WWE star 'Dynamite Kid' from tag team The British Bulldogs dies on his 60th birthday
Thomas Billington rose to superstardom alongside Davey Boy Smith as the legendary British Bulldogs during the 1980s
'Dynamite Kid' aka wrestler Thomas Billington died on his 60th birthday. Billington reached stardom in the 1980s along with his cousin Davey Boy Smith, who paired up as a tag team known as 'The British Bulldogs', with their English Bulldog mascot Matilda. His former tag team partner Davey Boy Smith passed away in May 2002 when he was only 39-years-old while he was on holiday in British Columbia, Canada.
Japan 1991..Andre The Giant, Dynamite Kid and Dory Funk Jr vs Steve "Dr Death" Williams, Terry Gordy & Steve Doll pic.twitter.com/Y78UB5h8eT— History of Pro Wrestling (@HistoryofWrest) December 5, 2018
On the news of his demise, his ex-tag team partner's son Davey Boy Smith Jr. said he was "an inspiration" who "revolutionized" wrestling. Paying an emotional tribute, he said: "I was really happy and glad I got to see 'Dynamite' one last time last June in the UK. Dynamite was certainly an inspiration to myself and many others and really revolutionized professional wrestling as we know it today."
Billington hailed from a family of boxing champions and he himself fought several matches in the UK and across the world. The British Bulldogs won the WWE World tag team title from Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake at WrestleMania II in 1986.
A World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) spokesman said Dynamite got into wrestling to "avoid a life as a coal miner."
"Although somewhat undersized, he possessed a ferocity and determination that earned him the nickname The Dynamite Kid," the spokesman added. The cause of his death has not yet been released but it was reported that he had been suffering from ill health for a number of years. Paying the emotional tribute, Davey Boy Smith Jr. concluded; "He flew high, and gave it his all every match."
Fan tributes poured in on Social Media.
RIP Thomas Billington aka— Hart Dungeon (@TheHartDungeon) December 5, 2018
The Dynamite Kid pic.twitter.com/FfOWvaa3lo
Every wrestler under 200lbs likely owes a debt of gratitude to The Dynamite Kid. He inspired so many and help change the sport. In the ring he was incredible. The only wrestling T Shirt I ever purchased was a British Bulldogs shirt, which I wore to WrestleMania IV #RIP— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) December 5, 2018
Without Dynamite Kid ,there would have been no Chris Benoit.— BillyGunnFact (@BillyGunnFact) December 5, 2018
With no Chris Benoit, there wouldn’t have been the heinous act of beating Billy Gunn for the Intercontinental title.
All people are flawed.
Through your work you taught us, inspired us, and set the bar for us.— 🐺 (@RichardsWesley) December 5, 2018
Like many others, I did my best to pay tribute to you. But like all the others, I could not measure up. I could not measure up because there is only one, and will always only be one Dynamite Kid. #puredynamite pic.twitter.com/pDYCBM746m