While it’s not official yet, rumors are running rampant that Davey Boy Smith will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. In my estimation, this is long overdue. The British Bulldog was one of the biggest stars of his era.
Throughout his time in the 1980s & early 1990s WWF, Smith was one of the most popular wrestlers in the promotion. He played a big role in the WWF attaining great popularity in the United Kingdom, which it retains to this day.
Whether Bulldog gets inducted this year or not, it still seems like a good time to look back at his top 5 moments.
5. Turning heel on Diesel
Davey Boy had formed a tag team with Lex Luger early in 1995 and spent most of the year working up the rankings. When Luger left for WCW, Smith needed something to keep himself occupied. A heel turn against Luger had already been in the plans, so Smith was turned heel against Diesel instead, which vaulted him into WWF Championship contention for the first time. The Allied Powers split still worked out better for Luger, who became a top star in WCW for pretty much the rest of its existence, but Smith managed to make chicken salad out of chicken excrement at the expense of Big Daddy Cool.
4. Entering first in the 1992 Royal Rumble
The 1992 Royal Rumble Match is my favorite match of all time. I know that the old heads have deemed the Steamboat/Flair series the greatest of all time. I also know that the new heads have set that same honor on the Omega/Okada series. Oh, and I also know that a lot of people get mad when you don’t recognize a singles match as the greatest of all time. They can all kiss my ass. The 1992 Royal Rumble Match had the greatest cast of characters in the ring at any given time in the history of wrestling. It also had the right finish, and it had the greatest commentary of all time thanks to the performance of Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Even when Gorilla botched a name it was fantastic, and Bobby’s fandom of Flair throughout the night made for great listening.
The performance of Davey Boy for the first twenty minutes building the match shouldn’t be overlooked. His previous experience winning a battle royal in England made him an immediate contender right away even though he was the first entrant, and he took care of #2 Ted DiBiase in short enough order that you felt like it could be his night. He helped Flair set the table for the rest of the night. Haku hit a low blow on Davey that looked like the sickest low blow in the history of low blows, and led to one of Bobby’s most memorable calls. This match was so on point, and Davey Boy was an important part of it for the first part.
3. European Championship Final vs. Owen Hart
For about a year prior to this match, Davey had set his focus to a tag team with his brother in law, which became a pretty awesome tag team in & out of the ring. From all accounts, Davey & Owen were just as close outside the ring as they were in the ring. Outside the ring, they dedicated themselves to being pranksters the likes that hadn’t been previously seen. Owen would set the jokes up, and Davey would sell them. It was similar to the pranks that Davey pulled with the Dynamite Kid, but people loved Owen so they didn’t take it seriously.
Davey got the best of Owen on this night, but Owen got the last laugh at the Slammy Awards, because as he pointed out; Davey may have had two titles, but Owen had two Slammys! YEAH! Davey got the biggest kick out of that out of anybody in the building, because he loved that hilarious bastard. I will argue that Owen & Davey were the best tag team of the 1990s to my dying day. They were the perfect combination of speed & strength, and they were related by law, and they were hilarious together. In the right era, Owen would have been Davey’s partner longer than the Dynamite Kid, and that’s what Davey would have been remembered for instead of the British Bulldogs team. I imagine he would have been good with that based off of everything I’ve read.
2. WrestleMania 2
Speaking of the Bulldogs, you knew that a moment featuring DBS & Dynamite had to rank near the top of the list. The team was Smith’s first exposure to the majority of wrestling fans, and it was as good an introduction as one could hope for. Dynamite always took credit for carrying the work end of things, but it was a two man show & Davey Boy more than held up his end. The Bulldogs had countless classic matches. Their highpoint came at WrestleMania 2, where they won the WWF Tag Team Championship from Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake.
Ozzy Osbourne was with them! That alone merits inclusion on any list.
1. SummerSlam 1992
80,000 fans in your home country, in the most famous stadium in the biggest city. One of your company’s biggest shows of the year, and you’re in the main event winning the Intercontinental Championship back when it meant something. Not only that, but you’re wrestling your brother-in-law. It doesn’t get much bigger than that for any pro wrestler. It was never going to get bigger than this for Davey Boy Smith, but I think anybody would love to have this match as their highpoint.
That’s it for this Top 5. Any other Davey Boy Smith moments stick out to you?