Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
Davey Boy Smith, better known to wrestling fans as "The British Bulldog," passed away Saturday. He died early in the morning while vacationing in Invermere, B.C., with girlfriend Andrea Hart, the wife of Bruce Hart who is Smith's ex-brother-in-law. Many members of the Hart family gathered Saturday night to mourn at the home of Stu Hart, patriarch of the wrestling family.
"We're all quite saddened and shocked," said Ross Hart, of Stampede Wrestling fame, whose sister Diana was married to the British Bulldog and together had two children Harry, 16, and Georgia, 14.
Diana and her children were at the Hart house last night.
"They're all quite upset. We're still waiting to hear the exact circumstances surrounding his death. We haven't been able to get a lot of details from the medical examiner or RCMP."
The Invermere RCMP would not comment on the matter last night but reports in the wrestling world indicate Smith died of a heart attack. Ross Hart said that has not been confirmed. "That's purely speculative until we hear from police or the medical examiner. We hope to have more information (today)," he said.
Police were reportedly trying to contact Smith's father and sister in England yesterday.
Solie's wishes to add our condolences to the family and friends of Davey Boy Smith to those that are coming in from all over the world. In this edition, Solie's Historian, Ervin Griffin has contributed an article recounting the career of the British Bulldog.
You can get more of the latest news and rumors by listening to this week's Solie's Wrestling Radio report.
I just got on the computer about 10 am this cool Sunday morning in Bluefield, WV when I got an e-mail from Miss Pamela telling me that Davey Boy Smith (David Smith) had died. The first thoughts that ran into my mind were "NOT AGAIN!"
It seems these days I am reading about a wrestler or some celeb that I grew up watching either during my grade school years or college years passing on. In the last year few years alone, we've seen the deaths of "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Owen Hart and Fritz Von Erich. More recently have been Wahoo McDaniel, "Big Dick" Dudley, Lou Thesz, Chris Adams, Helen Hart (I know she wasn't actually a wrestler but she was part of the backbone for the Hart wrestling family) and Swede Hansen. Not to mention mainstream deaths like Milton Berle, Caroll O'Connor, Aaliyah and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez as well as the events of 9/11 which took thousands of lives.
Now, I read about Davey Boy Smith passing away.
During his career, Davey Boy won 2 WWF Tag Team Championships. Once with The Dynamite Kid as the famed British Bulldogs in 1986, the other with Owen Hart in 1996. He was former I-C champion, having defeated Bret Hart at SummerSlam '92 to capture that crown in front of 80,000 plus in Wembley Stadium in a classic matchup! He was also the first WWF European Champion! In fact, with the exception of the WWF (WWE) World Title, DBS won every singles championship including the Hardcore title twice, once in Albany, New York on SmackDown! in September of 1999, and again at WWF Insurrextion 2000 in London, England, in May of that year.
He also had brief stints in WCW in both 1993 and 1998. His most memorable was the first trip when he had a classic feud with then WCW Champion Big Van Vader. The two had one PPV match up at WCW Slamboree 1993 that was a titanic struggle of power vs. power. DBS won the match up by DQ but Vader would retain the championship.
Not much has been heard from him since his last stint in the WWF in 2000. He did have a run in the WWF Hardcore division as well as a brief feud program with The Rock. Sadly, his personal problems has made more headlines as arrests for substance abuse as well as his battles with estranged wife Diana Hart-Smith were just as vicious as his battles in the ring.
My favorite memories of DBS would have to be these moments: 1. WrestleMania 2 - The British Bulldogs def. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine & Brutus Beefcake for the WWF Tag Team Titles.
2. WrestleMania 7 - DBS def. The Warlord with his textbook powerslam. A feat that was rare back then considering The Warlord's size (6'5", 330 lbs. of muscle).
3. The Royal Rumble 1992 - Although it is more known for "Nature Boy" Ric Flair's title win in the Rumble match itself, Flair had to battle DBS throughout most of the early portion of that contest!
4. SummerSlam '92 - Possibly the best wrestled match of DBS' career as he defeated his brother-in-law "HitMan" Bret Hart for the I-C title in London, England.
