your family still lives in the UK or America at the moment?
My brother and I live in Tampa and our mom is in Calgary. Most of Davey’s family like his father and brother and sister are still in England a lot of my cousins on my dad side are still there too.
Was Davey upset with Lex for leaving mid-angle without telling him?
No Davey wasn’t upset with Lex for leaving. Lex kept it a secret until it actually happened and Davey saw Lex live on WCW TV they had a long talk about it afterwards and Davey never held it against him and he and Lex always had that bond the forged when they were tag-team… Friends till the end.
Who were Davey’s pro wrestling influences/heroes?
Influences: Dynamite Kid, Pat Roach, Billy Riley, Big Daddy, Mark Rocco, Mick McManus, Billy Robinson, Ted Betley, Brian Maxine. Heroes: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly Stallone, Geoff Capes, Bill Kazmaier, Hulk Hogan.
Did Davey and Jim Cornette get along? What did he think of Jim? Have you or Harry ever met him?
Davey and Jim got on quite well. When Davey, Diana, Owen, Jim Cornette and Clarence Mason were working together, it was some of Davey’s funnest and happiest times.
Who do you think the British bulldog favourite’s wrestler would have been?
Not sure who that would have been. Maybe would liked to have worked with Hulk Hogan as much as anyone in his day.
How did Davey feel about doing promos?
Davey was good at promos, enjoyed them. Liked them best when the promos pertained to something he was excited about.
Being a Chef and fan of Davey's from childhood, it would have been a dream to cook for him. What were some of his favorite meals?
He loved the good old British cooking, and also loved East Indian food. He pretty much ate everything, but didn’t eat wild game or anything exotic. Beef, pork, seafood, chicken were the meats/protein sources he would eat quite happily. His loved simple things like a toasted cheese butty. One of his favourite home cooked meals was his mum’s bacon, fried eggs, beans, tomatoes and several rounds of toast, accompanied with a hot cup of tea. He loved to try different tastes and ways that a chef would prepare food for him. I’m sure you would have made him a really delicious meal! Oh yes, he loved warm apple pie with chocolate ice cream.
Did Davey have an opinion on hardcore wrestling.... ECW, FMW, and so on? It’s so sad we lost him but a saving grace in a way that he never had to witness CZW or any stuff like that.
Davey was invited to join the UWF in Japan around 1993. It was a shoot-fight promotion. Davey regretted his decision to join WCW rather than go to UWF. He would have done very well in any shoot-fight league as he was a combative fighter, trained in Billy Riley’s Snake Pit in Wigan, and became extremely respected, along with his cousin and tag partner Dynamite Kid when they fought many shoot fights in Japan during the 1980s.
What was Davey’s relationship like with Stu and Helen?
Davey got on brilliantly with his in-laws. There was great love amongst them. Davey attended Jazzercise classes with Helen on a regular basis, and enjoyed coffee with her after class. He always said Jazzercise was a “hell of a workout” and admired Mrs. Hart, as he always referred to her as, for doing so well in class. Stu and Davey had lots in common with their elite athleticism and incredible natural strength. Stu truly enjoyed watching Davey wrestle and said the Wembley match between Davey and Bret was his favourite recorded match of all time. Stu and Helen loved the grandchildren Davey and Diana produced and thought they were the perfect family, always proud to have them around.
Winston or Matilda if you had to choose. I know it may be hard so my apologies.
I can’t choose! That‘s a good question though!
If you could see Davey wrestle 1 more match, who would you chose to be his opponent?
Weird as this might sound, I’d love to have seen Harry work with Davey. Also loved to have seen Hulk and Davey wrestle. Current wrestlers, maybe Randy Orton, or Drew. There are so many great workers out there though, it would have been great to have had more.
I come from Ireland and growing up as a wrestling fan, there haven't been many Irish people in the world of Professional Wrestling for me to look up to so seeing someone like Davey, come from the UK, make a name for himself in the business and solidify his presence as a Hall of Famer and icon of the sport is truly inspirational. He had an amazing physique during his career. How much did he weigh during his main run with the WWE? How many calories did he have to intake each day to maintain his incredible physique? Congrats on the upcoming HOF induction, long overdue!
