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  Mon, May 20, 2002



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Jokester joins his partner


By BOB HOLLIDAY -- Winnipeg Sun

The world of professional wrestling was jolted Saturday with the news that the British Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith had died of a heart attack.

Smith, 39, died Friday evening while on vacation at a British Columbia resort.

"Everyone's in shock," said World Wrestling Entertainment official Jack Lanza yesterday as he was about to board a plane for Memphis.

Lanza, a WWE road agent, had worked closely with Smith for many years.

TOUGH FIVE YEARS

"My heart goes out to Davey's family," said Bill Moody, better known as Paul Bearer. "Davey was a tremendous athlete, performer, and a good friend. I can't help but think of Owen Hart. This Thursday, May 23, will be the third anniversary of Owen's passing. May his soul rest in peace."

The last five years haven't been kind to the Bulldog as he battled an addiction to prescription drugs, a messy and very public divorce with former wife Diana Hart, and a serious, almost fatal, motorcycle accident.

During a Winnipeg stopover 10 days ago, the Bulldog recalled injuries suffered in that accident 16 months ago. He pointed to the nine-inch scar on his massive right bicep, and to the scar on his right leg. But because he worked out twice a day, he felt in the best shape of his life.

The match -- for promoter Bobby Jay and Top Rope Championship Wrestling at the Southdale Community Centre -- was the Bulldog's second since his accident. On the previous night in Brandon, he had the pleasure of tag-teaming with his son Harry, 15.

Even at his age, the Bulldog still hoped one day to claw his way back to the top alongside his very talented son. He wanted to teach Harry how to deal with being in the public eye, and how to cope with being away from home for long periods of time.

The Bulldog was one of the greatest "ribbers" in wrestling history. Sometimes the Bulldog -- as he did with everything in his life -- took his practical jokes to the limit. When combined with brother-in-law Owen Hart, he was dangerous.

I was initiated in the early 1990s during a World Wrestling Federation run through Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina. When I failed to fall for their two-day rib about an obnoxious journalist (as if there are any) bothering the talent, the pair resorted to covering the back of my blazer with toothpaste and shaving cream.

On the advice of Luna Vachon and Alundra Blaze, I wore my soaking-wet jacket as if nothing happened. By not reacting, I reversed the rib. But the guys would have loved seeing the foam ooze from the jacket at the cleaners.

With those guys back together, there never will be peace in that great wrestling dressing room in the sky.

More on The British Bulldog




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