5. Slamboree '93 - While the above mentioned match was DBS' best performance, his best in terms of showing off his impressive power had to have been against the 6'5", 450lb. Vader! He executed his trademark vertical suplex as well as an array of slams against the monstrous champion!
I am sad to hear of his passing and I send my condolences to the Smith family as well as The Harts. Good bye Davey Boy and thanks for the memories.
Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian. Many of his previous articles are available in the
Jeremy: Right. Another thing that you are involved in, and I know you're quite proud of is the Cauliflower Alley Club. You're now the President of that organization, and they now have their own website thanks to Scott Teal and his workings...explain a little of what this Cauliflower Alley Club does and your involvement.
Lou Thesz: Well, Mike Mazurki and another couple of fighters got together out on the West Coast about thirty years ago. The movie industry has a lot of stunt people some of whom are former wrestlers and other athletes and it was the movie people, the movie stunt people, boxers, wrestlers and their friends that were interested in sports. And they started that and they generated up to 1000 members when I took it over. Now we have 2000. It's come together pretty well. They're going to do a roast on me this coming March. I told them I'll have to be like the politicians and take the 5th on some stuff. But anyway, its a wonderful benevolent club, its nonprofit and we use the money which we generate for some scholarships. So that's what we do. Go out there and meet, and wine and dine, and tell each other about ourselves in the past...lie about each other...
Jeremy: Sure...so is this open to any serious fan who wants to be part of it?
Lou Thesz: Sure, that's why I said, "wrestlers, boxers and their friends". I have at least a dozen of my friends who are going to be there that have never been at a wrestling or fighting event or in the fight business. But they come out and we have some really good guest speakers on occasion and we have a lot of fun doing it. People in the movie industry, we have a lot of big names, I think Kirk Douglas is going to be at my table this year.
Jeremy: And what impresses me about the whole thing is that, you know, here these guys are and they're showing the same amount of camaraderie that they did back in the days, if you will...
Lou Thesz: Absolutely because it's mutual respect because when you get down to fine sand, which is an old expression they used to use, but it's the way we play the game. We've all had problems with each other, physical and sometimes business problems, but we bury all that and forget it and I had Dick Hutton and Verne Gagne, who were really arch enemies at one time, they were both at my table, we got together and hell, I could have booked them for dinner the next night...
Lou Thesz: ...but we do that, we get together and the camaraderie is just unbelievable. And Elliot Gould is a hell of a wrestling fan, and whenever he comes there we always have a drink and he's not only a "rasslin" fan but he's a wrestling fan, he really knows about wrestling, and his business manager also. So I expect him to be there again. And at one time Elliot and myself were talking and my wife was there and Elliot kept saying what great feats I had done and she said, "Why don't you just cool it because I have to live with this guy!"
Lou Thesz: But anyway that's how we get along. Some of the top names, the top comedians - and I can't even think of some of them now - they all come there to here are these plug uglies, and rather than have fisticuffs and things like that they go through the mental calisthenics and needle each other and have a ball and have dinner and everybody's happy.
Jeremy: That sounds really like a good time and for anyone whose really interested in pursuing and learning more about the Cauliflower Alley Club as well as potentially joining I'm going to have a link to that website off of the show website here, and people will have to do is click on it, and you have the Cauliflower Alley Club history up there as well as the addresses and the telephone numbers to call and get people to really get involved in this...
Lou Thesz: You can meet some great people, there'll be some movie people there and some of the old wrestlers and the fighters. Some of them are really the cream of the crop, really great people. I always look forward to it because we always have fun - it's one of the highlights of the year...
Jeremy: The next one is in March right?
Lou Thesz: March 14th...
Jeremy: March 14th, where's that going to be held?
Lou Thesz: Studio City, at the Sportsman's Lodge. And this is kind of a coincidence, when I used to wrestle out there 35-40 years ago I used to go to the Sportsman's Lodge for dinner - it was the favorite place for the movie stars, but I didn't go there for that, I went there because they had the best food in town. They had, like a moat and it was filled with rainbow trout, so you would catch your own trout, give it to your waiter, he would give it to the chef and fifteen minutes later you'd have it on the table.
Lou Thesz: But you can order anything you want for dinner and if you romance the chef he'll get you anything you want.