Thanks! I agree with your comments, not just because they are nice to hear, but Davey is absolutely deserving of them! He was incredible! He weighed about 255lbs during his main run. He put on more size and also trimmed down, depending on where he was living and what his goals with his training were at the time. He never really got small, even if he was ill or injured, because he earned his weight, strength and size with hours and hours and hours in the gym, and really tried to make gains in his strength with every workout.
He ate a lot of protein, but did enjoy his pizza and chocolate cake (there was always a birthday for someone around the Hart/Smith family, lol). He ate about 5000 calories a day, sometimes very high in protein, low in sugar and bad fat if he was at home. On the road, sometimes during long road trips or TV tapings, he would just be happy eat, and often a good pizza hit the spot.
When did the British bulldog debut in the WWF
I believe he debuted in late fall of 1984, as a singles wrestler.
What was Davey's favourite match from his time in world of sport?
I’m not sure, but I recall that he was really over the moon when he and Big Daddy won the tag team belts. Davey was pretty young at that time, maybe only 16 or 17.
As someone whose lost a parent, if I can ask what’s the one thing you miss most?
I think the one thing I miss the most is just not being able to call my dad, and not being able to sit down and have a conversation with him. I wish so much I could ask my dad for advice.
I know your dad never had any himself but what was his opinion on tattoos? Did he ever plan to get any done or was he not really a fan of them?
My dad was actually a big fan of tattoos. everyone in his family had tattoos except for him. He was wanting to get a tattoo of Harry’s and my name on his forearm, and I told him I didn’t want him to do that because I didn’t think it would look right on him. So, he didn’t do it.
Did Davey enjoy his time in Japan?
Yes, he did. Enjoy his time. He loved the culture and enjoyed the food. He was treated like a god over there. He got introduced to sushi over there, and at first he hated it. But then loved it!
What was Davey’s inspiration to use the running PowerSlam?
He wanted to do something that many guys could do, or could do well. That could showcase his strength.
What’s your favourite action figure of your dad?
My favorite action figure would probably be his new one with Matilda that’s coming out in the fall! I love it!
Sorry if these are too sensitive but how was (if there was one) Davey's relationship with Tom after the split? Also, did Davey ever talk about his steroid use? I've heard other wrestlers note (later of course) that they felt pressure to use and felt very conflicted with the scenario and difficult position they were put in as a result. Again, sorry if these are off limits, I truly have nothing but respect for your dad and beyond the ring, he certainly had an amazing life. Thank you for all you do.
No not offended by your questions. In regards to Tom’s and Davey relationship- Tom was very cold with Davey when they were both offered a chance to go back to WWF, and Dynamite flat out refused, so Davey went his own way returning. They never spoke or saw each other again after that. As far as steroids- we never heard Davey felt pressured to use them. Anything he did use was to help him get recover from injuries.
Do we like Davey’s long hair flow or short hair look better?
I liked his short hair, and my mom can’t decide!
Congratulations on being in the class of 2020 WWE HALL OF FAME. My question is which is your favorite match of all time?
Thank you very much! Favourite match would be Summer Slam 1992, in Wembley Stadium that seated over 80,000 people. Where Davey beat Bret for the intercontinental title in his home country of England. Best match ever!
Davey had some great matches with the Warlord who was a monster too. Did Davey train with the Warlord? Has he got some good stories of their time together? And has any of Davey’s family kept in touch with him? Thanks in advance.
We’ve seen him at a few differ events, and he looks great! Davey loved him like a brother and they did train together. Davey loved training with him. Warlord was/is super strong, and a super nice guy. He’s also a huge animal lover as Davey was as well. One funny tidbit- Davey, Warlord, and Animal took pride in not being able to wear the blood pressure cuffs, because it could never fit around their arms!
