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Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling

Nikkolas

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Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« on: January 09, 2019, 11:58:31 PM »
I suppose this is a bit subjective but despite his singles career and being part of the Hart family, did Davey Boy ultimately end up as less important than Dynamite Kid? I had no idea who Dynamite was growing up and even now I don't know much about him. What I do know is mostly his rather awful personal life and actions. But I was looking for interviews on YT and stuff and I typed British Bulldog and mostly got vids on Dynamite from the likes of Meltzer, Jericho and others. Plus I know Benoit was very inspired by him.

Davey was just always a favorite of mine growing up and I was listening to Meltzer talk about the Montreal Screwjob and how Davey's sister was dying of cancer and he dedicated a match to her only to have Shawn force him to job. And I heard in Death of WCW he was so upset by said Screwjob he wanted out of WWF immediately. I wanted to find more stuff like this but not many people talk about him compared to Dynamite it seems. Cornette had the highest praise for him at least but relistening to those segments on YT, he even says Davey was overshadowed in the 80s because Dynamite was the "most spectacular" wrestler of the time.

Riv1

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2019, 07:45:11 PM »
I always hear stuff about Dynamite and Tiger Mask revolutionizing shit, nothing really about Davey outside tagging w. Dynamite.
I liked Davey though, he was JACKED.

-shrug-

Sick Nick

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 04:44:44 AM »
Bret Hart said Dynamite was the best wrestler of all time. He was a real pioneer of junior heavyweight wrestling and massively ahead of his time. Ranked on workrate and skill alone, anyone worth their salt should have Dynamite in their top 10 wrestlers ever, he was phenomenal. Terrible interview, though.

Davey had a more WWE-friendly physique, even if he was short ... the problem was that he was always in Dynamite's shadow when they were together and when he struck out on his own, he bulked up too much and had to give up some athleticism in exchange. By all accounts, Davey idolised Dynamite and meekly did as he was told ... Dynamite could be a bit of a bully to him. Later on, Davey got into all sorts of drugs and that hampered his progress further. There are the claims from his wife Diana that he raped her while she slept but I've never heard from anyone else that Davey was a bad guy ... he was just a bit simple, frankly, and easily led, and his substance issues stopped him from hitting his potential.

He had some amazing matches but by all accounts, Davey usually had to follow rather than lead and never led a subpar worker to a great match. When he faced big lugs like Berzerker, Haku or Warlord, he'd end up largely going power move for power move with them, rather than outmaneoevring them, apart from the odd crucifix or dropkick. Like Dynamite, he wasn't a great interview, at least not intentionally ('BIZARRE!!!1!') but he definitely achieved more success in the States and he was highly respected in Japan. He was also an incredible physical specimen ... it's claimed he could bench press 530lbs, which I can easily believe ... Bret Hart once said Davey was the strongest guy he knew, and this is a guy who had Jim Neidhart as another brother-in-law. Apparently, in one match, the 450lb Mabel had Davey in a camel clutch, and Davey stood up with Mabel on his shoulders. For pure grandstanding in-ring displays of brute strength, Davey was up there with the best.

I never bought Davey as a heel for some reason, except for in the Hart Foundation, where the lines were a bit greyer than with other heel stables.

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He'll be buying drinks all night then.

Riv1

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 05:51:29 AM »
That was a great read.
Learned a lot about Davey just now, thanks.

Crab Master

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2019, 03:26:01 AM »
I know WCW did Davey Boy dirty after his back injury which resulted from that horrible Warrior run. He was never the same after it, and pretty much sealed his fate.

Sick Nick

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2019, 04:07:30 AM »
Yeah, he wasn't great in his WWE return and he was hooked on painkillers, after landing on Warrior's trapdoor. The best thing I remember from the WWE run were Rocky's promos where he talked about Bulldog yapping and said 'The Rock's gonna kick your candy ass and there's two things you can do about it ... nothing ... and like it.' I remember Davey appearing in a main event six man tag and looking horribly out of place. Dunno why they turned him heel, he was always better as a face.