Jeremy: Now I kind of want to touch upon the people you were inducted with, a couple of guys who I would like to get your opinion on, one being Harley race, the other one being the Funk brothers. Any memories..?
Lou Thesz: Oh well sure, I wrestled them all. I wrestled Funk and also Race in Japan. And Terry, Terry Funk I wrestled him somewhere in Texas.
Jeremy: Would you say that they were the last of a breed...because they seemed to employ more of the wrestling, rather than the "rasslin" as you said...or did they? I'm educating myself here...
Lou Thesz: I'd say about a halfway shot. The ones that you mentioned are not really died-in-the-wool wrestlers, and they may be advertised as such, but if you're talking about hookers, well no...
Jeremy:...because I know about Race there is a common myth, or maybe it is factual, that he started in the carnivals?
Lou Thesz: Oh yeah, sure, up around Minnesota. Sure, if you didn't have any money and nowhere else to go you'd go to work for the carnivals. You could feed the elephants or wrestle...
Jeremy: Well, at least you didn't have to wrestle the elephants...or maybe you did...(laughs)
Lou Thesz: It could be a tough call...
Jeremy: You know it's always interested me, there was a situation that took place back in 1989. As far as I know it the only experience with what used to be called the National Wrestling Alliance, now known as World Championship Wrestling when you were a judge at ringside for a match between Ric Flair, who copies just about every wrestler who ever lived, Buddy Rogers one of them, and Rick Steamboat. They both have been noted as highly conditioned and people who could really go for sixty minutes, have you worked with either one of these two..?
Lou Thesz: No, no, they came along just about ten years after I came off the road, I was still wrestling some matches but I didn't go on the road. Both of them are great athletes, both of them are damn good wrestlers and great all around athletes and I'm very good friends with both of them and I admire both of them a lot. And they and Guerrero and, I'm trying to think of some others...
Jeremy: Well a lot of today's wrestlers are second generation and that's got to help the business to a certain extent.
Lou Thesz: Oh yes, certainly.
by Earl Oliver
SmackDown! was taped on Tuesday at the Molson Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and opened with an appearance by the Game, still smarting from the beat down he suffered at the hands of Vince McMahon's minions last Thursday. HHH was bloody but unbowed and quite defiant. He unloaded on Vince then invited Chris Jericho to the ring, to feel a little bit of what he is going to feel at the PPV. He got Edge instead, who complained about getting hit with a sledge hammer at the end of last week's show and demanded a match. Hunter accepted the challenge and the two of them were starting to get it on when first Kurt Angle and then Chris Jericho ran in and started attacking both of them. They managed to knock Helmsley out of the ring and then scissored off a lock of Edge's hair before HHH came back and chased them away with a chair. I smell a tag match...
Vince was trying to initiate intimate contact with Stacy when Jericho and Angle burst in to tell him about their little party in the ring. Vince responded by booking the tag match I was expecting.
Lance Storm joined Hardcore Holly in a tag team match against Randy Orton and Val Venis (Gosh, did we expect this match or what..?) This one got underway as soon as Orton hit the ring. I'm sorry folks, I have trouble seeing the Big Valbowski as a babyface. Orton eventually pinned Storm with a roll up reversal.
Backstage, Maven asked Torrie out and she accepted. Then D-Von showed up with his bully boy to try and harass the rookie. Al Snow intervened and the bad guys moved off. Chris Jericho was interviewed and spewed his usual nonsense...
The next match was between Maven and D-Von - with each man having his protector at ringside. D-Von won it by using his money box as a weapon.
We were treated to a swimsuit competition between Stacy and Torrie with Tazz playing the part of the "Puppy" King. Torrie was disrobing when Tajiri showed up and covered her up and hustled her from the ring. With no competition, Stacy then refused to strip. She started to leave, but the new Womens' Champ showed up. Trish displayed her title belt then offered to stand in for Torrie and provide competition. She explained that she didn't have a bikini with her - then disrobed to reveal red bra and panties! Stacy tried to attack from behind but she failed to get the drop on the Womens' Champ, who knocked her to the floor. Trish was declared the winner - Stacy never did show us her bikini...
Backstage after the break, Stacy broke in on Vince and demanded a match against Trish. Vince booked it as a Title match at the PPV, and engaged D-Von and the Deacon to watch her back.