The known feud between Bret and Shawn Michaels was well publicised . Davey obviously had loyalty to Bret, but also had some amazing matches with Shawn.... was there any backstage real-life animosity between Davey and Shawn?
Absolutely not! Davey always respected Shawn, and saw Shawn as one of the best, hardest working guy, and an asset to the wrestling business.
I am probably one of many who thinks Davey should’ve been a World Champion at least once in his career (imo 1995 looked like a great time period) My Question is since Davey was great as a babyface and a heel If he had that one World Championship run would he have been a better Face or Heel Champion and why?! Excellent website for an Excellent performer!!!!
We like to think of him as a baby face world champion. But he could’ve done great as either! He also would’ve been fine to be a heel or baby face world champion. He wouldn’t have questioned it. And yes, he should been works champion!
Bulldog, what was your favorite moment in your career?
Davey had stated that his favorite moment in his career when he main evented against his brother in law Bret Hart at Wembley Stadium. He beat Bret for the WWF Intercontinental title in front of over 80,000 fans in London England for Summerslam 1992.
What wrestling match was the British Bulldog’s favorite? Also, does Harry Smith plans to go back into wrestling and the WWE? In closing, I’ve always been a British Bulldog fan.
He had lots of favorite matches, he loved Wembley Stadium, and wrestling Owen in Berlin. He also loved working with Ric Flair. A favorite match of his would be wrestling Bill Kazmaier in Calgary for Stampede Wrestling. It was a one off match, Vince McMahon let Davey have, as he was under contract with WWF at the time. It was Bill’s very first professional match. Davey felt it was a privilege to wrestle the world’s strongest man.
Have you ever thought to be a wrestler like your dad?
I had no desire to be a wrestler growing up. Never had the urge or inclination to pursue it. However, I tip my hat and give high respect to anyone who wants to pursue wrestling!
Who would be your dream opponent to face in a match?
Davey’s dream opponent would’ve been Hulk Hogan.
In 1995 how did Davey feel about turning heel ? And how did you and Harry feel about your dad's heel turn at that time?
It was a good and progressive change for Davey. He was good with it, and was always open to changes. Especially if he thought it would help the business. Harry and I were ok with it. I always w joyed my dad being a baby face though personally!
What wrestling match was the British Bulldog’s favorite? Also, does Harry Smith plans to go back into wrestling and the WWE?
Davey’s favourite match was Summerslam 92, or wrestling Owen. In regards to Harry going back to WWE... Never say never!... Thank you for your continued love and support for Davey!
In some post Georgia mentions not having a lot of her father’s Ring Gear anymore. Can I ask what happened to it?
Unfortunately, in Davey’s last days, the people Davey was involved with took liberties with Davey’s belongings, and likely sold them after he died. No one reached out to Harry, Georgia or our family when Davey died, and never accounted to us for what happened to his things, or to Davey, in his last hours of his life.
Did Davey ever wrestle Giant Haystacks or Big Daddy? Did he tell you if he could lift them?
Davey wrestled with them, but not against them. I don’t recall him ever needing to pick them up because they were partners.
Did Davey Boy aka British Bulldog enjoy his first run in WCW? I loved his feuds Vader and Rick Rude in the company. They are all Legends.
Yes, he enjoyed wrestling there for the most part. He looked at it as a refreshing change, and had a lot of confidence. He really liked wrestling with rick rude and they has some great matches in Germany.
Did Davey ever know he was talked about being the third man at Bash At The Beach 1996 and did Davey ever talk about the NWO?
No, I don’t know because he wasn’t in WCW in 1996. He never really said a lot about the NWO.
Other than the short match on smackdown, did Davey have any other matches with the Big Bossman and how did they get on behind the scenes?
I don’t recall them wrestling each other before that, but Davey and Ray (aka Big Bossman) got along really well!
Did Davey manage to visit his family when touring with the WWF?