I just listened to a Shawn Michaels interview last night where he was talking about Davey. He said he didn't feel Davey got enough credit for his work and that they had some great matches together. He said that Davey was awesome to work with because he just wanted to go out there and have fun.
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He'll be buying drinks all night then.

Riv1

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2019, 01:43:48 PM »
Sounds like he was legit nice, sad sack-ish though. Sad. :(

Sick Nick

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 04:23:21 AM »
He was a well-known practical joker, at least in his early days. Dynamite was too but he had a real nasty side to his ribs. I was listening to an interview on Youtube with, I think, Austin, where he talked about Davey's ribbing and how he'd steal peoples' towels, put combination locks on their lockers, that kinda thing. Curt Hennig-style stuff.
Hyrkanian Badass



He'll be buying drinks all night then.

Riv1

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2019, 12:52:19 AM »
The more i learn about Dynamite the more i wanna say...he was a great wrestler, and leave it at that. :P

Sick Nick

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2019, 04:53:11 AM »
The more i learn about Dynamite the more i wanna say...he was a great wrestler, and leave it at that. :P

Pretty much ... he was a real miserable bastard. His book made amazing reading, particularly because he didn't have to tow the company line so was pretty honest about guys like Andre the Giant. Bret Hart's book shows what an arsehole Dynamite could be though. Davey was much more sweet-natured

The whole legacy vs legacy thing is really interesting. Davey hit Intercontinental Champ status which, in the early 90s, was a much bigger deal than it is now. Like Bret Hart said in an interview I listened to the other day, the IC title often went to the best workers in the company at that point, like Hennig, Michaels and himself. Davey also headlined Summerslam '92 (I was there too!) - contrary to popular belief, that was the biggest crowd in WWE history, not Wrestlemania 3. He had a decent run in WCW, teaming with Sting and doing a programme with Vader, and he was around for the dawn of the Attitude Era. He was by far the most popular wrestler in the UK in the early 90s and was a huge draw there, as well as in the rest of Europe, and he had some success in Japan too.

Dynamite never had any singles success in the States but he revolutionised junior heavyweight wrestling with the Tiger Mask programme in Japan and was a massive influence on some of the finest workers in pro wrestling history. Benoit idolised him ... Dynamite even mentions meeting Benoit as a kid in his book. Like I said, Tommy Billington really should appear on any top ten workers list

So it's tough to compare who had the greater legacy but I'm veering towards Dynamite. As good as Davey was and as well as he did in singles, he never stood apart from the pack the way Dynamite did.
Hyrkanian Badass



He'll be buying drinks all night then.

Riv1

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2019, 05:36:36 AM »
Damn, that IS a tough call, but you really broke it down well.

Nikkolas

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2019, 05:35:50 PM »
Hey Nick, I was hoping you'd respond and I'd get your input on this. Thanks for the great read.

I recently subscribed to F4WOnline/Wrestling Observer and dunno if you are as well. They do Retro Raw and Nitro reviews and that's what got me to sign up. They praised Davey's and Owen's match for the newly created European Championship  to the moon. I went and watched it and this was 1997 BUT Davey was keeping up move-for-move with Owen. Hand stands, flips, nip ups, he didn't look like had lost a step even as he put on the muscle. I was deeply impressed.

Then somebody was telling me oh no, Davey had to be carried by great workers. Bret apparently claims he carried Davey in the SS '92 match, Owen and Shawn are of course two of the greatest ever, etc.. I'm no good at telling this kinda thing. To me (and Bryan, Vinny and Craig) he looked phenomenal in this match.

Another person said he's more like Sting where he needs a great opponent to truly shine and if you stick him with a lump he will suck hard. Which lines up with what you said, more or less.

EDIT:

And about Shawn and Davey... i guess Shawn is trying to atone. I just heard a full history of the Screwjob from Meltzer and he talks about how Davey had promised his European title defense against Shawn would be for his (Davey's) sister who was dying of cancer.

Davey lost that match.