Upchuck and Billy came to the ring accompanying their "stylist" Rico, who had a singles match against Rikishi. What can he be thinking..? Without help from his friends - which he had plenty of - Rico wouldn't have lasted ten seconds in this match. Rikishi eventually simply sat on him and took the pinfall. Rikishi went into his dance on the platform as we cut to commercial.
After the break, Vince dressed the Tag Champs down for allowing their man to lose to Rikishi. As punishment, he booked a Tag Team Title match for them against Rikishi and a partner of Vince's choosing. Hmmmm...
Triple H was interviewed backstage by "the new guy" only to be interrupted by Edge, who said that they still have a problem. Hunter was unimpressed, told him to "win a couple of World Titles..." before he picks a fight with the Game. Then he reminded Edge that tonight, they have a tag match against their two arch rivals - so "start it tomorrow..."
Tajiri arrived for a Triple Threat match for the Cruiserweight Title against Hurricane Helms and Kidman. This one was over almost before it started when Helms hit a chokeslam on Tajiri and pinned him. Just like that...
Hulk Hogan came to the ring after the break - looking rather worse for wear after his pretty fakey-looking run in with the Undertaker on Monday (Gosh! Good thing those boxes were there...he might have been killed!!) Hogan appeared to be humbled by the overwhelming response from the crowd at the Molson Centre. With tears in his eyes he threw the mic down and just soaked it up as it went on and on. Several times he tried to collect himself and go into his speech - but the crowd just wouldn't let up. Finally he shushed them and said, "You guys are overwhelming!" He went on to say that his original goal was to just get through Wrestlemania. Then he came out the next night just to say "Thanks" and has been "unable to go home" since then. He declared that Hulkamania will live forever, then started to scream his defiance at the Undertaker - but was interrupted by the appearance of Vince McMahon, who scowled from the platform and then marched right to the ring and got in Hogan's face. He snatched the mic out of Hogan's hand and declared that "Hulkamania sucks!" He went on to express his pleasure at watching the Undertaker drag him through the halls behind his own motorcycle. He then accused Hogan of being an "empty shell" of what he used to be. He declared that Hulkamania "has cancer" (what??) then predicted that the Undertaker will bury Hulkamania at Judgment Day. He also stated that he had created Hulkamania and what he created he could destroy. He accused Hogan of being a coward then slapped him. Hogan proceeded to hand McMahon his head then drop the big leg on him, of course.
The main event was the afore mentioned big tag match - Triple H/Edge vs. Chris Jericho/Kurt Angle. Angle arrived first, displaying the lock of hair he cut from Edge's head earlier this evening. He was joined by Jericho and then Edge showed up and the fight got underway before Triple H could arrive. Early on, Angle pulled off a spectacular super-plex when Edge climbed to the top but took too long getting into position. Angle ran right up the corner and threw Edge with an over the head belly-to-belly suplex. Edge was isolated for a quite a while after that. At one point, Jericho hit a series of three verticle suplexes on Edge. The Game finally got into it and cleaned house in his inimitable fashion. But when he went for a Pedigree on Jericho, Angle attacked from behind and stopped his momentum. Edge then came in and did some house cleaning of his own. He was eventually stopped by an Angle slam. Triple H and Jericho went to the floor to fight - Jericho was knocked over the railing and started to retreat to the backstage area. Both men disappeared. In the ring, Edge hit his own suplex on Angle, who then came back with a chair shot. The referee was down and didn't see that move. Angle hit the Angle slam again and took the pin.
Trish and Eddie Guerrero each successfully defended their titles. In their match against the Hardys, Paul E and Brock Lesnar won after Lesnar fought the entire match right to the last moment, then tagged Heyman in to take the pin on Jeff.
After initially dominating the action in his handicap match against Ric Flair and the Big Show. Steve Austin succumbed to the numbers against him and was systematically weakened by his opponents, who concentrated on crippling his left knee. As Austin started to make a comeback, X-Pac interfered in the match, but it was too late. Austin stunned everyone in sight and then pinned Flair.