Yes, Davey did meet up with his family as often as he could. Water he went up to Golborne, or got them travel down to London for instance. He tried to see them as often as he could.
Which was Davey’s favourite place to wrestle?
Davey’s favourite location to wrestle would probably be going back home to the UK or Calgary, or Florida. Company wise, WWF would be his favorite place to wrestle.
Which was Davey’s favourite type of music to workout to?
He liked rock and roll and also liked dance music to work out to. Any kind of music that had energy.
When Davey has down time on the road or home, what were some of his hobbies? I’ve read he was a huge video game fan.
Yes, Davey liked playing his video games, working out, riding his Harley, jet skiing, swimming, and watching action films like Terminator, Braveheart, Gone in 60 seconds. He also loved going to theme parks and going on rides. He was an adrenaline junkie!
Which European football team did Davey support and who was his football hero?
Davey shotted Manchester United. I don’t know if any football? Davey also enjoyed rugby, and liked English rugby player Vince Karalius who played for Widnes and Wigan.
Who was Davey's favourite British wrestler?
My question is for you Georgia. What is your favorite British Bulldog Match and why?
I’m going to say my dad vs. The Rock because their size, their dynamic, their histories, their chemistry, and in-ring personas made for it to be the perfect feud.
Who trained Davey Boy for the ring?
Did Davey openly show interest in being a world champion or was he happy with where he was in his career?
He was interested in reaching the top of any promotion he worked in and wanted to be the best in everything.
What was Davey’s favorite shows/movies/video games to watch and play?
Davey liked Mario, Donkey Kong, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Doom, Rocky movies, Terminator, Austin Powers, The Wedding Singer, Braveheart, Fawlty Towers, The Simpson’s- to name a few!
Did Davey ever wrestle the Ultimate Warrior?
No, he did not.
Did Davey have any stories about the Ultimate Warrior
I don’t recall Davey and The Ultimate Warrior wrestling together. Davey loved training with The Ultimate Warrior, and remembered The Ultimate Warrior would even get up in the middle of the night to train when he couldn’t sleep. Davey admired The Ultimate Warriors dedication to training.
What was the best rib Davey played?
When Davey and Owen put Henry Godwin’s goats in Vince’s office, and they ate and shredded all of Vince’s office.
I had some questions I always wondered. Why did Davey Boy decide to cut his hair, I loved his braided hair. Why did Davey Boy change to jeans and boots instead of his normal attire of the Union Jack pants or trunks when he turned heel? And last Why did Davey stop using Rule Britannia for his music when he was a heel.
Davey cut his hair short because Bret said his hair was starting to look too much like his, and suggested for Davey to cut it. Davey wanted a different look and a new image, which was quite aggressive. Like a ‘darker side’ of Davey. WWF sent him costume designs of him wearing various jeans and his magnum boots, which fit the bill Davey was looking for at the time. That went for his music as well.
Why did Davey Boy decide to cut his hair? His braided hair was so cool.
He stopped doing his braids because he couldn’t find anyone nearby in England who could do his braids. When he cut his hair short, Bret said his hair was starting to look too much like his, and suggested for Davey to cut it.
Outside of Hart family, who would Davey spend the most time with while he was on the road?
Outside of the Hart family, Davey would road with/travel with The Warlord, Steve Blackman, Bart Gunn, and Bob Holly.
Was Davey particularly religious?
Davey’s family were and are catholic. Davey believed in God, but he didn’t attend a particular church. Davey’s father Sid is apart of the Golborne Catholic Church. His sister Tracy who passed away was also apart of it as well.
Did Davey have any sports idols & what sports teams did he support?
Davey played European football, cricket, rugby. There was a cricket field just beyond his house.
Did Davey have any pre-match or post-match rituals?
Davey liked to have a coffee, used the resistance bands/tubes to stretch and do biceps and squats with the resistance tubes.
How many sets and reps did Davey do on his workouts? Did he do the cardio after his workout?
When Davey got really lean, when he came back to the WWE, he was doing higher reps-like 15/12/10/8 and 4 sets per exercise. He would do cardio after his weight training.