This seemed scummy enough but I figured it was just in some promo, not such a huge deal. I later watched the match in question and saw that Davey's dying sister came out to the  ring with him. So he could lose. All so Shawn could win a meaningless match, a meaningless belt and, this is the important thing, do everything in his near-unlimited power to fuck every member of the Hart Family to death.

Dynamite is up there with the literal criminals as one of the worst human beings ever in the business. But in the tier below them, 90s Shawn Michaels has to be at the top of that league.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 05:41:02 PM by Nikkolas »

HalloweenJack

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2019, 05:39:55 PM »
I think Davey's pretty good, the Bret Summerslam thing MAY have come from Bret's own comments later than Davey was so high he didn't actually much of their match after it was done.

Sick Nick

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Re: Davey Boy vs. Dynamite Kid and their Legacies in Wrestling
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2019, 04:23:16 AM »
Hey Nick, I was hoping you'd respond and I'd get your input on this. Thanks for the great read.

I recently subscribed to F4WOnline/Wrestling Observer and dunno if you are as well. They do Retro Raw and Nitro reviews and that's what got me to sign up. They praised Davey's and Owen's match for the newly created European Championship  to the moon. I went and watched it and this was 1997 BUT Davey was keeping up move-for-move with Owen. Hand stands, flips, nip ups, he didn't look like had lost a step even as he put on the muscle. I was deeply impressed.

Then somebody was telling me oh no, Davey had to be carried by great workers. Bret apparently claims he carried Davey in the SS '92 match, Owen and Shawn are of course two of the greatest ever, etc.. I'm no good at telling this kinda thing. To me (and Bryan, Vinny and Craig) he looked phenomenal in this match.

Another person said he's more like Sting where he needs a great opponent to truly shine and if you stick him with a lump he will suck hard. Which lines up with what you said, more or less.

EDIT:

And about Shawn and Davey... i guess Shawn is trying to atone. I just heard a full history of the Screwjob from Meltzer and he talks about how Davey had promised his European title defense against Shawn would be for his (Davey's) sister who was dying of cancer.

Davey lost that match.

This seemed scummy enough but I figured it was just in some promo, not such a huge deal. I later watched the match in question and saw that Davey's dying sister came out to the  ring with him. So he could lose. All so Shawn could win a meaningless match, a meaningless belt and, this is the important thing, do everything in his near-unlimited power to fuck every member of the Hart Family to death.

Dynamite is up there with the literal criminals as one of the worst human beings ever in the business. But in the tier below them, 90s Shawn Michaels has to be at the top of that league.

I haven't subscribed to the Observer for years but yeah, Owen and Davey had unbelievable chemistry. By that point, Owen was probably better than Bret IMO. Davey had great agility even at 270lbs in the early 90s and had a great dropkick ... almost Curt Hennig-level, able to hit an opponent in the forehead. When he dropped 20lbs or so by the mid 90s, he was doing loads of cartweels and nip-ups, like you say.

I can imagine Shawn feels guilty for the Euro title deal and he took the IC title from Davey in the early 90s ... it was rare for him to lay down for Davey. I think the last time we saw Bulldog before WCW, he was getting beaten down by DX in-ring and chased out of WWE after the Montreal Screwjob. The Clique were assholes, no doubt about it, but Shawn's apologised over and over for his politics and shenanigans since.

Bret may overplay his role in the Summerslam match but he said that Davey and Neidhart were up smoking crack for ages before the match, so Davey forgot everything and had to be led. Very early on in the match, apparently he told Hart 'Bret, I can't remember anything, help me' and Bret said 'Just follow my lead, everything will be fine.'

About Davey not being able to have a great match with an average worker, I can't think of any really good matches he had with anyone subpar. I haven't seen his Diesel matches for ages but don't think they were any great shakes. He had a pretty decent power match vs Barbarian on the European Rampage so that might be the closest. I can't recall ever seeing him wrestle the Undertaker, might have to look that up.
Hyrkanian Badass



He'll be buying drinks all night then.