Edge and Angle wrestled hair vs. hair in a match that saw one bona fide highlight - Edge rushing Angle, who was supposedly tied up in the ropes, only to find himself being suplexed overhead and over the ropes straight to the floor! An amazing bump! Edge got a least ten near falls and then speared the referee. In the end, Angle grabbed the ankle lock but Edge rolled him up and pinned him. Edge had to knock him out with an Edge-acution and then dragged him to the barber chair to get his head shaved. Angle escaped, however, with his hair intact. He was eventually caught and shaved bald.
Triple H and Chris Jericho had what was reported as a fairly tepid Hell in the Cell match, which eventually heated up as the two combatants moved outside the cell and destroyed the Spanish announce table. HHH found a barbed wire wrapped 2x4 and chased Jericho to the top of the cage, where the latter got hold of the weapon and used it pretty effectively. Later, after a referee joined them on the roof, Triple H used the weapon as well. Then he hit the Pedigree and pinned the "Ayatollah of Rock n' Rolla".
Rikishi's "mystery partner" turned out to be a disappointment - as mystery partners always are in WWE - it was Rico! Unfortunately for Upchuck and Billy, their "stylist" managed to drop kick Chuck by mistake, thus giving Rikishi and easy pinfall.
The Undertaker stripped Hulk Hogan of the World Title after a slow-motion match and with an assist from Vince McMahon. Afterward, UT used his chairshot to the throat trick on Hogan, then continued to beat on him with the chair until he drove him from the ring.
Raw came to us live from the The Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee and opened with a rather long memorial piece to Davey Boy Smith narrated by Vince McMahon himself.
At the top of the program, Rob Van Dam headed to the ring, only to be attacked midway down the ramp by the new World Champ. The Undertaker clobbered Van Dam and then entered the ring - obviously having something to say. But no, he then left the ring and attacked the reeling RVD again, ramming him into the steel ring steps then returning to the ring once more. This time he took a mic and addressed the crowd, asking, "Now, do I have your attention?" He went on to declare that he is the new WWE champion, and that he has the right to come down to the ring any time he wants to say what he wants to say. The crowd started "What?"-ing him, of course (man, that is getting annoying...) Van Dam started trying to enter the ring at that point. UT just kicked him in the head a few times, Van Dam retreated back to the floor. UT went on, saying that he had killed Hulkamania, and then declaring that Hogan will announce his retirement at SmackDown! on Thursday. Again Van Dam struggled into the ring. This time, he was playing possum. When UT tried to attack him, he ducked then hit UT with a drop kick, taking him off his feet. Van Dam was sitting on the big man's chest, pummeling him when referees pulled him off. But he broke free and went right back inside, again taking UT by surprise with his educated feet. UT was knocked down and then Frog Splashed! Finally UT retreated up the ramp, trying to regain his dignity as Van Dam stood tall in the ring, shouting defiance, and we went to commercial.
The Undertaker burst into Ric Flair's office and demanded a match with Rob Van Dam tonight. Flair agreed and proposed it to be a World Title match. UT took a little taken aback at that decision - but reluctantly agreed. Flair then turned back to Double A and said something about teaching Steve Austin a lesson tonight.
The Hardy Boyz came to the ring for a match against the nWo (X-Pac and the Big Show, w/Booker T accompanying them). X-Pac took the first turn for his team and wasn't doing all that well until both of his companions got involved from the outside. The Big Show came in against Matt and it wasn't pretty to say the least. X-pac then took over and delivered the bucking bronco before losing the initiative again and ending up on the receiving end until his gigantic partner again interfered. In the middle of all this Goldust showed up dressed as Elvis! X-Pac and Booker were so shocked that they allowed themselves to be distracted. The next thing you know, X-Pac was pinned and the match was over.
Backstage, Trish Stratus had a a little run in with Paul Heyman. What a creep! He came on to her - she blew him off. After the break, the nWo were in an argument backstage about who was going to be the new nWo leader. Somehow this all evolved into Booker saying he would prove his leadership ability by winning a tag team match with Goldust as his partner against...the Hardy Boyz? (I don't know...that's what happened...)
Jacqueline challenged Trish for the Ladies strap. By any measure this match would have to be a rout - at least on paper. Jacquie has been known to defeat male opponents, for pity sake. But, of course, this is the WWE... Trish won it with Stratusfaction. Afterward, Paul Heyman showed up on the platform with his boy, Brock Lesnar, demanding a response from Trish to his earlier proposal. Her refusal prompted Heyman to sic the big guy on her. As she cringed in the corner, Bubba Dudley came to her rescue. Heyman decided to delay the confrontation and convinced Lesnar to back off.