Did Davey ever live in Liverpool?
Davey was born and raised in Golborne, which is a village near the town Warrington. But, Liverpool was close and easy to travel to from Golborne, and went there often.
How was able to carry over the exact same WWF/WWE music to every other promotion while Bret couldn’t?
Since Davey used the British national anthem, its a public domain song.
Did Davey have a good relationship with Andre, or ever share any stories about the experience?
He and Andre got on great; knew each other from Calgary and England. Andre was good friends with a lot of the old English boys, so Andre kind of got Davey and the British style. Davey said Andre liked to talk about Bugs Bunny cartoons and Davey knew many of them so they had that to laugh about. Davey said Andre was great in Paris when they did early 90s WWF shows there.
Is there a wrestler Davey wished he had a match with but never did?
Did Davey have any hobbies that his fans aren’t aware of?
He did enjoy gardening. His mum had a really nice rose garden with pear trees.
He liked astronomy and star gazing; finding the constellations.
Did Davey ever regret turning heel?
He got into the role more when he was with Owen.
What was Davey's favourite holiday destination?
Disney World and Santa Monica, California
What was Davey's favourite way to relax? Did he, or the family have a favourite TV show? Was there any British things that introduced to the family?
Video games, swimming, watching “Fawlty Towers.” He enjoyed working on his Harley, and gardening. But, was not home enough in Tampa to look after it like his mum Joyce showed him. Reading Muscle and Fitness and Flex Magazines.
Is it true Davey’s middle name is ‘Boy’?
Yes. His mom accidentally filled in his hospital paperwork- placing his middle name “BOY” under “SEX” of baby when he was born.
How bad was Davey’s back injury when he landed on the hidden door. Did he ever try and do Lloyds of London?
He beck was badly injured in car accident in 1989 while wrestling for Stampede. Davey was a passenger. There was no lawsuit involved despite the severe neck injury and that Davey was a passenger.
In WCW, the injury was Davey’s back. Perhaps if he had fallen a few years earlier or landed a different way, the injury may never have been so severe. The break ended up becoming infected. That was the really bad part of it. Davey’s break, like others (Buster Keaton, the silent film star who had broken his neck from a water stunt) who suffered broken backs/necks went on without realising the severity of it, despite in constant, intense pain thereafter. Davey figured since he was able to walk, work, manage, that it would just get better... it got worse because the infection was quietly destroying him.
He was never able to get with a Lloyds of London agent that would insure him because he was already quite banged up when the idea came up. I believe it was Animal of Legion of Doom and Curt Hennig who tried to get Davey with the right person at Lloyds to insure him. Unfortunately, it never happened. Davey, however, did have an insurance policy with a company representing self-employed people, back in the early 1990s. The first time Davey made a claim was when he got hurt in the road. Nothing really serious, but the Smith family figured since he had the insurance coverage, he should go to the hospital and get X-rays. The insurance company refused coverage for it, which was pretty bad on their part, and the Smith family subsequently cancelled that policy. Lloyds of London might have been a life saver had Davey been able to get insured in the first place.
Davey was not comfortable suing WCW for their negligence in not telling wrestlers about the hidden steel trap door. He could sued, and likely would have needed others to testify against WCW, which Davey was not comfortable in asking them to do. That would have put the wrestler in a place of conflict. The Bulldog didn’t want that, and no one was volunteering to speak up either, although there were others who complained about getting hurt on the door that bight too.
Davey was a really decent person. Most people would have sued.
What did Davey think of his 1995 performance in the Royal Rumble? Not one of the better shows but still a solid rumble with Davey and Shawn telling a heck of a story and also showing their ability to go out there and perform.
Davey and Shawn had good matches and good chemistry from way back, so the Royal Rumble ending with them both falling out at the same time, and Davey’s foot hitting a split second after Shawn’s is a great example of their excellent ring work together. They both should be defined for their work in many different matches with many different opponents, not just one match. The ending of this match required impeccable timing, which they both demonstrated immaculately.