Tommy Dreamer ate some more weird stuff. This time in a barber shop. These segments are just stupid... Backstage, RVD was vowing to beat UT at his own game, telling the doctor to just clean him up so he can get back out there.
Willy Regal came to the ring accompanied by Molly Holly to defend his European Title against Bubba Dudley (who was unaccompanied). Molly decided to get physically involved early on in the match, providing distraction for Regal's benefit (personally, I'd like to see her go back to the "teddy" and bare feet - there was something really sexy about her in those days...sigh...) As Bubba took control of things, Brock Lesnar suddenly ran out and demolished him...what?? Regal then went over to Molly, who handed him a set of brass knucks. He hit Bubba in the back of the head as the latter was trying to get back to his feet. What the hell just happened..?
Ric Flair (w/ Arn Anderson at his side) first corrected the record book concerning his match against Austin last night, stating that he was not the legal man when he was pinned, therefore the decision on that match is reversed. Then he unveiled "Plan B" in his effort to destroy Steve Austin. He called Austin to the ring and benched him - told him to go home! Austin punched both of them out and stunned them, then had a "beer moment" before splitting.
Raven came out to join the announce team after the break and immediately got on Jerry Lawler's bad side. The match was the aforementioned tag team match pitting Booker T and Goldust against the Hardys - who were in their second match of the evening. This one was over almost before it started. Big Show and X-Pac came to the ring and while TBS distracted Booker, X-Pac delivered a kick to the back of Goldust's head and caused him to lose the match.
The scene switched to a local pub, Mugs, where Steve and Debra showed up to the delight of the patrons at the Kareoke bar.
We returned from the break to find the nWo still occupying the ring, still arguing. Booker and the giant were about to get it on when Kevin Nash showed up. Goldust decided, wisely, to leave. Nash immediately asserted his authority, dressing all three of them down for what he termed their "pathetic" performance over the last few weeks. Nash rallied the troops, then invited Booker T in as well. Booker joined the team.
Back at the bar, Eddie Guerrero started making a play for Debra, buying her a little Teddy Bear. Steve demanded to know what was going on, Debra said she didn't know, then tried to distract Steve by suggesting he get up and sing some kareoke.
After the break, Raven went to the ring and started telling Lawler that he is a has been and challenging him to a match. I was trying to figure out what was going on until the King reminded us that this is his home town...right...
back at Mugs, Austin agreed to sing for the crowd. Eddie G beat him to the stage and grabbed the mic before he could get hold of it. Steve was ready to take offense, but Debra calmed him down and he agreed to let Eddie sing first. He was awful...and the crowd let him know it - but he ignored them and continued to make horrible noises (I know - I'm a professional...) We cut to commercial while he was still caterwauling...
Back at the arena, the King was waiting in the ring as Raven made his second entrance of the evening. This was a short match (probably all the King could handle). With the crowd firmly on his side, after a slow start, Lawler wiped the mat with the younger star - who eventually retreated up the ramp and was counted out.
Back at the bar, Steve Austin stood with mic in one hand, and a beer and the other, and belted out Margaritaville. he had good naturedly admitted that he could sing a lick - but wanted to entertain the crowd, who dutifully "What?"-ed him at strategic moments. He then asked for another song - a George Strait song called "The Chair". The disk jockey played something else, so Steve sang that instead, inviting the crowd to sing along. He then noticed that Eddie was sitting at a ringside table with two ladies and they weren't singing along. He went down to the table and tried to get Eddie to to look at him - but Guerrero wouldn't. Austin turned his back to return to the stage and was jumped from behind - Eddie G broke a bottle of beer over his head. Uh oh...
In his title challenge, RVD dominated the match against the Undertaker and actually pinned him - although UT's foot was on the rope. As Earl Hebner was calling for the bell, Flair ran down and demanded that the match be restarted. Van Dam took offense and attacked Flair, which provided the distraction UT needed to recover and then hit the Last Ride on the challenger.
Well we've got a couple of potential storylines for next week...
At least that's the way I see it...
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