Davey and Shawn had hoped to work together after that, which did happen, but not right away. By the time they worked a storyline together, it was much later and the Royal Rumble contention was no longer relevant. Shawn abs Davey however did great things again, a good year later, in a program which Diana and Camp Cornette were involved.
What was Tom like as an uncle? I’m hoping no diving headbutts off the couch.
He’s actually Harry’s and my second cousin. Not a whole lot of memories for me personally. However, he showed Harry that he could squirt the water from his water gun in his mouth, when Harry was about five years old, which amused Harry a lot when he was little. But that’s it. He wasn’t a part of our lives in any capacity.
A question about some 2nd generation stars in relation to your dad/family. Watching MLW, I’m wondering did you and or Harry know any of the Von Erichs growing up? Potentially Lacey von Erich as I don’t believe Ross and Marshall’s dad was in WWF at the time. Also, what was the relationship like between Brian Pillman and Davey? Are you and Harry close to Brian?
Harry and I actually didn’t really know the Von Erich’s growing up. We knew of them but didn’t see them. They were more around with the second-generation Hart’s. Like, my mom, Bret, etc. They knew them from way back. Our families were always connected. I’ve gotten to meet and get to know Ross and Marshall through MLW, and they’re really great, nice, talented guys. I think they’re going to go far.
Davey and Brian got along really well. My dad actually has/had a picture of Brian in his wallet. Harry is close with Brian JR., and they had a great team in MLW, and doing independent appearances together. I met Brian the first time a couple of years ago at an MLW show, and it was like we always knew each other! He’s like my family. I really like Brian Pillman Jr. He’s got such a cool vibe and is always positive. He’s also developed and grown so much in and out of the ring. Learning wrestling isn’t easy, and he’s done really well with it. Really proud of him, and glad to call him a friend! Like the Von Erich’s, I see Brian going far in the business. His dad would be proud.
How are Davey and Tom related. I’ve read they are cousins but how?
They are cousins on the Billington side. Davey’s mom Joyce and Tom’s father Bill Billington were brother and sister.
NOT A QUESTION… But it is so great, that you put so much effort in to keep Davey's legacy alive. That means a lot to us fans. We really appreciate it. Thank you for your hard work! Happy new year!
Wow! Thank you so much! That really means a lot. I try to do what I can for my dad everyday! Happy new year to you too!
Did Davey boy have a hand in training any wrestlers. Obliviously Harry but did he help out any of the Harts? Natalya, Teddy Hart, TJ Wilson just to name a few. Also did he help train any wrestlers that are not in the family?
Davey very much influenced and helped train Teddy Hart and TJ Wilson. Natalya was pursuing modelling at the time when Davey was around training some of the guys. He spent a lot of time training guys like TJ and Ted on weights as well as training many on the mat.
Davey spent a lot of time at Stu Hart’s home (where the Dungeon was) with Chris Benoit, who was actually trained extensively (before ever staying at Stu’s home as a regular guest) by Mike Hammer who lived in Edmonton. Mike Hammer worked full time for Stu/Stampede but resided in Edmonton.
Davey spent time training his close friend Brian Peters for his pro-wrestling career (cut short when Brian was shot to death May 21, 1987). Brian was also trained by Ross Hart.
Phil LaFon (Dan Kroffat) broke into wrestling in Stampede around 1983. He weight trained and travelled on the road with Davey during the pre-WWE days; they were close friends.
Ross Hart, however, spent the most time getting Phil ready for his ring debut. He had no ring experience prior to that. Once Phil started his career, Davey gave him advice directly before or after his matches. Most of Stu’s crew, like Davey, wanted to help with the new guys if they could.
The strongmen guys like Bill Kazmaier, Tom MacGee, Ted Arcidi and Steve DiSalvo, were trained more structurally (think of the Dungeon as a classroom) by Stu, Bruce and Ross but Davey was often there in his days off from WWE (schedules were very long days in a row then)to give advice. Steve DiSalvo had wrestled before Calgary; the other “strong men” were pretty green or zero experience.
When Davey heard Stu was bringing in Bill (Kaz) to break him into the wrestling business, Davey specifically asked Vince McMahon for a few days off to prepare Bill and give Bill his very first pro wrestling debut. Stu wanted Bill to have a great start and Davey was honoured to give Bill his first match.
It was actually a big deal for Davey to ask this favour from Vince. Vince had to do a lot of juggling with his WWE schedule to take Davey off the card; Dynamite Kid was not excited about going the road without Davey. Dynamite felt this was like Davey was getting a little holiday (which he wasn’t). Funny, how people perceive things... Vince made this exception for Davey because it was for Stu, and it mattered to Davey so much, and Bill was not just anyone; Kaz is still a king among strong men.
Bill went on to grow as a wrestler after that, and Davey’s WWE resumed as normal, as planned.
Davey influenced Owen Hart and they trained together in the gym on the weights ( BJ’s Gym) or at Stu’s whenever Davey was off the road. In the summer, when the ring was set up outside, Davey spent a lot of time with any of the new trainees, like Brian Pillman, Gary Albright, Chris Benoit, Japanese wrestlers (always a lot of them breaking into wrestling via the Stampede Promotion). He didn’t formally train guys the way Bruce and Ross did, but Davey did spent a lot of his off-road time coming to help at Bruce and Ross’s practices. Davey and Stu gave a lot of truly expert advice that at times was an alternative or compliment to what Bruce or Ross were teaching. So a nice balance developed. Davey was a great teacher, albeit he didn’t have the same amount of time as Stu, Bruce, or Ross Hart because of Davey’s hectic WWE schedule (example 21 days on the road, four days off) to spend with the wrestlers-in-training.
When Ted, Harry and TJ were starting in their early teens (Harry even younger) Davey had far more time to spend with them and those practices were structured, scheduled and daily over a long period of time. Davey spent a lot of time with them, on weights, on the mat at Stu’s and in one of Stu’s rings which was permanently set up at BJ’s Gym (around 2000).
Since we just passed the holidays my question is this. What was Davey's thoughts on Christmas? Was he big into Christmas, ie presents out the wazoo, decorations outside and inside the house? What was a typical Christmas like at the Smith household.
Christmas was a big deal but often Davey left Christmas Day to be on the Boxing Day wrestling show. This is a huge day for wrestling, stemming back to Stampede Wrestling days.
Davey would do his best to see his kids’ Christmas concerts and fly his family from England to be with his family when times were good, specifically those Florida days in the 1990s.
He liked choral music and his sister Tracy loved Christmas, including the choral music, so it also became part of the Smith family Christmas tradition in those days. Davey was also generous, without a lot of attention being drawn to his generosity, in giving cash to people and animals in need. The annual family Christmas card and family photo, which Diana (Davey’s wife) was responsible for was also a priority to Davey. He enjoyed the rapport the card built amongst his family and other wrestling families. Those wrestling families, like Davey’s, often had the wrestler on the road, rather than at home. It was a normal thing for WWE wrestlers to not be at home for all Christmas Day. It wasn’t easy but it was just part of life. The comradeship the wrestlers had was important, especially during Christmas.
What do you think, would Davey think about today’s wrestling style? Did Davey enjoy meeting fans?
Davey would have appreciated the skills and obvious hard work. He would have enjoyed the solid work that’s still evident but felt a lot of the spontaneity and psychology of the past is being lost to scripts and too much control.
He felt gratitude towards his fans and towards wrestling fans in general, as they are a different breed than other sports fans. He didn’t always want to be a role model when it meant being under a microscope and not being allowed to make mistakes. He loved mentoring people but that was different than being a role model. Davey, whether he was a good guy or bad guy in the ring, felt his fans at the end of the day, liked his hard work ethic and ability to entertain. That was important to him.